Nice venue, good value, tasty whiskey, what’s not to love!
I’ve already reviewed the still pretty newish bar Machine No. 3 in Homerton for LDN Life. At which time I certainly couldn’t help but notice their fine array of whiskeys. I was excited to be invited back for their whiskey tasting and history night; that’s the ‘history of whiskey’ by the way, not drinking from tumblers and reading not mouldy history books.
You can check out my previous review for more about the venue, their cocktails and food. Since my last visit they have expanded the seating area, and have put in a few extra comfy seats giving the place a more relaxed feel. Although they serve their own food, you can also now order food from the restaurant next door, which will be served to you in the bar. While I only tried the humous and pitta – delish – I over-heard enough compliments of the restaurant food to feel confident in recommending it.
Billed as an evening of tasting and learning about the history of whiskey; “exploring why it was first distilled, how it rose in popularity, the making of it, and how the varying methods and locations of its distilling helps create the varied flavours we love.” We arrived early to find the glasses set up enticingly for the evening.
Seated all together around the longer table the head barman Jamie introduced himself, and began telling us about the earliest whiskey makers. From monks using it as medicine, to its part in prohibition, and to its rise as a modern day drink.
We tasted 8 whiskeys from a variety of areas, from the Scottish Highlands to the USA and all the way to Japan.
As preserving the purity of taste was a high priority, we were given 70% cocoa bean chocolate as a pallet cleanser between whiskeys, and bottled highland water rather than tap on the table, to help with that. At first I was just excited to have some chocolate with my whiskey. Any skepticism I had was short lived as I found that eating some of the chocolate in between tasting the different whiskeys really made it easier to pick out the different flavours. I can also see why it had to be such a high cocoa percentage, as a sweeter chocolate would have tainted the palette rather than cleansing it.
We started off gently with the softest whiskey and ended with the strongest peatier one, with a break in the middle. I think beginning with lighter whiskeys and building up is a good idea and would make it easier for someone who’s not used to drinking whiskey.
Of all the whiskey’s the Talisker was my favourite, smooth and just peaty enough.
The next one will be on 30th March. They’ll be doing regular tastings from now on, you can find out more from their website. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out.