Recently there has been a spate of new Whiskies all seeking to grab the attention of younger drinkers who are new to the Whisky world.
No 808 Whisky review could begin without acknowledging 808 Whisky is one of them. Others include Haig Club and Grant’s Signature, who are both creating blends to reach new drinkers. 808 Whisky, a British brand, is the latest addition.
But what makes 808 different from the rest? And without David Beckham, just how do they plan on doing this?
A bit about 808 distillery
808 is a scotch whisky produced at the North British Distillery in Edinburgh and is the brain child of DJ TommyD and Paul Pullinger.
And while they may not have David Beckham, they certainly do have a team of industry experts behind them, including Jonathan Driver, ex-Red Bull chief Harry Drnecand Warner Music UK chairman and CEO Max Lousada.
The name derives from the TR-808 drum machine, which is apparently well known in the electronic music scene.
So it would appear that they have a target audience.
Whisky has indeed been somewhat stuck in the confines of old men’s libraries and crystal decanters for decades, so maybe this signals a move towards a new aesthetic for the drink.
The owners have already been successful in getting the drink named as house pour in several major clubs, including Fabric, Ministry of Sound and The Warehouse Project.
As well as selling the Whisky as the ideal drink to have neat, 808 Whisky also sells as being perfect in cocktails.
TommyD was able to get backing from the legendary mixologist and bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, or Mr Ryan Lyan as he prefers.
Mr.Lyan has already created a series of cocktails specially suited to 808, making them the perfect companions.
The target audience for 808 is clear and well-defined and it would appear that it is having a better time marketing itself than Haig Club.
It knows who will want to drink it and goes straight for them, not confusing itself with old traditional Scottish iconography but instead promoting its own ideals.
On of the smartest things about the release of 808 is that Tommy doesn’t want to compete with the big established names in the Whisky industry.
He says, “We’re not taking on the whisky world – we just want to encourage people to drink it. If 808 is the first one they try, then fantastic, and if it gives them the confidence to explore other whiskies then that would be incredible.”
Tommy is focussed on promoting 808 and 808 alone. It therefore makes sense that this is a Whisky that can be enjoyed in any way.
808 Whisky review & tasting notes
Backstory aside, it’s onto what’s clearly going to be the best part of any 808 Whisky review: the tasting notes. Made from grain malt, this is an incredibly drinkable dram.
It is smooth and easy, with a great character and sweetness to it.
It begins with sweet caramel and vanilla notes on the nose, with only a slight hint of cereal.
It then moves on into richer territory, with chocolate and honey coming through. These also make for a smooth mouthfeel.
The finish ties these all together and is one of the best introductions to Whisky that anyone could hope to experience.
Also published on Medium.