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Square Seven

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Square Seven

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jul 30, 2005 3:41 am

Issue #49 arrived today! Haven't read it all, but some highlights:

-The opinions of some notable personages regarding the SWA's proposed changes to classification on page 14. :roll:

-A discussion of marketing and packaging trends with reps from Compass Box, JMR, and Bruichladdich. Put me in the traditionalist's camp. There's nothing wrong with innovation, but there's nothing wrong with time-honored tradition, either. Compass Box's products and packaging are innovative, but respectful of tradition, as befits an adult product. JMR's stuff is juvenile, part, I suppose, of the unfortunate infantilization of modern culture in general. (Look who's talking!) Many here have commented favorably on JMR's product, but I'll never try it, because their packaging screams "Whisky for Dummies". I'm not a dummy, so it's obviously not for me. (Not to imply that those of you who feel differently about the packaging, or have chosen to overlook it, are dummies; just how it speaks to me.)

-Couple of articles about bourbon I glossed over; I will make a point of reading them, though.

-Distillery focus on Clynelish, with not a small emphasis on the history of the area and how it relates to the distillery. I like this kind of background. Someone will no doubt call for more tasting notes.

-A feature on Shebeen, a whisky bar in Vancouver. Anybody been? (First one who says "I ain't, but my wife, she been" gets a smack with Ed's rolled-up newspaper.) (Oh crud...that would be me.)

-A rather cursory "Mystery Visitor" trip to Lagavulin, in which I learn that the distillery lies at "the southern tip of the island".

-A story about SMWS' new digs on Queen Street in Edinburgh. Looks nice, but not on my wallet.

-Another "whisky cocktails" article.... Do we really want to be trendy?

-An interesting-looking story on an illicit distiller, with a couple of historical photos. Haven't read yet. A small map showing the locale would have been nice.

-International tastings, including some Bakery Hill, Admiral! India, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, and France also represented.

And others...another fine issue. Any forum users here who aren't regular readers, get with it.
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Re: Square Seven

Postby WestVanDave » Sat Jul 30, 2005 6:53 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Issue #49 arrived today! Haven't read it all, but some highlights:


-A feature on Shebeen, a whisky bar in Vancouver. Anybody been? (First one who says "I ain't, but my wife, she been" gets a smack with Ed's rolled-up newspaper.) (Oh crud...that would be me.)


Hi Mr. T.

Shebeen (the Whisky Bar) and The Irish Heather - the main bar & restaurant - are owned & operated by Sean & Erin Heather. Great places to read a rolled-up newspaper and enjoy a dram. The Irish Heather is open regular hours - the Shebeen is more for special events and only open Thursday through Saturday evenings.

http://www.irishheather.com/

Our club - the West Coast Whisky Society has held several meetings there and has fallen into the tradition of holding a Christmas lunch there every year.

My last visit was for a late lunch with Jim Murray after picking him at the airport in Vancouver, where Jim discussed Brazilian whisky with a bartender from that part of the world.

Other notable nights at Shebeen included a Whisky Tasting with Mark Reynier (Bruichladdich) and a Bowmore night with Fergus Hartley.

I would recommend the Irish Heather and Shebeen highly to any and all visitors to Vancouver... Better yet - let me know when you (or any WM reader) are in town and I'll buy the first round...

Cheers, Dave.
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Postby Aidan » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:25 am

I quite like JMR's packaging. Sure if they get the kids drink whisky, it will all have been worthwhile.
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:38 pm

By the way, a compliment to our hosts...I wasn't expecting the new issue for weeks, and it was a surprise to see it in the mailbox. Usually, I have to wait almost two months between issues...but the new issue came less than a month after issue 48...

Thanks!

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jul 31, 2005 2:41 am

There are eight issues a year, Mark--according to the fine print, published Feb, Apr, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct, Nov, and Dec. Guess you could call that a syncopated schedule.

Dave, I see a trip to the great northwest (from our point of view) in the next year. Portland, Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver on the list. Hope to touch base with some old friends and new, and will gladly take you up on your offer!
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:40 am

I know...(deleting semi-obligatory off-topic comment)...

Thanks!

Mark
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Postby Aidan » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:40 am

Speaking of dumbing down whiskey, there's a new Irish brand that has the same goal. It's called Feckin whiskey. It's from Cooley, but I don't know if it's a malt, blend or what.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:25 am

It's called Feckin whiskey.


I like it! :D

JMR's packaging is an interesting thing. I don't think they've "dumbed" it down as such, although I understand Mr T's position. But I think their packaging & naming is a brilliant way of achieving what they're setting out to do....to void all the jargon and twaddle that is usually associated with malt whisky. From what I can ascertain around the traps, they're apparently achieving moderate success, and good luck to them!

(Although at the end of the day, they've go to be making good whisky. You can dress it up or dress it down all you like.....if the contents ain't worth drinking, then it doesn't matter how you market it. Happily, I'm pleased to say I've been impressed with all three of their line up. I'll spare a dram from each bottle for you Mr T when you hit these fine shores.)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Aidan » Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:53 pm

Hi Admiral - I should have put quotation marks around the "dumbing down" bit. I think I'm affected by packaging, alright. Ultimately, it's the whisky inside, though. I hope so anyway.

I think it's impressive that JMR have produced three good whiskies at their first attempt.
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:55 am

By the way, congratulations to our friends T, Admiral, Iain, Tom, and Lex...all were quoted in the Letters column this month re the interesting thread a while back on the SWA and "vatted malt" controversy.

Well done, guys!

Mark
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Postby Iain » Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:05 pm

I can't see a problem with JMR packaging either. I certainly would see it as "accessible" rather than dumbing down. And the whiskies are good.

As WM says, ""At its heart is a desire to provide whisky for an intelligent and educated market that was put off by the traditional image of whisky".

Surely you must agree that it's good to see the folks at Edrington are willing to back a fresh and approach to whisky drinking, Mr T!
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