The Way of Japanese Whisky

Join award-winning author and whisky expert, Dave Broom, for a talk and tasting featuring some of the best Japanese whiskies on the market. Dave’s new book “The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky” describes his journey around the flourishing whisky scene in Japan and the fascinating philosophy behind it. The book recently won the John Avery Award at the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards for 2017.

Dave will have hardback copies of his book for sale at the discounted price of £30 (RRP £40). It would be helpful if you could indicate in advance whether you’d like a copy by choosing the appropriate ticket type when reserving your place(s). Tickets are £50 including the book, and £20 without – both in cash on the night (as per our usual booking system).

This event will take place on Thursday 29th March at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the upstairs room of The Joker pub on Preston Circus.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is arguably the most innovative and progressive distillery in Scotland. With their unique mix of three types of still (including hybrid pots with mini columns on top), barley peated to three different levels, and three kinds of yeast, they make 13 different distillates. These can go into bottles as a nutty Inchmurrin, a smoky Inchmoan, or fruity Loch Lomond. Whether it’s the grain whisky made using 100% malted barley, or the use of expensive wine yeasts, the range is an education in itself, and this creativity and flexibility is an almost Japanese approach to home-grown Scotch.

But don’t take it from us, hear it direct from our fantastic presenter, Ibon Mendiguren — Brand Ambassador for Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia and Littlemill.

This friendly and informative tasting will be on Thursday 15th March at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the upstairs room of The Joker pub on Preston Circus. Please note our change of venue.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments. Tickets are £20 per person, in cash on the night.

Blended and blending

A belated Happy New Year to you all! In our first tasting of 2018, we’re going to mix it up a bit, and show you how to revive the 19th century fashion for home whisky blending.

To get you in the spirit, we’ll begin with the finished product – three distinctive, ready-blended whiskies. We’ll then start over, and you’ll be given three single malts as ingredients to make your own blends.

The finished blends:

  • Edinburgh Whisky Ltd’s The Surgeons Ball – a blend of peaty Highlands
  • Wemyss Treacle Chest – a combination of two Highland single malts, and Dave Broom’s “affordable dram of the year”
  • James Eadie’s Brand X – a blend of a dozen whiskies based on a 160 year old recipe

The single malt starting points:

  • Clynelish 14yo
  • Glenlivet 10yo Signatory #900254 – from a first-fill sherry butt
  • SMWS 2.98 “Frothy cappuccino” – a 13yo Glenlivet

This fun and playful tasting will be on Thursday 8th February at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments. Tickets are £20 per person, in cash on the night.

Reserve your place when bookings open (booking link)

Winter warmers

As the year draws to a chilly end, join us for some warming winter whiskies. Our final event of 2017 will be a blind tasting, and we’ve chosen some really interesting bottles.

The tasting will be on Thursday 7th December at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments. Our last tasting of the year is always a more decadent affair, and the tickets are priced accordingly at £30.

This tasting is now at capacity, but you can still sign up to the waiting list…

Reserve your place when bookings open (booking link)

Smoke and Fire

From the fire, rebirth. Each whisky at our bonfire-inspired tasting is either young or newly released. And all are bathed in smoke – some salty, some sweet…

  • Wolfburn Morven. Launched only a few weeks ago, this is a lightly peated single malt from a distillery founded in 2013.
  • Ailsa Bay. This is the first official release from the new distillery of the same name. Unusually for a Lowland whisky, it’s peated.
  • The English Whisky Company Chapter 15. This heavily peated single malt was made from local barley before being matured in bourbon casks for five years.
  • Chichibu The Peated. Another young and fresh peaty whisky, this is bottled at cask strength. Chichibu is the only Japanese distillery to use local peat.
  • Caol Ila 7yo 2009. This young, single cask whisky was bottled by Hunter Laing for its Old Malt Cask range.
  • Balvenie Peat Week 2002. Balvenie only produces peated whisky for one week each year, and this 14yo inaugural expression from 2002 has only just been released.

The tasting will be on Thursday 9th November at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £20 per person on the night.

Variety Night

Roll up, roll up! This month we bring you a star-studded line-up of interesting and deliciously different malts. We think you’ll be impressed with the talent we’ve collected together, so please join us for a fun-packed night.

  • Strathclyde 10 Year Old 2005 (cask 11062) – Old Particular (Douglas Laing). A rare chance to try an excellent value sherry-cask finished single grain. Sweet, spicy and fruity all at the same time. Recommended to us at the 2016 whisky show.
  • The Benriach Cask Strength, Batch 1. The inaugural release of delicious Benriach in its natural form. If you’ve not yet discovered Benriach this would be a great place to start! One of Dave Broom’s three whiskies of the year for 2016.
  • Gordon & MacPhail’s Private Collection Tormore 14 Year Old 2002. A little known distillery – and this time finished in a Côte-Rôtie wine cask! If you’re a bit sniffy about wine-finished whisky, perhaps tonight will help expand your horizons.
  • Longrow Red 13yo, 2017. Less than 100 casks of this peaty Cambeltown whisky are made each year by Springbank, and these bottles were finished in a South African Malbec cask. “A beautifully balanced mix of fruits and smoke … layers of pomegranate molasses, cherry and fig”.
  • Ardbeg An Oa. Matured in a combination of casks including Pedro Ximénez, charred virgin oak and ex-bourbon, and married in Dr. Bill Lumsden’s new “Gathering Vat”. A recent release, and the first new whisky to be added to its permanent range in almost a decade.
  • Ardbeg Kelpie. Bottled for Fèis Ìle 2017 – combining whisky matured in virgin oak casks from the Black Sea, married with regular bourbon cask matured Ardbeg. You can’t pass this by!

The tasting will be on Thursday 28th September at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £20 per person on the night.

Reserve your place now (booking link)

This tasting is now at capacity, but you can still join the waiting list!

Strong, Independent, and Single

This month, we’ll be sampling six single cask whiskies — with three pairs from different west coast island distilleries, in a variety of styles. This will be a blind tasting, so we don’t want to spoil the surprise with too much information!

The tasting will be on Thursday 20th July at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £20 per person on the night.

Pick a Nikka

Ninety nine years ago, Masataka Taketsuru travelled to Scotland to study chemistry and to learn the secrets of whisky making. On returning to Japan, he founded Nikka Whisky and built his first distillery at Yoichi. Join us to find out more about his legacy, to taste some of the distillery’s world-class whiskies … and to pick your favourite dram.

  • Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
  • Super Nikka
  • Nikka Coffey Malt
  • Nikka Coffey Grain
  • The Nikka 12yo
  • Nikka Taketsuru 17

The tasting will be on Thursday 15th June at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £25 per person on the night.


This tasting is now at capacity, and there’s already a long waiting list!

Alchemy

As the dank days of winter are transformed by the warm spring sunlight, we present a different form of magic – the subtle art of whisky blending, whereby malt and grain are expertly fused to conjure a perfectly-balanced golden dram.

Join us for an evening of premium blended whiskies, featuring…

  • Dewars 18yo, double matured
  • Ballantines 17yo
  • Chivas Regal 18yo
  • Johnnie Walker 18yo
  • Wemyss Lord Elcho 15yo
  • William Grant’s Ghosted Reserve 21yo release 2

The tasting will be on Thursday 6th April at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £20 per person on the night.


A Shot in the Dark

The days are lengthening, but our society will meet under cover of darkness once more, as we endeavour to solve the intriguing puzzle set by one of our members.

Join us for an evening’s adventure to reveal the truth behind our blind tasting and unmask the killer whisky.

The tasting will be on Thursday 2nd March at 7:30pm (for an 8pm start) in the back room of The Lord Nelson Inn on Trafalgar Street, close to Brighton Station.

We use Eventbrite to manage our bookings, but in order to keep costs down we use cash payments –  the tasting will cost £20 per person on the night.

Solution

The whiskies tasted were:

  • GlenDronach 18
  • GlenDronach 12
  • Bunnahabhain 12
  • Bunnahabhain 18
  • Aberlour 12
  • Aberlour 18

Thanks again to Pedro for such interesting choices, and to everyone who made this such a fun evening.