Whisky Connosr


Creative Whisky Themes?

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Maltmark started a discussion

I'm trying to get some ideas about different themes for whisky tastings that may be a bit more creative than the ones I've heard already. Any creative ideas from past experience or in theory will be appreciated.

10 years ago

10 replies

YakLord replied

We've done the following - 'Bring What You Like', 'Blended Whiskies' (premium blends, not the lower end stuff), an 'Orkney Vertical', and a 'Mini-Talisker Vertical'.

Currently planning for a blind 'Grant's Horizontal' (Grant's Family Reserve, Sherry Cask Reserve, Ale Cask Reserve, Glenfiddich 12).

Have ideas for Regional Single Malts (Islay, Highland, Island, etc., etc.), Peated Single Malts, World Single Malts (anything not from Scotland), Cask Strength Single Malts, Sherry Matured Single Malts, Canadian Whiskies, Single Grain Whiskies.

We're also heavily involved in a Battle of the (Budget) Blended Scotch Whiskies...

10 years ago 0

Maltmark replied

@yaklord. What are you referring when you say vertical and horizontal?

10 years ago 0

Maltmark replied

Great suggestions by the way. Thank you.

10 years ago 0

YakLord replied

@Maltmark - 'vertical' means multiple expressions from the same distillery, usually of differing age statements, etc. The Orkney Vertical was Highland Park 12, 15, 18, and 21, as well as Scapa 16. By 'horizontal' I mean that all whiskies are from the same blender/distiller, but are either all the same age or are all no-age-statement whiskies.

10 years ago 0

Nozinan replied

How about Amrut?

A good vertical tasting would be (I've tried it) intermediate Sherry, Portonova then Fusion (this is based on flavour profiles...IS is actually my fav). If you can get the cask strength it might go first.

10 years ago 0

systemdown replied

How about Old vs New? Pit some older expressions against their modern counterparts - older bottles of standard blends or single malts go for cheap at auction.

Or how about a blind tasting where you try to pick the "impostor" in the line up (i.e. the one that doesn't belong - either against criteria established beforehand ["one of these is not a Scotch whisky!], or leave it up to the tasters to work it out!). This one's a little more advanced. I haven't done one of these yet but I think it would be a lot of fun.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?


I like @systemdown's idea. I recently went to a blind whisky tasting with a lot of older, more experienced (and more moneyed) drinkers, and I was surprised how often I was right and they were wrong about the regions and which whiskies were from the same distilleries. The quiz show styled tasting puts everyone on an even footing and really tests how full of it some of the whisky snobs might be, while also giving relative newbies a chance to hone their nose and palate without the pressure of agreeing with what everyone else thinks.

10 years ago 0

paddockjudge replied

@Maltmark - River Boat Gambler Session. This was huge fun! I am not a poker regular, at least not since one item now dominates the once eclectic poker menu.

Last night, and part of this morning, I was caught up in a timeless vigil; a five-man poker session with my son, nephew, and two visiting relatives from the U.K.

With our visitors from the Isles in attendance for a 'taster', one would think that some malted whisky might be the order of the day or perhaps some of the Canadian rare gems that can't be found outside of our fair nation. One of the thirsty travelers admitted that he wanted to try a "really good bourbon" so, the evening began with a tasting session of eight bourbons . Upon completion, each player selected their favorite for a pairing with some fine cigars to be enjoyed at the gaming table.

The setting was perfect - lakeside, inside the screened porch with a heavy rain quickly cooling the warm night air. Fine cigars, fine bourbon, and fine friends made for a legendary whiskey session.

Key elements:

Bourbon: final selection of favorites - Baker's, Booker's, Eagle Rare, Old Forester Birthday 2012. Cigars: In this case it was an assortment of Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, Partagas. Poker: Texas Hold 'em with twist - 53 card deck, what a game changer!

I had an incredible experience and can't wait for the next 'themed' session.


10 years ago 0

Whisk replied

A slight variation on the themes suggested by Systemdown and AKG (and one I've seen used by the SMWS in Sydney) is selecting your five malts (or how ever many you'll be tasting), then conduct a blind tasting, but provide the tastees with a list of say six or seven names (ie. include one or two red herrings). Everyone then tries to match the five they've tasted with the correct name from the list, thus identifying the red herrings.

Alternatively, maybe you could search the web (or Connosr) for some good tasting notes on the ones you'll be trying, provide the tasting notes to your guests, conduct a blind tasting and see if you can match the whisky to its notes?

10 years ago 0