Whiskey Tasting Class: Understanding Scottish Single Malts with Lia Niskanen

Whiskey Tasting Class: Understanding Scottish Single Malts with Lia Niskanen


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Join Context for a private whiskey experience with you and your team or clients in this immersive tasting experience with specially curated flights. Tastings will cover the production process, and take an in-depth look at barrel aging and blending. Participants will discover that the art of whiskey appreciation is a language all of its own. Learn industry secrets on developing your whiskey vocabulary and training your senses, as we embark on a nosing and tasting journey through coastal Scotland whiskeys.

In this guided tasting experience led by whiskey educator Lia Niskanen, we will learn insider tips on how to develop and train our senses, so that we can gain a deeper appreciation for this exquisite spirit. Together we will consider the myriad factors that are put into play by the guiding hand of the distiller, each one bringing delicately balanced elements of soil, climate, wood, and air to the composition, to produce a complex and layered final spirit.

Distillers and blenders are able to gather and organize a vast array of scents, tastes, and sensations from a single whiskey, which helps them to recognize flavor "camps" or profiles. This is because they have a learned vocabulary of nosing and tasting notes which allows them to evaluate the subtle qualities and differences from barrel to barrel, literally forming a language of whiskey.

During our tasting exploration, we will focus on single malts from Scotlands' coastal regions. Sculpted by the ocean and infused with briny air, these shores produce some of the finest whiskey in the world. The ancient Celts called the spirit "Uisge Beatha" or "Water of Life" and it was thought to possess mystical and medicinal powers.

Beginning with a trip to the Southern Islay coast for a dram from Caol Ila distillery, then traveling to the stormy, far north for a sip of Clynelish, we will complete our tasting journey with a tasting of Talisker, on the loch sheltered side of the island, learning some of the fascinating history and culture of this wildly beautiful land, along the way.

Led by an expert on whiskey history, Lia Niskanen, this interactive seminar will teach guests the "language" of whiskey appreciation. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased awareness not only of their own senses but the wealth of flavor in a single glass of whiskey.

Lia Niskanen is dedicated to the power of storytelling and is a passionate whiskey advocate. She is an Executive Bourbon Steward (Stave and Thief Society) and award winning distillery visitor experience professional with a deep knowledge of whiskey history. Most recently, Lia spearheaded the tour program for Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, New York, winning the Tripadvisor certificate of excellence in 217, 2018, and 2019. She created a thriving virtual whiskey tasting program during the pandemic and is now in the initial stages of launching her on business.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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