Bowmore Whisky distillery, the oldest on the Isle of Islay, is a long way from London. It takes a very good day to reach the Queen of the Hebrides, and on the way travellers encounter winding roads and rugged terrain – not to mention a boat ride across black waters. But now the atmospheric depths of darkest Scotland are being recreated in London, as Bowmore arrives in a Dickensian town house near Liverpool Street, where a sensory extravaganza will bring to life the story and characteristics of Bowmore 15 Years Old “Darkest” (pictured), a deep burnt-coloured, smoky-tasting whisky.
Bowmore distillery was founded in 1779 and its whisky-making process – still using water from the local River Laggan, a peaty, rich source that gives the spirit its earthy flavour – has been handed down the generations. At the event, whisky lovers will not only enjoy plenty of whisky, but also Gideon Reeling’s interactive theatrical experiences.
Guests will be blindfolded – which helps focus and heighten sensory awareness – and guided through several rooms, each telling a story of Bowmore 15 Years “Darkest”, while picking up keys along the way. They will encounter Paul Young, the award-winning master chocolatier famed for his unusual flavour combinations (and named by the FT as one of the world’s top eight chocolatiers), and will sample his specially created rich mix of hot chocolate and Bowmore 15 Years Old “Darkest”. Then it’s on to an Introduction to Stargazing workshop, at which experts from the Kielder Observatory will (using a 3D projection) conjure up the magical star-filled sky that hangs above the Bowmore distillery.
The keys will unlock the last room, a recreation of the Number 1 Vaults hidden deep beneath sea level at the distillery in Scotland, where the whisky is laid to rest. Guests will feast on carpaccio of Scottish venison with mustard and capers, and smoked salmon and sourdough crispbreads, created by Hidden Dining, the team behind the pop-up dining experience Shacklewell Nights, who will pair these and other canapés with the whisky.
The evening is rounded off with a Bowmore distillery expert leading an in-depth whisky tasting. And great news for Londoners who want to partake with gusto: it’s all just a cab ride away from home.