North London Whisky Club – An Introduction to Scotch
A few week ago we attend our first face-to-face whisky tasting with the North London Whisky Club. It was a bit of a last minute commitment as we won our tickets via an instagram competition! We had a great evening and sampled some wonderful whiskies. These are our thoughts …
North London Whisky Club
Hosted by Matt from Whisky4Everyone the North London Whisky Club runs both tastings and whisky walks – we know, what an awesome idea! Situated in, you guessed it, North London – they have relationships with a number of pubs and you can often find them in the local parks.
Our first face-to-face tasting, it was a beautiful evening. Matt is FULL of knowledge, and more than happy to share. No question was too small or insignificant. The other guests were equally as curious and lovely. Our hosts at the pub were happy to us to stay late in the room, chatting and drinking. We had a fabulous time!
Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to join one of their whisky walks (too many diary clashes!) but we really do hope to do so in the future!
An introduction to Scotch
The concept behind the ‘Introduction to Scotch’ theme was to loosely take attendees through a journey – what exactly is Scotch whisky? Matt gathered our initial thoughts on each dram blind, which was a great touch – a lovely way to get your senses going! Before providing some brief history of the distillery and taking questions.
We were each presented with a tasting wheel to help us gather our thoughts, and jot down any tasting notes that we had.
Glengrant 10 y/y 40% ABV
Nose: orchard fruits, honey, grass, blossom
Palate: vanilla, honey, orchard fruit, apples, cinnamon
Finish: nutty, white pepper, cinder toffee
This felt like a great opening whisky. 100% bourbon casks, it felt familiar and welcoming.
Tomintoul, Seiridh 40% ABV
Nose: red pitted fruits, toffee, brown sugar
Palate: Christmas cake, creamy, citrus, walnut
Finish: soft, raisin, currants, malty
An Oloroso sherry cask of only 6,000 bottles. This was a delicious expression, and great comparison of flavours to the previous bourbon maturation.
Tamnavulin, Double-Cask 40% ABV
Nose: toffee apple, creme brulee, honey, vanilla, caramel
Palate: green apples, dried pitted fruits, walnut, honey
Finish: burnt sugar, bitter, almost like a rum cask
We were less keen on this expression as a whole. However, it was great to see how the two main cask types – bourbon and sherry – work together.
Johnie Walker, Black Label (Princess Street Edition) 40% ABV
Nose: grass, wet soil, red dried fruits, salt, coffee beans
Palate: creamy, sherry influence, pepper, red fruit
Finish: savoury, charcoal embers, burnt sugar, dark chocolate
The Princess Street Edition was released as part of the new Johnie Walker shop opening, and is only available from the shop – so we felt particularly lucky to try this. A blended whisky in comparison to the previous single malts.
Scarabus 10 y/o 46% ABV
Nose: salt, peat, bonfire, soil, grassy, smokestack brisket
Palate: malty, damp soil, bonfire
Finish: smokey BBQ, hint of sweetness
An interesting balance of cream and smoke. It has similarities to a Kilchoman, but also a Drumshanbo Single Pot Still. Would be keen to see how this tastes at 46% or even cask strength!
A great tasting event which, very friendly and what better way to meet other whisky lovers. If you are based in or around London you should definitely sign up for the mailing list. We will certainly be attending another evening and maybe even one of their whisky walks! We had some new whiskies and even a very special Black Label as Matt was only too happy to share. Overall a fantastic tasting.