Twenty five Fernham villagers and friends enjoyed a whisky tasting session on Friday night, 16 March, in the Village hall sipping, ‘nosing’ and glugging some fine whiskies and hearing about the interesting history of the various distilleries and their products. Many thanks to Herbie Kay for arranging it all, helped by several friends.

Ken Thomas of Arkwrights, Highworth, gave an introduction to each whiskey sample, together with advice on how to release extra flavour using a plastic pipette of water. A range of nibbles cleared the palette between samples and after enjoying 7 different whiskies from countries as diverse as Japan, Ireland, England, and (of course!) Scotland. We heard that distilling came from the Middle East in the 1500s and spread across Europe, many different spirits can be distilled from fruit; whisky is usually distilled from malt barley or grain. Ken’s encylopaedic knowledge of whisky and the world’s distilleries helped us to deepen our knowledge as we tasted the unique flavours of each different whisky sample. We heard that the Irish (and New Yorkers) spell it whiskey but the Scots, English and Canadians spell it whisky. Whatever the spelling they certainly tasted good!

After the end of the presentation, we then tucked into some very fine cheeses and country bread to round off a very enjoyable evening. The evening raised £110 for Root and Branch, our local mental health charity.

For this week only, Arkwrights will give villagers 5% discount at their shop, located in Highworth – the details of the shop and how to get to it are here: ¬†Mention ‘Fernham tasting’ to Ken and the discount will be given.