Posts Tagged ‘single malt

The cask of your dreams

- April 18th, 2012

CaskDreams
(Supplied photo)

The day your dreams come true is here.

Sort of.

The day to see the Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams in Calgary is here.

As I previously wrote, the Cask of Dreams is part of a nation-wide promotion, allowing whisky lovers a chance to have a hand in a limited edition Scotch that will be released in Canada in time for Christmas.

The cask is making its way around town Thursday and Friday, and fans are able to come out and sign on the wood completing the sentence “One day I will …”

The cask will then be taken back to the distillery and be filled and finished for three months.

Aside from stops at Bankers Hall, Olympic Plaza and Heritage Park, it will be on display Thursday evening from 5-8 p.m. at the Oakridge Co-Op Wines & Spirits, and Friday at the Crowfoot location, also between 5 and 8 p.m.

Glenfiddich is also hosting invited guests at Willow Park Wines & Spirits Friday between 4 and 7 p.m.

For more info on the complete Calgary schedule Thursday and Friday, check the Glenfiddich site.

Slainte!

The dream cask

- February 23rd, 2012

CaskofDreams
(What’s your dream? Let Glenfiddich know and it could come true. — Supplied photo)

What’s your dream come true?

If you’re like me, a dream come true would be a full cask of fine single malt Scotch.

But Glenfiddich is looking for Canadians to divulge their ultimate dream, and to be part of the bottling of a rare single malt whisky.

As part of the “One Day You Will” campaign, 20 finishing casks will make their way to 10 cities in Canada this year to be inscribed by the public. People are being asked to complete the sentence “One day I will …” on the cask of Glenfiddich Limited Edition “Cask of Dreams” whisky.

After a cross-country tour, which hits Calgary April 19 and 20, the casks will head back to Scotland to be filled and finished for three months.

And, lucky us, the finished product will be shipped back to Canada in time for the holidays.

“When you write your dream on these casks, you’re not only sharing a piece of yourself with Canada, but you become a part of Glenfiddich’s long-running history,” says Beth-Anne Perry, Glenfiddich Brand Manager.

“The dreams of Scottish pioneers are what shaped Glenfiddich and we can’t wait to bring Canada’s dreams back to Dufftown.”

And for one lucky whisky lover, there is the chance to visit the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland to witness the bottling of the limited edition whisky.

Just head to the Glenfiddich site between March 1 and July 31 and complete the same sentence. “One day I will …”

The winning entrant will get to make the trip, along with his or her father or mentor.

The Cask of Dreams has already made it through Winnipeg, for Robbie Burns Day and the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk settlement, but: gets rolling across the country in March:

Toronto, Ontario – March 21, 22
St. John’s, Newfoundland – March 29, 30
Halifax, Nova Scotia – April 2, 3
Fredriction, New Brunswick – April 4, 5
Montreal, Quebec – April 10, 11
Ottawa, Ontario – April 12, 13
Regina, Saskatchewan – April 16, 17
Calgary, Alberta – April 19, 20
Vancouver, British Columbia – April 26, 27

Keep dreaming, scoundrels

Whisky fit for a queen

- February 6th, 2012

GlenGrant60

Monday marks the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and what better way to toast such a milestone than with a fine whisky of similar vintage.

A rare 60-year-old single malt Scotch is being unveiled in honour of the occasion, but one imagines it won’t be for everyone.

Retailing for about CDN$13,000, just 85 bottles of Glen Grant 60 Years Old are being released, giving collectors and investors something special to add to their collection.

“Glen Grant 60 Years Old is a rare single malt whisky and we are delighted to be releasing it to mark the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee,” said Gordon and MacPhail managing director Michael Urquhart.

“With whisky of this quality and rarity – each bottle comes with a certificate of authenticity – we expect considerable interest, not just in the UK, but from the international marketplace where recent export figures have shown we have an avid consumer following.

“In producing the packaging for this remarkable Single Malt we worked with Scottish craftsmen, allowing us to showcase some of the finest talent in the country.”

I have had the prized opportunity to sample a rare bottling from Gordon & MacPhail, their Generations 70-year-old, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else up to the challenge of creating a whisky for such a special occasion.

The whisky was distilled on Feb. 6, 1952 and bottled just last Thursday at cask strength.

Now, for those who want to imagine what it would be like to taste, and I assume that’s most of us, it is described as having aromas of Cox’s Pippins and Granny Smith apples mingling with cinnamon and ginger.

On the palate, it shows characteristics of burnt fruit, and spice such as white pepper.

But it’s not just a feast for the tastebuds, as one would expect with a bottling from Gordon & MacPhail.

The Single Malt is presented in a pyramid shaped crystal decanter adorned with a diamond shaped stopper. Each decanter is expertly engraved – the script in-filled with silver – and uniquely numbered.

The decanter carries an engraved crown with a sparking Swarovski crystal, set at the meeting point of the crowns two arches. A silver collar, placed around the neck of the decanter completes the presentation.

The decanter is packaged in a hand-crafted box made of Scottish Elm, felled a short distance from Holyrood House, the Queen’s official Scottish residence. The decanter nestles in the box lined with luxurious, purple Harris Tweed and a dust jacket made from the same material protects the box and the precious contents.

We wish Her Majesty all the best and congratulate her on such a long reign.

Slainte.

The first rule of Scotch club …

- October 21st, 2011

smwslogo
… is to enjoy exlcusive, single-cask single malt whisky.

Calgary has the good fortune of being the exclusive home to the Canadian chapter of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a members-only club with chapters in 15 countries.

Husband and wife Rob and Kelly Carpenter, Calgarians and whisky lovers, learned about the society when they lived in Edinburgh, and felt it would be a great fit for Canada, and Calgary in particular, partnering with Kensington Wine Market.

“When we lived in Edinburgh we discovered The Society and we fell in love with the product from the very beginning and couldn’t wait to share it,” Kelly said in advance of Monday’s launch at Kensington Wine Market.

“Before we decided to bring The Society to Canada, we would visit Edinburgh at least once a year and stock up on their unique bottlings to bring home as gifts for our family and friends. This is really just an extension of that.”

The society, which will cost you $230 to become a member of, offers the world’s largest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies.

Members and people interested in being members are able to attend “First Friday” events at Kensington, but space is obviously limited.

Judging by some tweets from Andrew Ferguson at Kensington Wine Market, the launch proved there is great interest in access to some great Scotch.

Last night’s launch was a massive success as these before and after photos will show, we had about 90 participants, sold 50+ memberships and well over 100 bottles! Up and running with a head of steam.

This seems like the kind of society any good scoundrel would want to be part of.

More info is available at the Society’s website, and they are also on Twitter @SMWSCanada

Really? An Indian Whisky???

- October 18th, 2011

It was humorous when it happened but I still couldn’t understand how the meaning of the word Scotch could be lost on some people.

A few Christmases ago a friend of mine asked my colleagues what she could get me as a meaningful Christmas gift. Her intentions, as always, were sweet and ever-well-intentioned.

She was told a good gift for me would be a nice bottle of Scotch … from Chile. Now my friend, gifted with a golden heart but clueless when it comes to Scotch and sometimes not on the same postal code as common sense, looked everywhere for that notorious bottle of Chilean Scotch.

Needless to say, my learned friend never found one. She approached me after the holiday season and asked me where the hay I get my Chilean Scotch. Now, I drink Scotch, I love Scotch, I near darned worship Scotch. So, thinking she was kidding and unaware of her fruitless search for the illusive Chilean spirit, I mocked. I mocked hard and I mocked well. I then explained that Chile never has – and probably never will – unleash upon the world a Chilean Scotch. Furthermore, by virtue of the name, it would be blasphemous to call any distilled liquid generated anywhere outside of Scotland a Scotch.

But much of that mocking came back to haunt me when I attended the 2011 Banff Wine and Food Festival at the Calgary Stampede grounds.

Two of the colleagues, whom I’m sure were behind my friend’s Scotch goose chase those many years ago, escorted me to a table where I faced a bottle they told me I had to sample.

There in front of me were two bottles of Amrut Fusion single malt Whisky … from India!

The truth is that – like a crazy-mad soccer fan who defends the intricacies and roots of the game – I feverishly defend the roots and intricacies of Scotch. As far as I’m concerned, Scotch is a Scottish treasure and must remain such.

But the Amrut that day took down many-a defensive highland walls surrounding my single-minded devotion to the malt. The Fusion is by all intents and purposes … hmmm … a Scotch. The distilling process, the oak, the fruit, the peat … oh the sublime peat … it all harkens back to a many treasured Scotches.

To their credit, Amrut, a distillery in the Indian Himalayans, does not call their product a Scotch, although it could pass as such but for geography. And here comes my assumption: It would be impossible for most Scotch drinkers to tell that this whisky was distilled two continents away from the land of haggis – it really is that good and honest to the traditions of the malt drink. A single malt whisky from India? Yes, it seems it could find a place at my bar next to my treasured Scotches.

So, maybe, eventually there may in fact be a Scotch from Chile. Or maybe they should just stick to what they’re good at – a nice, full, red wine.fusion_whisky