All New September Tastings for Whisky Squad

By “all new”, we mean that the whisk(e)y we have lined up for the ENTIRE MONTH is whisky that’s entirely new to us here at Whisky Squad!  We’ve only ever tasted one whisky from the Teeling Whiskey Company (so far), and the second September session speaks for itself.

Bookings open at 1pm Tuesday August 19th.

Whisky Squad #93 – In Dublin’s Fair City…

Authentic Irishman and Brand Ambassador (and general all-round top chap) Sam MacDonald shows us some of the exciting stuff that the Teeling Whiskey Company are up to.  Not to be missed!

Whisky Squad #94 – Off The Beaten Track

It’s not that we’re obsessed with statistics, or the past – but it struck us as somewhat difficult to believe that after more than 90 whisky tastings we *still* haven’t had one whisky from every distillery in Scotland!  In this session we aim to try to nudge a bit closer to that claim, sampling 6 that have somehow not yet made it into our impressive tally.


Two marvellous new sessions for the Eighth Month of the Year Two Thousand and Fourteen – we thought that we’d keep things fairly light and summery, but still with the depth & interest that Whisky Squad are WORLD FAMOUS for.

Whisky Squad #91: Bruichladdich, Now and Then

It’s time to turn our gaze on a single distillery, and this one’s a corker. Producing a range of spirits with very distinct and wide ranging character, we’re taking a close look at the highly distinctive Islay enigma, Bruichladdich.

Thursday 7th August, 7:30pm

Whisky Squad #92: Spirits of Summer

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy (or so they say). Some might say that whisky is more a winter drink than a summer one (who says that? let’s get ’em) but what if we proposed that whiskies have seasonal characteristics? Here’s to whiskies that are imbued with the taste of summer.

Thursday 21st August, 7:30pm

Bookings for both of these will open at 11am on Thursday July 17th – don’t miss out!

Whisky Squad Goes Retro

June has almost passed, and with it two excellent new Whisky Squad themes. If you missed the Mini Whisky Dinner, bad luck. If you haven’t yet grabbed a ticket to our very first Canadian Whisky Tasting on the 19th June, head on over to the event page and snap up one of the last few tickets.

In July we have decided to revisit two perennial favourite session themes: we kick off the month with a peat-fest in St James, followed up with a visit to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Farringdon. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of cracking new drams to taste! Here’s the skinny on the sessions:

Whisky Squad #89 – Bringing Back The Smokestack

It’s been a good long while since we’ve dedicated a whole session to those tasty peaty drams, so Joel is setting out to rectify this ASAP. There have been a whole raft of new smoky whiskies released recently, and not all of them from distilleries you might expect. Peat freaks – get in quick for this one!

Whisky Squad #90 – It’s All In The DNA?

It’s time for a trip back to our favourite Whisky Society in Farringdon for some science. Very rough science that is. SMWS Ambassador, John McCheyne, will pair up mystery drams from the same distillery to see if we can uncover some whisky DNA.

Bookings for these two sessions open at 1pm on Friday, 20th June.

All are welcome at Whisky Squad tastings – there’s no membership requirement:  the only thing we hope for is that you’re interested in learning/talking about whisky.

The June Tastings. Of whisky. Whisky tastings in June, more accurately. That is.

For June we’ve got not one but two guest tastings, which is wonderful news!  Both will be quite radical departures from our last few sessions (other than in the sense that they’ll come with a load of sensory stimulation and provide much to broaden our palates, minds and experiences).

Whisky Squad 87 – The Mini Whisky Dinner

Squad regulars Kirsty and Elise match and contrast a range of whiskies with a selection of nibbles & foodstuffs that they’ve picked out, or more accurately, made. Having tasted both Elise and Kirsty’s cooking in the past, this is a sure-fire winner of an evening no matter what else happens!

Whisky Squad 88 – Everybody Loves Canadians

Elise goes on to play a blinding double…  Sure we’ve looked at “American Whiskey” in previous sessions, but the USA’s northerly neighbour has almost completely been left out of our lineups.  Until now.  Canadian Whiskey’s a rich topic area, and who better to guide us in than our very own Canadian Whiskey Enthusiast.

I mean, she’s a whiskey enthusiast, and Canadian.  But also an enthusiast of Canadian Whiskey.

Yep, I’m pretty sure you got that.

Bookings for these 2 sessions open at 7pm on Tuesday May 20th.

All are welcome at Whisky Squad tastings – there’s no membership requirement:  the only thing we hope for is that you’re interested in learning/talking about whisky.


Two exciting tastings in May

Continuing Whisky Squad’s extravaganza of sensory experience & whisky education, we’re proud to announce our two tasting sessions for the Merrie Month of May!

Whisky Squad #85 – Indie! Indie! – May 8th

The characteristics of whisky casks are as diverse as fingerprints, and in this session Billy Abbott and Jason B. Standing will be looking at a selection of whiskies chosen by a cornucopia of different Independent Bottlers. What it they’re looking for? Each has access to different casks and has their own personality and views, so all up it makes for a fascinating alternate view of the whisky landscape!

Whisky Squad #86 – Brilliant Blends Part Deux – May 22nd

Simultaneously the main makeup of whisky sales in the world, and also often eschewed by people as the poor cousin of Single Malts: there’s a great deal more to blended whiskies than you might assume. Jason B. Standing intends to take the group through some blends which might change the way you think about this part of the market, or if not, at least you’ll get to try some interesting whiskies.

The May sessions open for booking at noon on Friday April 18th.


Last night’s tasting session marked off the 4th Birthday of the Whisky Squad – from those humble beginnings, we’re… well, still in humble surroundings, but we’ve put together 84 tastings so far and it’s been an absolute blast.  We hope to continue putting together & running fun tastings for years yet to come, but we wanted to say thanks to you all for making it happen.

ws4bdIt wouldn’t be a party without a cake, and Kirsty did a brilliant job with a couple of Squad birthday cakes (we may even coax her to share the recipes…), and Pooja snapped a picture of said cakes before we all crammed them into our eager face-holes.

The tasting was the “3 way jerk-off” format, where the 3 of us present 2 whiskies each to the group and there’s a vote on favourites at the end.  As Joel couldn’t make it in person (although was represented in the small shrine we built on the table), long-time Squadder Dave Haste stepped in for his presentational debut and did a mighty fine job, selecting 2 very popular whiskies…  although not quite popular enough to topple Jason’s selection of the champion of the evening – the Bowmore Devil’s Casks 10yo.  What a stonkingly yummy way to celebrate a birthday!

Billy selected 2 whiskies as well.

Well done, all.  And here’s to what the future brings for Whisky Squad!

(it’s not entirely clear how Tim managed to creep into this photo, but it’s always nice to have him along also – as he put it himself, “Those 3 look like they’ve just won the Euromilions… I look like I’ve just won a tenner on a scratchcard”.)

Whisky Squad sessions for April

April is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing…


So we are more than a little bit excited to present these tastings for you:

Thursday 3rd April – Whisky Squad #83 – Fourth Birthday Extravaganza!: It’s the main event, when we celebrate four years of existence. As is traditional, Jason, Billy and Joel will bring their favourite drams for a whisky showdown.

Thursday 17th April – Whisky Squad #84 – November Alpha Sierra: Jason and Billy are back in charge, this time exploring the hot topic of No Age Statement whiskies and debating whether age really does matter. 

Don’t forget to check out our bookings policy.

Bookings for these tastings will open at 4pm on Friday 21st March.

See you soon at Whisky Squad!

Joel, Jason & Billy

LATE ADDITION: In April we’re also running a Whisky Basics evening (April 22nd), which is a great way to get up to speed on some of the jargon we use in whisky discussion, and to learn a few key terms… as well as trying a bunch of the main flavour profiles, and testing out some food pairings.  Don’t miss it!

3 more Whisky Squad sessions to take you further on your whisky journey…

Hi all!

This month we have three fantastic tasting sessions for you to choose from, as follows:

Thursday 6th March – Whisky Squad #81 – Billy’s Birthday Treats: Squad organiser Billy Abbott selects a brace of interesting whiskies for us to taste, because it’s his birthday and he’s allowed.

Saturday 15th March – Bonus session – WS@Compass Box Blending School: Chris Maybin takes us through the art of blending as practiced by blending artisans Compass Box at their West London HQ.

Thursday 20th March – Whisky Squad #82 – There’s Gold In Them Thar’ Off-Licences!: Whisky Enthusiast, bar professional & TWE adviser Enrico Gaddoni shares with us some of the gems he’s unearthed from some unlikely places around the country.

As always, our bookings policy applies to these sessions.

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!


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.

January 2014 Sessions

Loads of whisky fun for January 2014 –

2nd Jan: Whisky Squad 77 – “Berry Brothers, and Rob”

Our traditional year beginning with the tasting led by the incomparable Robert Whitehead and his selection of magnificent Berry Brothers & Rudd whiskies.

12th Jan: Whisky Basics

An afternoon session for anyone who’d like to go over some of the fundamentals of Scotch whisky, with Jason B. Standing.

16th Jan: Whisky Squad 78 – “Old and New II”

Billy Abbott takes us through a brace of currently available whiskies, and we sample them alongside their counterparts from further back in time.

31st Jan: Whisky Friday at SMWS

Not a tasting session as such – more a chance for us to meet up & have a nice social chat with a few tasty single cask drams.

Get into it!