I’ve only been a fan of whisky for about ten years. It was my Aunt and Uncle that introduced me to the temptations beneath the shadowy dusk. The ‘water of life’ transfixed me and now I’m hooked by the complexities and innovations of this temptress called whisky.
The whisky market is widening. It’s not just Scotch that leaps out from distilaries.
The World whisky award winner comes from Japan.
Ireland, Wales, and California America are popular as is the Czech Republic. Then of course there are the blends Jameson, Grants, Bells including the divine Johnnie Walker Black Label aged 12 years.
For me though there is no better place to begin than with Malt Whisky from Scotland. I remember a few years ago visiting the Scotish Whisky experience in Edinburgh and marvelling at Whiskies that came from small distilleries miles from anywhere that were thriving and innovating the industry. So whether it’s regions Speyside, Highland, Lowland, or Islay, the choice is comprehensive.
Whisky need not be complicated the five steps for me in appreciating whisky are:
Colour: is your whisky light, gold, bright, copper or rich Amber in colour?
Body: does your whisky have a light, medium or full body?
Nose: Which aromas do you recognise when you nose your whisky- is it malty, smoky, fruity, chocolatey?
Palate: what characteristics do you notice on the palate- is it softly sweet, rich and fruity or peppery and spicy?
Finish: Does the flavour remain for a long time or does it disappear quickly?
One thing that links the massive market of whisky is the passion and individuality which makes it deeply rooted and dynamic simultaneously.
Some of the best places in Birmingham to try ‘The water of life’ are:
The Prince of Wales-Moseley- over 40 Malt Whisky’s in stock.
The Victoria-City Centre (home to the Birmingham whisky club).
The Plough-Harborne, with a good choice of rare and Japanese Whisky’s. An expanding tasting room is been developed.
Hotel Du Vin-City Centre. The only bar in Birmingham to stock Whisky’s from the Scottish Malt Whisky Society.
The Wellington-City Centre. An excellent whisky list.
The Bureau-City Centre, good for whisky cocktails.
Purnells Bistro/Gingers Bar: good for old fashioned bourbon cocktails with a decent whisky list.
If you keep an eye on the Birmingham Whisky Club website events are published frequently.
The Birmingham Whisky Club is the city’s only whisky tasting events company, and one event its hosting is an exciting new event with global whisky brand, Chivas Regal.
The upcoming event, ‘A Blending Masterclass With Chivas Regal’ takes place on Wednesday 4th November at Vivaanta, and will see whisky-lovers taste through and learn about a number of blends and single malts before trying their hand at making their own.
The evening event will be hosted with whisky expert, Whisky Club supporter and Pernod Ricard Brand Ambassador, Phil Huckle, who will taste people through a number of whiskies before guiding guests in making their own bespoke blend to take home. Included in the ticket price will be a meal from one of the city’s newest Indian restaurants, Vivaanta, which guests will be able to enjoy together while their blends are tasted by Phil and other experts from The Birmingham Whisky Club. A prize for ‘best blend’ will go to the winner to take home.
Amy Seton, founder of The Birmingham Whisky Club, comments: “We are really excited to host this event in Birmingham and add an interesting element to the Whisky Club offering. Blends are big business and it’s not every day whisky-enthusiasts get a chance to make their own. We look forward to introducing Phil Huckle and Chivas Regal to more whisky enthusiasts and learn about the fine art of blending.
Tickets for the event are priced at £35 each (plus booking). For more information and to book a place, head to the ticket page. For other information and upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.
The Birmingham Whisky Club is Birmingham’s only dedicated whisky tasting events company. They offer a diverse range of tutored tastings and whisky-themed events in and around Birmingham, including themed and rare whisky nights, events with distilleries, whisky and food matching, and private and corporate events. They welcome everyone, from complete beginners to the more hardened whisky buff.
Visit their webpage:
You can also buy whisky in Birmingham at specialist whisky shops such as the Hard to Find Whisky Shop in the Jewellery Quarter and the Whisky Shop in the Great Weatern Arcade.
Supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s also stock a Good supply of whisky locally. With many good bottles reduced frequently.
Thanks for reading
A selection of my Whisky’s from home.