Aug 262010
 

September 5th is fast approaching.  Almost as quickly as summer seems to be slipping away.  No worries though, it simply means I’ll be able to break out a few more of those massive Islay whiskies we all adore.

Put your thinking caps on, ladies and gents.  This inaugural session will be where we define what the Calgary Whisky Club is to become.  Your ideas, thoughts and input are important.

This first session will be a meet n’ greet.  We’ll have a dram, make some friends and bang out some structure.  It won’t cost you anything more than your time to show up for this first meeting.

However

Be forewarned…there will be a cost associated with this club.  Every effort will be made to ensure the dent to our pocketbooks is as minimal as possible.  In speaking with David, the initial thought is that this contribution will be small indeed.  We’ll discuss further on the 5th, but rest easy…it will be next to nil.

Guest speakers are being debated and lined up already.  Interest is strong among those in the industry with whom I’ve spoken.

For those attending…hey…this club will hopefully become part of your new circle of friends.  That doesn’t have to mean that your old circle is excluded.  If you know of anyone who is passionate about whisky and comeraderie…bring ’em along.  This whole enterprise is about having fun and bringing something to Calgary that is sadly amiss right now.

Many of you know me.  My name is Curt.  Those that I have not yet met face to face…I look forward to it.

My counterpart, and the other kindhearted soul responsible for making this a reality, is David Michiels.  David is the whisky buyer for Willow Park.  If you’ve ever wandered around navigating the whisky wall at WP, chances are you were warmly greeted by David and led to something exceptional to take home.  If you don’t know him already…you will soon enough.

…and yes…those discount cards mentioned before are also in the works.  Let’s not forget…Willow Park is supporting us, so let’s support Willow Park in return.

Please send any questions to uisgebeatha7@hotmail.com.

Again…

7:00pm Sunday, September 5th 2010

at

Willow Park Wines and Spirits

Until next Sunday…

Slainte!

Aug 192010
 

ADL Cask

On Friday, September 10th, the gang from All Things Whisky (as well as a few mates from Liquorature and random tag-alongs) will be off to visit the fine folks at Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL) for a tour of the distillery and facility.  ADL, and a fantastic lady by the name of Kathy in particular, has been spectacularly accommodating in arranging our visit and tour.  Needless to say, the gang is ecstatic about this opportunity.

ADL is responsible for producing the brilliant Alberta Premium Canadian Rye Whisky right here in our own backyard, Calgary.  This is the self-same rye that whisky guru Jim Murray awarded a 94.5 rating, and yours truly at ATW awarded a 93.  This review is featured here on ATW for those who may be interested.

With ADL’s blessing we will be following up our tour with a featured article on ATW. 

Stay tuned…

Aug 132010
 

There are many things in the world that are complimented by a great whisky.  Music is one.  A good book is another.

Nothing goes better with fine whisky though than good company and conversation.

Nearly two years ago now I founded a whisky and book club in Calgary known as Liquorature.  This exclusive little crew (only 7 of us by design…along with the occasional sit-in) meets once a month to chat about books, whiskies, rums and all things related.  Each month has a dedicated host, who is tasked with providing a venue, selecting the whiskies (and a rum for our resident ‘caner), tabling a spread of edibles…and most importantly…picking a book. 

Liquorature is comprised of gents ranging in age from late 20s to mid 50s.  We’re all friends (and better friends because of Liquorature) and we all offer something unique to the collective.  Membership is exclusive and closed.  Any more than 7 or 8 in a room and conversation becomes a little…congested. 

Our gatherings are generally the last Friday of every month.  At the beginning of our evening we meet, greet and eat.  At this point we trot out the bottles and our host will explain what we’re drinking and why he has picked these bottles in particular.  Dramming begins in time with the inaugural question for the host…”so…why did you pick this book?”  The conversation flows fast and free from here.  Generally we’ll stay on topic for anywhere from an hour to two.  When we feel we have exhausted conversation related to the book of the month…it is fair game.  The levels in the bottles drop…the humor grows more candid…the evening blooms.

Our gatherings are a monthly highlight for all involved.  They are an intellectual release and an opportunity to learn.  To date we have tackled books such as ‘The Idiot’ (Dostoevsky), ‘The Namesake’ (Lahiri), ‘Atlas Shrugged’ (Rand), ‘Catch 22’ (Heller), ‘Blood Meridian’ (McCarthy) and ‘On The Road’ (Kerouac).  We have even covered a book penned by a member’s brother (David John Watson’s ‘Geonesis’).  There have been many other books so far, and there will be multitudes to come.

I can not recommend strongly enough that some of you start clubs like we have.  The opportunities at informal whisky tastings are invaluable and enlightening.  The chance to share great literature is rare.  Combining the two…well…bloody brilliant.

Feel free to visit our sister site at www.liquorature.com to see just what we do and what we get out of it.  Notes on our gatherings, book reviews, whisky reviews and rum reviews can all be found there.  Drop a line.

If you want advice on starting your own club, feel free to email at uisgebeatha7@hotmail.com.

Slainte!

Aug 132010
 

Lads and Lassies,

After a final discussion with our friend, David Michiels, at Willow Park…

The Calgary Whisky Club is finally a reality!

To any who do not know me yet…my name is Curt.  I, along with David, will be spearheading this adventure.

The inaugural meeting of this exclusive little enclave will be:

7:00pm    Sunday, September 5th, 2010

This rather informal gathering will be at Willow Park Wines and Spirits in Calgary South.

If you are interested, please confirm with me, Curt, at uisgebeatha7@hotmail.com in order to ensure a spot is held.

Membership will be limited to 40 people.  When our maximum is met, we will have a wait list.  Annual dues are yet to be determined.  Your input at the first meeting will help decide many details about this club, including (but not limited to):

  • Member costs
  • Dates and times
  • Format
  • Products
  • What you want to put in/get out of this club

While there will be a nominal fee associated, the benefits will far outweigh anything you put in.  Exposure to many new products, access to industry persons and their knowledge, discounts and exclusive opportunities at products…and most importantly…a social circle of like-minded individuals out to have fun.

To all involved thus far, thanks for your help.  To those I have yet to recruit into supporting roles…uh, sorry…and again…thanks for your help.

To any reps and industry persons…if you are interested in being involved in hosting tastings, providing samples for review or simply sitting in…please do not hesitate to contact me.  Once a month you will have a captive audience of 40 whisky drinkers just itching to sample and purchase your product from Willow Park.

Please hang tight for more information.

Until we meet in September…Slainte!