Vintners Hall hosted the 12th annual IWSC/Worshipful Company of Distillers spirits tasting on 30th July, always a popular event in the livery calendar and most unusually not the occurring on the hottest day of the year for the first time in some years.
The evening began with whisky and rum masterclasses led by Richard Paterson of Whyte and Mackay and Peter Holland of the Floating Rum Shack which were exceptionally well attended. A small technical glitch prevented Richard from using his planned presentation and his off the cuff comment of overcoming this by “throwing the water around” caused PM Maxwell to blanche slightly. In the end both masterclasses were well received, highly informative and relatively dry!
Prior to the main tasting, guests were invited upstairs to the Drawing Room where they could sample the traditional Gin and tonic bar offering a range of six gin brands from across the flavour spectrum. In addition, this year saw a baiju cocktail bar on offer and the opportunity to purchase the Master’s Cask whiskies which was manned by Upper Warden Kenny Mackay and Development Director Clive Bairsto who between them sold an impressive 32 bottles with all proceeds going to the Distillers Charity.
The Master opened the main tasting with a few words in particular welcoming Aldermanic Sheriff Vincent Keavney to the event and congratulating Tariquet on their success in winning the IWSC Armagnac Trophy for the second year in succession. In honour of the Master’s position as Captain Lieutenant of the British Squadron of the Company of Armagnac Musketeers, a feature table of some of the best armagnac’s from the IWSC was on offer. In addition, over 150 spirits ranging from whiskies, rums, gins and vodkas to shochus and baijus were available to taste.
The tasting also welcomed representatives from many of the distilling companies whose exceptional products have been recognised by the IWSC this year including Adnams, Maverick, Diageo, Chivas Brothers, Bacardi, William Grant and Angus Dundee and both the industry and the livery world enjoyed another great evening.