Meeting with friends over whisky or drinks is inherently paired with vibrant conversation. And when we aren’t able to meet in person, we’re lucky we live in an age when can meet virtually. Virtual Whisky Clubs, Virtual Whisky Tastings and Virtual Happy Hours through video-conferencing are a great way to maintain the energy of whisky camaraderie, conversation and fun with our friends.
To Start, Choose a Conferencing Tool
There are a variety of video group meeting platforms and websites to choose from. Make sure everyone in the group is ready to use the same web conferencing tool, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Grid view helps you see everyone’s reaction simultaneously.
Virtual Whisky Club Comparative Tasting Tips
Top-Flight Tastings have an excellent range of thematic tastings. But when you don’t all have the same range of whiskies on hand, here are two virtual tasting strategies that can get you started.
Virtual Tasting 1: Familiar Whiskies, New Insights
Taste familiar expressions that all or most of you already own.
• Select your whisky, dial-in and taste together on your web conference
• Compare notes live online. Even if the expressions are old favorites, it’s an opportunity to gain deeper appreciation and new insights, and you’ll enjoy the camaraderie and fun of a shared experience.
Virtual Tasting 2: New Expressions
Taste a whiskey that is new to you and might be new to your friends.
• Each member selects and tastes a different expression, then shares his/her impressions.
• Everyone takes a turn sharing their tasting notes of the whisky they are sampling. You’ll learn about a whisky and its range of expressions.
• Take a vote on which expression you are all most looking forward to trying next.
Whether in person or virtual, sharing the experience in real time with tasting notes gives you and your friends the satisfaction of honest reactions from people you know. It’s a great way to educate yourself and spend quality time with friends.
Stay Safe While Buying
Contact your local spirits shop or check their website. Most retailers remain open for business with modified store procedures — such as home delivery or curbside pickup — that aim to be as quick and safe as possible.
- Virtual tastings work best with smaller groups of 2–8 people.
- Text, email, or call your friends in advance to schedule time.
- Make sure everyone is organized with the whisky list, agreed upon conferencing platform and of course, any needed log-in passwords.
- Have whiskies, water, glassware and other needs prepared in advance. The reward of being organized makes every experience more positive whether in person or virtual.
- Consider designating a master of ceremonies or discussion leader.
- An online spreadsheet can keep group notes recorded and available to all.