• Whisky blending sessions launch Pernod Ricard Loft space in the old Walkabout

Whisky blending sessions launch Pernod Ricard Loft space in the old Walkabout

5 March 2018 by Neil Sowerby

YOUR own hands-on, personal, bespoke Scotch blend – what’s not like to about this ultimate dram you can now create on your Manchester doorstep?

The Blend, the city’s new whisky school, has opened on the top floor of the Quay Street site that formerly housed Oz-themed bar Walkabout. At first glance you’d think you were in a classroom with a row of desks, but your hosts at The Loft events space aren’t Teacher’s Whisky but luxury brand Chivas Regal following a successful series of pop-ups around London.

Expert tutors will guide guests through the different flavour profiles that make up Chivas Regal, explaining the origins of single and malt grain whiskies fo0r blending, before letting them loose to have a go at making their own.

Kenny Hyslop, head of experiential marketing for Pernod Ricard, which owns the brand, said: “Blended whisky in the UK has had quite a bad name but when we explain to consumers the quality and the craftsmanship that goes into it, people become fans and advocates. Our blenders spend years and years learning to be a master blender.

“We explain the different flavour profiles – fruity, floral, creamy, citrus and smoky – and character notes of each whisky then they get taste them and blend their own.”

The £15 ticket price gives you an hourlong blending session and includes a 200ml bottle to take away as well as a cocktail and the chance to buy more drinks at a bar.

The whisky school will be the first of a series of pop-up drinks experiences inside The Loft, a new events space. Previously used as Walkabout’s hostel accommodation, the space has been stripped back to its bare brickwork, vaulted ceilings and concrete floors to create an industrial-looking blank canvas for all kinds of events.

A striking bar, clad in reclaimed barn wood, will showcase brands from across Pernod Ricard UK’s portfolio, which includes Absolut vodka, Havana Club rum, Monkey 47 gin, Jameson Irish whiskey, Campo Viejo wine and many more. 

The Blend, hosted by Chivas Regal, at 13 Quay Street, Manchester M3 3HN. Sessions run Wed-Sun. See calendar for availability. Email chivas@weareindigopr.com for booking queries. Only those attending ticketed events will be able to glimpse inside the The Loft, which will not be open as a public bar.