Island Hopping with Elise

One of the problems with running two tasting sessions a month is coming up with new ideas. We’re now at least 109 Whisky Squads down – our numbering is not necessarily as accurate as we might like, but we’re fairly certain that’s the minimum – and have done close to 100 unique sessions. Fortunately, Elise, the newest member of the so-called ‘management team’ has a bunch of ideas, and our first June session was one of hers – Island Hopping.

Continue reading Island Hopping with Elise

July – time for more whisky

With June drawing to a close, it’s time for another pair of Whisky Squad sessions to drag themselves into the limelight. This time, we’ll be welcoming back a friend and getting you lot to do some work for once…

Whisky Squad #110 – It’s all about the bass – 9 July

johnmccheyneRecently, the squad management gang have become slightly obsessed with how new make spirit has been made. But during some late night discussion we realised we’d been neglecting the most important bit of whisky production: the casks.

This sessions is our apology to the humble oak tree and the coopers of the world. We’ll have John McCheyne from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society on hand to feed us some excellent drams and talk about wood.

Whisky Squad #111 – Punter’s choice – 23 July

puntersWe’re busy folks at Whisky Squad and putting together two whisky tastings a month takes more time and effort than you might think, especially if you’ve been to a Squad session and seen how organised we are. That changes now: you’ll be organising Squad #111.

Now, we’re not mean enough to get you all to find venues and carry glasses (although suggestions for the former and offers of the latter are always gratefully received), but we will be getting you to choose the whisky. We’ll have six whiskies on the mat, all tasted blind, all chosen by the attendees. Will your dram be chosen? Will you be able to tell if it is..?

Whisky Squads #110 and #111 will go on sale on Monday 22 June 2015 at 11am.

Whisky Tastings in June: Part 2

We said last week that the announcement of the second session for June was imminent, and now that Billy has almost recovered from his trip to the fabled whisky island of Islay, we can announce:

Whisky Squad #109 – Fast Times at Islay High

During his travels around a pleasantly rainy Islay, Billy grabbed a few bottles and tasted a few whiskies. He’s brought a few back south with him and acquired another couple, all of which will be opened to taste at June’s second session.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 3 June at 11am.

Keep an eye on your email for news of July’s sessions – we’ll have something appearing quite soon. If you’ve not signed up to our mailing list, you can do so over here.

Whisky Squad: a fine dictatorship

Who needs democracy anyway? All it does is cause elections that clash with Whisky Squad sessions.

Unfortunately, it seems that our first May tasting has fallen through due to the imminent exercising of people’s right to vote, so we’re down to a single session this month. Fortunately, it’s going to be a good’un, with Billy and Elise channeling their spirit guide: Carlos Estevez himself, Charlie Sheen.

Whisky Squad #107 – #winning#winning

There seems to be a new whisky competition appearing every week, so we thought we’d have a look at some of the lesser known gems that they flag up. We’ve got a range of excellent drams, all of which have picked up gongs at awards from around the world, and we’re not afraid to drink them.

Tickets go on sale on election day itself, 7 May, at 11am.

Buy Whisky Squad tickets early, buy Whisky Squad tickets often. See you there…

Now we are five

Our fifth birthday has been and gone, so it’s back to business as usual – two sessions a month, and lots of tasty whisky to drink. We’re starting that with a second April session:

Whisky Squad #106: Billy and Joel went to Scotland, and all they got you was this very tasty whisky
The title pretty much says it all, but click through for some hyperbole and tickets when they go on sale. We’re at a new venue this month, so make sure you know where you’re going – The Ship, EC3

23rd April, 7.30pm. The Ship, EC3. £18pp

Bookings for this session open at 11am, Friday 10 April.  Usual booking policy applies.

Whisky Squad tastings are designed to be an informal and informative, fun way of learning about and tasting whisky.  Whilst not an “introduction to whisky” session, we have people of all backgrounds and facets of whisky exposure, and everyone interested in whisky is very welcome!

It’s barely February and we’ve already got a plan for March!

February’s a short month, so hot on the heels of last week’s tasting, here are the details of the next. March is another ‘only one session’ month, but fear not, we will be returning to our regular two tasting program from April.

So, for March we will be running a draw for tickets again. Click the link below to learn more and be in with a chance of getting a spot. The draw closes on February 18th.

Whisky Squad #104: What?! Really?

We’re getting pretty good at blind tasting at Whisky Squad. Each month, there’s a new inductee into the ‘guessed a thing right’ club, and sometimes we’re focusing more on the guessing than the whisky. So, what better way to both encourage and confound that than with a session of whiskies that noone will be able to guess. No matter what happens, the whiskies will still be tasty.

5th March, Salt Bar, £18pp

The ticket ballot is now open.

Whisky Squad tastings are designed to be an informal and informative, fun way of learning about and tasting whisky.  Whilst not an “introduction to whisky” session, we have people of all backgrounds and facets of whisky exposure, and everyone interested in whisky is very welcome!


The Class of ’97 – the return of Mr Whitehead

Certain sessions have become fixtures in the Whisky Squad calendar. Our yearly birthday bash (our fifth hits in April – keep an eye out in March for details), the bring-a-bottle Whisky Surprise session at Christmas, something involving blends that’s always excellent but that people shy away from (come along next time – you’ve missed out if you’ve not been to one), and so on. One, however, stands out as a fast-seller at an unexpected time of year: our first session in January, starring Berry Brothers and Rudd’s Rob Whitehead. Since the Squad’s first January, session #10 back in 2011 (which I wrote up back in the days when I was a random Squad punter), Rob has been on hand to lead us through some of his employer’s tasty drams, with themes getting gradually more tricksy as time has moved along. This year: The Class of ’97.

Continue reading The Class of ’97 – the return of Mr Whitehead

The clocks have gone back! And more Whisky Squads have been announced…

Spring forward, fall back – the latter is where we are. Change your clocks now! Unless all of your clocks are clever. Like mine aren’t.

Anyways, along with that public service announcement, here’s something much more interesting – two new Whisky Squads are open for booking. That’s right – open for booking now! Get clicking…

Whisky Squad #98: Managing Production Variables in a Controlled Environment in the Absence of Sight

Michael “The Big V” Vachon of Maverick Drinks is joining us for our first November squad, with some of the tasty whiskies from his stable of tasty things in his bag. We’ll be looking at the various things that go into making whisky taste how it does, although we’ll be doing it blind, so not really looking.

Thursday 6th November, The Red Lion, 19.30.

Whisky Squad #99: Mil-ROYS of So-HO!

We like Milroy’s and fortunately they also like us. We’ll be descending into the tasting rooms hidden underneath their iconic Soho shop for a selection of tasty whiskies from their shelves upstairs.

Thursday 20th November, Milroy’s of Soho, 19.30.

…and that’s it until next month. Enjoy your extra hour in bed. Unless you’ve got out up already, in which case, I hope it was nice.

It’s almost October. Time for Whisky Squad

The Whisky Squad gang have been a bit busy for the last few weeks, but October’s sessions are now almost here and will be open to book in mere day(s)! A return from an old friend and an adventure at a new venue could be yours! Exclamation marks!

Bookings for Whisky Squads #95 and #96 will open at 1pm on Tuesday 23 September.

Whisky Squad #95 – Autumn Berrys

Rob Whitehead — Berry Brothers & Rudd spirits god, friend to small animals and occasional Whisky Squad inmate — returns for another Squad session. He’ll be bringing tasty whiskies and an even tastier ability with the English language. He talks pretty, like.

Thursday 9th October, 7.30pm. The Royal Oak.

Whisky Squad #96 – They can’t all be doing it wrong

Most of the world drinks whisky mixed, so why don’t we? While Whisky Squadlateers are obviously amongst some of the most excellent and refined people in the world, we should probably make sure we’re not missing out. Squad-master Jason B Standing has scoured the whisky mixing bible, Dave Broom’s Whisky: The Manual, and come up with a few ideas of his own, all of which will be shared at Bistrot Bruno Loubet in Clerkenwell, a rather shiny new venue for us.

Thursday 23rd October, 7.30pm. Bistrot Bruno Loubet.

February 2014 Sessions

Here’s what we’ve got lined up for February:

Whisky Squad #79 – There’s More to Life than Malt
We’re welcoming back whisky fanatic and Scotch Malt Whisky Society regular Phil Storry to tell us more about the world of grain whisky.

Whisky Squad #80 – A Half and a Half
Whisky expert Zoe Toolan will be joining us to tell us how to combine two things that are very much in the hearts of The Squad – whisky and beer

That’s it for now. See you all soon.