The cold wind of December blew gently from the North, as we all stood aroud the camp fire during our December whisky tasting.It was a spendid event, quite different from whisky tastings indoors. The magical twinkle of the small tree lights filled the place and the fact that we were all standing around the tasting table enabled us to look around and marvel the magical and almost nostalgic sight.
This is The Wandering Dram’s ‘December dram magic’ where we really chose to do the tasting outdoors,sorrounded by christmas lighting and decoration.And to add thrill and excitement, we did a blind tasting.
Everyone was in high spirits, and laughter echoed in the air as we explained how the blind tasting will be done. We wrapped all of the bottles in velvet cloth so no one can see the bottle, nor even make out its shape. We handed out pieces of paper to all participants where they can write their nosing and tasting notes, their guess what whisky is it and their name.
Each of the whiskies were presented – nosed and tasted.You should have heard the different things ‘under the lights’ that were smelled or tasted from the glass during the lively discussion among the tasting participants. This is the beauty of blind tasting – freedom from being biased or having a fixed expectation of nose, body and final aromas based on the name of the whisky, age,etc.
In a blind tasting, you just let your imagination and senses take over.
Everyone wrote down their guess on what whisky they have tasted, with their name on a piece of paper. When all of the papers have been submitted , we took off the velvet cloth around the bottle to show what whisky it was.
It was wonderful to note that some participants guessed the right whisky only from a very typical taste that they recognized. The guessing became more challenging and thrilling as we blind tasted two peated whiskies.
At the end of the blind tasting, the participant with the highest number of correct guesses received a Wandering Dram scottish gift box.We all had a great time.
A thought came to us while walking in the colorful forest road during a sunny autumn afternoon.
Why not combine something good with something nice?
WHISKY TASTING DURING YOUR VACATION.
This would be awesome.
And for those of you who have not tried it yet, this is your moment.
But wait … who would want to change their cozy vacation routine and attend a tasting session? We bet some of you will, but we at The Wandering Dram think that there is something better. If you are spending your vacation in a cottage near to Houffalize, Wibrin, Nadrin, Achouffe in Belgium, we can do a whisky tasting in the coziness of your cottage at the heart of the belgian ardennes.
Imagine…the combination of wood fire, cozy sorroundings, and the different aromas of single malt whisky.This would be just great!
The Wandering Dram went off shore this week.Laphroaig Distillery,creator of one of our great drams is having their live tasting at Fjäderholmarna near to Stockholm,Sweden. It was a special moment to be there, and get to taste four expressions of this great single malt from Islay. We stayed there for the dinner and spoke with some of the peat lovers we knew from our previous whisky tastings. Yes, for the lovers of peated whisky, nothing beats the aroma of peat, mixed with hints of the sea.
From Fjäderholmarna, we headed towards Helsingborg where we hosted a whisky tasting beside the sea, just before sun set. This whisky tasting was requested by a group of 15 people who wanted to explore six different single malts which they have never tasted before. They gave us their wish list, which we fulfilled with pleasure – Belgian Owl 4y, Longrow Rundlets and Kilderkins,Arran Amerone finish,Glenkinchie Distillers Edition,Port Charlotte 10y and Port Askaig Cask Strenght.
It was special. It was magical. Everyone enjoyed the cozy whisky tasting by the shores of the sea. And we laughed, and talked,while we raised our tasting glasses as the golden rays of the setting sun meet the waves of the sea.
We heard stories from friends and acquaintances about the discomfort of driving to their whisky tasting and heading back after about 2 hours of fun. ” You know what this is like ? ” said Pieter in an animated tone, ” Stress to be on time, enjoy the evening, have fun for 2 hours, and then drive back ! ” he finished his summary with a sigh. This made us stop on our tracks and thought of what can we do about this. Afterall, The Wandering Dram is out there to spread the news about whisky, and make as many people as possible discover this wonderful product of nature and passion. We thought that we can still keep our organized whisky tastings for whisky clubs, beverage shops and companies , but we can also do something else which takes the whisky tasting to another path. We will bring the whisky tasting to the people’s homes. So, off we went with trays of whisky glasses, bottles of whisky, a map of Scotland, and other paraphernalia to many homes and vacation cottages where there are 10 or more people attending the whisky tasting. We all have great fun. Last Saturday, we had an awesome group of people who had their whisky tasting at their cottage in the Ardennes near to Vielsalm. They voted for Longrow Rundlets and Kilderkins to be the best ‘ newly known whisky ‘ of the evening .