Highland Park Midwinter Social

THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER – FINNEBASSEN WITH SUPPORT FROM KIPP$

FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER – EELKE KLEIJN WITH SUPPORT FROM KIPP$

Highland Park, the Orkney Single Malt with #VikingSoul, is taking over The Boiler House for their Midwinter Social to celebrate the longer nights in anticipation of Winter Solstice. You will be transported into an Orkney-themed urban oasis where opposites clash to create a breath-taking environment, to enjoy an evening of feasting, socialising and enjoying Highland Park.

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Highland Park will evoke this Viking Soul by featuring a variety of food vendors curated by Root + Bone, tales from the distillery around the fire pit, torchlight tasting sessions, and more. World renowned DJs Finnebassen, Eelke Kleijn and Kipps will be providing the soundtrack to the evenings. Plus you’ll get a free drink on arrival to make sure your evening gets off to a good start. Actually, that’s not enough. We’ll throw in a second drink each.

Two complimentary drinks are included in the ticket price.

Get your tickets at:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/highland-park-midwinter-social-tickets-28940680354?aff=es2

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SCOTCH Pop up 2016 @ Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

Burns Night is almost here! To celebrate, we thought of the perfect place to celebrate this Monday, and hey, if you’d rather have a cosy night in, we’ve thrown in a couple of whisky cocktails to make at home at the end of the article!

Type of Bar: Whisky, Hotel, Pop up
Damage: ££££
Ideal for: Scotch, Date, Small Groups, Education

London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

Running till the 29th of January 2016, the Brown’s Hotel is hosting the SCOTCH pop up in their Library room, exhibiting 40 different Scottish whiskies and couple of scotch cocktails – A tribute to their sister hotel, the Balmoral’s, SCOTCH Bar.

Whisky Ambassador, Fraser Robson, has whiskies from all over the traditional regions at his disposal: Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940, and what a brilliant collection it is. Running from 15 pounds a dram, up to 400 (the Glenmorangie Pride 1978), the choice of whiskies is intimidating at first, but easier to traverse through with the brilliant Mr. Robson guiding you.

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Sponsored by Glenmorangie, best to start their event with the Glenmorangie Original: a demanding golden yellow, a classic whisky. Intensely citrus on the nose, the initial flavours are more flowery, with a dark citrus length.

However, more discussion revolved around the launch of this year’s Glenmorangie Private Edition: the Milsean.

Glenmorangie Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, gushed over the whisky, and upon tasting it, we got an idea why. The Milsean is painfully nostalgic – inspired by Dolly’s Mixtures, the whisky is even named ‘sweet things‘ in Gaelic. It’s matured in ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured in former wine casks that once housed red wines for Portugal’s Doura Valley, re-toasted for the purpose.

What we get is a sweet whisky, rich with moreish candied fruits, with a bright nose of fruit, sugary – like sherbet, and sugar cane. The palate begins with a blast of candy, then the tartness of candied orange peel, cherries and plum – followed by a long spicy finish of borwn sugar, winter spice, and maybe a bit of fudge?

The Milsean, for the Hoodooist, is definitely a unique whisky, with a very specific purpose. Much like it’s packaging of cherry and white vertical stripes – it’s a dessert whisky – a dram or two after dinner is all you need if you aren’t sweet of tooth and don’t mind bit of a burn.
London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

For cocktails, the first simple Orange Zest brought out the complexity of the citrus of the Glenmorangie Original with ginger ale and Angostura bitters, a simple enough drink, but a refreshing and effective one.

The second, the Spey Trip, is a fascinating drink, inherited by the SCOTCH pop up from the hotel’s resident Donovan Bar. Inspired by the Balvenie scotch it uses, and the Speyside region it hails from, the Spey Trip is constructed entirely from the scotch and its containers. The tumbler is the laser-cut bottom half of the Balvenie bottle, the platform it is served on also made from the Balvenie casks. An Old Fashioned using figs instead of sugar syrup, a spectacular drink that brings out the spicy sweetness of the Balvenie with the fig, which also appear as dried garnish (which dipped in the Old Fashioned taste incredible).

I was left torn about this drink by the end of it, since the first half was wonderfully layered and complex, but the last half became overwhelmingly sweet with the figs. And a whisky like Balvenie is a shame to lose.

The Spey Trip

The SCOTCH bar’s atmosphere is perfect for the venue, relaxed, subdued, with the occasional tartan – the Brown’s Hotel itself is a stunning building (from 1837), the interior sprawling, and couches numerous. And service is impeccable. A fantastic addition to the London whisky scene, and one I wish was permanent.

Slainte!

Drinks: **** – *****
Atmosphere: ****
Service: *****

Brown’s Hotel

33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 4BP

https://twitter.com/browns_hotel

HEY. YES. THERE IS MORE.

I mean, it *is* Burns Night tonight, and if you’re gonna stay in, might as well do it with a couple of easy to concoct cocktail at home, devised by Alexander & James.

The Haig Clubman

Haig Clubman
A refreshing tasting whisky cocktail which combines gentle spice and fruitiness perfectly.

Ingredients:
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparkling apple soda
6 dashes ginger bitters

Method:
Built over hand-cracked ice in either a highball or tumbler, garnished with a long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin).

But hey, say you’re more of a bourbon person (what the hell are you doing here?) but say you are, we haven’t forgotten you!

The Apple Mint Julep

Apple Mint Julep
A light cocktail with a fruitful flavour and a hint of mint is perfect for a refreshing serve this
Burns Night.

Ingredients:
60ml Bulleit Bourbon
90ml apple juice
A dash or two of bitters
3-4 mint sprigs

Method:
Muddle the mint and apple juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bulleit bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters and ice to the shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds and then strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubes of ice. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired

That’s all, folks! Make sure to enjoy your Burns Night with your favourite scotch – we know we will!

The Macallan Residence, Temple

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

Macallan whisky took over the gorgeous Two Temple Place 2nd and 3rd June – dubbed The Macallan Residence, visitors received a walk through the Macallan 1824 line, along with cocktails and a whisky/chocolate pairing hosted by Artisan du Chocolat.

Between sessions on being taught to make Macallan twists on Old Fashioned, and chats over carefully selected chocolates, Esquire provided tailoring, monogramming, shoeshining – that is, when you’re not busy at the photobooth.

And why wouldn’t you be? Two Temple Place is a spectacular venue, between the library, lounge, study and VIP room, it’s difficult to choose where to spend most of your time.

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

The Gold Rush and keys to the Residence

The evening begins with a Gold Rush cocktail – Macallan Gold, Galliano and ginger beer – a simple, but very effective, refresher for the summer, paired with a Scotch Egg, as one walks down an exhibition on the preparation of Macallan whisky.

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

Wayne Collins’ Old Gold masterclass

While sipping a Macallan Rare, with its richer and thicker palate of raisins, orange and ginger, Wayne Collins runs us through preparing the Old Gold.

The Old Gold twists an Old Fashioned into using Macallan Gold, ginger syrup, and chocolate bitters. The palest of the 1824 range, the Macallan Gold’s toffee and cinnamon follows the initial ginger kick, with the chocolate bitters bringing out the whisky’s natural cocoa notes.

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

More of the Old Golds

We taste more of the Macallan Gold when it is paired with Artisan du Chocolat’s Basil and Lime Dark Chocolate. The beautifully herbaceous chocolate first brings out the Gold’s savoury flavours, and the lime lifts it up after, for a wonderfully summery pairing.

Next, the Macallan Amber, the oilier whisky, buttery with notes of winter fruits and lemon, rich, with a somewhat earthy and cinnamon finish – is paired with Dark Chocolate Sea-Salted Caramel. The Amber’s more forceful notes are heightened, and the heat in the whisky is brought out strongly by the salty-sweet caramel.

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

The next of the 1824 range, the Sienna instantly hits the nose with Demerara sugar, orange and something floral. The palate is similarly warming and sweet, very autumnal. Paired with Dark Chocolate Ganache infused with Tazmanian Honey, the floral sweetness of the honey immediately brings out all those floral notes in the Sienna, a very uplifting combination.

Finally, the spectacularly coloured Macallan Ruby struts onto the stage with major spice and glacé cherry nose, a palate that is deep and warm like an evening at the fireplace – oaky, raisin, leather, char, dates and winter sweetness, a candied orange peel finish. Paired with Tobacco infused Dark Chocolate Ganache, caramel, coffee and vanilla hit you and take you to that leather Chesterfield armchair at the fireplace.

Macallan scotch whisky cocktails

This Speyside whisky knows how to throw a party. And will be back on the 8th and 9th of June, participating in The Telegraph Whisky Experience, alongside many popular whiskies. Information on the Telegraph Whisky Experience can be found here: CLICK!

http://www.themacallan.com/

The Whisky Lounge @ Hilton London Metropole, Edgware Road

Type of Bar: Hotel, Whisky, Lounge
Damage££ – ££££ (per dram)
Ideal for: Education, Date, Small Groups, After Work

Who can turn down a good ol’ whisky tasting?

The Hilton London Metropole’s Whisky Lounge hosts a stunning 80 whiskies visitors can order by the dram, or can come as a group to try out their whisky tasting sessions (hosting 3 to 5 whiskies at a time).

A calm blue-grey colour scheme with the most gorgeous lighting constructed out of laser-cut whisky decanters make the Hilton’s Whisky Lounge the perfect venue for the event, and though opens directly to the hotel main EDG Lounge and Bar, is not as loud as one might expect. Surrounded with an excellent selection of malts watching over the guests, many an hour can be whittled away here.

Seated at a table (brought in for the tasting events) the group is presented with four of the day’s choice whiskies: A Singleton of Dufftown 12yr, a Lagavulin 16yr, Suntory Yamazaki 12 yr, and finally a Kavalan (one the Hoodooist was keen to become acquainted with).

Whisky Tasting London

Guided by our whisky sommelier, the gang is first introduced to a healthy dram of the 12yr Singleton of Dufftown. A classic Speyside, the nose is nutty, with sweet fruits (dates?), wintery; with large tears.

Flavour is malty, intensely hazelnut, a rich Arabica coffee – with the Arabica’s hints of currant and toffee. Followed by a dry medium length of oak and the trademark Singleton fruit.

Milk chocolate was selected to pair with the whisky, intensifying the hazelnut even further, adding a liqueur quality to the whisky and greatly shortening the finish – a fantastic way to end a meal.

Whisky Tasting London

The Tasting Selection

The second whisky brought to the table, the Lagavulin 16yr – an Islay classic. The small, slow moving tears indicate a thick, rich whisky, and is renowned for having the smokiest nose of the Islay whiskies – reminiscent of smoky teas and sherries.

And there is that loud sherry flavour on the palate, dry and spicy, and unashamedly peaty. A large mouth on this one, confident, with its own sweetness, too. A long peppery finish with hints of vanilla.

Going fantastically well with smoky and spiced nuts, the Lagavulin 16yr is recommended for salty dinners or as a digestif for red meats.

Whisky Tasting London

Dram and pairings

We venture away from the isles to Japan, and the ludicrously popular Suntory Yamazaki 12yr. Utterly miniscule and slow tears hint at a thick and intricate experience ahead, and on the nose an almost candied orange scent, tropical fruit, but also cloves. An incredible nose on this one.

The entry is slow, but the flavours develop and become increasingly complex, first a winter spice and floral sweetness, followed by more of the tropical fruit and almost buttery. A long woody and spicy finish. A favourite across the table for its complexity.

Whisky Tasting London

Finally, the most eagerly awaited whisky of the evening, the Taiwanese Kavalan, is young, but said to mature quickly with the sub-tropical climes of the island – focusing on tropical fruit flavours.

Small but quick tears, the nose is woody, and very fragrant and floral. The opening is harsh, coarse. Once that trial is over, though, a wonderful mango and spicy oak develops, with a long refreshing finish.

Nonetheless, the table didn’t think that the delightful finish was worth the harsh opening. The Kavalan quickly fell to the bottom of most’s lists, leaving the Suntory Yamazaki 12yr, the most popular – and with all the awards it has collected over the years, it’s hardly a surprise!

Whisky Tasting London

The Kavalan

Service was excellent and our wonderful sommelier did a fantastic job leading the group through the whiskies, providing wonderful conversation along with an educational 2 hours. A highly recommended evening out for whisky novices looking to learn! Especially with this great collection.
This was a custom tasting and would have been priced at £42.00. The Hilton London Metropole have two types of tastings: Scottish and International. Guests can choose to have a tasting of 3-5 whiskies. An outline of prices are outlined below:

Scottish 3 : £26.00
Scottish 4 : £34.50
Scottish 5 : £42.00

International 3 : £38.00
International 4 : £50.00
International 5 : £61.00

All Inc VAT, but Excl Service Charge 10% (optional).

Drinks: ****
Atmosphere: ***
Service: *****

The Whisky Lounge @ Hilton London Metropole

225 Edgware Road,
London W2 1JU

http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/hilton-london-metropole-LONMETW/dining/whisky-lounge.html

SCOTCH Pop up 2015 @ Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

Happy Burns Night all! To celebrate, we thought of the perfect place to celebrate this Sunday, and hey, if you’d rather have a cosy night in, we’ve thrown in a couple of whiskey cocktails to make at home at the end of the article!

Type of Bar: Whisky, Hotel, Pop up
Damage££££
Ideal for: Scotch, Date, Small Groups, Education

Scotch dram

Running till the 8th of February 2015, the Brown’s Hotel is hosting the SCOTCH pop up in their Library room, exhibiting 40 different Scottish whiskies and couple of scotch cocktails – A tribute to their sister hotel, the Balmoral’s, SCOTCH Bar.

Whisky Ambassador, Fraser Robson, has whiskies from all over the traditional regions at his disposal: Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940, and what a brilliant collection it is. Running from 15 pounds a dram, up to 400 (the Glenmorangie Pride 1978), the choice of whiskies is intimidating at first, but easier to traverse through with the brilliant Mr. Robson guiding you.

For reference: Glenmorangie stills are as tall as giraffes.

For reference: Glenmorangie stills are as tall as giraffes.

Sponsored by Glenmorangie, best to start their event with the Glenmorangie Original: a demanding golden yellow, a classic whisky. Intensely citrus on the nose, the initial flavours are more flowery, with a dark citrus length.

However, more discussion revolved around the launch of this year’s Glenmorangie Private Edition: the Tùsail. Attempting to keep the same mash and method of the Original, the Tùsail differs from the Original by using Maris Otter barley – used only by a select few considering the difficulty and cost of production compared to commercial barley. But boy, is it worth it. A spectacular amber harvest gold; the nose is much sweeter, almost toffee, maltier and earthier. A deeper flavour, the toffee and barley come through rather prominently, something spicy and nostalgic (I may have gotten some dark chocolate too), an intensely winter scotch. Absolutely beautiful, the Hoodooist is in awe of the Tùsail.

Featuring Oswald the Otter!

Featuring Oswald the Otter!

For cocktails, the first simple Orange Zest brought out the complexity of the citrus of the Glenmorangie Original with ginger ale and Angostura bitters, a simple enough drink, but a refreshing and effective one.

The second, the Spey Trip, is a fascinating drink, inherited by the SCOTCH pop up from the hotel’s resident Donovan Bar. Inspired by the Balvenie scotch it uses, and the Speyside region it hails from, the Spey Trip is constructed entirely from the scotch and its containers. The tumbler is the laser-cut bottom half of the Balvenie bottle, the platform it is served on also made from the Balvenie casks. An Old Fashioned using figs instead of sugar syrup, a spectacular drink that brings out the spicy sweetness of the Balvenie with the fig, which also appear as dried garnish (which dipped in the Old Fashioned taste incredible).

I was left torn about this drink by the end of it, since the first half was wonderfully layered and complex, but the last half became overwhelmingly sweet with the figs. And a whisky like Balvenie is a shame to lose.

The Spey Trip

The Spey Trip

The SCOTCH bar’s atmosphere is perfect for the venue, relaxed, subdued, with the occasional tartan – the Brown’s Hotel itself is a stunning building (from 1837), the interior sprawling, and couches numerous. And service is impeccable. A fantastic addition to the London whisky scene, and one I wish was permanent.

Drinks: **** – *****
Atmosphere: ****
Service: *****

Brown’s Hotel

33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 4BP

https://twitter.com/browns_hotel

HEY. YES. THERE IS MORE.

I mean, it *is* Burns Night tonight, and if you’re gonna stay in, might as well do it with a couple of easy to concoct cocktail at home, devised by Alexander & James.

The Haig Clubman

The Haig Clubman

Haig Clubman
A refreshing tasting whisky cocktail which combines gentle spice and fruitiness perfectly.

Ingredients:
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparkling apple soda
6 dashes ginger bitters

Method:
Built over hand-cracked ice in either a highball or tumbler, garnished with a long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin).

But hey, say you’re more of a bourbon person (what the hell are you doing here?) but say you are, we haven’t forgotten you!

The Apple Mint Julep

The Apple Mint Julep

Apple Mint Julep
A light cocktail with a fruitful flavour and a hint of mint is perfect for a refreshing serve this
Burns Night.

Ingredients:
60ml Bulleit Bourbon
90ml apple juice
A dash or two of bitters
3-4 mint sprigs

Method:
Muddle the mint and apple juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bulleit bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters and ice to the shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds and then strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubes of ice. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired

That’s all, folks! Make sure to enjoy your Burns Night with your favourite scotch – we know we will!