Whisky Tasting with Jura
The Gallery up in West Hampstead is already a delightful neighbourhood haunt with an enviable gin selection and a great range of craft beers. It has just been made even better by the introduction of its new monthly whisky tasting evenings. I went along to a Jura event to see what's in store for the inhabitants of West Hampstead and those who fancy an adventure northwards!
The night was all about getting our senses around 4 whiskies paired with 4 1/3s of beer, quite the journey! And how could you not be instantly attracted to such excellent beer tap presentation!
In the basement bar, sitting in our groups, we were all given a sequence of whisky drams, accompanied by a 1/3 of beer.
Daniel, The Gallery's delightful bar manager and Rishi, the equally entertaining Jura ambassador co-hosted the evening, taking us on an interactive journey aimed at enjoyment of the whole experience not simply the tasting of the whisky.
We were granted the treat of a mid-presentation costume change from Rishi, the explanation of which I missed, but during the transition from his blazer to his checkered shirt, he entertained us with Jura history.
Sticks of cinnamon, pieces of honey comb and other aromatic morsels were handed round to intensify the flavours of the whiskies.
The selection of canapés wasn't quite enough to substitute dinner so perhaps factor this into your eating plans if you want to keep a steady head! These scallop-filled duck eggs were delicious mouthfuls nevertheless.
Jura Origin (10 yr old single malt) paired with Hopf Helle Weiss beer was an easy, honey tinted entry level whisky.
Jura Superstition paired with Dunkel Lager was a peaty experience balanced by sweet caramel notes.
Durach's Own, a warm whisky aged in ex-bourbon casks for 14 years and then and extra 2 years in sherry casks was paired with Camden Town Indian Hells Lager.
Jura Prophecy, a toffee toned, peaty brandy-casked whisky was paired with the explosively weird Cantillion Kriek Belgian beer. Bright pink and cherry sharp, this pairing was surprising but my favourite of the evening.