Many years ago, I took my first visit to Islay. As more of a bourbon and beer sort of person, I was gradually (ok, quickly) converted to the wonders of whisky. These strange names, Bunnahabhain, Lagavulin, Ardbeg and more, were soon to become so familiar and take their places on my shelves at home.
Then, on a later visit, we encountered something new. A new distillery, the first ‘new’ distillery on the island in 125 years (I think). Then came one in Norfolk. Then the lakes. And, before too long, Islay will add another.
So what’s the problem? Well that lies with me. I’d tried Kilchoman and English Whisky Co and to be honest, dismissed them both as ‘too young’. Not because I was being a snob about demanding 10yrs minimum (after all, I have a load of NAS whiskies which are fantastic) – but because to me, there was an unmistakeable new-make spirit taste to them.
But things change. Tastebuds, whisky, the weather and the world.
So, on a wet Wednesday evening in Yorkshire, I find myself confronted by 6 whiskies of one of these ‘new’ distilleries. And it’s this which makes me think: Why are whisky tasting evenings so important?
Well, for a starter, they’ve made my change my opinion and eat my words. (I’ll write up a review over the weekend..)