Ah, whisky. That marvellous brown elixir. That water of life. But also that terrifyingly complex (sometimes) beverage to understand. It’s a drink with incredibly diversity around the world, across styles and regions, and across flavours and strengths. It’s also a drink that can lay claim to probably the most hotly debated spelling of any word in the English language. Given the drink’s complexity, sometimes it pays to learn from the professionals. And Milroy’s is giving Londoners the chance to learn from the best at the Whisky with Water masterclass with The Glen Grant.
Welcoming newbies and whisky devotees alike, on October 7, the Glen Grant distillery is hosting a first-of-its-kind pop-up water-with-whisky tasting at the fabled Milroy’s’ Spitalfields location. (I know, that was a lot of hyphens.) Over the course of the night you’ll get a chance to sample a variety of Glen Grant’s whiskies, the only single malt Scotches exclusively produced from barley to bottle on site. Along the way you’ll also learn all about the role of water in whisky production and tasting.
Now, you may think that adding water to whisky would dilute the taste, watering it down quite literally. However, the interplay between the oils in the whisky and the smallest amount of water can actually open up the aromas and flavours of the whisky. In addition, water plays an incredibly important role in whisky production. When whisky comes out of the barrel, it sits at anywhere between 60-75% ABV (cask strength), and water is used to bring the strength down to a more drinker-friendly strength of typically between 40-45%.
The Glen Grant masterclass
The night starts with a whisky cocktail upon arrival, before the tasting gets underway. Guests will then be guided on a sensory journey to demonstrate the power of a single drop of water in impacting the taste and flavour profile of whisky. Guided by whisky expert and brand ambassador, Chris Dennis, attendees will taste their way through Glen Grants signature expression, from the Glen Grant 10 Year Old, all the way up to the Glen Grant 18 Year Old. Along the way you’ll also utilize water from various water sources around the UK to demonstrate the importance of the water itself, not just the effect of any old water. Think of the difference between water in the North and South of the UK – at the risk of starting serious debate I’ll simply acknowledge the incredible difference between the two.
Canapés will be available on the night, of course, to ensure the whisky doesn’t hit attendees too hard. And you’ll also get the chance to interrogate (be nice, though!) Chris Dennis about what the whisky world holds for 2023. Guests will leave with a complimentary gift from the Glen Grant distillery, no doubt a chance to take something home so they can share their newfound whisky wisdom.
Tickets are still available, so be sure to grab one from the Milroy’s website. Who can pass up the chance to learn something, and then show off all their whisky knowledge to their friends?