Waitrose launches £400 at-home whisky tasting

Waitrose has expanded its home-tasting experience following the success of ‘Gin O’Clock’, with the roll out of a new two-hour whisky tasting.

The upmarket retailer said the new guided whisky masterclass – which will set you back £400 for a party of 6-10 people – was “a far cry from the dated whisky and chaser’, with “guests” shown how to make simple cocktails, and enjoy food pairings, such as dark salted caramel chocolate and cheese, along with a talk-through of whisky’s history and tips on how to prepare it.

The five whiskies, which will be delivered to the customers’ home by a Waitrose whisky specialist, comprises Makers Mark, The Chita, Highland Park 12, Jim Beam Double Oak and Laphroaig, along with a complimentary highball glass and a rock glass.

It has been added to the standalone Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home website,where customers can book a tasting at a cost of around £40 per person, based on a party of ten.

Andrew Riding, drinks experience manager at Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home said the retailer was thrilled to bring a truly memorable experience to people’s homes.

“Whisky is a drink that is often enjoyed with a fizzy accompaniment, with some finding the drink overpowering. This tasting shows just how versatile whisky can be by showing guests simple and delicious cocktails and delicious food pairings,” he said.

The move taps into the growing area of ‘hometainment’ – focussing on the home as an entertainment hub – which Euromonitor’s Spiros Malandrakis told db recently was on the rise.

Waitrose launched its first Waitrose wine Tasting at home in January 2018 as a trial to test the waters for home tastings following the popularity of the tastings at the Waitrose Drinks Festival. It launched with three levels of tastings, Explorer, Premium and Bespoke, but has since removed the Bespoke from the website and added a ‘Just Wine’ at £30 per person, a ‘World of White Wine’ (£35 per person) and a ‘Fancy Fizz’ (£50 per person). In just over a year (14 months) the service clocked up 500 customers, according to The Grocer, which also broke the at-home whisky tasting news.

In April this year Waitrose rolled out the Gin O’Clock experience following the launch of its online Gin ‘shop within a shop’ on the Waitrose Cellar website.

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