Whisky Squad #12 – Meet Compass Box (bookings now open)

You’ll be excited to know that bookings for Whisky Squad #12 are now open, and what a night we’ve got in store…

This month we’re tasting a selection of drams from one of the world’s most innovative and exciting whisky makers & blending houses – who you’ve no doubt heard of if you’ve dipped your proverbial oar into whisky-related news in the last 3 or 4 years, Compass Box.

As well as making our way through a brace of fine whiskies, we’re joined by Chris Maybin from the company, who has kindly volunteered to answer any questions we’ve got, offer his take on these wonderous drams, and to see if he’s got any random stories to share of the calibre we have come to expect in the rarefied surroundings of Whisky Squad HQ.

Spaces are unfortunately but necessarily strictly limited, so it’s first come, first serve.  Please book your space using the booking form provided.

The details are:

Thursday March 3rd

7:30pm

Upstairs at The Gunmakers

Seats are £15 per person, payable in advance by bank transfer, or by brown paper bag stuffed with notes.

It’d be just swell to see you there.

Whisky Squad is designed as a casual and informal whisky tasting evening, welcoming people from all levels of appreciation, from outright beginners who suspect that they might not like the taste of whisky, right the way through to people who edit international whisky magazines and blogs, and happily taking in people who like tasting whisky but aren’t sure whether or not they’ll feel silly trying to put together a set of descriptive tasting notes.

Fans of whisky, high quality Indian food, and relaxed banter with an industry expert may be interested in this…

On February 1st there will be a 3-course dinner taking place at the Quilon in Westminster – a Michelin starred restaurant specialising in west coast India inspired recipes – featuring a whisky tasting of 4 rare gems selected and guided by leading whisky journalist Dominic Roskrow.

Late last year, Whisky Squad stalwarts Jason and Billy were invited to the prototype event, which also featured the launch of Dominic’s excellent new book, The World’s Best Whiskies.

The event is £59.50 per head, and tickets are available by contacting the restaurant.

If you’d like to read about the sort of thing that’s likely to be there, you can read Jason’s recollections of what happened on his blog, or Billy’s written a capable, understandable version on his booze blog.

Further information is available in this PDF.

Whisky Squad #11 – The Bottle Of Britain (bookings now open)

Whisky Squad number 11… 2011… you’d think at this point I’d try to contrive some Remembrance Day related segue into the Battle of Britain, and finish up with the equally contrived title we cooked up for this month’s session.

Oh, you didn’t think that?  That’s OK, me neither.

So, as tradition now dictates –

Thursday February 3rd

7:30pm

Upstairs at The Gunmakers

The theme is “Bottle of Britain“, which a few people have tried to guess the meaning of… so you’ll have to come and see.  The aim is to once again give you the interesting variety of quality wood-aged libations which our little group are becoming famous for.

I agree, that was a bit obtuse.  Come anyway.  It’ll be grand.  There’ll be whisky there.

To secure your place at the table (or indeed on the sofas at the back), please fill out the Whisky Squad #11 online booking form, and then follow the payment instructions that will invariably follow for where to send your booking fee of £15 per head.

Spaces strictly limited to 15 people.

Whisky Squad is designed as a casual and informal whisky tasting evening, welcoming people from all levels of appreciation, from outright beginners who suspect that they might not like the taste of whisky, right the way through to people who edit international whisky magazines and blogs, and happily taking in people who like tasting whisky but aren’t sure whether or not they’ll feel silly trying to put together a set of descriptive tasting notes.

Whisky Squad #10 – Wee Speyside Beauties (bookings now open)

Tonight’s been educational for all sorts of reasons, chief amongst which is not to promise in future to open bookings to a Whisky Squad session the same night as one goes out for a whisky tasting session…

At any rate, you’ll be delighted to learn that bookings are now open for our 10th session – the date for which is January 6th 2011, commencing at 7:30pm at our usual home, the excellent Gunmakers pub in Clerkenwell.

January’s theme is “Wee Speyside Beauties”, featuring a selection of gems from Scotland’s whisky-producing heartland, Speyside. Comprising nearly 50 distilleries, Speyside produces some of the world’s most sought after bottlings, and once again to lead us through some of his favourite examples from this geographically compact area we are pleased to welcome back Berry Brothers & Rudd’s own spirit specialist, Mr Rob Whitehead.

To book your place, please fill out the Whisky Squad #10 online booking form, and then follow the payment instructions that will invariably follow for where to send your booking fee of £15 per head.

Spaces strictly limited to 15 people.

Whisky Squad is designed as a casual and informal whisky tasting evening, welcoming people from all levels of appreciation, from outright beginners who suspect that they might not like the taste of whisky right through to people who edit international whisky magazines and blogs, and happily taking in people who like tasting whisky but aren’t sure whether or not they’ll feel silly trying to put together a set of descriptive tasting notes.

Whisky Squad #8a – Whisky Surprise! (bookings now open)

Andy & I were pretty pleased with ourselves for the idea of holding the Christmas dinner on Dec 17th (and judging by the rapidity of response, so were you!), however I’ve had a few enquiries about what’s happening for December’s Whisky Squad.

I guess we’d anticipated that people wouldn’t want 2 sessions in the same month, but it seems that there are some people ‘reet keen on the idea.

The problem is, we hadn’t organised a theme.

Now, we know that some of you are mad keen whisky enthusiasts, and an idea occurred to me that might work as “something a bit different” – therefore we’ve decided to run Whisky Squad 8a as usual, and the theme this month is:

DECEMBER 2ND 2010 – BRING YOUR OWN WHISKY

If you’ve got an interesting bottle at home that you’ve bought and would like to share, or an absolute favourite whisky that you don’t think the rest of the squad can go another day without knowing about, then bring it along & we’ll try some! For people who bring bottles, there won’t be the £15 fee. You don’t have to donate the rest of the bottle, either – and it’s up to you whether you want to allow topups. However hopefully if we get a few people to bring bottles we can get a good variety of tastings.

If you don’t have a bottle, but you really, really want to come along then please don’t go out and buy one purely for the sake of being included – just send your £15 over as usual. Equally, don’t feel you’ve got to bring along a bottle of 30 year old Black Bowmore (although if you WANT to, don’t let me hold you back…). The whisky will be shared between those present on your own good will.

Spaces limited to 12 people.

To be part of this month’s squad, please fill out the web form, and in the comment box please state what you’re intending to bring, or whether you’re not bringing a bottle. That’ll help us decide what order to do things in.

Whisky Squad #9 – Christmas Dinner Extravadramza – bookings now open

Dear people of Whisky Squad, bookings for our 9th session are now being taken: to make a booking, simply fill in the web form under this link.

The date is Friday December 17th, the price is £36 per person – this covers your 3 course meal prepared by The Gunmakers very own chef, and the whiskies we’ll be tasting on the night, which will be matched to the courses.

The menu selections are available on the previous post about this event.

This doesn’t sound like the most wildly promotional description ever written, does it?  Well that’s because it doesn’t need to be – £36 for a 3 course Christmas meal at The Gunmakers, with whisky, in the company of The Whisky Squad pretty much sells itself!

All welcome.  All who’ve paid for seats, I mean.

(Can you tell I write software for a living?)

Whisky Squad #9 – Christmas Dinner Extravadramza!

(Yes, I’m fully aware that that isn’t a real word)

For the final Whisky Squad session of 2010 we thought we might do something a bit more festive.  The Gunmakers do a consistently excellent Christmas(/Winterval/Festivus/whatever) Dinner, and so after an amount of expert negotiation a booking on Friday December 17th from 19:30!

Spaces this time are limited to 25 (perhaps invite your partner along, if they’re wondering what this whisky club stuff is all about?).

Cost per head will be £36, which includes your 3 course selection from the menu below, and the usual expertly guided voyage through a mystery selection of choicest whisky.

Bookings will be taken here on this very website from the evening of Friday November 5th.

Menu

Roast pepper and tomato soup with fried leeks
Smoked salmon, sour cream and dilled crayfish roulade
Wild boar pate with pickles and toast

~oOo~

Roast Norfolk turkey with sage and cranberry sauce
Braised lamb shank with rosemary and thyme jus
Oven-baked whiting fillet with bisque sauce
Layered butternut squash, barley and spinach pie

(all served with traditional trimmings including roast potatoes, root vegetables and Brussels sprouts)

~oOo~

A selection of British cheeses with biscuits and grapes
Christmas pudding with mango coulis
Mince pies with brandy cream

And just a reminder that the date for this joyful escapade is Friday the 17th of December, rather than our usual first-Thursday-of-the-month effort.  And that bookings commence on November 5th.

Whisky Squad #8 – Whisky4Movember

On Thursday November 4th we’ll be conducting our increasingly popular monthly whisky tasting session once more, this time taking in the limited release bottlings prepared in conjunction with the Movember mens’ health fundraising event, via Darren The Whisky Guy‘s MOst excellent  Whisky4Movember concept.

In addition to the bottlings, as indicated before there is a team of people getting involved in the Movember concept this year and numbered among them are several Whisky Squad regulars – you’re more than welcome to make a team donation here, or checkout the MoSpaces of Jason, Andy, Dan, Billy, and Darren.

For further information on Whisky4Movember, and the Whisky Relay running event in Battersea on November 21st, pop on over to the website! http://www.whisky4movember.com/ – or –  http://www.whisky4movember.com/whiskyrelay/

All of the places for Whisky Squad #8 are booked up, however stay tuned for December’s exciting Whisky Squad announcement!

Whisky Squad #7 – Berry Brothers & Rudd

Good evening all…

Whisky Squad #7 (Thursday October 7th)  is hurtling towards us with rapid abandon, and this month we’ve got special guest Rob Whitehead from Berry Brothers & Rudd!

This month’s session is fully booked, but be sure to put November 4th in your diary for Whisky Squad #8 – Whisky4Movember!

Good grief, I think this is the shortest post we’ve written so far…