Elana, who was tasked with researching and procuring this portion of the evening's "entertainment", contacted us to see if we were interested in running a small tasting for some of their members. We began trading e-mails and soon the date was set. Darren, unfortunately was not able to attend so I agreed to do this one solo.
This club, Elana explained, was formed as a kind of 'newcomers club' to help welcome new residents to the neighborhood. They have various events throughout the year such as wine/whisky tastings, golf outings, paint nights or simple cocktail parties which rotate at a different member's home each time.
Elana did not want anything too large in scale and she thought 3-4 selections would certainly suffice (I, of course, offered 4 because let's face it, 4 is better than 3). With that, I thought a "short tour of Scotland" might just do the trick and selected these chaps.
Macallan 12 yo (Speyside Region)
Oban 14 yo (Highland Region)
Highland Park 18 yo (Island Region)
Ardbeg Uigeadail (Islay Region)
I arrived, introduced myself and got set up - the house was ideal for a tasting of this size as you can see.
This was to be an informal presentation (no PowerPoint needed) and so I got to it perhaps around 8:15pm after Elana introduced me to everyone.
It was confirmed that the group was made up of mostly (if not all) novice whisky drinkers so the presentation was prepared accordingly. I'll spare you all of the gory details but we covered some NSWC information, our humble beginnings as well as some of the events we attend. I had a few visual aids like a complete list of active single malt distilleries, a 'whisky process' illustration and the map of Scotland which also had the distilleries listed on it.
I covered the ingredients that go into any whisky, how it gets it's flavor as well as the different types from around the world (scotch single malts, blends, bourbon, Irish etc. etc.) and how they differ. With that we got right to the real stars of the show - The Whisky!
It seemed the favorites from the bottles tasted were Macallan & Highland Park (I mean, can you blame them?). This was such a great group - engaging, interested and asked great questions. My goal was to provide a basic level of education so that when they're out at their local liquor store or restaurant, it's a little less intimidating looking at the wide selection of products out there.
The Winchester Neighbor's Club is open to any Winchester resident and Elana said they are always looking for new members. I can't thank her enough for inviting me and would not hesitate to do it again if they'll have us!
George / 'Chag'
NORTH SHORE WHISKY CLUB