November 13th saw us arrive for our first tasting session at Barocco in Cardiff. For this event we brought the World Tour selection we ran in Newport two months earlier. Including some very unique drams from Canada, USA, South Africa, India and ending on a rather delicious whisky from Japan.
I think it’s safe to say we have the format down now and we’ve started to find our group of regulars. We’d managed to clash with the turning on of the Xmas lights in Cardiff, so traffic was a bit of a nightmare. Mike and I found a bit of a problem with Barocco, in that it’s a little far from any vehicle access points, so it was a bit of a walk for us with about 4 litres of whisky, the materials and glasses, but the workout helped get the blood pumping.
Setup was quite easy, although next time I think I’ll be using the top section of the bar, rather than the softer chairs towards the front upstairs – there’s much more room and we can use the lower are for the shop. As usual, Matt had provided some fantastic placemats and with the glasses, pitchers and other information, the tables looked the part!
As this was a repeat of the event in Newport, the selection was the same, but this time we had more diversity on the opinion of the drams!
- Welcome Dram – Johnnie Walker Explorer’s Club The Spice Road Travel Retail Exclusive (Nice and short name!)
- Canada – Collingwood (Much easier to remember)
- USA – Four Roses Small Batch
- South Africa – Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky
- India – Paul John Brilliance
- Japan – Yamazaki 18
The Welcome Dram was a big hit of the night, and I know a few people who have gone out of their way to order a few bottles of the JW Explorer’s club Spice Road. For the price and size, it’s still one of the best JWs I’ve tried. As expected, the Yamazaki was the overall favourite, but the Paul John was a very close second. There wasn’t much love for the bourbons, but there were a few people who liked the South African.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening, despite the traffic chaos at first – and the little issue with the ‘mood lighting’ at the very beginning, but that was easily overcome and quite funny at the time! Barocco works well for us and have been very kind in offering us the whole of the upstairs. I’m delighted that this will be SWWIGs regular home throughout 2015 as we have an event booked on the 1st Thursday of every month – a calendar is going up soon!