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14th Annual
Victoria Whisky Festival

Ticket Sales

Out of town attendees:

until tickets go on sale

Ticket sales will commence Friday, November 2nd, 2018 at 9am Pacific Time; please telephone the Hotel Reservation line at 1-800-663-7550 to purchase their tickets in conjunction with a hotel room reservation.

In town attendees:

until tickets go on sale

Ticket sales will commence Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 9am at the Strath Ale, Wine & Spirit Merchants 919 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC. No orders will be accepted by telephone.

until the Victoria Whisky Festival

The 14th Annual Victoria Whisky Festival will be held on the
17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th of January 2019 at the Hotel Grand Pacific.

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All tickets for the 2018 Victoria Whisky Festival sold out quickly. See the countdown clock on this page for information on purchasing 2019 festival tickets.

~The Victoria Whisky Festival

 

March 1st, 2018

We were very pleased to present the sold out 13th Victoria Whisky Festival which ran through January 18th to the 21st, 2018 at the 5-star Hotel Grand Pacific located on Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour.

As in previous years, tickets were in high demand at both the Hotel Grand Pacific and the Strath Liquor Store. Our friends at the Strath once again opened the restaurant next door for coffee and tea for those waiting their turn to buy tickets.

Regards,

Lawrence
Iain
Al
Jonathan
Frank
Frederike

Thursday January 18th, 2018 – Evening

Glenfiddich Grand Tasting with Beth Havers

Beth Havers

Unlearn Whisky – The Experimental Tasting – Thursday Night – Think you know whisky?  Think again!   Glenfiddich’s Global Brand Ambassador Struan Grant Ralph and Canadian Brand Ambassador Beth Havers presented this experimental session which explored the unconventional and ground-breaking new Experimental Series by Glenfiddich.  Participants tasted the first three innovative new whiskies that challenge everything you thought you knew about single malt Scotch. Guests of this class had the opportunity to enjoy  #01 IPA Experiment, #02 Project XX and #03 Winter Storm and the key single cask components that helped shape these Next Generational Whiskies.

The Balvenie: All Drams on Deck

Balvenie Ambassadors

Participants tasted the breadth and depth of The Balvenie range, learned about Malt Master David C Stewart MBE and discovered the “Secrets of the Stock Model”. Jamie Johnson assembled an international panel of thirteen Balvenie ambassadors, together for the first time, and only at Victoria Whisky Festival, who joined us on this incredible journey.

The 8th Annual Canadian Whisky Awards Presentation & Dinner

Davin de Kergommeaux

The Victoria Whisky Festival was once again very proud to co~host the annual Canadian Whisky Awards ceremonies at the Hotel Grand Pacific. Host, Davin de Kergommeaux was joined by members of the judging panel to reveal the best Canadian whiskies of 2018 and present medals and awards to their producers.

Friday January 19th, 2018 – Evening

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Grand Tasting with John McCheyne

John McCheyne

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we are able to present the outstanding SMWS whiskies at next year’s festival!

Tomatin Grand Tasting with Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser

Understanding what lies beneath the fabric of the distillery can help to indulge your appreciation for this Highland distillery. Tomatin Distillery has built itself on a diverse core range but throughout this grand tasting those present were taken through some of the more unusual and rarer expressions with some single casks and samples from the distillery that have somewhat otherwise been acquired. A true behind the scenes look at the distillery along with some fantastic drams.

Old Pulteney Grand Tasting with Lukasz Dynowiak

Lukasz Dynowiak

The very far north of Scotland is as beautiful as it is austere. Past Inverness the road twists and winds for hours, hugging the coast – climbing cliffs only to drop into deep valleys minutes later. With each passing mile you seem to get further and further from the comforting familiar. Almost at the end of that journey Pulteney Distillery sits quietly at the heart of its community, within earshot of the once bustling Wick Harbour.

The whisky produced on the rugged Caithness Coast is much like Wick itself. There is a weight to it, it’s unapologetically grown up. It’s not trying hard for your affection, instead it wants to be the purest reflection of its heritage and its resolute people. And in the process, almost by accident, it also just happens to be one of the most stunning spirits ever to come from the Scottish Highlands.

Take a deep breath and feel the tingle of the fresh northern air, laden with the perfume of the restless North Sea. The old and the young, the light and the heavy, all expressions of Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky sing to this freshly savoury tune. Participants explored some of the finest examples of the Maritime Malt ever to leave our coastal warehouses.

Canadian Rockies Grand Tasting with Roberto Roberti

Roberto Roberti

It is an exciting time for Canadian whisky. As the category is becoming more prominent on the world stage, demand is growing for more premium offerings. Canadian Rockies has been at the forefront of this growing movement, by slowly and steadily introducing top tier, age statement Canadian Whiskies to the consumer.  Roberto Roberti lead participants in this Grand Tasting, which provided a brief history of the brand, as well as illuminating its exciting future. 

Laphroaig Grand Tasting with Matt Jones and Andrew Ferguson

Andrew Ferguson Matt Jones

The depths and peaks of the world’s richest single malt Scotch, -Laphroaig were explored.  We learned about the history of the water of life on the island of Islay and sampled the range of award-winning whiskies, each the end result of a spirit matured in a range of different woods and casks, and the product of a 200 year old tradition of unique whisky making.  This extra special event was not to be missed!

The Glenrothes Grand Tasting with Dan Volway

Dan Volway

Founded in 1879. Award-winning single malt Scotch whisky from the town of Rothes in Speyside –Scotland’s whisky heartland! The “Best of the Best”: Only 3% of the distillery capacity is bottled as single malt to ensure exceptional quality. A Secret Among Blenders: Highly sought after since its inception by Master Blenders as a “top dresser” for their blends for its flavour, body and complexity.

The Canadian Club Dinner and Tasting with Tish Harcus

Tish Harcus

Tish Harcus, Manager and Global Brand Ambassador, presented a feature cocktail to guests, followed by a presentation of the rich history of the brand’s 160 years. The featured chef created some tasty bites pairing the various brands in the Canadian Club Whisky Portfolio.

The evening concluded with a tasting of Canadian Club’s unique 40 Year old whisky.

Masterclasses - Whisky School!

The 2018 Victoria Whisky Festival Opportunity Cost; The cost of an alternative Masterclass that must be forgone in order to pursue another Masterclass.

Saturday January 20th, 2018 – Morning
11:15 – 12:15

Kilchoman/Tullibardine with Roberto Roberti

Roberto Roberti

Scotch malt whisky is steeped in history and tradition. Kilchoman is the first single malt distillery to be built on Islay in 125 years. Tullibardine, located in the Highlands, has been producing beverage alcohol since 1488 and has been distilling whisky since 1949. Roberto Roberti lead participants through a tasting of whiskies from both distilleries which pay homage to the proud distilling traditions in their respective regions.

The Tomatin Distillery Masterclass with Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser

The Softer Side of the Highlands: Tomatin Distillery positions itself as the ‘Softer Side of the Highlands and its recent successes have been built on an incredibly diverse core range. Scott Fraser brought the distillery to life and guided you through the intricacies and intrigue that is created by such an assorted portfolio. By understanding the location, the ingredients, the machinery, the people - and some of Scott’s jokes – those lucky enough to have attended left with a much better knowledge of what makes a Tomatin.

The White Oak Japanese Whisky Masterclass with Andrew Ferguson

Andrew Ferguson

This masterclass took attendees on a journey on the history of Japanese whisky, with tastings of Akashi whiskies. The line up included Akashi Single Malt and an extremely rare single cask Akashi exclusively presented for Victoria Whisky Festival.

White Oak Whisky Distillery of Eigashima Shuzo was the first company to obtain a license to produce whisky in Japan in 1919. Its Akashi whisky is the only whisky in the world that is made by a Toji (grand-master in the art of sake making) by implementing sake-making methodologies into the whisky making process. Akashi is known for its smooth and delicate taste profile.

The Bowmore Distillery Masterclass with Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Bowmore Single Malts were sampled, with their peat smoke and Atlantic sea-salt brininess. Carefully smoked their malt in a peat-fired kiln, just as their ancestors did over 200 years ago. Presented by Matt Jones.

The Bunnahabhain & Deanston Distilleries Masterclass with Mike Brisebois

Mike Brisebois

Mike Brisebois, North American Brand Ambassador for Distell Spirits lead us through a guided tasting of eight whiskies from three unique distilleries including Bunnahabhain Islay Distillery, Deanston Distillery, and Tobermory Distillery.

The Glenlivet Distillery Masterclass with Keith Trusler

Keith Trusler

Established by George Smith in 1824, The Glenlivet inspired a whole region, today called Speyside, which provides the world’s favorite style of Single Malt Whisky.

What made The Glenlivet the definitive Single Malt as early as the 1840s is still true today, mineral rich water from Josie’s Well, tall copper pot stills and careful maturation in only the finest casks. This master class covered the classic range from The Glenlivet as well as the newest releases from the Nadurra series.

Rock Oyster Deconstructed Masterclass with Chris Legget

Chris Legget

Chris Leggat of Douglas Laing & Co. and Keeper of the Quaich took us on a magical journey deconstructing their Island Malt… Rock Oyster. Participants went on an expedition of discovery and tried Single Cask, Single Malt whiskies from the islands of Arran, Jura, Orkney and Islay whilst exploring the ultimate distillation of the Islands – Rock Oyster 18 years old!

Highland Park with Dan Volway

Dan Volway

Made where no one else would – like no one else could. Brand Ambassador Dan Volway dazzled participants with a Masterclass and tasting featuring Highland Park, the most respected single malt in the world.

The Classic Malts Masterclass with Joel Virginillo

Joel Virginillo

The famed Classic Malts have opened many peoples’ eyes to the joys of whisky and ably demonstrated the differences between the various degrees of flavour profiles and regional characteristics of Scotland's whiskies since their release as a collection in 1987. Joel Virginillo, Reserve Brand Ambassador, walked all attendees through the award winning whiskies from the Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside and the Isles.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Masterclass I with John McCheyene

John McCheyne

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we are able to present the outstanding SMWS whiskies at next year’s festival!

The Glengoyne Distillery Masterclass #1 with Gordon Dundas

Gordon Dundas

The Glengoyne Way: Six guiding principles rooted in nearly 200 years of our craft. Unpeated, Patience, Quality Casks, Maturation, Natural Colour all combine with Tradition to deliver a stunning range of single malts.

Note: Masterclass #1 and #2 are the same class at different times

Saturday January 20th, 2018 – Afternoon
1:00 to 2:00

The Amrut and Kavalan Distilleries Masterclass with Roberto Roberti

Roberto Roberti

Single malt whiskies have enjoyed an elevated profile among whisky enthusiasts over the last few years. Roberto Roberti has worked extensively with two brands at the forefront of the world whisky stage. Amrut Distillery in Bangalore India, and Kavalan Distillery in Yilan, Taiwan both produce exceptional world class single malt whiskies. Participants were treated to samples of core brands as well as select private casks from these international houses.

The Bruichladdich Distillery Masterclass with Gez McAlpine

Gez McAlpine

Brand ambassador Gez McAlpine explored Bruichladdich’s diverse styles of single malt, from unpeated to the worlds most heavily peated whisky. We learned what it is that sets Bruichladdich apart from other distilleries on the worlds most famous whisky region.

The Dalmore Distillery Masterclass with Craig Bridger

Craig Bridger

This exclusive Masterclass was presented by Craig Bridger, Single Malt Specialist, and featured a tasting of successive ages of the Dalmore Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, culminating wht The Dalmore King Alexander III – the only single malt in the world with a unique, six cask finish.

The Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch Distilleries Masterclass with Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Matt Jones took all attendees on a unique journey through the Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries unique range of offerings.

The Glenfiddich Distillery Masterclass with Elizabeth Havers

Elizabeth Havers

Five Decades in Dufftown – With our 130th Anniversary just around the corner Glenfiddich has a rich history of whisky making in our home of Dufftown, Scotland.  Glenfiddich’s Global Brand Ambassador Struan Grant Ralph and Canadian Brand Ambassador Beth Havers tasted participants way through time with some of Brian Kinsman’s favourite drams of the 70’s, 80s, 90s, 00 and 10s as well as looking into the future of what is to come from this truly pioneering distillery.

The Aberlour/Scapa Distilleries Masterclass with Keith Trusler

Keith Trusler

From Speyside to Orkney

From the rolling green hills surrounding the crystal clear waters of the Spey River, to the windswept cliffs and desolate beaches of Scapa flow. This tasting showcased two of Scotland’s finest boutique distilleries including Aberlour and the famous A’bunadh cask strength along with the much anticipated new releases from Scapa.

The Rare Drams “ladies only” Masterclass with Stacy Kyle

Stacy Kyle

Both for amateurs and connoisseurs, this Women's only tasting gave the opportunity to learn about whisky, and to join a network of like-minded women with a taste for curiosity and strong drinks. Whiskies were an exclusive selection from the Rare Drams portfolio.

The Glencadam & Tomintoul Distilleries Masterclass with Jim Pommelet

Jim Pommelet

Jim Pommelet, Victoria based whisky enthusiast lead participants through a masters tasting of Glencadam and Tomintoul selections. A family-owned Whisky dynasty founded in 1825 that is still producing Highland, Speyside and Glenlivet whiskies at their finest.

Crown Royal – The Art of Blending with Stephen Wilson

Stephen Wilson

Stephen Wilson, Crown Royal’s North American Brand Ambassador, discussed the art and craftsmanship of blending Crown Royal Deluxe, the flagship whisky originally created for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. Attendees learned about distillation processes, maturation and blending while sampling cask strength maturates directly from the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. We channeled our inner Master Blender as we explored these components of Crown Royal, including the highly sought-after Coffey Rye. It was a rare opportunity to experience these incredible liquids on their own and one that was not to be missed.

The Whisky and Chocolate #1 – The Cask Effect

David Mincey Adam Bradshaw

The vast variety of flavours that different casks can impart on whiskies were explored. Hosted by Adam Bradshaw of The Strath, and David Mincey of The Chocolate Project.

The Balvenie Whisk(e)y World Tour: Peat

Balvenie Ambassadors

Navigated by an international army of Balvenie Ambassadors, this tasting took guests on a global tour of peated styles from Islay to Ireland, from Scottish to Tasmanian highlands and beyond.

2:40 to 3:40

The Ardbeg Distillery Masterclass with Ruaraidh MacIntyre

Ruaraidh MacIntyre

Former distillery worker Ruaraidh MacIntyre walked us through Ardbeg's newest permanent release, Ardbeg An Oa. We tasted how it relates to Ardbeg’s other whiskies and left the class being able to say 'I know An Oa'. 

The Compass Box Masterclass with James Bornn

James Bornn

Compass Box continues to push the envelope in the world of Scotch Whisky. Some of their classic and rare releases like “The Double Single,” “Kensington 25th Anniversary” and more were enjoyed with Brand Ambassador James Bornn.

The Michter’s Distillery Masterclass with Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson

Michter’s heritage harkens back to America’s first whiskey company. Participants enjoyed this in depth look at Bourbon and other American Whisky with Michter’s General Manager and Master of Maturation, Andrea Wilson.

The Laphroaig Distillery Masterclass with Simon Brooking

Simon Brooking John Campbell

John Campbell, Manager of Laphroaig Distillery and Simon Brooking, Laphroaig's Master Ambassador took us to "The beautiful hollow by the broad bay." The depths and peaks of the most distinctly flavoured single malt Scotch -Laphroaig were explored. Attendees learned about the history of the water of life on the island of Islay and sampled the range of the # 1 selling Islay single malt.

Where there's smoke, there's Laphroaig…

The Balvenie Distillery Masterclass with Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson

The Balvenie: Cask, Craft, and the Intelligence of the Hand : With an eye on getting your hands dirty, eleven (13!) Balvenie Ambassadors from Taipei to Toronto gathered an impressive array of Single Barrels to accompany an enlightening (and possibly controversial) exploration of that diluted term, “handcrafted”.

The Canadian Whisky Wheel Masterclass with Dr. Don Livermore and Dave Broom

Dave Broom Dr. Don Livermore

This Masterclass introduced the Canadian Whisky Flavour Wheel. This was an informative class that taught how flavours develop in Canadian Whisky from a Master Blender's perspective.

The Glenfarclas Distillery Masterclass with Gavin Cameron

Gavin Cameron

Passionate story-teller and Glenfarclas brand ambassador Gavin Cameron delved into the history and significance of Speyside’s crown jewel, Glenfarclas: one of Scotland’s three remaining 100 year old family-owned and operated distilleries.

The Springbank Distillery Masterclass with Melanie Stanger

Melanie Stanger

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we can present the outstanding Springbank Distillery whiskies at next year’s festival.

The Benromach Masterclass with Richard Urquhart

Richard Urquhart

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we can present the outstanding Benromach Distillery whiskies at next year’s festival.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Masterclass II with John McCheyne

John McCheyne

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we are able to present the outstanding SMWS whiskies at next year’s festival!

The Glengoyne Distillery Masterclass #2 with Gordon Dundas

Gordon Dundas

The Glengoyne Way: Six guiding principles rooted in nearly 200 years of our craft. Unpeated, Patience, Quality Casks, Maturation, Natural Colour all combine with Tradition to deliver a stunning range of single malts.

Note: Masterclass #1 and #2 are the same class at different times

4:10 to 5:10

The Glenmorangie Distillery Masterclass with Ruaraidh MacIntyre

Ruaraidh MacIntyre

Glenmorangie's National Manager, Ruaraidh MacIntyre, hosted a tasting of Glenmorangie's Legends Series; exclusive to travel retail. A range of different casks and soon to be released products were sampled.

4:20 to 5:20

BenRiach & GlenDronach Distilleries Masterclass with James Bornn

James Bornn

Participants indulged in the decadence of GlenDronach, and the diversity of BenRiach Single Malt Scotch whiskies including rare single cask offerings with Brand Ambassador James Bornn.

The NIKKA Masterclass with Austin Bellantoni

Austin Bellantoni

The Festival was very pleased to once again hold a Japanese whisky masterclass featuring the excellent whiskies of Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Japanese whisky has become world renowned for its finesse and quality, producing elegant and widely varied malts.

This class covered the history of whisky in Japan and follow the story of Nikka’s founder, Masataka Taketsuru, the “Father of Japanese Whisky”, whose travel to Scotland and back shaped the history of whisky production in Japan. We tasted malts and blends from Nikka’s two distilleries, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, and learned how Taketsuru’s enduring influence has allowed Japanese whisky to carve out a unique niche for itself, and concluded with a brief tasting of what the future has in store for Nikka Whisky.

The Jim Beam and Small Batch Bourbon Masterclass with Matt Jones

Matt Jones

Making History – The first family of Bourbon

Take an insider look into the passion and obsession of the Beam Family and how they laid the foundation for the Bourbon Revival. Presented by Matt Jones.

The Old Pultenay Distillery Masterclass with Lukasz Dynowiak

Lukasz Dynowiak

In the far north of Scotland, on the rugged Caithness coast lies Old Pulteney Distillery. Established in 1826, it was once a fishermen’s dram, a drop of northern gold to brighten up the deepest night at sea. Today Old Pulteney constantly surprises and delights with its depth of character and direct connection between the flavour and the coastal home. The award-winning range and were tasted and whisk terroir in the northern sense of the word was discovered.

The JP Wiser’s Masterclass with Colin MacDougal

Colin MacDougal

We were immersed into the history of Canadian Whisky! Colin MacDougal provided samples and explained how Wiser’s is masterfully crafted to be one of the finest whiskies in the world.

The Northern Border Masterclass with Dr. Don Livermore and Dave Broom

Dave Broom Dr. Don Livermore

After previewing the first annual Rare Release of their Northern Border Collection in Victoria the previous year, Dr. Don Livermore was back to give a first glimpse of the second annual Rare Release. With liquids pulled from over 1.6 million barrels the full versatility of the Northern Border Collection was on show. Continuing to raise the conversation on Canadian Whisky Corby showed its core Northern Border Collection and, for the first time in public, showed the four liquids that make up the second annual release of the Rare Range. This was a spectacular tasting with one of the world’s great whisky makers.

The Gordon & MacPhail Masterclass with Richard Urquhart

Richard Urquhart

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event was cancelled. It is our sincere wish that we can present the outstanding Gordon & MacPhail whiskies at next year’s festival.

North-American Whisk(e)y Round-Up: With Ryan Cheverie and Shane Eli

Brown-Forman whiskey expert Ryan Cheverie and Jack Daniel’s Ambassador Shane Eli explored the amazing luxury it is to be the only major whiskey producer to have their own cooperage, two actually. From Collingwood Maplewood Mellowed, to Woodford Double-Oaked, with side trips to Jack Daniel’s and Old Forester along the way.

The Whisky & Chocolate Masterclass #2 – The Peat Effect

Adam Bradshaw

The mystery of peat and the amazing effect it has on the flavour of whisky was explored. Hosted by Adam Bradshaw of The Strath, and Charity Hobbs of Terroir Tea Merchant.

The Balvenie Whisk(e)y World Tour: Sweet Masterclass

Balvenie Ambassadors

Navigated by a global gaggle of Balvenie Ambassadors, this tasting explored sweetness in whisk(e)y, from New make to New world, Canadian, bourbon and the sweetest of Scotch malt whiskies.

Saturday January 20th, 2018 - Evening

The VIP Tasting
6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.

The VIP Tasting is open to special guests of the 2018 Victoria Whisky Festival and VIP Ticket holders. It was held in the Vancouver & Pender Island Ballrooms prior to the Consumer Tasting and featured the full line of whiskies as with the Consumer Tasting. VIP Ticket holders were able to explore the range of whiskies being presented for a full hour prior to the Consumer Tasting (Ticket price included VIP Tasting & Consumer Tasting).

The Consumer Tasting
7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

The heart of the Festival was the Consumer Tasting held in the Hotel Grand Pacific’s Pender Island and Vancouver Island Ballrooms and featured a myriad of distilleries and whiskies including Canadian whisky, Scottish single malts and blended whiskies, Irish whiskey, Japanese, Indian, French, Swedish, Australian whiskies and a variety of whisky & whiskey styles from the United States of America.

Each attendee was provided with an engraved Glencairn whisky nosing & tasting glass as well as assorted product information from the presenters.

The Hotel Grand Pacific will be provided the best Hors d’Oeuvres from their award winning kitchen and Chefs using local ingredients including the very popular & elusive haggis tarts created especially for the Victoria Whisky Festival! Here we were able to satisfy our whisky curiosity by sampling our choice of over 150 whiskies, the largest selection available for such an event in British Columbia.

Sunday January 21st, 2018 - Evening

The Distillers Dinner

This exceptional dinner was by invitation only; the culinary team at the Hotel Grand Pacific led by Executive Chef Rick Choy paired some exceptional local ingredients with some outstanding whiskies.

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The Strath: Largest Selection of Single Malts in Victoria
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Proceeds to benefit:

The Q T.L.C Fund for Kids Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers


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