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Flavour Camp: Scotch

Today was the last session of Flavour Camp, featuring Scotch and International whisky. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, I was not able to attend both and was sadly forced to break my perfect attendance record of all the Flavour Camp classes this year.

As always the class began with an introduction on the spirit in focus, with tips on how to smell and sip, then how to best identify what it is in your mouth by using outlined flavour camp descriptors. Smell with an open mouth to not overwhelm your palate, sip your sample to taste and do not shoot. The first sip is typically a throw away to acclimate the palate. And in between you smell your elbow pit to neutralize the current flavour for the next.

What I appreciate most about these classes is that you get exposure to lesser seen labels, and bottles you might not otherwise think to purchase yourself. Today the line up included seven single malts and one blended malt, all of which were classified as premium spirits.

Today’s class would be a little different with a half blind tasting. We would be given all the tasting notes for each whisky and asked to identify which is which of the eight. Then tasked to rate each based on scent, flavour, and finish. The goal is to find out what you liked and what you didn’t, so in the future can buy bottles that you are confident about.

In Scotch Flavour Camp you identify your scotch by the following major flavour groupings: grainy, green, golden fruit, dark fruit, baked, candied, spiced, roasted, funky, and smoky.

At the beginner level you attempt to identify the primary and secondary tasting notes of each whisky. For example, GlenDronach 2011 today had dark fruit as its primary and roasted and baked noted as its secondary camp profile.

The intermediate level has you narrowing things down further to the subcategory tasting notes in that original profile. And advanced takes into consideration more scent and mouthfeel. We kept it breezy at the beginner level.

Then once you have found your favourite camp flavours, it is easy to take that information and look for other brands that have a similar camp profile. You can essentially find a new whisky to like based on these camps.

I won’t go into describing each of the eight scotches we tried, but instead invite you to partake in next year’s set of classes. But to get your fix of whisky tasting in the meanwhile, consider the upcoming BC Whisky Weekend.

Happening from November 25 to the 26th 2023c where the weekend is dedicated to exploring the evolving styles of whisky from the Pacific North West and supporting small batch, local craft whiskies that work from grain to glass.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual Craft BC Whisky Weekend 2023 with over 40 distilleries’ products being featured. This year’s theme is all about the art of the sipping and snacking, where each Sessions is designed around pairing your whisky with a different type of snack food. Snacks like cheese to chocolate, and charcuterie. You basically choose your desired class based on your go to snack or what you want to nibble on with your drinks. Our group already signed up for the gin and tonic class plus the charcuterie pairing on Sunday!

Enjoy learning about six different whiskies each class, while discovering new flavour combinations, by checking the link below.


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