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Whisky clubs and societies have been around for decades. Whisky clubs have always been a great place for likeminded individuals to meet and share their love of the water of life. If there was a whisky club in your area, it was the perfect way to socialise and join in the shenanigans. With the recent lockdown and issues with pub openings, however, many whisky clubs have ventured online, and have found great success. People from around the UK and Ireland, and even across Europe, can forge friendships online based on their love of whisky. Here we have listed five reasons why you should join a whisky club today:

1. Whisky clubs are a great way to try new whisky from the comfort, and indeed safety, of your home. At the start of lockdown, whisky clubs were restricted to members from their geographical area. This changed, of course, and instead whisky clubs were able to cast their net further, increasing membership and put on some spectacular tastings. Whisky clubs like Black Country Whisky Society, Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group, Heart of England Whisky Alliance and London Whisky Club have consistently put on some of the best tastings in the UK, while the likes of Waterford Whiskey Society and the Irish Whiskey Society have been hosting some excellent online events.

2. Whisky clubs are a great place to further your whisky education. Your whisky knowledge will grow exponentially, as will your thirst for knowledge.

3. Whatsapp groups and Facebook groups of whisky clubs are usually the best way to find information on flash sales and exclusive offers.

4. Fancy a bottle but can’t justify the price? Whisky clubs are the perfect arena for bottle splits, sample sharing and dram swaps. Instead of trying one or two whiskies a month, you could be trying twenty.

5. They are a great way to make new friends and socialise during the current pandemic. Virtual whisky tastings are so much more than seminars, with discussions often branching out in various directions as the drinks flow!

Check out some of the clubs below today, you won’t regret it.

Glasgow Whisky Club

Dublin Whiskey Club

Whiskey Club NI

Cork Whiskey Society

Waterford Whiskey Society

Wessex Whisky Club

London Whisky Club

Manchester Whisky Club

SE23 Whisky Club

Southport Whisky Club

Sussex Whisky Appreciation Group

Birmingham Whisky Club

Black Country Whisky Society

Irish Whiskey Society

Dusties Whisky Club

East City Whisky Club

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With the tastings coming thick and fast, here is a roundup of next week’s highlights.

Cadenhead’s are undoubtedly the big news next week, hosting their virtual festival with some exceptional tastings. From Monday to Friday, each night will focus on one brand, with tastings from Hazelburn, Kilkerran, Longrow, Cadenhead’s and Springbank. There were also exclusive bottlings available for each tasting, such as the Springbank 26 Year Old Virtual Open Day bottling.

Various whisky clubs throughout the UK and Ireland will also be hosting some fascinating tastings. Waterford Whiskey Society will host their Walsh whiskey tasting on Tuesday, London Whisky Club will host their Chichibu tasting on Wednesday and SWAG will host their Uncle Nearest tasting with brand ambassador Matt Neal on Friday.

There are also excellent tastings from indie bottlers and distilleries. Isle of Raasey will hold their exceptional tasting on Friday, discussing the maturation of their forthcoming signature single malt released in 2021. The combination of Rye whiskey, Chinkapin Oak and Bordeaux red wine casks should make for a fascinating spirit. Great Drams will also host their Archive Tasting on the same night, tasting some of their most successful releases, including two that are no longer available.

Possibly the highlight of the week may be the North Star Tasting, with the inimitable Ralfy, available from the Good Spirits Co. All proceeds will be generously donated to MacMillan Cancer support, so it should be a great night for a wonderful cause.

Lastly, to get into the spirit of Halloween, L Mulligan will host their Spooky tasting on Friday, with whiskies such as Auchentoshan Blood Oak and Wolfburn Movren, as well as a sample of Mozart Pumpkin Spice Liqueur. With these tastings, and a few others happening next week, be wary of the Halloween spirits (terrible, I know!).

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What a week for those in the online whisky community. There have been superb festivals, huge announcements, and some smaller tastings that have earned rave reviews.

Of course, the big story of the week is The Whiskey Exchange’s Whisky Show 2020. Beginning on Friday, there have been non-stop tastings, talks and events. Some highlights have included the Rare and Exceptional Tasting from Diageo, the Deep Dive into Bunnahabhain’s core range and the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery Tour.

Still to come this week are some real stand-outs. The Long Death of Blends on Tuesday at 8pm looks to be an informative talk with Dave Broom and others. On Wednesday at 6.45pm, Billy Abbott will lead a discussion entitled What’s In The Wood, speaking to Ichiro’s Malt, Westland and Whistlepig to talk about the wood they use. Irish Distillers head archivist, Carol Quinn, will lead a Q&A session on the history of Powers at 4pm on Thursday. The show will come to a close on Friday, but not before Sukhinder Singh leads us through his whisky collection at 5.30pm on Friday. The full list of events is found here.

There are some other excellent tastings occurring this week, such as White Peak’s Zoom Tasting, the Irish Whiskey Society’s Dingle tasting and The Good Spirits Company’s Whisky and Sweeties Tasting. Keep an eye out in our listings for future events hosted by these guys, you won’t regret it.

There have also been two huge announcements made recently. Firstly, Cadenhead’s have announced the schedule for their virtual festival at the end of the month, with some exceptional tastings. Each night will focus on one brand, with tastings from Hazelburn, Kilkerran, Longrow, Cadenhead’s and Springbank. There are also exclusive bottlings available for each tasting, such as the Springbank 26 Year Old Virtual Open Day bottling. This is a week not to be missed.

Lastly, Southport Whisky have announced a new Winter Festival, which promises to be as exciting as the last festival they hosted. They have brands such as Bimber, Glen Scotia, Glenfarclas and Douglas Laing on board, so it promises to be an excellent end to a great year for virtual whisky tasting.

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