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Can your palate correctly identify the secret whisky?

By Matt MacPherson

Master distillers have the best job ever, right? Their role is to create expressions, taste and nose whisky to pick out individual flavours. How hard can that be?

Now I’m not going to insult anyone by saying its hard graft but I will argue that it is an incredible skill to be able to pick out individual flavours, blend expressions and consistently produce good whisky.

The whisky world can seem daunting – hundreds of distilleries to choose from, different styles of whisky and let’s not hide the fact that it’s expensive.

It feels like a bit of a gamble to spend £40 on a bottle you know nothing about so you stick to old faithful.

All of this got us thinking and we decided to start something called the Secret Whisky Club.

A glass of whiskey in oak barrels
A glass of whiskey in oak barrels

Each month, members receive a secret, unlabelled sample of a whisky through their letterbox. Using only their senses (as no clues can be gathered from the packaging or price) they must guess the correct tasting notes from a selection of possible drams.

By focusing carefully on each whisky’s nose, palate and finish they can then decipher the mystery of the month’s whisky before entering their guess in a secret online poll.

The club gives members the opportunity to try whisky they might not buy themselves, removes any prejudgement and makes a nice change from the usual pile of bills coming through the letterbox!

So if you see yourself as a master distiller in the making or just want to broaden your whisky horizons, come and join us at www.secretwhisky.club

Matt MacPherson is the owner and founder of The Malt Room in Inverness.

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