Islay Whisky Festival Masterclasses 2019 With David Wood

Whisky Tasting

Whisky Tasting Masterclasses at The Islay Whisky Festival 2019

Once again I will be hosting Single Malt Whisky Masterclasses on Islay during the Islay Whisky Festival 2019. This is an exclusive opportunity to attend a tasting featuring drams from the different distilleries on Islay hosted by a former Caol Ila distillery manager.

I have no links to any distilleries so my tastings give guests an unbiased look in to the distilling industry on Islay. We’ll be tasting some awesome drams, both proprietary bottlings and independently bottled drams.

At the Islay Whisky Festival 2019 I will be hosting two masterclasses both of which place will take place at Islay Studios in Bridgend Square at the following dates and times:

MONDAY 27TH MAY 6.30PM – TICKETS £40

TUESDAY 28TH MAY 6.30PM – TICKETS £40

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RESERVE TICKETS FOR EITHER OF THESE EVENTS PLEASE COMPLETE THE CONTACT FORM BELOW. TICKETS WILL THEN BE ISSUED ON OR AFTER 1ST APRIL 2019.

Islay Whisky Festival 2019

The 2018 Islay Whisky Festival is set to begin on Friday 24th May and run for just over a week until Saturday 1st June. Just like last year, we will be hosting a number of whisky masterclasses. Our tasting events on Islay are very special because we show whiskies from each of the distilleries as we are not tied to any of them. Our tasting events are therefore biased to one thing, Islay whiskies!

Feis Ile 2018

Islay Whisky Festival 2019 Distillery Events

There are currently 9 distilleries on Islay, and soon to be 10 once the new Port Ellen Distillery is commissioned in 2020. There is also a distillery on Jura, the neighbouring island, Jura Distillery. The other distilleries which will be holding special events throughout the week are Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bowmore, Kilchoman, Laphroaig and Jura.

The distillery events programmes tend to be released a couple of months before the whisky festival commences. Once published, you will be able to book tickets for events at each distillery, but be sure to keep an eye out as they book up very quickly!

We hope to see you at one of our tasting events at the Islay Whisky Festival 2019!

Slainte and happy drams!

David

Feis Ile 2018

Peak District Stag Party Whisky Tastings

whisky tasting

Planning the perfect stag party or more often than not, a stag do that lasts an entire weekend, isn’t the easiest of things to do. You are tasked with filling a huge amount of activities for the stag and his guests to enjoy. We host whisky tastings for stag parties whether in a private residence or at the self catering property you have hired for the special weekend!

Fancy a Whisky Tasting For Your Stag Party in 2019?

Let us arrange a fun and informative whisky tasting for your very special stag do in the Peak District in 2019. During the tasting your guests will taste 6 awesome single malt whiskies from around Scotland. I’ll talk your stag party guests through the history of Scotch whisky and how it makes the incredible journey from field to table.

The whiskies that we present are drams that you are less likely to see on the supermarket shelves. There will be guests amongst your stag party who think they don’t like whisky, don’t worry, we will try our very best to change their minds!

Contact Us!

For more info about our private whisky tastings please see below. If you would like to contact us or to check availability or to book, please call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the form below and we’ll be back to you quickly.

Bunnahabhain Warehouse Tour

What Is Involved In a Stag Party Whisky Tasting?

When you arrange a whisky tasting for your stag party with us we will liaise with you to ensure that the event is designed to fit around your other activities, and that the tasting commences at a time convenient to you. That might be before dinner, with dinner (I can pair the whiskies with each course), or as after dinner entertainment.

I bring all of the whisky, the glassware, tasting notes, all I need you to provide me with is some space to conduct the tasting. Some times I’ll use a projector and screen to show a virtual distillery tour, a dining room is great for this.

I’ve worked with whisky for 20 years, I’ve produced it, bottled it, marketed it, retailed it and presented it. For years I worked at the coal face of whisky production on the Isle of Islay in the Hebrides where I was Brand Home Manager at Lagavulin Distillery before becoming Distillery Manager at the largest distillery on Islay, the mighty Caol Ila. My tastings are therefore very authentic as well as being good fun.

Looking for Peak District Accommodation in 2019?

We host whisky and gin tastings throughout the UK and can travel to any location. We regularly host tasting events in holiday lets and self catering properties. If you are looking for a large holiday rental for your stag party or for your hen do, please click on the links below, we regularly host tastings in properties marketed by these companies:

Peak Venues – Large Group Self Catering Accommodation in the UK

Large Accommodation Stag party hen party

Party Houses – Big Houses for  Your Special Occasion, Holiday or Business Event

Large Accomodation Stag Party Hen Party

To contact us for more information about our tastings or to enquire about availability for a tasting, please complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope to see you at your stag party soon!

David

PS we host gin tastings for stag parties too!!

 

Whisky Tasting in Glasgow

Whisky Tasting Glasgow

It was our pleasure to host a whisky tasting for 100 delegates at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow this week. This informal whisky tasting took place on the opening evening of a three day conference as delegates arrived from all over the world.

Private Whisky Tasting in Glasgow

During the whisky tasting, delegates were able to taste seven single malt whiskies from across the whisky producing regions of Scotland. Whilst enjoying this whisky tasting in the heart of Glasgow, guests were encouraged to explore through the range of whiskies that we were presenting in a specific order. We had chosen the single malt whiskies by their flavour profiles. Whisky number one was light and fruity, each whisky thereafter increased in complexity, weight of flavour, mouthfeel and phenols. Whisky number seven was a full strength, 100 proof heavily peated whisky from the Isle of Islay.

 

Glasgow Corporate Tasting – The Whiskies

1. Auchentoshan 12 year old Lowland single malt whisky 40%abv

Given that the whisky tasting was taking place in Glasgow, we thought it appropriate to open the tasting with The Glasgow Malt – Auchentoshan. One of the only distilleries to triple distill, this is an incredibly light spirit. For the 12 year old expression, this Auchentoshan has been matured in both American Oak and European oak and presents sweet barley, vanilla and rich fruits on the palate and has a very long finish.

2. Glendronach 12 year old Highland single malt whisky 43%abv

Our next choice of whisky was the delightful Glendronach 12 year old from the Highlands. Glendronach Distillery is famed for the almost exclusive use of ex sherry casks for maturation. This is somewhat of a rarity these days as a continuous supply of quality sherry casks are hard to find as sherry consumption has declined. On the palate there is plentiful chocolate, marmalade and raisins. Once again the finish is long with smoky toffee and caramel.

 

3. Benriach 10 year old Speyside single malt whisky 40%abv

It was time to introduce a little peat smoke by way of the lovely Benriach 10 year old AKA ‘Curiositas’. Benriach, situated just a few miles South of Elgin produces a range of stunning whisky expressions, some peated, some unpeated. We feel that this whisky is the perfect introduction to the world of smoky drams. On the palate this is a sweet, malty dram with hints of peat smoke. The finish is dry with hints of beeswax and fennel.

4. Benriach 12 year old sherry matured Speyside single malt whisky 46%abv

The perfect dram to show just what a diverse range of whiskies Benriach Distillery produces. This whisky has been exclusively matured in European oak sherry casks. It has also been bottled at the slightly higher strength of 46% with no chill filtration which promotes a wonderful mouthfeel and flavour experience on the palate, where you will find Christmas spices, vanilla, figs and blackcurrant followed by a sweet finish with a touch of ginger developing.

 

5. Talisker 10 year old Isle of Skye single malt whisky 45.8%abv

We simply love Talisker which is why we often include it in our tastings. I lived on the Isle of Skye for a while and when I taste it, it always reminds me of early evening walks through Portree with the peat reek rising from the chimneys of the croft kitchens. Talisker 10 year old is becoming increasingly hard to find as it gives way to other ‘no age statement’ expressions in the range become more prevalent. On the palate the key flavours are reminiscent of bonfire smoke, brine, black pepper but also red fruits. The finish is incredibly long with fading peat smoke and fruit.

6. Bunnahabhain 12 year old Islay single malt whisky 46.3%abv

Bunnahabhain is a whisky and distillery close to my heart and I always present it in tastings wherever possible. This whisky is a great introduction to the whiskies of Islay. It isn’t about peat smoke like many of nearby neighbours but it is about rich sweetness and a full bodied mouthfeel with plentiful Christmas spice, in fact I always describe it as Christmas Day in a bottle!

7. Port Askaig 100 proof Islay single malt whisky 57%abv

This mystery malt comes from another distillery very close to my heart. We left this one until the end not just because of the high alcohol content but also because this is the most phenolic dram of the flight of whiskies that we presented on the evening. Before the hydrometer was invented in the early 19th century, there was no way of testing for ABV, all you could do was to test whether it was under proof or over proof, by mixing the spirit with gunpowder. Upon attempting to ignite the gunpowder, if it ignited then that showed that the spirit was overproof, if it didn’t then it was under proof. We now know that the gunpowder ignites when mixed with spirit over the strength of 57.12%abv – hence the name and strength of this wonderfully smoky, full bodied whisky, a truly classic Islay dram!

Enquire About A Whisky Tasting

If you are interested in finding out more about having us arrange a whisky tasting for your private event, business meeting or conference in Glasgow, Edinburgh or anywhere else in the United Kingdom (or further afield!), please complete the form below and we will be back to you as soon as possible:

 

 

Whisky and Chocolate Pairing in London with William Curley

Whisky and chocolate william curley

I was delighted to be invited to co host a very special single malt whisky tasting at a large solicitors premises in London last week with the very talented patissier and chocolatier William Curley. It was a pleasure working with William in preparation for the event, especially the bit where I got to taste a lot of chocolate with a lot of great whisky!

Whisky and Chocolate Pairing

Finding perfect pairings of chocolate and whisky is great fun. At most of the whisky tastings that I host there is always a bar or two of dark chocolate being passed around, it is perfect with dark, sherry matured drams. Rather than a contrast, when pairing chocolate and whiskies it is more often similar flavours that complement one another that you are looking for. People are often surprised when I talk about pairing whisky with food, it isn’t just great with chocolate, there are drams our there that are great with cheese, great with puds and you only need to try Talisker with haggis or Caol Ila with shellfish to really to start to appreciate the versatility of Scotland’s gift to the world.

William Curley

William Curley

William’s career began when he worked as an apprentice at Gleneagles Hotel which lead him to train with some of the country’s greatest chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, and Raymond Blanc. His ambitions lead him to become the youngest Chef Patissier in the history of The Savoy Hotel.

Since opening his business over thirteen years ago, William has achieved numerous accolades including four times winner of  Britain’s Best Chocolatier by The Academy of Chocolate and a gold medal at The Culinary Olympics. In 2012 William became a member of Relais Dessert International the most prestigious association for Patissier – Chocolatiers. He also achieved the Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. This is the highest accolade awarded to chefs in the UK.

Our Whisky Pairings

During this very special corporate tasting, our 50 guests enjoyed 6 wonderful single malt whiskies perfectly paired with William’s exquisite chocolates. The whiskies had a wide range of flavour profiles beginning with a light style from the Lowlands of Scotland, we then brought the guests together at the close of the evening to taste a heavily peated, cask strength, single cask whisky from the Highlands.

Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Yuzu

A fragrant citrus infused dark chocolate ganache with flavours of lemon, grapefruit, blossom and vanilla.

Auchentoshan is a Lowland single malt whisky from Glasgow. This bottling, the 12 year old is matured in both American and European oak. There are aromas of toasted almonds and caramelised toffee and the whisky is smooth and delicate on the palate.

Deanston 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Muscovado Caramel

A rich, dark vanilla infused caramel, encased in Toscano 70% dark chocolate. There are flavours of molasses, butter and vanilla.

Deanston is distilled on the banks of the River Teith near Stirling in the Highlands and is matured in American oak. The nose is reminiscent of days of haymaking with flavours that are creamy sweet with honeyed spiciness, vanilla and cloves.

Whisky and chocolate london

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Tayberry Toscano

A tayberry pate de fruits, topped with a dark fruity ganache.

This is the classic island whisky from the Isle of Skye, matured in American oak. Peat smoke and sea saltiness accompanied by red fruit and an explosion of pepper in the mouth.

London whisky tasting

 

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Orange & Almond

A crispy base of roasted almond praline and feuillantine wafer, topped with vibrant orange infused ganache. Flavours of toasted almonds and orange zest.

Bunnahabhain (Foot of the river) is distilled in an extremely remote location on the beautiful Isle of Islay in the Hebrides. The whisky is rich and sweet with creamy vanilla and cinnamon with the faintest waft of peat smoke.

 

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Richmond Park Honey

A smooth pure dark ganache made with Richmond Park honey. Flavours of meadow flowers and earthy woodland notes.

American oak maturation and slow distillation gives this smoky, oily, maritime whisky from the Isle of Islay gooseberry, lime and smoky flavours alongside aromas of tar and wet fishing nets. A natural choice given I was once the Distillery Manager.

 

Fraoch Mòinteach Edition IV Highland Single Cask Single Malt Whisky with Beurre De Sel

A punchy salted caramel, pure dark chocolate ganache. Flavours of vanilla and butterscotch, seasoned with a burst of sea salt.

Fraoch Mòinteach Edition IV by The Moorland Distiller, Highland single cask single malt whisky is a limited release straight from a bourbon barrel and bottled at 59.8%. This whisky is all about rich caramel sweetness along with masses of peat smoke.

 

Contact Us

We host corporate whisky tastings in London and all over the United Kingdom. If you are interested in learning more about our whisky tastings, or if you are interested in having a whisky and chocolate pairing please call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the form below and we will reply very quickly.

 

 

Whisky Tastings

Would you like a whisky tasting at your office or a whisky tasting at home? We host private whisky tastings for corporate events and for private parties anywhere in the UK.

Private Whisky Tastings

Our whisky tastings are different to those hosted by our competitors. Our whisky tastings are authentic. We’ve lived and worked at the coal face of spirit distilling. We’ve managed iconic malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, so when we talk to you about whisky, it is with passion and experience. We are not trying to sell you anything other than Scotland and its gift to the world, Scotch whisky.

We don’t work for any big brands, we are not sales representatives and we are not brand ambassadors but what we are is passionate about good single malt whisky. When we host your whisky tasting we’ll present to you whiskies that we love.

What to Expect From Our Private Whisky Tastings

  • Hosted by either David Wood former Caol Ila Distillery Manager and whisky bottler
  • A tasting of at least six single malt whiskies from around Scotland
  • You’ll hear about the history of the Scotch whisky industry
  • A look into whisky production
  • How to taste whisky and choosing glassware
  • A fun and factual event exploring Scotch whiskies whilst avoiding the usual anecdotes

Enquire About A Whisky Tasting

If you would like more information about our private whisky tastings, or if you would like a quote or to book us for your private whisky event, please don’t hesitate to call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the contact form below and we will get back to you very quickly.