I’ve never been a whisky drinker. When I was younger, spirits in general were just not my thing. I just couldn’t get over the harshness of it all. Then at uni, when I started drinking them, it was all about the supermarket-own-brand paint stripper. That’s not the kind of stuff to make you come back for more is it?
The Whisky Show
Messing around in the wine world though, you can’t help but mess around with spirits too occasionally. I’ve had my time with gins, brandies, and rums, so when the Whisky Show came rolling into London, I couldn’t not pop down and see if I could get converted, could I?
Vastness of Choice
Now, I know I should be getting on great with whisky. It’s such a craft product, designed with hundreds of flavour profiles, that the wine-o in me should be able to cross over with all the same passion and geekiness. But I’m a bugger for not practicing what I preach. I have to admit I was scared to complete amateur at it. I couldn’t just scratch the surface on my own. I needed some help.
Very Kind & Patient People
Well what better place than the Whisky Show? Scores of whisky producers in one room for a two-day consumer piss-up on the weekend and a Monday with the press doing a more professional piss-up!! Luckily I managed to sidle up to a couple of extremely knowledgeable and patient people and pick their brains with “whisky newbie” questions for an hour, although it must have felt a bit longer for them! Emma Ware from Glen Moray, and Dave Worthington of Whisky Discovery, you’re absolute stars!!
What I Learned
I learned that I’ve got a long way to go!! 🙂 Single malt or blended? Islay or Speyside? Sherry barrel or Bourbon barrel? Peaty or fruity? Worse thing is I haven’t even mentioned the producers yet! Great thing was the two superstars took me through why the differences exist, and gave me the same advice I give anyone looking to get into wine. Get a bit of theory in your head and then just get opening them bottles.
QUESTION: Are you a whisky newbie? What are your thoughts on getting stuck in?