Things have been rather manic over here at Gwiltypleasures! As such, I have much catching up to do on exactly all the loverly events I’ve been heading out to in Londontown that have been really floating my pleasure boat.
Last weekend I was delighted to finally attend the Pure Festival which I wrote about a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure how exactly a music and whisky festival would be pulled off, but I’m glad to say I was very pleased with the result.
The Garage in Highbury was absolutely buzzing when I arrived with “the boy” in tow – the queue stretched along the side of the building and the most exciting bit: everyone was young! Now, to many people familiar with North London bars and events, this may not seem such a big deal. But, to someone familiar with older, stuffier whisky tastings (where I normally feel like I could be the child of most attendees!) this was a big deal.
Upon entering the event, it proved to be just the same – loads and loads of 20- and 30-somethings mulling around in checked-shirts and skinny jeans, drinking and learning about whisky.
The boy and I got down to tasting just as soon as we could fight our way through the throngs of people at each stand – heading first to taste some rather delicious whisky from a distillery I’d not heard of before called Stonedean, which produces the Tweeddale Blend. Director Alasdair Day told us about how he inherited his Great Grandfather’s recipe book and how he established the company in 2009 to start reproducing it!
Next we headed off to try out another newbie to the whisky world, the Isle of Mull blend, brought to the festival by founders Neil Morrison and Calum Maclean. The company, which only began in August last year, has a beautiful blend made of Highland malts and grain whiskies, and I was impressed with its intensity and flavour.
After trying out some “edible peat” at the Ardbeg stand (a mix of hazelnut, cocoa powder and sugars), and a few shots of single malts at the fabulous Seventy% stand (which demonstrated how perfectly chocolate and whisky can be paired together), we tried the always favourite 10-year old Talisker – brought down by the guys from The Whisky Exchange – and continued with a rather special 30-year old bottle (hidden below the counter) at the Whyte and Mackay stand.
Finally, we finished up the day by sneaking in a couple of tasters of 12- and 16-year-old whiskies from Ancnoc (another new one for me), and had a chat with Darren Rock (aka: The Whisky Guy) who told us about his upcoming project for Movember, in which he will sell bottles of single malt in aid of prostate cancer. Stay tuned for updates on this soon!
All in all, after all of these rather delectable tipples, the boy and I wobbled out – unfortunately we couldn’t stay for the music, which was a shame because I heard great things afterwards about the headlining bands. Regardless, it was a great event filled with a young, fun crowd keen on becoming knowledgeable about my favourite tipple! And I must say a big congratulations to the chaps who pulled it off! Bring on the next one!