The Edinburgh Reporter
Naughty but nice festive experiences which should top your Christmas wishlist
CONTRARY TO SANTA, you’re far more likely to get a cracking gift if you’re on my naughty list. What does make me feel like a good woman, is when I’ve really nailed it present-wise. Whisky lovers in my life may find a Woven Tasting Trio under the tree this year. Featuring three exquisite and characterful blends, or “experiences”, as they call them, it feels altruistic to support a new and innovative Edinburgh business. Based at The Biscuit Factory, their blending studio has certainly been busy. Co-founder and Blender, Peter Allison tells me that their experiences stand out because they’re sourcing much higher quality malt and grain whiskies.
“We’re making very small batches, only 400 bottles at a time,” he said. “It’s about paying more care and attention and marrying the spirit for extended periods of time.”
Here’s the science according to Woven: the fats and acids in whisky take time to fuse together. The longer the marrying process is given, the more harmonious the result and it creates “better mouth feel”. Hmm, entirely like traditional marriage then?
Excitingly, despite the Woven collective’s extensive experience in the industry,
Pete tells me that although they follow a process in blending, he’s entirely selftaught: “You have to trust your own palate and be prepared to write the story you want to read.”
The impressive results aside, one thing that makes the brand stand out for me is that they’ll never try to make the same blend twice. It’s certainly an initiative that’s looking forward. “We want to build a community around our products,” Pete enthuses. “Whisky shouldn’t be intimidating, it’s about bringing people in so they can enjoy it as much as we do.”
The modern and minimalist packaging is also appealing and the initial sample set features three experiences. A keen cook, Pete said that Experience 1 is brilliantly suited to pair with stilton, as the smoky and sweet notes cut through the acidity of the cheese beautifully. Experience 2 is the perfect accompaniment to a mince pie, and Experience 3 is fantastic in a hot toddy. When I first nosed Experience 3 my initial thought was, it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas, and can see how this would work with honey, lemon and spices. Although I’m a whisky lover, I’m by no means an expert but I would attest that these alchemistic concoctions are the perfect tipple to broaden your palate and appreciate for pure pleasure.
Santa may be making a longer stop off at Chez Juliet this Christmas Eve. Woven’s 3x10cl Tasting Pack Trio costs £35. To purchase visit wovenwhisky.com
On the subject of Christmas sweet treats it can be annoying that most are so heavy. Step forward Ptasie Mleczko Edinburgh – try saying that after a few drams. These are small batch, artisan, chocolate-coated Mallow Mousse and are utterly exquisite. As beautiful to look at as they taste, they come in a variety of flavours and there are also vegetarian and vegan options. Made by Ed Janusz from Ed’s Supper club, who I mentioned in our last issue, these would make a perfect gift for the sweet-toothed. Visit pmedinburgh.co.uk to order.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to a few Scotch Malt Whisky Society events including the beautiful Queen Street Garden Party and the decadent and full-on glam Great Gatsby Evening. One of the membership benefits is access to the gorgeous Leith Vaults membership room. Perfect for enjoying a few cosy evenings in the winter chill. Membership costs £65 and can be bought at smws.com
With more people moving out of town, this has been good news for the culinary offerings outside the city centre. I recently enjoyed the fabulous seafood restaurant East Coast in Musselburgh. The contemporary space is warm, inviting and reassuringly attached to a chippy that’s been in owners Carlo and Katia’s family since the 1970s. We enjoyed some zingingly fresh dressed crab on sourdough toast followed by lobster and chips, both cooked to perfection, and a sumptuous saffron risotto with Parma ham rolled monkfish and a red wine jus. You can always judge a restaurant by its risotto and this was spectacular
Rounding off with a delicate tiramisu, it was a generously portioned and delicious meal. The service is friendly and personal and the atmosphere buzzing. It’s certainly worth heading out of town for. Carlo and Katia also run East Coast Fish and Chip shop next door. Please visit eastcoast restaurant.co.uk for more information.