My husband is both fanatical about Whisky and local to Tynemouth so it was with much prodding I had to feature this today!
It has hosted major music, food and classic car events already this year but next month Tynemouth will host the North East’s very own Whisky Festival on Saturday 11th October.
The Tynemouth Whisky Festival is the work of Ben Chambers, owner of the Wine Chambers, whose two North Tyneside stores offer an impressive range of whiskies alongside quality spirits, wine, champagnes and local real ales.
The event, which is held at the Park Hotel, will offer visitors the chance to sample over 80 whiskies over the course of the day as well as meeting representatives from the brands and the distilleries.
As well as renowned Scottish whisky such as Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Glenfarclas there will be the chance to sample unusual brands including Yamazaki, from Japan’s oldest distillery, Mackmyra from Sweden and Dutch whisky from Zuidam.
Ben Chambers, festival organiser, said: “It is a unique opportunity for whisky lovers to come to the coast, talk to the makers, sample their whiskies, both well known and rare, and enjoy discounts and offers from the producers on the day.
“Each ticket is also entry into a free prize draw to win rare whiskies including a bottle of Talisker 25 year old.
“The day will also mark the first tasting of our very own whisky beer, brewed in partnership with Three Kings Brewery of North Shields.”
Every May, the world celebrates World Whisky Day, so even though I am late, here are 9 fun facts from the world of whisky!
1. The world’s oldest whisky is over 150 years old
Rumoured to have been bottled between 1851 and 1858, a 400ml bottle of Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky holds the Guinness World Record for ‘World’s Oldest Whisky’. Owned by an Irish family for generations, the bottle was auctioned at Bonhams in London and fetched a staggering £14,850.
2. Whisky – Just for the Scots?
To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’, that’s the question. When it comes to spelling, only refer to Scottish / Scotch whisky without the ‘e’…if its origins are rooted elsewhere, opt for ‘whiskey’.
3. Rare Macallan ‘M’ – the most expensive whisky ever sold
A Lalique decanter of Macallan ‘M’ whisky scooped the prestigious title of ‘world’s most expensive whisky’ when it sold at auction in Hong Kong for £393,109 earlier this year. The luxury decanter contains 6 litres of whisky which were drawn from Spanish oak sherry casks dating from the 1940s to the 1990s.
4. Whisky means ‘water of life’
Whisky in Gaelic reads ‘uisge beathe’, which translates as ‘water of life’. What more do you need to know?
5. Scotch whisky generates £135 a second
The export of whisky generates a healthy £135 a second for the Scottish government with just under 2,500 bottles of whisky being exported from Scotland every minute.
6. The Angel’s pinch 2% a year
Whisky stored in barrels gradually evaporates at a rate of 2% a year. This is referred to as the famous ‘angel’s share’.
7. Life begins at 40 for whisky!
Scotch whisky has to be bottled at a minimum strength of 40% ABV, meaning life really does begin at 40. Some whiskies can reach strengths of over 60% ABV…always read the label.
8. Three’s the magic number when it comes to whisky
Scotch whisky can only be called Scotch whisky when it has been left for a minimum of three years to age in casks, in Scotland. Some distilleries hold casks of whisky which are a grand 70+ years old.
9. Who invented whisky? The debate goes on…
Some say the Egyptians. Others say the Romans. In truth, no one is quite sure who invited whisky however the first documented evidence of whisky in Scotland refers to Irish monks and an order of ‘eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor to make aquavitae’ which is listed in the Scottish Exchequer Rolls of 1494
The Tynemouth Whisky Festival takes place on Saturday 11th October from at the Park Hotel, Tynemouth.
Tickets are £25 per person and can be purchased from the The Wine Chambers on Front Street, Tynemouth or by calling: 0191 258 5135.