My friend, Rick, has just accepted a new job in Rota, Spain. He will be leaving soon, so he decided to host a whisky tasting at Best Whisky in Stuttgart. I’m not sure if Rick has hosted these gatherings before. I get the feeling he’s been a regular at this little whisky shop near the Schwabstrasse metro stop. All I know is that he invited me and Bill to attend, and we’re almost always game for a tasting. That is, unless it’s snowing, which it did all day yesterday in Unterjettingen.
To be honest, Bill and I did think briefly about whether or not we really wanted to go out in the weather. But then I realized that I almost never regret attending social activities, even if I can be slow to get dressed most days, especially when the weather sucks. Winter weather can especially make me want to hole up in a cave and hibernate. I think what settled the decision in favor of attending was that we were out of whisky. Thanks to last night’s festivities, we are now flush with the stuff… along with a new bottle of rum from Barbados.
First thing’s first. Remember that whisky, with no “e” in the name, comes from Scotland. Whiskey with an “e” comes from Ireland or elsewhere. What we had last night were whiskys from Scotland and, boy, were they “heavenly”– if you like scotch, that is, which I do… Speaking of heaven, our whisky expert also talked about the “angel’s share”, which is the part of the whisky that evaporates as it ages. The whiskys we tried last night were all aged.
We paid 55 euros at the door for six whiskys plus an seventh of our choosing up to five euros. That covered most of the whiskys in the shop, with the exception of a few. Our host explained that if we wanted to try one that was more than five euros, we would have to pay a surcharge.
The cover charge we paid also included light food and all the water we needed, as well as use of the WC. I should mention there’s also a public WC right across the street from the shop. We’ve passed it many times on the way into and out of Stuttgart Mitte. I’ve always been morbidly curious about it and now I can go to my grave with my curiosity about that particular public toilet satisfied.
Because of the obvious dangers of driving after a whisky tasting, Bill and I took the train from Herrenberg to Schwabstrasse. In the course of getting to the event, I also learned that Herrenberg has a public WC– one that I hope to never need to use again. Still, it’s good to know that they have one and that it’s even free of charge to use.
Below are some pictures from our event. There were twelve of us in attendance. Rick said he’d needed at least ten people, so I’m especially glad we didn’t bail.
The outside of the shop, right on the main drag as you come into downtown Stuttgart from A81. It’s probably best to take public transportation there, especially if you plan to do any tasting. The Schwabstrasse metro stop is about a ten minute walk.
The inside of the shop. We were seated in an area obviously set up for tastings, with tables and a large bar full of open bottles of whisky.
Bill enjoys the first dram, Glen Garoich 16 years Renaissance Chapter 2. This was a Highland whisky at 51.4% ABV and normally retails for 99 euros. We were given a 10 percent discount last night, so it was offered for 89,10 euros. This shop also accepts the VAT form, which we used for our purchases last night.
Some snacks. It was light fare, but appetizing and tasty… and basically healthy.
Another shot of the whisky tasting room. I really should have taken a picture of the table with snacks, which included butter pretzels, smoked salmon wraps, small Greek salads, curry chicken sandwiches, and some type of pork/bread thing that I couldn’t identify (but did nevertheless enjoy). The snacks helped absorb the whisky, which is always a good thing.
Bill checks out the color on another dram we tried. I will name them all at the bottom of this post. They were all interesting and unusual whiskys we hadn’t had before.
The bar with all of the whiskys available for tasting.
The man of the hour, teaching us about what we were trying in his shop. I found him to be very knowledgable, engaging, interesting, and even funny… And I probably would have felt that way even if I weren’t drinking whisky. Bill said more than once that we’ll have to go back.
Hanging on to the last shred of sobriety…
Actually, I’m kidding. The evening was paced in such a way that most of us were still standing straight and tall as we called it a night. Bill and I left at 8:30pm. Since the event started at 5:00pm, we enjoyed a very substantial night’s entertainment.
Best Whisky specializes in whisky, but they do also have a few other bottles there. As I mentioned before, we bought a bottle of rum from Barbados. I also noticed gin for sale, which makes sense since at least one of the whisky distilleries whose wares are sold at that shop also makes gin.
One thing I noticed and liked about last night’s festivities was that I got to meet people I’d never met before. When the event first started, most folks talked to the people they knew. In our case, it was Rick. But alcohol has a way of loosening tongues and lowering inhibitions (not that mine need much lowering). Before we knew it, we were chatting with new people, all of whom were interesting and pleasant company. It was just the right sized group for mingling, too. I even got to talk up the whisky cruise we took in 2016 on Hebridean Princess.
Here’s a picture of last night’s program… One of the whiskys we tried was 45 years old and absolutely heavenly.
I wish I could remember the two whiskys we tried that were our choice. I told Bill to pick them and by the time he did, my attention span was wandering a bit.
We really had a good time at Best Whisky last night. Special thanks to Rick for arranging it and to all of the other participants who made it such a good time! I’ll be adding Best Whisky to my list of go to places for good spirits in Stuttgart!