I've never been a big whiskey drinker but always envied those who do because it brings with it a real air of sophistication. More than my usual glass of pink wine does anyway.
With Lindsay Herbert
Lindsay and I worked together at a design agency and became like family. She's now changing the world as an inventor of genius things at IBM and I couldn't be prouder of her. One of the things I love most about her is her inquisitiveness and her eagerness to learn and that when you talk she really listens. Very rare these days.
I took my friends Lindsay and Joe with me because they are whiskey drinkers and always look so cool doing so, I thought they might be able to teach me not to pull the face I always do as it hits my throat.
The East London Liquor Company has its home in a cool building near Mile End and make gins, rums, vodkas and whiskeys out of it. There's also a restaurant and bottle shop where you can buy their products and loads of others.
We were taken through the bar area to the distillery by the lovely Rose, our guide for the
day. It was full of gorgeous copper, sparkling chrome and a smattering of house plants ... jeez even the working environment was so beautifully East London cool it could be in a magazine.
Rose talked us through the process of making whiskey, satisfying us with little titbits of general knowledge nerdery like where the word 'moonshine' came from and how witches became witches. I love that stuff. We also learnt that to meet EU laws whiskey has to be distilled for 3 years and 1 day meaning we wouldn't be able to taste any of theirs as it was 3 days under that. But we could taste some others so she led us downstairs to the sampling room.
She had selected 5 whiskeys for us to taste, ranging from a single-malt to an earthy peat one. But first a rum shot to awaken the taste buds (of course!)
I had mixed feelings about the different ones we tried and overall was amazed at the variety within this one spirit. It was fascinating to learn about (and have a sniff of) the barrels they would have been kept in and how that affected the flavour.
And I would say, there were probably 2 I could quaff in public without doing the whiskey face wrinkle. Gosh, I feel like a proper grown-up.
'Everything I love today was something new at first, so trying new things is the best way to find more things I love.' Lindsay.
You can book onto an ELLC tour and tasting here.