Whisky is a drink that brings people together. It’s diverse, has a long and interesting history, and is simply something to enjoy together. It’s for reasons like these, and many others, that whisky clubs are started. So isn’t it time to start your own? Here’s our guide on how to do just that.
- Go to those in the know.
What better place to start than with people who know whisky and whisky drinkers? Head down to your local off licence or bar, or anywhere that has the best stock of the good stuff and get talking. The promise of regular business from a thirsty whisky club is sure to pique the interests of any bar owner. You can also find out about like-minded people and perhaps get in contact with others who want to join a whisky club.
Bars are not the only places whisky specialists reside. Distilleries too are interested in what their customers are getting up to, so why not contact one of them? You may be able to garner some sage advice for your whisky club and learn more about your favourite whiskies at the same time!
- Educate Yourself
Before leaping in to starting a whisky club, it does well to learn a bit more about the product you’re going to taste. This begins by going over the basics of tasting, learning how to nose and decipher more about the dram from the general look of it.
Once you have an idea of how to taste whisky, it might also be useful to then look into investing in some quality glassware. Glencairn glasses are the best for nosing and are typically what the professionals use. Even if you’re not being too serious about this aspect of tasting props always help to cement the purpose of your group, turning a drinking club into a tasting club.
Once you have your members in place make sure to remain in regular contact. Find a way to reach out to everyone in your club, be it through a Facebook group, a mailing list or simply through text. There are plenty of ways to contact each other so make sure that you use these. The best way to keep a group together is to talk to them.
Even if you only have bi-weekly or monthly meetings there is no reason why you shouldn’t keep in touch in the meantime. There is also no harm in meeting up outside of regular whisky tasting meetings, this can help form friendships and make sure everyone feels comfortable when you do get around to tasting.
- Don’t do it all yourself
Delegation is key to the organisation of any successful group. Don’t keep the burden of planning meetings and supplying whisky all to yourself, feel free to share it out to the others in your group and see how quickly bonds form.
Open up discussion to the floor, be it discussion of certain whiskies or of what to do at your next meeting. Welcome suggestions and encourage people to speak up with their own ideas, you never know what you might get up to or how the conversation will turn out!
- Keep things exciting
Don’t let your meetings become stagnant. While routine is great and a well organised group is more likely to stay together, don’t let this become strict. Try doing different things like having theme nights, or having a meal with your whisky.
It can also help to have whisky journals. The idea here is to write down what you think about the dram and then discuss your ideas. Compare this to taste profiles and reviews online can also be interest and add a new aspect to the whole experience. Another great idea is to plan a trip.
This is where previous communication with distilleries comes in. There are plenty of distilleries that offer group tours and tours by appointment, so why no take advantage of these and make the whisky tasting experience that much more real?