Thursday, 29 March 2012

Highland Park Twitter Tasting

Last night I took part in my first ever Tweet Tasting

I started using Twitter at the beginning of the year mainly as a tool to find out about what is going on in the whisky world. I have since made a number of new friends who too are on whisky journeys and have their own blogs, or are in the whisky business.

After registering for the event I was really excited when I received a message telling me I had been selected for this event. I tuned in to the last event and saw that the tasters had been sent miniatures through the post, then at the scheduled time the host asked the members to open, nose and taste the expressions while tweeting their thoughts.

So upon finding out I had been picked I waited patiently to see what we would be sent to me. Eventually a DHL parcel delivery arrived at my door about one week prior to the event. I excitedly open the boxed to find out what we would taste.

Sadly HP15 didn't make it to the Whisky-Discovery den
The very generous package contained a boxed miniature set containing a bottle of their 12, 15, 18, 25 and 30 year old single malts. Unfortunately the bottles had moved during transit and the Highland Park 15 year old sample had smashed spilling it’s content which the box readily soaked up (it smelt really great too!). However the remaining four bottles were intact albeit with small shards of glass from the broken bottle, as was the presentation box, so all of this had to be discarded.

Also within the package  and separately wrapped was a great little pocket note book to write your tasting notes in, a Highland Park tie/;lapel pin and a sample bottle of their recently released ‘Thor’  the first from their Valhalla range.

The event was hosted by @TheWhiskyWire and @HighlandPark and started promptly at seven, although it looked as if most of the crew had been sitting on line waiting for the event to start, posting tweets stating they were ready and photos of their bottles ready to go.

In order to follow the action we all had to make sure we were following each other and to use the hashtag #HPTT within each tweet. I thought I would be clever and have two screens, setting up my PC to read all tweets with the #HPTT tag and using my iPad to write my tweets.

I had set out five clean nosing glasses for the five expressions, a large glass of spring water to refresh my palate between the tastings and a straw to drop water into the whisky if required (yes I once was a boy scout a long time ago!)

The tasting samples and separate glasses
Even with all this preparation it was still hard work trying to keep up with it all as the two hosts whisked us through the expressions, starting with the 12 Year Old and running through the range before finishing with the mighty Thor.

The tweets came in thick and fast and it was difficult to read everything that was being tweeted, whilst at the same time as trying to sample the whisky, collect and write my thoughts, as well as answer questions fielded to me, but I think I managed to stumble through it all without making too many errors. I had to rewrite a number of tweets after noticing that I had omitted the #HPTT but don’t think anyone noticed.

It was apparent that some of the tasters had done this before as there was some amusing banter alongside the tasting notes, and it all came to a close around nine thirty.

What a great experience and another highlight of my whisky journey, and registering another four ‘discoveries’ after starting with a refresher of Highland Park 12

The dram list for the evening
A massive THANK YOU to Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and Daryl Haldane, Global Brand Advocate at @HighlandPark

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