Toasting the bard with quality drams

A special Burns’ Night SLTN Trade tasting will feature Orkney malt Highland Park

SLTN and Edrington UK will be celebrating Burns’ Night a little early next month with a special online tasting.

Part of SLTN’s Trade Tastings series, the event, on 18th January, will be hosted by Edrington UK whisky specialist Teddy Joseph. Attendees will be guided through a tasting of four different Highland Park expressions.

Operators and bartenders can sign up for the tasting here.

Ahead of the event, SLTN caught up with Teddy for the lowdown on what the tasting will cover, his role and all things Edrington UK.

Which drinks have you chosen for the SLTN Trade Tasting and why?

For this tasting we have decided to focus on one of our best-selling single malt whiskies, Highland Park. 

Highland Park is wildly harmonious, it is characterised by a dynamic balance of flavours, and we will be going through an in-depth tasting of some fantastic expressions that highlight this: Highland Park 12 year old, Highland Park 15 year old, Highland Park Cask Strength No.2, and finally, Highland Park 18 year old. 

Focusing on Highland Park only will allow participants to fully immerse themselves in the Orkney-born brand! 

What can bartenders expect from the virtual tasting?

Given our virtual event is taking place on the 18th January, we wanted to celebrate Burns’ Night early and show bar operators and staff how they can pair flavours with whiskies like Highland Park. Highland Park is a distinctive, rich combination of smoky and sweet and is paired beautifully with certain foods and flavours. 

Participants can expect to be taken through a journey with the Highland Park expressions, whilst tasting some delicious snacks while we go which pair with the liquid beautifully. At the end, we will enjoy a pre-batched cocktail using the incredible Highland Park 18 Year Old. 

Highland Park is a unique taste experience that intrigues and delights the senses simultaneously – this event is not one to be missed! 

Is it important for venues to trade up and take advantage of occasions such as Burns Night? 

In my opinion, Burns’ Night is a great opportunity for venues and bar operators to take advantage of. 

Whisky tasting dinners and events are always a great hit and allow the venues to get creative with their cocktail and food offerings, allowing customers to come along and enjoy after what has been a stressful time. 

Why do you think food pairing is important? 

Pairing food with drinks is a growing trend within the industry right now, as it can really create that ultimate consumer experience; there is nothing better than a great whisky paired with some fantastic ingredients and flavours. 

Food pairing is also a great opportunity to upsell customers to whisky serves that they wouldn’t usually try. 

If your venue offers a delicious cheese board or perhaps a seafood dish, pairing these with whiskies such as Highland Park 12 year old or Laphroaig 10 year old can add value to the customer’s experience, and it allows them to experiment with new flavours! 

How long have you worked in your role and how did you get started in the industry?

I’ve been with Edrington UK for the past five years. I originally started in hospitality, working as a bartender, and progressing my career into management and bar ownership before pivoting into sales and brand representation. 

I absolutely love what I do and really am lucky to call it work. 

What’s your favourite part of the job?

For me, it’s meeting new people and introducing them to our fantastic brands and educating them on their respective qualities. 

What’s your most memorable whisky experience and why?

Witnessing history with the unveiling of The Macallan’s brand new distillery in Speyside and enjoying a dram of an exclusive bottling for the occasion – one never to be seen again, with the youngest whisky in the blend being 55 years old!

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be, what would you drink and where?

Enjoying a Highland Park 50-year-old with the distillery’s founding father, Magnus Eunson, on the roof of the distillery overlooking the beautiful Orkney Islands.