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Whisky Israel Society – Springbank Tasting

26 June 2011 1,402 views Written by: Shai Gilboa

As we posted at the beginning of June, WI Society were to have our first open to the public gathering, with a Springbank tasting and a special guest. Well, as posted and promised, we did!

On June 13, at HaBerez (The Tap) Mini-Bar at Tel Aviv, we’ve gathered together WI Society members and friends to enjoy what was a great whisky event. HaBerez is a small bar and functions as the ‘special events’ room for the neighbouring pub “Shishko” (both under the same ownership of Tal Chotiner, who is also the Johnnie Walker ambassador to Israel!). Being small and cosy with a high bar in its centre, HaBerez also offers normal-height sitting places outside on the pavement in front of it, and that was where we had the part of the evening, which was to eat. Small Challah style breads, Kebabs with Tahini sauce and pickled vegetables were set on the tables, and as we were waiting for all to arrive, we dug into them (more food was brought to those who were late – not to worry).

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Then we moved inside as it was time for the main part of the evening.

Following a short introduction and a thank you for all who came by me, Gal spoke of and presented Whisky Israel, both blog, society and what we hope for the future for WI and whisky lovers in Israel. After Gal, it was turn for our special guest, Mr Jonathan (Yonni) Ishai of the Israeli Whisky Society to take the stage. Yonni gave a very interesting, rich and colourful presentation about Springbank the town and its area, and of course Springbank the distillery. The presentation, which lead us through the complete process of whisky making from malting to bottling, was also spiced up by questions, remarks and comments from the participants, WI members and the above mentioned ambassador ;) . This made the presentation even more lively and vivid.

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After Yonni’s presentation, it was time to taste some Springbank whisky, but before we did we wanted to align all on how we do that, so we started with a short video of Richard Paterson, explaining his famous point of view, and then I gave a little bit more in depth explanation (nosing, tasting, water/no water and so on…). Gal then lead the tasting, going through each of the whiskies and together with the participants analysing the nose and palate. WI members Igal and Richard, as as I, assisted in getting the participants thoughts and take on the whiskies’ character, and together we engaged all in a most interesting Springbank flavoured conversation.

The four Springbank expressions we tasted were as follows (according to tasting order) -

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We asked all what whisky they liked best. Most votes split between the Hazelburn, which was the lighter and fruiter of the four, and the Longrow, the peated-smoky and ‘heaviest’ of all. Only few voted for the other two expressions, talk about extremes.

All in all, everyone had a very good and enjoyable night out (trust me, I double checked). The company was great, the food was tasty, the whiskies were excellent and the atmoshpere was jolly good. We hope that future WI Soceity events will be as successful as our first one – and we will give you all heads up about future events as we set them.

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We wish to thank Yonni Ishai for the presentation and Tal Chotiner for the hospitality. Also we’d like to thank Ohad Shmulevich, Manager of Training at Binyamina Spirits (Springbank importer to Israel) for the whiskies and companion. And of course a huge thank you goes to all who came, took part and enjoyed!

Thanks for reading.

Sláinte,

Shai.

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