Outside of my working hours, I have tried to be positive and use the personal time spent at home during the quarantine to learn and have some shared virtual experiences.
The first one of these was hosted by Forbes whisky writer, tastings host and World Whisky Awards judge Felipe Schrieberg via Zoom and the scotch whiskies were curated by the Dram Team, who also sent the pack to the house a week before the event.
This was great fun and the audience mix was quite varied with some people having received the whisky tasting as a gift and completely new to scotch, whilst others were more avid whisky drinkers. Below are some of the reviews from the website – if interested to find out more click here. I have already signed up for another evening tasting event, this time with some friends joining in also!
I have also ordered a number of books on topics relating to drinks, which I look forward to reading over the new few months. These include amongst others:
- Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers
- The Whisky Barons by Allen Andrews (pictured below reading the book last weekend)
- Return to the Glen: Adventures on the Scotch Whisky Trail by Richard Grindal
- Spirit of Whisky by Richard Grindal
- The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries by Davin De Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips
- Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture by Derek Sandhaus
The last book mentioned on the list was purchased after joining in the Super Six Series on Instagram Live presented by Rojita Tiwari from Drinks & Destinations and their session on the versatility of Baijiu with Derek Sandhaus, who is also the author of the book ‘Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits’.
Some of the times can be difficult if based in the UK but you can catch up afterwards if you follow the Drinks & Destinations page on Instagram. I have also managed to watch the conversation with Laura Noguera on exploring Mezcal and other Mexican Distillates this weekend (pictured below).
I also watched on Instagram Live all the way from Brazil, a session courtesy of Mauricio Porto and Rodolfo Bob, covering American Whiskey – from history to product information and cocktails.
Podcasts and video content are available aplenty at the moment and I have tried to catch up with the podcasts I follow as much as possible (for reference: ‘The Top 25 Podcasts on Drinks’ from Inside the Cask).
Also by chance, I came across a link and found out more about an industry colleague, Paul Dempsey from Speyside Distillers and his journey through whisky, as he was interviewed by Jenny Mary Elliott. It is always fascinating to learn more about the people around you in the drinks industry!
Finally, I was happy to come across my work colleague from the day job, the Loch Lomond Group’s Master Blender Michael Henry, talking to Roy from Aqvavitae on the vPub Live session entitled ‘There are Only Two Scotch Whiskies’ (click to view the video). If you want to geek out about scotch whisky and how it is made, this is the session for you!
I look forward to the next few weeks and what they have to bring but hope – as everyone else – that this situation can be reversed soon and we can return to normal life and seeing our friends and family up close again.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
For Reference from Inside the Cask: