“Phew! Whoo! That’s the stuff! What was it?….Tizer.
– Well, it does the trick! I’ll have another.
– No, steady on, Richie.” Richard Richard, Eddie Hitler – Bottom, Series 2, Episode 1.
FROM STILL TO BAR: A SERIES OF IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE WINE & SPIRIT EDUCATION TRUST
The experience is part of an initiative from the WSET who has teamed up with several bars around London, The Shotgun BBQ in Soho being one of them. This particular induction was centred around the flagship drink, Whisky. Upon entering I had a comical-skirmish with a velvet curtain that proved to be a worthy adversary, but was ultimately dispensed with.
I addressed the elongated marble bar and stood poised equidistant to the counter flap and the hat stand at the stairwell end. I envisaged how suave I would look launching my straw trilby all of 10 feet onto the beckoning hooks, but sheathed the temptation. This is a whisky flight with a difference. The mixologist presented me with three whiskies whilst WSET Spirits Educator, Will Lowe, curated the key differences between each via a two-minute podcast which I listened to, diligently. (The full length version can be found here). The runners and riders for the tasting were:
Presented in the kind of receptacle the BFG might have used to capture dreams in. With a heavy corn presence on the nose, paired with a butterscotch and vanilla finish. It tasted like I was tongue-ing a drunk blonde runaway in a drive-thru after she had eaten my popcorn.
Single malt scotch whisky, 12 years. Dried flower on the nose and a citrusy smoked quality finish. In the background I heard Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas. I started to hum along. All I want for Christmas is You Aberfeldy. A whole winters stash worth of you!
A darker liquid with clove notes, a tobacco finish. Weighing in at 50.5% VOL, it hung around like a fart in a lift. One of your own farts mind, so there is a sense of enjoyment, a momentary inquisition, a solitary raise of the eyebrow, but not a repeat experience.
Following the tasting I downed my headphones and was invited to choose my favourite of the three. By a country mile I plumped for the Aberfeldy, but knowing the peated finish of the Aberfeldy is rarely something that can be enhanced by a pairing, I opted for the Firefly Moonshine. Our mixologist created his signature cocktail, the Moonshine Sour.
“Sounds like a stripper I dated in college.” I jested. Luckily the muzak (Band Aid, Do They Know it’s Christmas) drowned my woeful frat-boy quip and I was promptly served my finisher. I made short work of the drink and bid the mixologist farewell. I took one last look at the hat stand, cocked my trilby like Odd Job, weighed up the long odds of pulling off such an elaborate unrehearsed party-trick, then…. rolled the trilby on my head and left.
50ml Firefly Moonshine Whisky
25ml Brown Sugar Syrup
15ml Egg White
25ml Lemon Juice
Served on the rocks.
The WSET has additionally launched a series of short videos introducing some of the world’s most popular spirits. The WSET’s ‘3 Minute Spirit School’ aims to be an entertaining and informative introduction to some of the key spirits of the world, and is presented by industry experts including Whyte & Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson, The Cambridge Distillery’s distiller Will Lowe, and bartender Maria Johanssen. Anyone looking to develop their knowledge even more can visit www.WSETglobal.com to find a local WSET Spirits course in their area. The flight will cost £18 per head and for more information on bookings contact Shotgun BBQ.