I'm a little prone to sentimentality on occasion - amplified with the effects of that good booze. So please indulge me. For IWS' final event of first year, we showed love to the other half of our name. We would be tasting gin. For gin, for friends, 4Gins.
A little word, first. I cannot begin expressing (eloquently at least) how grateful and thankful I am for the support of my classmates, my friends. When we started, I had just a glimmer, a shimmering in the distance, that I wanted a wine club. A place where we could gather, have fun, and share a few glasses together of that sweet, sweet nectar. And so we started, not with the clearest idea of how to do things, but rather with a clear purpose - that everything IWS did would follow those three greatest principles wine teaches us. Honesty, authenticity, conviction - the holy trinity.
There's a group in Barcelona, drinks professionals, called Slow Drink Movement. Their mandate is simple - to host tastings to educate and promote various spirits in a fun, relaxed way. I had met one of them at his day (or rather, night) job at a bar in Eixample, and right away, I knew I had found my guy. Young, energetic, creative, and skilled behind the bar. So we started talking, and although it's taken a few months to put together, we were finally able to do 4Gins. Four gins, all English, showing a variety of styles. The boys took us through a tasting first, explaining the differences in distillation process and their effect on the final product, before using the same gins to make four cocktails. A powerful impression, combining the best of both worlds - we were able to see the nuances in each gin in their original states, before seeing how different they could be once applied in cocktails. My favourite one of the night? Man, that Oxley was a discovery. Powerful, linear, incredibly dry. But I have to say I've a newfound appreciation for Plymouth. Complex, dry, but with great elegance. Finesse in a gin, served straight? It's possible. Many thanks boys.
So ends IWS' first year. It's been incredible, and the great support and reception we've received gives us encouragement to continue working hard to bring you cool things to taste, to experience. Next up? Vineyard visits ... wine/spirit importers/retailers ... artisanal beers ... we've only just started.
The culture of drink endures because it offers so many
rewards - confidence for the shy, clarity for the uncertain,
solace to the wounded and lonely, and above all,
the elusive promises of friendship and love.