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January 27, 2014

Did you know that 75% of the colour of whisky comes from the barrel? And that 90% of whisky is exported and 90% of that, is blended whisky? Neither did I but my whisky knowledge expanded considerably at Arisaig’s whisky blending experience on Friday.

[Tools for creating my blend][1]
Tools for creating my blend

This series of events hosted very aptly by this Scottish restaurant looks to teach you more about whisky by creating your own blend with whisky experts.

Whisky Ambassadors

There to give us their expertise were Jo and Sue from Whisky Ambassadors who run the UK’s only accredited training course about whisky.

Jo and Sue shared some fascinating information about whisky, its history, the different types and areas, how it’s made and more – even those who know their whisky, would have learned something new.

Two course meal

Arisaig's Chicken with haggis main course
Arisaig’s Chicken with haggis main course

After some learning, we settled down for a delicious two course Scottish meal. My choice of starter, Inverawe smoked trout with wild rocket and apple salsa, was lovely and fresh and my main of roast chicken breast with haggis was very satisfying.

Science experiment?

With full bellies we went on to the part of the evening everyone was waiting for: creating our own blended whisky.

Provided with four bottles of malt whisky (Islay, Highland, Speyside and Lowland), 50mls of base single grain whisky, a mixing beaker and pipettes, we were tasked with using different combinations of the malt whiskies on top of the grain whisky to create our own blend.

Gradually building up the malts according to my own taste, sniffing and mixing away, gave me a real insight into the art of blending.

[Our final blended whiskies][3]
Our final blended whiskies

Once our concoction was complete (mine ended up having a nice Highland body with a hint of the peaty Islay malt) we dated and named our whisky (mine was called ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, it was the day before Burns night after all) to take home with us.

It was a very enjoyable evening, Jo and Sue were passionate and knowledgeable, the food was very tasty and it was a great  twist on whisky for those keen on the tipple.

Special price for 5pmers

If you like the sound of this, and I would highly recommend, then Arisaig has more whisky blending experiences in the calendar (7th, 21st February, 7th March) and Arisaig is offering them to 5pmers for the reduced price of £33pp – usually £55 – book here.