What are you doing on May 16th to May 18th? If you’ve got plans, cancel them. If you don’t have plans, make some and then cancel them, because the wonderful folks from The Whisky Lounge are putting on The London Whisky Weekender, a weekend-long celebration of whisky from around the world, and you definitely don’t want to miss it.
The Whisky Lounge are good peoples. They’re devoted to educating, entertaining and generally making the world of whisky not feel like an impenetrable wall of arduous lexicon that you need to attack with a shining silver sword to get any joy from. With a mission statement of “Turn Everyone on to Whisky”, we couldn’t think of a better bunch to put together a whisky festival in the country’s capital.
The Whisky Lounge – Good Peoples
Created in collaboration with The Oval Space, a very nice Bethnal Green-based music and art venue (which I recently visited for an unrelated gig, so I can tell you that it is indeed VERY NICE), The London Whisky Weekender looks set to be like the best way to spend that weekend in May. Yes, it should even be better than that big football match that is probably happening (Jake?!).
If you’re at all familiar with what the Whisky Lounge folks do, it should come as no surprise that whisky will be tasted at the London Whisky Weekender. Oh yes, whisky will be tasted! Oh yes! There are going to be 20 exhibitors at the festival, from the big names in Scotch like The Glenlivet, Bowmore and Johnnie Walker to the Irish whiskey giants Jameson and even the chaps from the Rock Town distillery in Arkansas will joining in the fun.
A selection of fine independent bottlers will also be attending, the likes of Berry Brothers & Rudd, Elements of Islay and That Boutique-y Whisky Company, so make sure you keep your eyes out for a familiar face or two. All of these chaps will be more than willing to pour you a dram of tasty whisky if you ask them politely, and the free tasting glass you’ll receive on your way in will be the perfect receptacle for receiving said whisky.
What a line-up!
But of course, there’s a lot more to the London Whisky Weekender than sampling whiskies. For those looking to learn more about the craft, there will be masterclasses and blending workshops to teach you how that drink in your glass gets so gosh darn delicious and let you create your own blend.
Jameson will be taking over the Pickle Factory (which, by some sort of naming coincidence, was an actual pickle factory at some point in the past) and serving up Picklebacks, an all-day BBQ and fresh jams in the evening. By “fresh jams”, I obviously mean live music, not strawberry jam or marmalade or stuff like that. Perhaps I should have said “hot licks” instead. No way that could have been misconstrued for anything else.
None of this. It has been specially labelled so there can be no mistakes.
Lounge Bohemia, a ‘60s inspired cocktail bar in Shoreditch, known for their molecular drinks, will be serving as hosts of the East End Lounge, where you will surely be able to procure yourself a cracking whisky cocktail, and maybe even a shoe shine.
Going back even further in time, there will be a sampling of pre-World War II whisky on the Blitz Whisky Terrace, which overlooks one of the last remaining Blitz sites in London. Whisky from before 1945! Truly historic stuff, that is.
No festival is complete without food, although it won’t be the usual mountains of Pot Noodles and biscuits that you see clutched in the hands of Glastonbury patrons, oh no! Instead, there’s going to be a whole area full of local street food pop-ups for you to get your grub on with.
This is the ‘Grub Switch’. It is clearly in the “ON” position. Grub on.
So that movie you were planning to watch, that book were planning to read and that room that needs a jolly good clean can wait, because the Whisky Lounge’s Whisky Weekender is going to be awesome for everyone, from the whisky scholars to anyone who enjoys a dram. For more information about the events taking place, pricing and to get your tickets, head on over to the Whisky Lounge website.