Drinks specialist Azu Spirits has launched a new exciting gin and whisky tasting experience alongside their at-home group tasting sets.
Partnering with venues and holiday homes to offer a unique blind tasting to groups, Azu also collaborates with businesses to provide food pairings alongside the tasting experience, offering a unique opportunity to explore the depths of flavour.
Launched in January 2021 by 25-year-old founder and managing director Ellie Gibson, whose background in hospitality and the Scottish whisky industry fuelled her passion for single malt whisky and craft spirits.
Ellie Gibson said: ‘Azu Spirits has discovery, friendship and sustainability at its heart. Our complete group tasting sets and in-person experiences aim to create a taste journey that can be shared and enjoyed with friends. So many memories are made through food and drink and laughing together – these experiences are the perfect way to bring people back together after the isolating and challenging times during the pandemic.’
The tasting sets are sold online at www.azuspirits.co.uk and provide everything needed to host a gin or whisky blind tasting at-home. The whisky selections showcase a range of premium Scottish single malts such as Talisker 10, Ledaig 18, Dalmore 18 and even Macallan Rare Cask and Bunnahabhain 22 year old. Azu also has a focus on introducing people to their local craft spirits, the first of their regional boxes explores craft spirits from Devon, Dorset & Cornwall.
The in-person tasting experiences are tailored to each group or venue. From hosting smaller tastings for private groups of 10-15 to a room full of people, the tastings adapt depending on what people want to talk about or explore.
Ellie Gibson added: ‘Before we ‘reveal’ the malts included, we have little notes on the side – ‘Want to test your palate? Try to match the malts to the numbers!’ We note down a little about each whisky included, their varying production processes and general flavour characteristics. Some people love this aspect of the tasting, challenging their palate. Everyone’s different, we don’t want to overload people with too much, but it’s there if they are looking for it.’
‘These experiences are a great way to bring people together to discover something new. There are so many preconceptions when it comes to whisky and gin, a blind tasting is the ideal way to find out what you really like.
‘It is also an opportunity to easily compare different drinks. We wouldn’t normally invest in a full-size bottle of a premium drink unless we were sure we liked it, so this is a great way to experiment. To buy all the full bottles included in our premium Scotch whisky collection would set you back £700+! So it really is a unique opportunity to taste and share luxury and rare flavours.’
Azu offers private tasting experiences starting at £22 per person for six gins and £25 per person for whiskies, and aims to partner with a number of hospitality businesses across the UK to set up premium tasting experiences.
Ellie Gibson added: ‘I really hope our tasting boxes and events encourage people to get together and explore the incredible diversity in flavour amongst both smaller craft distilleries and renowned spirits brands. Sometimes the world of Scotch whisky can feel like a members club, these tastings make the diversity in flavour, the rich histories and fascinating culture of Scotch whisky more accessible, whilst really focusing on the personal tasting experience.’
Azu Spirits’ blind tasting boxes can be personalised as a gift to someone special, or from a business as a corporate gift.
Moving forward, Azu aims to release a low/non alcoholic spirits box to explore the premium flavours you can find in increasingly popular non-alcoholic drinks. Blind tasting boxes start from £50, are sustainably packaged and feature UK craft and premium spirits. Tonic water and nosing glasses are available to complete the tasting experience, while personalised boxes and gift wrapping are also options.