Brandy Library Special Whisky Tasting

Ethan Kelley from the Brandy Library let me know about a special event coming up next Wednesday November 18th.

I thought you should know about this little event we have brewing out here, it might be of interest to you.

As you know, the practice of pairing whiskies and food keeps gaining speed.  With that in mind I approached the French Culinary Institute with a challenge for the students.  I dropped off 6 bottles, and it was up to them to create a dish designed for each bottle.

We then had a panel of top chefs from around the city taste the finalists and select one dish per bottle, we did that today.  The results will be presented as a formal 6 course dinner, with each course having its own dram.  Let it be noted, I got a little squirrely selecting the bottles, and the results are awesome.  November 18th is the event.  Here are the bottles that were included, not in order, because that too is going to be a little unusual.

  • Springbank 10 year
  • Glenlivet Nadurra
  • Glenfiddich 15 year
  • Ardmore
  • Longrow CV
  • The Dalmore Gran Reserva

Unlike most of these events, this one I find appealing because the bottles will be able to attract the novice, and the expert.  In addition it is a non biased event so it is not a sales job in any way.

This should be a great event.

For online booking go here to for booking or call 212-219-3300.


McTear’s Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction

Andrew Bell let me know about the upcoming McTear’s Rare & Collectable Whisky Auction.

The auction takes place on Wednesday, 4 November at 10:30 am, with viewing  taking place on Tuesday 3 November 3rd 2009 from 9am-5pm as well as immediately preceding the auction on Wednesday, November 4 from 8.30am-10.20am.

Click here to download a PDF catalog or check out the offerings online at

ENQUIRIES should be directed to Andrew +44(0)141 810 2880 or via email


Meiklewood Gate
31 Meiklewood Road
Glasgow G51 4EU


A snazzy black case showed up last last week.

In it were several bottles of whisky as well as an empty bottle, a mixing flask, a glass funnel and a tasting glass.

It’s part of the Johnnie Walker Black Label Centenary Journeyman Blending Event webcast I was invited to participate in tomorrow.

It’s great that producers are finally starting to embrace – and figure out how to use – the web as a marketing tool.

It opens up new opportunities for social connection and promotion. And of course, while this is an invite-only event (due to the physical components) webcasts allow for that one-to-many marketing reach – in a completely interactive way that print/broadcast and even viral videos cannot offer.

For the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Johnnie Walker Black Label, we’d love to have you join us as we blend single malt whiskies along with Johnnie Walker Black Label Master Blender via a by-invitation only webcast on September 29th at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time.

2009 marks the 100th Anniversary of Johnnie Walker Black Label. In honor of this momentous occasion one of the Johnnie Walker Master Blender’s – Andrew Ford – will be traveling from Scotland for a rare private event. He’ll be hosting a live webcast blending exercise and we’d love for you to participate in it.

You will be taken through a series of single malts, nosing and blending these fine spirits from around the various regions of Scotland, from the comfort of your home or office. You’ll even be able to submit questions via the webcast.

Sounds like fun. I may live blog about it over on Twitter (, but I may be too busy mixing up my own bottle of JW Black.

It’s tomorrow at 3pm (Eastern Daylight Time)…and I’ll surely have a follow-up post here.


Short Notice Whisky Fest


Auchentoshan Distillery, home to Scotland’s only triple distilled single malt whisky, will host its first ever whisky festival this weekend on Saturday 29th August 2009.

This unique whisky festival will run from 11am until 6pm and offer gourmet loving Scots and their families the chance to sample an exciting array of events throughout the day.

The Auchentoshan Whisky Festival will have a host of activities including cookery presentations from top chefs, a lively mixology demonstration with tasting sessions, a farmer’s market and a variety of different whisky masterclasses with some of the leading names in the whisky industry.

Continue Reading >>

Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza – Spring 2009 Schedule

Continuing tradition. . . for the fifth year in a row The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America would like to extend a  discounted admission to the 2009 U.S. Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza Tour for readers of The Scotch Blog.

That’s right, Once again readers of The Scotch Blog pay the same admission price that members of the SMWS pay.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is once again happy to offer a discount for tickets to our Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza 2008 Tour.

“Member’s Price” is $115.00 per ticket. (Our Non-member’s ticket price is now $130; therefore, this offers a $15 discount on tickets for
this year’s events) This price will be honored to anyone who calls in for a ticket and mentions that they saw the event advertised on The
Scotch Blog

All Events 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Registration begins at 6:30 pm

Chicago, Seattle & Philadelphia Require Jackets (No denim or Athletic Wear) – All other events are Business Casual and no denim or athletic wear are requested

Society Members/The Scotch Blog readers: $115
Non-Member Guests: $130


You MUST mention The Scotch Blog when placing your ticket order. And that’s the REAL and original Scotch Blog. Not the cheap copy that keeps contacting industry people in an attempt to land free alcohol.

Tickets by advance purchase only: 800-990-1991.


Must be 21 years of age.

Fall 2009 Schedule


The Taj Boston

JW Marriott Hotel

The Union League of Philadelphia

Intercontinental San Francisco

The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

New Whisky Event in London

The Whisky Exchange is launching a new Whisky Tasting Event this Fall. Best of all? No vouchers.

“Focusing on premium bottlings above each brand’s standard expression (longer-aged whisky and/or special bottlings), The Whisky Show will offer a fantastic opportunity to both the knowledgeable connoisseur and the passionate whisky fan wanting to learn more. With only limited spaces available for each day, tickets for this boutique event are sure to be in high demand.”

Standard tickets for The Whisky Show are priced at £100.

Continue Reading >>

Great Malt Whisky Race

WHAT: An open forum examining the history of the globalisation of malt Scotch whisky and other world whiskies/whiskeys, and a debate around the future flavours of Scotland’s finest.

WHY: This year is the 100th anniversary since Scotch whisky was first defined in UK law and much has changed since 1963, when William Grant’s descendents took the brave decision to repackage Glenfiddich and market it around the world – a step recognised as having started the worldwide popularity of single malt Scotch whisky.

Today, malt distilleries are now found all across the globe as entrepreneurs capitalise on discerning drinkers’ demands for the ultimate ‘water of life’.

To complement its support of the Scottish Diaspora Forum at the Scottish Parliament (, Glenfiddich is hosting an open forum examining the history of single malt Scotch whisky’s popularity abroad and how new malt whisky producing nations have been inspired by one of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world.

While the Scotch whisky industry is governed by strict laws to ensure the integrity of Scotland’s national drink remains intact, many other malt whisky producing nations don’t have the same heritage to protect and so more relaxed legislation allows them innovate further.

As such, the evening’s talks will look at the benefits the single malt Scotch whisky industry enjoys from its protection, the innovations taking place beyond Scotland and debate what we can learn from them for the future development of our own industry’s flavours. The evening is for whisky novices as well as enthusiasts.

WHO: Panel members include: Whisky Magazine Japan editor, Dave Broom; SWA’s Campbell Evans; Glenfiddich’s Ian Millar and is chaired by Whisky Shop’s Ian Bankier.

WHERE: The Raeburn Room, Old College
University of Edinburgh
South Bridge

WHEN: Friday 24th July
5.00pm Registration
7.15pm Ends

HOW: Free, although places are limited. Reservations in advance through

Picture: Pioneers of world malt whisky – Glenfiddich; its founder, William Grant; forefather of Japanese whisky, Masataka Taketsuru; ‘godfather’ of Australian whisky, Bill Lark – illuminate Edinburgh’s Salisbury Crag.

Jura Taste Challenge

Another marketing stunt. But a fun one:

Two of the world’s greatest drinks experts are set to meet face to face in a showdown designed to answer the age-old question: how should you take your whisky?

The issue of whether you should drink quality Scots whisky on its own, on the rocks or with a splash of water has divided drinkers the world over for generations.

A question that has sparked countless debates, split friends and divided families, this centuries-old conundrum is finally set to be answered in a showdown organised by the makers of Jura single malt whisky
In an attempt to settle the issue once and for all, Jura is to host an exclusive online video debate between Richard Paterson – master blender at the Isle of Jura distillery and widely recognised as the world’s best whisky blender – and Colin Field, who as head barman at the Ritz Paris is arguably the best cocktail mixer in the world.

Representing polar opposites in the argument over how good Scots malt should be enjoyed, the two men are primed and ready for what looks set to become an historic battle.

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. For years I’ve been forced to stand by and watch as barroom dandies sully the world’s greatest drink with a range of inappropriate mixers and sacrilegious frills, but enough is enough. Whisky is something that should be appreciated in the pure, God-given form that its distillers intended, and now I’m going to prove that once and for all,” said Paterson who believes you should not even mix the golden liquid with ice.

Field on the other hand thinks anything goes as long as it’s a quality experience. “Single malt is a drink for anybody, anywhere, anyhow. The purists can complain about it as much as they like, but with the right mixers and a splash of imagination, it can be conjured into a world-beating taste experience that will knock the spots off anything the whisky snobs might offer,” said The Ritz barman.

“Their time is over, and I’m going to show the world how a new generation of drinkers takes theirs.”

Scheduled to be broadcast online at 7pm (ed: I am assuming GMT) on Thursday, July 16th, the showdown will see Paterson and Field go head to head in a fierce struggle already being billed as the whisky world’s answer to Ali V Foreman. Set against the backdrop of Jura’s spectacular island scenery, each will be forced to summon every last drop of their considerable expertise if they hope to carry the day.

To see what promises to be a feisty broadcast please visit the Jura website on on Thursday this week.

Watch the YouTube trailer.


On Saturday July 18, 2009 Circus Contraption’s will host their Fond Farewell & Surreal Auction Extravaganza.

Why do you care? Well Circuses are fun (I never understood those people afraid of clowns) – but more importantly they will be hosting a silent auction and one of the prizes is a private Scotch tasting with Martin Daraz of Highland Park.

Private Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Masterclass and all scored by the live music stylings of our own bard of the bewildered Shmootzi the Clod
(for 20-30 people)

This is a truly unique opportunity to develop your single malt knowledge, accompanied by a group of your friends and family. There will be plenty of scotch for everyone!

The class will be led by Martin Daraz, the Official Brand Ambassador for the Highland Park Distillery, situated on the tiny islands of Orkney, in the far reaches of the North Sea.
Highland Park has been called, “The Best Spirit in the World”, Distillery of the Year” and Martin himself, was recently named, “Whisky Ambassador of the Year” for his services to the industry.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Martin spends his time travelling across the United States, leading tastings, hostings dinners and interacting with the press, all with the noble goal of educating people about fine single malts.

Featured in this tasting will be the entire domestic line of Highland Park, the 12, 15, 18, 25 and 30 year olds plus a couple of others from Highland Park’s sister distilleries, The Macallan and Famous Grouse. You and your guests will be tasting a minimum of 6 whiskies on the night!

Ideal for a group of friends or even as a business meeting perk, all you have to do is contact Martin to arrange a suitable date and time. You provide the venue and Martin will arrive with the whisky! If you are especially good, he may even wear his kilt!

Ordinarily the preserve of the priviledged or the media, this is a rare chance to learn and taste like a professional under the tutelage of an expert in the field.

Erin Brindley, Managing Director of the circus contacted me to let me know they’d love to have you attend, but if you can’t she can arrange for you to bid from wherever you are:

The event should be awesome, a really good time, but if your readers can’t make it I would be willing to arrange a proxy for them for the auction. They can read more about the event at , and can contact me regarding a proxy if they would like to bid from the comforts of their own home.

If you want to attend in person Here are the details:

Saturday, July 18th
21+ with ID
Full Bar
The Circus Factory at Theo Chocolate
3400 Phinney Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98103

Doors open at 7:30
$15 advance / $20 at door
Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets

Hey Canada

On behalf of the SWA, Glenfiddich wants to apologize to all of Canada with some free whisky.

OK, not really.

But Glenfiddich will be hosting a series of “exclusive private tastings” in and around the Canada metro area. Yeah, that’s a joke. I know Canada isn’t a city.

The first of these “Taste and Talk” events will take place on June 24th at Six Steps Lounge in Toronto.

Guests will have a chance to meet modern-day world explorer Colin Angus and taste a range of single malt Scotch whiskies from Glenfiddich, the most awarded single malt Scotch whisky in the world. Please see the evite below for more details on the event, Colin or the Glenfiddich brand.

I know the graphic is bigger than the site and is cut off, so right click and view the image in a new window, luddite.

Anyone interested in attending the event can RSVP to to reserve a ticket – but do it quickly as space is limited for this exclusive event.