Is there much else better than whisk(e)y?
The third Saturday of May marks World Whisk(e)y Day! Whether you like yours neat, on the rocks, or muddled into a julep; on an armchair or at a bar – WWD is a day to make the best of a beautiful spirit.
So here is a run down of what to do WWD 2017!
The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green
The Sun Tavern are more than partial to a drop themselves, they thought they’d do something a bit special this Saturday 20th.
Throughout the day they’re hosting three free Poitín masterclasses, normally priced at £25 per person. Guests will try four different Poitíns and a Poitín cocktail while learning the history of the homemade whiskey-turned legal spirit.
These classes are to run on a first come first serve basis on the day, however bookings will be taken to reserve a spot in advance. Classes will take place at 1pm, 3pm & 5pm.
They’re also launching their new Whiskey Menu on the day. Having won Imbibe’s Whiskey List Of The Year for 2016/17, they’ve certainly got something to live up to.
They’ll be introducing three whiskies from their private collection too. These are whiskies that are extremely rare and not normally available to customers. They will be offered on their menu at a cost price in order to give everyone a chance to enjoy something extremely special.
- ‘Dungourney 1964 Pure Pot Still Special Reserve’ – in auction originally at over £800 and available to customers at only £30 per measure. Only 1200 of these bottles were released and are seldom seen any more.
- ‘Knappogue Castle 1951’ – in auction originally at £550 for the bottle and available to customers at £20 per measure, 36 years old when bottled. Was some of the last stock from the old Tullamore Dew Distillery. A true taste of history.
- ‘Bushmills 1975 Millenium’ – in auction originally at £200 for the bottle and available to customers at only £10 per measure. 24 years old when bottled for the millennium. These were sold privately to investors, so it’s really rare to see a bottle on the market.
Other interesting new additions are The Boutique-y Whisky Company Single Malt, Connemara Single Malt, and the pretty exclusive Cill Áirne PX.
Merchant’s House, City
This Friday the 19th, the whisk(e)y celebrators at Merchant House of Fleet Street are going all out with 50% off all whisk(e)y drinks and cocktails!
Take a seat and enjoy the fabulous whisk(e)y cocktails the MH is renowned for and soak in the comfy atmosphere of the venue – hidden away from the rush and bustle of the busy City.
The Binchotan at MASH Steak
MASH Steak, Soho
Bourbon lovers rejoice, everyone knows the Hoodooist enjoys popping by MASH Steak for a drink.
To celebrate World Whiskey Day, MASH have partnered with Buffalo Trace to launch a special menu showcasing some of their favourite whiskeys. From 20th – 31st May, join MASH for a classic Mint Julep, a New York Sour, or a flight of the Bartenders’ Favourites: 1792 Ridgemont, Eagle Rare 10 (YES), and Buffalo Trace.
Brick and Liquor, Tooting
Down in Tooting, cute & cosy cocktail establishment Brick & Liquor are celebrating World Whiskey Day by launching the second edition of their much lauded cocktail menu, starring the Southside Flip, a revived Jerry Thomas classic from 1862, featuring Chivas Regal 12 year old whiskey, apricot brandy and lemon juice; served smooth with a whole shaken egg; and the Amaro No.2, the perfect gentleman’s tipple, featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon, Disaronno & a delicious Italian Amaro liqueur.
Amaro is an often unloved and often neglected Italian gem; with a taste that is both graceful and robust making it the perfect companion for the whiskey and amaretto. Served gently stirred.
Maybe you’d rather spend the evening relaxing at home?
Fetch yourself your nearest Glencairn whisk(e)y glass and pour yourself a dram. These gorgeous glasses provide a wide crystal bowl to appreciate your drop’s colour, a shape to inspect the body of your whisk(e)y, and a tapered mouth to focus the aroma to the nose.
Some iconic whisk(e)ys to try this season would be a classic smoky Ardbeg for this late Spring rain.
The Uigeadail capture’s Ardbeg’s traditional silkiness, its deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisin tones of old ex-Sherry casks
The recently released limited edition Kelpie brings powerful aromas of oily peat, salty seaweed and tarry rope have been produced by virgin oak casks from the Black Sea, intermingled with the hallmark Ardbeg flavour profile. Waves of spicy black pepper give way to a delectable tide of bacon and dark chocolate. Incredibly deep.
Another good option would be Glenmorangie’s Private Edition Bacalta 2017: the sweet and honeyed nose opens to a palate ripe with mint toffee, caramelised oranges and dates, ending with a mentholic length of creamy fudge and sweet citrus.
And if you want something from across the Atlantic, why not try Texas’ first whiskey! Made from blue corn, the Balcones Baby Blue is rich and thick with baked apple and caramel, buttery with baked spices.
Other whiskey choices from the emerald isle can be found at our trip to the Irish Embassy with a wealth of Irish whiskeys to taste!
Or, maybe, you want something less intense for the weekend, maybe a drink for when the sun is out?
Whisk(e)y and ginger ale/beer is certainly experiencing a bit of a renaissance, and people are out to capitalise.
Merchant’s Heart introduces its ‘Spirit Enhancers’, well made and beautifully bottled mixers for a simpler retreat. The MHSE Ginger Ale provides a fresh ginger note is found throughout with a lingering heat on the finish. Excellent with aged spirits, particularly bourbon and whisky.
Light and airy, a bit of the ginger ale with Woodford Reserve and a drop of bitters is enough to pep you up on a hot day. These go down easy on the patio as you watch the world go by.
The Ginger Beer by Umbrella Brewing is, for lack of a better word, gorgeous. At a surprising 5%, UBGB takes no prisoners.
The team behind it explain, “We wanted to create a drink that was very natural, so our Ginger Beer contains only a few ingredients: fresh pressed ginger; hand squeezed lemon, cane sugar, malted barley, yeast and water. Natural ingredients create natural sediment in every bottle. We remove all the yeast using an incredibly fine filter, so the sediment in our bottle is entirely made up of pressed ginger root. That’s why we ask you to turn the bottle over before serving – to “wake up the ginger”.
What you get is the powerful flavour of raw ginger and candied lemons, thick with molasses and hint of malt. A length of fiery and spicy ginger follows.
A bit of Suntory classic with UBGB, a slice of citrus and honey and you’re sorted.
While you sip on your drinks, make sure to grab something to read!
Iconic Whisky by Cyrille Mald and Alexandre Vingtier brings together 1000 whiskies into one impressive text. Each whisk(e)y is accompanied by flavour notes and an aroma wheel, followed by a map marking the origins and terroir, not to mention a 3D illustration of whisk(e)y production!
Spirit of Place by Charles MacLean takes us on a visual tour of 50 distilleries in Scotland, with photographs by Lara Platman and Alan MacDonald, documenting the ‘cultural terroir’ of the distilleries these historic and classic whiskies originate from.
Sadly, World Whisk(e)y Day lasts only a day – but who follows thew rules anyway. June is London Food Month, and there is a *lot* of whisk(e)y nights to enjoy!
Whisky Ambassador Colin Dunn guides a tour of taste and flavour, pairing whiskies with amazing delicacies from Borough Market. The Whisky Exchange has selected six treaty whiskies and matched them with great artisanal produce. The evening will begin with a cocktail featuring the brand new Ro and Co Irish Whiskey, before sampling the six pairings. Patrons will be served Oysters, artisan cheese, and cured meat with a selection of fantastic whiskeys, including Talisker, Lagavulin, 25-year-old Mannochmore, and much more.
When: Monday, June 12
For one night only guests will be able to experience an exclusive Talisker whisky masterclass hosted by World Class Brand Ambassador. Guests will be guided through a flight of five Talisker whiskies paired alongside delicious delicacies from Black Rock.
When: Thursday, June 15
A luxury tasting featuring six different Johnnie Walker whiskies including the luxurious Blue Label. Hosted by the legendary Diageo brand ambassador Colin Dunn.
When: Thursday, June 15
Tonkotsu Mare Street hosts a tasting of a selection of rare Japanes whiskies, including Hakushu Bourbon Barrel, Yamazaki Puncheon and 15 year old Miyagiko. Whisky expert David Wrigley will guide the event, pairing his favourite whiskies with delicious delicious from Tonkotsu’s kitchen.
When: Tuesday, June 20
Manicomio Chelsea serves a Talisker Whisky-based cocktail throughout June as part of London Food Month, made with fresh sage, apple, and a touch of coconut rum. This delicious cocktail can be enjoyed in the bar on on the terrace.
When: Throughout June
And if you are up in Edinburgh, on 20th May from 1:00am – 2:00am whisky lovers are encouraged to stay out late (or get up early!) and join esteemed whisky writer and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman; Alex Bruce, whisky maker and Managing Director of Ardnamurchan Distillery and Chris Hoban, whisky blogger and brand ambassador for R&B Distillers as they extol the virtues of Scotland’s National drink.
Savour a dram of Harry’s, a dram of Raasay While You Wait and a taste of the much sought after Glover 4th alongside a delicious cheese and meat board, while basking in the knowledge of our 3 whisky experts – what better way to kick off World Whisky Day!
And that’s all for this World Whisk(e)y Day 2017, folks! There is no right way to drink it except the way you love it.