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29/01/2016

BI Whisky School

by Isabel Graham-Yooll (Spirits Buyer)

If the best way to learn anything is by rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself then by definition Whisky Blending is the only reasonable lesson to learn on a frosty Wednesday afternoon. So that’s all the logic it took for BI to select half a dozen wildly exciting whiskies, 14 intrepid students, plus five exotic cheeses to match and then get stuck in to a night of seriously educational whisky.

BI Whisky School

In truth the inaugural BI Whisky School began on the pavement outside BI Towers - the doorbell wasn’t working – but pretty soon we were all glass in hand and ready to learn. The lesson plan template was simple enough: I babbled on a bit, we tasted through six profoundly different whiskies, there were comments, there were questions, I gave a bit of guidance on how to approach the blending process, and then each guest tested their own newly-earnt skills to produce their own unique blends. Most of the class went for a classic blend; a single cask 21 year-old fruity Grain whisky, then a delicately matured 18 year old, a heavily sherried 27 year old, perhaps a robust 100% rye, even a youthful Indian,…and those with a flagrant disregard for balance or subtlety threw in the monstrously peaty one too.

BI Whisky School

Due to the high quality of the raw ingredients it was truly tricky to go wrong but still, some blends were more successful than others; even tiny changes to the recipe had a surprising impact on the resulting blend. The more successful (and unsuccessful) blends were bottled up so guests could take them home. This all left just enough time to get a couple of pints in at the pub.

If you would like to organise your own Whisky School, then don't hesitate to get in touch with our spirits buyer or your account manager.