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Five reasons why you need to create your own whisky

Five reasons why you need to create your own whisky

Knowing what you like to drink is great. But what’s also great is knowing a bit about your drink and where it came from – and what better way to get acquainted with your tipple than by actually making it yourself. It’s satisfying, super-show-off-able (let’s be honest: you’re going to ‘casually’ mention it to your friends) and – best of all – you get to sip on a superb sprit at the end of it all, crafted by your own fair hands.

As part of the all-conquering imbibing occasion that is London Cocktail Week, luxury Scotch maker Chivas Regal is returning with its enormously popular ‘Art of Blending’ sessions, held at its very cool dedicated Shoreditch bar The Blend, where an expert blender will help you identify flavours in whisky, then build your own. So while everyone else on their standard nights out are just drinking the stuff, you get to actually make your own. Pretty neat. Here’s why whisky is on everyone’s lips this autumn.

Whisky’s shaking up the bar scene

At places like Shoreditch’s Black Rock – where the whiskies are housed in cabinets – or Milroy’s in Soho, underneath the oldest whisky shop in London, a respect for the heritage of distilling is combined with a sense of adventure and fun. And joining them for a limited time only is Chivas Regal’s The Blend, a dark, sexy and slick den that’ll transport you from the East End to the Mad Men-esque whisky bars of Manhattan.

It’s your go-to social all-rounder

While the idea of a comforting fireside dram is appealing, the spectrum of whisky means it’s unmatched in versatility. London’s bartenders are mixing it into party-starting cocktails, and whisky-food matching is now very much a thing: it’s a great partner to roasted meats. Whether it’s a quiet date in a cosy pub or an epic night out, whisky’s there for you.

There’s a wealth of flavours in a glassful

You could write a thesaurus with a list of whisky-tasting terms. Don’t like the idea of spicy? Go for floral. Peaty too powerful? Try something fruity. With some of the more out-there descriptors including ‘greenhouse’, ‘seaweed’, ‘burnt toast’ and ‘teapot’, you can be sure there’s something to make you go ‘mmm’.

There’s a whisky for everyone

Ever thought, I wish I liked whisky? Here’s a fact: you do, you just haven’t found the right one. Yet. Now, you could spend your life sampling until you happen upon a match, or you could let a Chivas Regal whisky whiz give you a guided tour of your own taste buds, and create a totally bespoke blend that will open up whole new dimensions of flavour.

And we’ve got an even better way into the world of whisky

Unsurprisingly, 2016’s ‘Art of Blending’ events sold out, so you know what to do this year… 

Chivas Regal’s 45-minute ‘Art of Blending’ experiences take place at The Blend, 133 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 7DG, until Dec 3.

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Von B tastemaker

Chivas Regal is one of my dad's favourite whisky so when I walked past this new pop up on Bethnal Green, I know it was birthday present sorted!

On the day we got to the venue half an hour early and was able to have a drink at the bar. The actual blending class lasted about an hour. The guide/teacher talk through a brief history of blended whisky, got us to taste and make notes of all the various notes of whisky. Then we based on what we liked, we had to work out our own blend.

It was a lot harder than I thought!

Really good fun. My dad got to take home his own blended whisky. We got to drink a lot and chat a lot about the drinks during the class. Definitely recommend it as a gift or to do it as a group.

Milena C tastemaker

I am not a massive whisky fan and my boyfriend used to be a "single malt snob" as the teacher put it so we didn't know what to expect at the Chivas popup in Bethnal Green. We actually loved it and it was the perfect Sunday afternoon activity. Our session was quite small, about 10 people but they can fit up to 40 people in a classroom style room where your teacher for the day, a very nice guy with a thick Scottish accent will tell you all about blended whiskies. After a short introduction to the difference between single malts and blended whiskies and the different flavours you can mix, you get to experience yourself the art of blending. You are given 4 different single malts and a green whisky and you mix them according to your tastes. You even get to bring back home the bottle of your very own blend. Totally recommend it!