The Whisky Lounge “March tastings, Feis Ile and Newcastle Festival News” – Whisky News



More whisk(e)y stuff than you can shake a tree at!

We hope the start of the year is being kind to you and yours. We’ve passed the ‘so-called’ most depressing day of the year so we are safely through the other side…

Here at TWL HQ – in-between celebrating our 10th Birthday – we have been furiously preparing ourselves for the year’s events.

First up we have our Newcastle Festival on the 10th March, which is shaping up nicely – we have news on masterclasses. Then we have our second tasting series of the year – St. Patrick’s Whisky Shenanigans, which will be more like a celebration than a traditional tasting, with music, food and drams. Plus we are also looking forward to our trip to this year’s Feis Ile or Islay Festival of Whisky and Music, with an unbelievable offer for anyone wanting to meet us there!

We also see the welcome return of the Whisky News, by our very own Gateshead Whisky Geek in residence, Lee ‘Connas’ Connor, so please read on….


Our next tasting series will be a bit of a departure from the usual sit-down, serious whisky tasting stuff. We wanted to bring a bit of fun into your March, and what better excuse than around St. Patrick’s Day? We will have whiskey for you of course, but we will also be feeding you some delicious Irish Stew, playing some traditional music (live music where possible!) and turning the Craic up to 11! Whiskey-wise, we are hoping to have some really interesting drams from some of the new distilleries that have been popping up in recent years, alongside a few established ones…

All of this for just £35! You really can’t say fairer than that!

16th March
York – Brigantes

17th March
London – Marlborough Arms
(plus Rugby – its gonna get lively!)

20th March
Leeds – The Northern Monk

22nd March
Birmingham – The Edgbaston

23rd March
Manchester – The Britons Protection

26th March
Sheffield – The Sheffield Tap


Coming up fast we have our first festival of the year!

If you have been before, you know how it works. Pick up your commemorative glass and program from reception and then enjoy freely the drams and chat on offer in the main hall. With more fun stuff to do than ever before, the Newcastle Whisky Festival will be a fantastic day (or night) out for anyone with even a fleeting interest. If you don’t already have tickets, then you better get your skates on as both sessions are almost sold out.

Aside from Blending Sessions, Cocktail Demos, the Whisky Creche, and various other activities, we have 2 very different masterclasses available for you in both sessions….


Mackmyra – Magic of the Small Casks 1pm (1st Session) & 7pm (2nd Session)

We are honoured to have Magnus Dandanell, the founder of Mackmyra joining us in Newcastle! A fascinating and unique tasting awaits with cask samples aplenty, and an insight into whisky production in Sweden.

Eddie Ludlow – Founder of The Whisky Lounge £10 2pm (1st Session) & 8pm (2nd Session)

In this, for our 10 Year celebrations, we thought who better to take you through a tasting of some good stuff than the old fella himself? Expect his usual curmudgeonly self and some pretty fine drams.

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Islay Festival 2018
We – of course – are heading back to Islay this year for the famous Fèis Ìle. We are planning some very exciting events own alongside the distilleries own goings-on. And because it is our 10th Birthday year, everything is going to be bigger and better than ever before! We have already sold most of the spaces available at our new home on the island – Easter Ellister – but we have one double room left, so we have for you….


Instead of selling the two places in the normal fashion, which we could quite easily, we are offering EVERYBODY the chance to come and stay with us on Islay! We are selling 240 ‘Lottery’ tickets at £10 each. Once these have all sold, we will draw a name from the list at random and that person will win the prize! So, to the prize. First of all you must be available the week of the Islay Festival (sounds obvious but you know what some people are like!) and you also need to make your own way to the island. Once there, however, you will be in peaty whisky heaven! You will be free to come and go from the beautiful accommodation, you can join us in our activities or explore the island and distilleries on your own at your own pace. If you have not been, it really is an incredible place to visit. Click on the banner above or the button below for more info. What have you got to lose – there’s a 240-1 chance it could be you although you can buy as many tickets as you like to shorten your odds…

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We will have some exciting news and will focus on our fabulous, show-stopping London event later this week. Keep an eye out for that as you definitely won’t want to miss it this year…

And Finally…

…A welcome return of the monthly whisky news.

With our very own Gateshead correspondent, Lee ‘Connas’ Connors!

First up, Oooooooooooooh Cananananananada……!There’s been war on in British Columbia.Long story short – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have a number of “Partner Bars” over there to whom they supply their whisky directly, as they do in a number of bars around the world.Turns out, in BC getting your Whisky from anywhere other than a Government Licensed outlet is a Big No No! So the bars were raided at 10am, and the bottles from the SMWS were logged and impounded. This has, of course, sparked something of a social media campaign to get the stuff back. (If you can spare a moment feel free to add your name to the online petition!)All of this coincided with The Victoria Whisky Festival, at which our pal John McCheyne was booked to do an SMWS tasting. Unfortunately his stock was at one of said bars, and is now behind bars (although fortunately John is not).Thankfully The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has subsequently confirmed that none of the funds they were raising for various charities in the area will be affected by this turn of events.

 Next, Diageo News. They have announced an increase in distillery visitors of more than 15%. Which is nice.They’ve also made some headlines with regards to lobbying to relax the strict rules enforced by the Scotch Whisky Association on how whisky is produced. With a view to having an “Infused Scotch Whisky” category.  [Wonder what Compass Box think of this one? – Ed.]

 Trip Advisor Stramash The guys from The Pot Still (legendary whisky bar in Glasgow) got a bad review on Trip Advisor. Their response is worth a look.You’d buy whisky from this man right? Even if you had to wait 30 seconds…There is much more, and if you would like a full rundown of Connas’ news, it is available HERE.

OK, that’s it from us.



Amanda, Guy, Rupert, Vicky, Connas, Chris

The Whisky Lounge Team


We turn 10 years old in 2018
Come and help us celebrate in style at one of our nationwide festivals or tasting events.

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