Jim Murray once again supported the Victoria Whisky Festival with two of his legendary tastings featuring a wide selection of whiskies from around the world including single malts and blends from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States of America. Jim's tastings are very informative, high energy and amusing, a tasting not to be missed.
We were very excited to open the 2007 Victoria Whisky Festival with a tasting led by Mr. Richard Paterson the Award Winning Master Blender for Whyte & Mackay Limited, the famous Scottish whisky merchants. This event took the form of a sit down tasting where Richard Paterson led the attendees through the company's whiskies including both blends and single malts. Richard Paterson has worked with Whyte & Mackay since 1970 and is the third generation in a family which has long been established within the Scotch Whisky industry.
Mr. Paterson started honing his craft from the age of 17, working as a general production assistant at a whisky blending and exporting company. Having perfected the age old double marriage process, Mr. Paterson is no stranger to success and is regarded as one of the foremost whisky experts in the world. As well as the numerous personal accolades acknowledging his pre-eminence in the whisky industry, Mr. Paterson has also proven instrumental in Whyte & Mackay being awarded the numerous gold medals and Honours.
Mr. Paterson is renowned for high energy, informative and amusing tastings. Attendees were wowed by the presentation, which included a sampling of some very old and rare whiskies.
A key component of the Festival is education; to that end we offered Masterclasses presented by senior product consultants, brand ambassador & distillers that were in a classroom format (school was never like this!) Masterclasses are strictly limited in size to a maximum of 24 attendees each. Attendees were provided with a flight of whiskies and the presenter provided detailed information about each whisky and the associated distillery.
This Company has an interesting selection of malts from several distilleries. Jim Murray led the class through their various distilleries including the enigmatic An Cnoc, the maritime Old Pulteney as well as Catto's Blended Scotch Whisky.
The influence of different barley styles & of different peating levels with Andrew Gray of The Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland.
Richard Cmajdalka showcased the fine whiskies of Charton-Hobbs, including the legendary Ardbeg and Glenmorangie Distilleries.
This masterclass explored the single malt whiskies of the Macallan Distillery from the Highland Speyside region and Highland Park Distillery from the northern Scottish Orkney Islands. Both distilleries contribute to the Famous Grouse blended whisky and this fine whisky was also tasted.
Robert Ransom (Sales Manager) from the Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside, Scotland educated attendees on the various expressions of this famous and independent Scottish distillery.
Alistair Walker (Sales Director) led attendees through the whiskies of this recently reopened Speyside Distillery, Scotland.
The influence of different cask types on maturation flavour development with Andrew Gray of Murray McDavid.
James Cowan, Sales Director for A. Dewar Rattary officially launched the Dewar Rattray line of single malt whiskies into British Columbia with the first public tasting of these interesting single malts. James also touched on the history of Dewar Rattray.
Another wonderful opportunity to explore first hand the Gold Medal whiskies, both blended and single malt from this famous company led by Richard Paterson.
Former Lagavulin Distillery Manager Mike Nicolson led attendees through the Classic Malts of Scotland; Lagavulin, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchie and Oban. Mike Nicolson managed numerous other Distilleries for Diageo and his masterclass proved informative and amusing.
Douglas Davidson, Managing Director of Arran Distillers tasted and discussed the Arran 10 year old, together with the new 100% Proof version of Arran currently sweeping Europe. There was also an update and tasting from Arran's growing International Cask Strength Programme with amazing finishes never before produced by any whisky company.
Robert Ransom (Sales Manager) from the Glenfarclas Distillery in Speyside, Scotland led attendees through the various expression of this famous and independent Scottish distillery.
This class featured a variety of the famed Society single cask malts with Alan Shayne. The SMWS bottles and resells to its members single malts whiskies from single casks, at cask strength.
This was a repeat of the A. Dewar Rattray Masterclass One, above.
This was a repeat of the Classic Malts of Scotland Masterclass One, above.
The heart of the Festival is the Consumer Tasting, held in the Hotel Grand Pacific's Pender Island and Vancouver Island Ball Rooms. A myriad of distilleries and whiskies were featured, including Canadian whisky, Scottish single malts and blended whiskies, Irish whiskey and a variety of whisky & whiskey styles from the United States of America.
Attendees had their choice of over 90 whiskies for their enjoyment. Each attendee was provided with an engraved Glencairn whisky nosing & tasting glass, a Festival program, a Malt Advocate whisky magazine and assorted product information.
The Hotel Grand Pacific 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 attendees satisfied their whisky curiosity by sampling their choice of over 90 whiskies, the largest selection available for such an event in British Columbia.
Please see the Program & Tickets page for further details.
The final event for this year's festival was the Aberlour Dinner. The Hotel Grand Pacific's Executive Chef Andrew Stigant paired exceptional local ingredients with the single malts from the famed Aberlour Distillery located in Speyside, Scotland. This wonderful evening in the highly acclaimed The Mark restaurant was a first for the Victoria Whisky Festival and featured a 5 course meal. Each of the Aberlour single malts featured were used in the perpetration of each course.