A Christmas present that started it all – Soho Whisky Club
The Dram Duo came to life in early 2021 as a way for the two of us to pass time during the third UK lockdown. But that was not the start of the journey for us.
For Christmas 2018 I was treated by the other half to a whisky tasting experience at the Soho Whisky Club. As part of this experience you are given the opportunity to taste a variety of drams, as well as the pick the brains of their staff. A true introduction to the wonderful world of whisky!
So, one day in summer of 2019 we trudged through London after work (remember when working actually meant travelling into town, and not just from the bedroom to the living room!) to the Soho Whisky Club. As we arrived we immediately ordered glasses of red wine – what can I say, we were total beginners…
Let’s get down to business
The experience began with a lovely gentleman talking us through some of the characteristics and key qualities of whisky, as well as trying to gather our relatively limited palate preferences. Personally, I know that I’m a big fan of a peaty whisky, but the other half wasn’t too sure, so we opted to try a few across the spectrum.
We tried …
Auchentoshan 12 yo:
Nose – sweet with hints of mango and honey
Palate – tropical fruit continues from the nose with passion fruit accompanied with notes of Turkish delight and vanilla
Finish – oaky dry with dark cocoa
GlenDronach The Heilan 8yo:
Nose – vanilla fudge with honey, cinnamon and citrus
Palate – more baking spices with buttery vanilla biscuits and a hint of amaretto
Finish – the sherry cask really comes through here and the ginger finish is long lasting
Nose – sea salt with hints of oak and vanilla and bags of peat (Hoorah)!
Palate – old warm leather, apple crumble filling and that vanilla peat again
Finish – salted caramel and the ever present smoke from a bonfire you only get with peaty whisky
Kilchoman Machir Bay
Nose – buttery biscuits, citrus and vanilla and peat (theres a theme here)
Palate – tropical fruit in abundance leading to bonfire smoke
Finish – the sherry cask again developing on the finish with spice from black pepper
Hepburns Choice (Benriach Distillery) 7 yo
Nose – fresh apple orchard with vanilla rising through
Palate – delicate and well balanced with the continuation of green apples and vanilla, hints of spice coming through
Finish – more fresh apple and fruity flavours with the spice coming through again
The Hepburns Choice was my favourite (now apparently a good investment) however, this wasn’t available in their shop. Instead I got the one below and I can safely say you should go and buy it aswell!
Glenfarclas 15 yo
Nose – WOW! Hints of peppermint roll in off of the vibrant creamy sherry, a richness you wouldn’t associate with something as young as a 15
Palate – think a rich Christmas pudding, raisins, dates and oranges with lots of sherry
Finish – long, the walnuts from the palate come through even more with those fruits carrying the complexity
A great end to a wonderful beginning
To compliment our lovely bottle bought from the Soho Whisky Club, my brother bought us a Dartington decanter and glass set for Christmas the next year – a truly lovely end to something that started 12 months earlier. Whilst we’ve been settling into our new flat, we’ve continued our sampling journey, and will be sharing our thoughts and reviews on this blog. Kicking the lockdown boredom and hopefully getting to know a great community along the way.