What, Where & How Much?
Is there a minimum number for a tasting?
Most tastings seem to work best if there’s at least 6 people, as someone always has something to say. Get in touch if you’d like to organise something smaller and we can probably work something out.
Is there a maximum number?
Obviously I’m limited by the venue that’s available but otherwise, no. Very large tastings, i.e. much past 40, can be a bit unwieldy and need more logistical consideration than smaller ones (microphones start entering the frame) but I’m happy in front of one to one thousand!
Where are we doing this?
There are generally a range of pubs and hotels in any given area that will allow room hire for a small extra charge, or I can come to yours and save you the bus fare!
A tasting in a non-licensed public venue, like a village hall, is slightly more complicated and I’ll need a bit of notice to organise the paperwork to keep that legal, but it can be done! There is a small additional cost for that, but it varies from one place to the next.
What’s this going to cost me or my business?
Tastings based on the menus are £25 per person, with discounts for groups of 15 or more.
If it’s a bespoke tasting, then the price will be bespoke as well! It really depends on what you want to taste and how easy that is to get hold of. We’ll agree it upfront so we both know the score.
What’s the cost for a tasting and/or training if I’m a publican?
Organising a tasting from your own stock will really depend on what exactly you want me to do and how many you want me to do it for. For a two hour tasting in a mid-sized room with information on each bottle and feedback afterwards we’re probably talking about £200, but we can discuss alternatives like a % of ticket sales or something.
Costs for training will again depend on what you want, so get in touch and we can put together a package.
What about the law?
I’ve got a personal licence so I’m all trained up and allowed to serve alcohol. I can also sort out occasional (temporary) licences for venues that don’t have a licence themselves (see question 3).
I won’t serve you if I think you’re under 18 and you can’t prove otherwise and I won’t serve you if you’re drunk. Them’s the Rules and I won’t imperil my licence by breaking them.
So what exactly happens at a typical tasting?
I’ve never had a typical tasting yet! Each one is its own beast but I’ll generally try to find out what the level of knowledge is in the room and may or may not do a 5 minute run through the production process of single malt, depending on that knowledge level. I also try to find out if there’s something anyone specifically wants to know about and cover that over the course of the tasting.
For further info on the format, please see the ‘Tastings Menu.’
What about glasses and water and all that paraphernalia?
Proper tasting glasses and jugs of spring water are all included in the price and are supplied by me. You’ll also get a printed tasting sheet that shows all the drams you’re drinking and has space for your own notes, if you’re so inclined.
What’s a ‘dram?’
“A measure of whisky that is pleasing to both guest and host” (Iain Banks,‘Raw Spirit.’ )
I find 25ml pretty pleasing, so that’s what I pour.
Where do you operate?
I’m Glasgow-based but can travel anywhere. If it’s really far away or involves air travel there might be an additional cost involved but I’ll always let you know.
Are you ‘pushing’ anyone’s stuff?
Not unless you’re paying me to. I’m independent of all the distillers and drinks companies so if I’m pouring something it’s because I like it or you’ve asked me to.