The Mitchells School of Whisky was not conceived by any big-brained whisky aficionados, there was no flash of lightning from the heavens to spark this brilliant idea, no angels playing harps or, in fact, anything resembling lengthy discussions on the topic.
It was a far humbler idea, whereby we had a wide range of whiskies that we wanted on offer and, long story short, wanting to promote our whiskies is what began our journey on the road to establishing what would eventually become the Mitchells School of Whisky…….
The concept itself could not have been simpler. Build a Whisky Bar, a few hours of research to compile our tasting guide, a few Single Malt Whisky Tasting routes in play, and ‘BAM’, whisky sales would go through the roof…….
Oh, how naïve we were 😊
Right off the bat, I realised how limited my knowledge of whisky truly was.
With 20 years of management experience in the hospitality industry, more than half of which had been spent running high-volume bars and nightclubs, I was the perfect candidate to implement our plan. Yet a week later and I was still trawling through tasting notes online, more confused than when I had begun and no closer to understanding how I was to successfully run a Whisky Bar. I had no clue as to what we were in fact serving……..
Worst of all, the more I researched the more my lack of knowledge was exposed. Everything I learned unearthed a dozen more things I needed to know!
No two dedicated whisky sites had the same tasting notes for any whiskies, their guest reviews were completely different, some were just plain complicated. Furthermore, the whiskies I had been sampling in a benign attempt to educate myself tasted very different from what they were supposed to!!!!!!!
With so many brands on the market, (each with countless aged varieties and limited bottlings on offer), their own distinct personality brought about through distiller preferences and the subtle differences along each step of the manufacturing process, eg. types of casks used for aging and maturation, etc………how does one possibly find a whisky best suited to their palate?
And then it dawned on me:
Is this the concoction of confusion everyone experienced when they entered the world of Scotch Whiskies?
And just like that, the clouds parted and Mitchell’s was engulfed in a ray of sunshine, the birds chirped their excitement and I stopped pulling out what little hair I had.
The seedlings of an idea were planted…..Why not encourage an environment where like-minded individuals can learn and grow their knowledge of Scotch Whiskies along with us, enjoying every step on their way to finding that perfect dram for themselves
A place where it is ok to be a novice and ask questions (we may not always know the answer, but we will always endeavour to find out for you!), a place where we do not believe there is a right or wrong way to drink Scotch Whisky (as long as you enjoy it, who are we to judge 😊) and most importantly, a place where Scotch Whisky is and always will be, King…..