Another niche post moving away from the food and travel concept, but again falling within the general theme of Out Of Office LDN. As a single malt whisky fan, blended whisky was something that I rarely touched. But when The Blend, a pop-up store, opened up allowing you to blend your own whisky, I just could not resist.
Located in the Old Truman Brewery, there is a fancy looking bar when you enter, where you can order yourself a cocktail or a dram before the session. You will soon be escorted to the next room, set up like a classroom with tables and chairs facing the front. Each person gets a set of glasses, bottles and blending apparatus.
The session begins with the instructor offering all a dram of their Strathisla whisky, before moving on to give a crash course. The talk covers a range of areas including the difference in single malt and blended, how it is made and some history. We then tasted and tried different types of whisky from the different regions of Scotland, including the highlands, lowlands and Islay.
Becoming a Master Blender
After tasting a few different types of whisky and getting a rough idea of the differences between them, it was time to start the road to becoming a master blender. With 20 minutes, each can conjure up a 200ml bottle of their own potent mixture. It is recommended to use around 75ml to 100ml of grain whisky (surprisingly tasty) and the rest is up to you. Mix and taste and mix until you get the perfect combination to take home.
Sessions run for about an hour (£15) and in this short space of time, you get to learn a lot and drink a lot. We honestly couldn’t figure out how Chivas was making any money out of this, but what we did realise was that our image of the brand has changed drastically. The perception of blended whisky and Chivas was quite negative for some single malt drinkers, but this event has given a pleasant surprise about the quality and the flavours of blended whisky. It was about brand image after all!
This event ends at the start of December, so go along with a few friends and it is a guaranteed good evening. You not only get to taste whisky from different regions in Scotland, but you also get to take home your own personally blended potion. Just try not to finish it all before you get home.
Also published on Medium.