In only four years the Edinburgh-based Whisky Stramash has established itself as the must attend whisky tasting event, for both brands and punters alike. From the outset it aimed to surprise the traditionalists, attract new drinkers to the category, and give younger whisky lovers a cooler experience – in other words, inject new life in to the water of life! This year’s event takes place at Surgeons’ Hall on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May. Here are the top 5 experiences you can enjoy along with more than 2000 other whisky drinkers that weekend. I’ve also thrown in a selection of 5 unique brands you should be on the look for, especially if you can’t attend the event itself! Tickets for Whisky Stramash in Edinburgh cost £26. But you better be quick as Saturday is already sold out.
Ticket holders will be able to sample whiskies unavailable anywhere else in the UK thanks to The Lost Distillery which will present spirit that belongs to a bygone era of distilling. Whiskies include Stratheden, Auchnagie, Gerston and Jericho.
Travel back in time to the 1920’s and visit the speakeasy where you will get a taste of life during prohibition with cocktails and brands to match. And like all good “secret squirrel” underground bars you will of course need to get hold of the password to get in.
For the first time Whisky Stramash will host a secret night event on the Friday with live entertainment from the MoonHop DJ’s, and whisky cocktails designed to purposefully challenge perceptions of Scotland’s favourite national drink. The location and exact details of the night are still a closely guarded secret.
To prove Whisky Stramash is cool and on trend, the guys from the Edinburgh Whisky Blog will be live streaming their tasting event via Periscope. Two different drams per session will get the full irreverent EWB treatment, and those that can’t attend can “UP PERISCOPE” from around the world and pretend they are in the thick of the action in Edinburgh itself.
Before surgeons became lifesaving medics they were effectively barbers with very sharp razors pretending to be lifesaving medics. So it’s fitting Whisky Stramash, located at Surgeons Hall, will feature a traditional barber – with cut throat razor in hand – providing free shaves and haircuts. You better hope the barber in question has not sampled the full range of over 250 whiskies available at the event!!
We here at Drink Me Mag like to champion the little guys. So here are our top 5 “discovery” whiskies that you have to seek out at Whisky Stramash.
This recently relaunched whisky is a wee cracker, and it hails from one of the nicest distilleries you could ever hope to visit. Light in colour and taste, the sharpness of the initial alcohol hit to the mouth soon mellows in to soft caramel with a hint of oak. A brilliant whisky, especially for the price.
Often overlooked by the whisky snobs, Glen Moray Classic is exactly what it says on the bottle – a classic! If you like your whiskies with only a hint of peatiness, then this is the one for you. Butterscotch and shortbread is what the tasting notes say, and who am I to argue with that.
What’s not to love when your bottle is adorned with a monocle terrier, a homage to the brand owner’s family pet who passed away. I’m reliably informed that the real dog did not have an eye glass…..but did indeed wear a top hat! The wonderful packaging is not let down by the wonderful sprit inside. It’s a whisky that pounces on you like a sweet excitable puppy covered in vanilla pods and cinnamon. It’s a real treat.
It seems Islay does not have the exclusive rights to peated whisky as this little Irish upstart shows. Do not let the poor packaging put you off, as the liquid is a worthy rival to the best the Scottish islands have to offer. However if you don’t like smoke, oak and kippers, best you leave it well alone.
Distilled in the lowlands of Scotland – just 15 miles outside Edinburgh – this 12 year old malt is effectively your local offering at Whisky Stramash. But go easy on it as it slips way too easily down the throat. With hints of honey and salted caramels, and a lovely aftertaste that you never want to end, Glenkinchie is the local lad done good. And many certainly regard it as superior to its Glasgow rival, but that’s for you to decide not me!