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Victoria Whiskyfest - Show of Hands, please

Please tell us about any events coming up, or review events you have been to recently.

Postby Cam » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:00 am

Don't get me wrong Mr. T. My 'after hours' suggestion was meant to be of a social nature. I'm not really concerned whether that takes the form of additional drams, brewed delights, or straight water. This 'whisky newbie' just wants to sit amongst some of the 'Masters' of this forum and gather some knowledge, some insight, perhaps even experience an epiphany concerning our favourite beverage.

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Postby WestVanDave » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:13 am

Hi again Cam - no need to worry - the whole event is about socializing - and there are plenty of Grand Masters (Lawrence, Mr. T, visiting dignitaries from the distilleries, Jim Murray, etc.)...

I believe the best way to ensure social inclusion is to stand in the lobby of the Grand Pacific Hotel with an open bottle (or three) of Ardbeg (or similar cult favourite) - shouting to the masses your room # and the suggestion to "bring glasses"... you'd be amazed at the friends you'll meet...
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:12 am

Wendy wrote:]

:lol: - Dave, I think you have described a "Swan Dive." I am sure Mr TH will catch his second wind before the night is done!

Lawrence-san,
I think we have our ear to the same pipe line...

See you soon,
Wendy


Sorry, Wendy...I think he'll probably break his second wind before the night is done... ;)

Wish I could join you all next weekend!

Mark
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:31 pm

The list of all the whiskies being presented at the Festival is growing by the day and is very impressive, I am trying to figure out how I can be in two place at once during the masterclasses. The Jim Murray and Richard Paterson tastings will be wonderful events. As things are coming together nicely I'm actually starting to become excited!

Lawrence

PS, all those forum members that are attending please be in the lobby of the Hotel at 5:30 on the 27th so I can arrange for your entry into the Media & Sponsor Event, please email me directly so I can set this up.
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Postby Badmonkey » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:16 am

Jim Murray tasting? When did that get added to the event list? I won't be there in time to attend, much to my regret. Forum member/lurker msanime will also be coming up from L.A. with a couple of bottles for the Badmonkey, and we'll be breaking out the Cuban cigars at some point.

Whispers of a secret whisky pipeline from East Asia intrigue me...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:00 am

Lawrence wrote:Whiskied OUT!!!!????


Yeah, I'm more of a beer guy actually. Truth to tell, I don't really like whisky all that much.


















:wink: :P
Seriously, I don't often drink just whisky, and to be quite honest, I found the load last year physically oppressive. This year I will make an effort to actually ingest less, and I expect you'll see me carrying a large bottle of water. And yes, I will be dying for a beer at the end; I was last year, and never got it. I very much doubt I will take part in any late night dramming. Which leads me to...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:09 am

WestVanDave wrote:Having witnessed Mr. T. post-whisky Fest last year - slumbering in a comfy chair while Jim Murray and a few of us sat around creating a vatting and pontificating ad nauseum....


Is that what you were doing? No wonder I nodded off!

Cam, look forward to meeting you in any case.

And re the monkey's comment--Lawrence, I do have a complaint, which I hope you will take as constructive criticism. It's the number of events which have been added long after the tickets have been sold and travel arrangements have been made, when most of us are no longer paying attention to the schedule. I'm sure there are reasons why it happened this way, but I hope in the future you will be able to have the full schedule fairly well set before selling tickets.
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Postby WestVanDave » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:53 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:
And re the monkey's comment--Lawrence, I do have a complaint, which I hope you will take as constructive criticism. It's the number of events which have been added long after the tickets have been sold and travel arrangements have been made, when most of us are no longer paying attention to the schedule. I'm sure there are reasons why it happened this way, but I hope in the future you will be able to have the full schedule fairly well set before selling tickets.


In his defence (and I'm sure he'll take no offense to your comments Mr. T.) Lawrence is a victim of his own success and the difficulty of herding cats (read: whisky folk)... for an event in only its second year.

Now that Sir Lawrence has done such a fine job in putting Victoria on the Whisky Map - and attracted the attention and support from these distilleries and their reps - no doubt he will be able to have them commit well in advance. (A tough feat in such an "oppressive" liquor market: British Columbia - and in the provincial capital, no less.)

An additional suggestion to all interested is to plan well ahead - add a few extra days to you travel plans next year to enjoy Victoria - and if those plans get sidetracked by "must see" whisky events, well, you'll just have to plan to visit Victoria again - perhaps in the summer time when the flowers are in bloom (and the geoduck diving is at its best)...
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Postby rthomson » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:06 pm

Some day (next year's festival?) I'll plan a couple more days to spend in Victoria/Vancouver Island. The brief time I've been there has been great. This year I couldn't schedule any extra time but I'm looking forward to the trip nonetheless.

As far as after hours dramming, I haven't decided about that. Being a bit of a lightweight I can only drink so much whisky before I truly pay for it the next day. A pleasant walk to The Swan might be just what the doctor ordered after the tasting. I, too, nearly always have a pint along with my drams and I'll likely be in the mood for one later in the night.

Cheers, and I'll be seeing some of you soon!

Ron
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Postby WestVanDave » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:56 am

Wow - it looks like I''ll be the first back from Victoria and on this forum to comment on the spectacular success of the Victoria Whisky Festival. Sir Lawrence and his gang outdid themselves, again.

As mentioned here before, we had a gang of our own in attendance - 9 of the West Coast Whisky Society crossed the pond. Distant fellow forumners made grand treks to be there including Wendy (Toronto), Mr. T (Springfield, Mass.), Ron (Seattle), Badmonkey (Craig - Edmonton), Ibacha (Len - Ohio) and not so distant Cam (Cowichan Valley). It was wonderful to see you and share a dram or story or laugh. No lack of any of those three - the only thing lacking was time... it all flew by so fast.

The weather in Victoria was exceptional - clear skies, light brisk breezes and fresh sea air had me dreaming that I was "so close to Scotland" even while enjoying a dram of Craig's Yoichi 12.

I'll share some pictures soon (if I can figure out how to do that on this forum).

Again - a very fun & friendly festival - I'd love to see everyone and many more there next year...
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Postby lbacha » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:20 pm

Well my plane just landed a couple hours ago and I'm back to work (Red-eyes are painful) It was a great experience, like Dave said I met alot of people from the forum as well as some others from the west coast whisky society and the Victoria whisky society. This event is defintly on my calander for next year. Well got to get back to work.

Later Len
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Postby rthomson » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:19 pm

Great whisky, great people, great city! A tremendous job in putting together a wonderful whisky festival. There were quite a few forum members there and that was a special treat. How early can I reserve tickets for VWF 3?

Cheers,

Ron
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Postby les taylor » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:23 pm

I thought I'd just say hello because we are feeling a bit left out in europe on this thread. Sounds like a good wekkend.


:)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:05 am

I'm back in Seattle, recovering, drinking lots of coffee. It was indeed a fine weekend, although to be honest, the whisky itself is all rather a blur! But it was great to hang with the other forumites, even Dave :wink: . I'll post a photo or two--I didn't take many--when I get home later in the week. We did indeed have splendid weather for the second straight year--people were enjoying their java al fresco everywhere. As well as whisky, I managed to bag all three brewpubs in town.

Cheers to all--I wish I didn't have to wait a whole year to share a dram with you again! And kudos and many thousand thanks to Lawrence for another splendid event.
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Postby Cam » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:34 am

I too enjoyed the weekend in Victoria. The first whisky event that I have attended. Nice to be able to put faces to the familiar names on this forum.

I do want to appologize to the forum members I met about disappearing shortly after the 'photo op'. My wife had joined me for the Saturday evening tasting and on her arrival she also brought news that our family pet dog (Lily) had been struck by a car and died. Sandy was not much in the mood for socializing even though she is the social butterfly of the two of us. Sandy returned early to our room and I didn't want her to sit fretting on her own.

I learned allot over the weekend and tried many whiskies that I would normally not have a chance to sample. I was drawn to the 'Campbeltowns' as that is my surname, and really liked the Longrow 10yr. Also took a liking to the Murray McDavid Auchroisk.

Richard Paterson's story about Jura's superstition about the "last Campbell leaving the Island" and the distillery's need for a manager got me thinking that perhaps I could be the 'second coming'. (Didn't realize that whisky could be an hallucigenic.) :lol:

May we meet again.

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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:02 am

Hi Cam, I'm sorry to hear that sad news, I'll email you shortly.

Thanks to all the forum members for travelling to Victoria for the Festival. Believe it or not VWF 2008 planning is well under way. All in all 2007 went very well with lots of positive feedback. The hotel never even commented on Richard Paterson heaving a bucket of ice water all over the carpet and walls!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:02 am

The hotel never even commented on Richard Paterson heaving a bucket of ice water all over the carpet and walls!
:lol:

Was that perchance whilst explaining how it always "Rains on Islay" or was it a Baptism of a new arrival after one of his Festival "Marriages" lasr year?
:D

(Wish I was there)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:04 am

I'm sure I ended those italics after the first sentence in the last post!
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Postby les taylor » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:13 am

Cam that's really sad about your dog. Sorry to hear that. It puts other things in perspective dosen't it.



:(
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:36 am

Yes, sorry to hear about your dog Cam :(
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Postby lbacha » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:04 pm

Cam

It was a pleasure meeting you and I'm sorry about the sad news, hopefully we can meet again next year and enjoy a good Longrow or two.

Len
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Postby lbacha » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:06 pm

The bucket of ice by the way came after a warning to not let bartenders put ice in your whisky. Right after that he poured me a dram of the 62 Dalmore, it was definitly a memorable masterclass. Richard is a great presentor and it was a pleasure to attend another of his classes.

Len
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Postby rthomson » Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:58 pm

Cam, I'm sorry to hear the news about your dog, that's so sad.

Ron
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Postby Badmonkey » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:49 am

Sorry to hear the sad news, Cam. The loss of a dog always cuts deep.

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Postby Wendy » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:58 pm

Hello Everyone,
I just returned home yesterday from the wonderful Victoria Whisky Festival. I will be posting a detailed report in a couple of days on the Tastings, Masterclasses and the Saturday night Consumer Event. It was an additional pleasure to have met two new forum members, Len and Cam. The festival was a great success with special thanks going to Lawrence and the other organizers.

Cam, I would also like to express my condolences over the loss of Lily. Please send my best regards to your wife and regrets that we didn't have the chance to meet.


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Postby Cam » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:18 am

Thank you all. It's amazing that such a little creature can generate and garner so much affection as Lily did.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:21 am

A few thoughts on VWF 2007:

Richard Paterson's presentation was very entertaining and informative--the man has an amazing head for dates!--but I was put off a bit by what seemed to me to be overtheatricality. Early on he said, "If I see you holding the glass like this [by the bowl]--I'll kill you!" If it had been a spontaneous joke, I'd have been more amused, but it's obviously a line he uses at every presentation, for effect, and as such I didn't think it was very funny. Several other calculated "jokes" fell a bit flat with me, and I really didn't think it was necessary to throw a bucketful of ice against the wall of a hotel ballroom to make the point that he thinks you shouldn't put ice in your dram.

The attendee seated to my left, who, for her protection, shall be referred to here only as "W", surreptitiously held her dram Murray-style below the table. Good for her. I gave Mr Paterson the benefit of the doubt and did it his way; after all, it was his tasting. (Paterson thinks you shouldn't warm the dram because you will change it. Murray thinks you should warm the dram because you will change it. What I get from this is that different people think different things, and one ought to be able to make up one's own mind without having one's life threatened, however frivolously.)

To be fair, I gathered that Mr Paterson had endured a rather gruelling travel schedule prior to his arrival, and he seemed to be a little off-form for the first five or ten minutes. That may have given the appearance of being somewhat forced to me, coloring my impression of the rest of the presentation. And I want to emphasize that on the whole, it was an excellent experience that I would not want to have missed.

I had not intended to attend any masterclasses this year, but Ron fell into a pair of tickets for the Inver House class (thanks, Lawrence), presented by Jim Murray. Again, it was overall an excellent presentation, but I do have a complaint. Based on this masterclass and last year's tasting, as well as comments from others who have attended similar events, Mr Murray seems to have a chronic problem managing his time. The masterclasses were tightly scheduled, and after an hour, the rooms had to be made ready for the next class. We did not touch a glass until twenty minutes in. Had Mr Murray not felt compelled to spend five minutes telling us how great he is (we know who you are...), and another five in ridiculing Mr Paterson (as good-natured as it was supposedly intended, and as much as I agreed with Murray on the points, it struck me as very unprofessional), we would not have had to give the last dram such short shrift. Stewards were at the door, urging us all to be on our way, before we even touched the glass.

Again, these are relatively minor annoyances, and on the whole I found both events worthwhile.

The Consumer Tasting (the general exhibition) was scheduled for 7:00, but Lawrence was kind enough to arrange for forum members to attend the press session from 5:30 to 6:30, and I'm very appreciative that he did. This was the best opportunity to talk to distillery reps; the general session is too busy and noisy for effective schmoozing, I think. (I should add that, with the action spread over two rooms, this festival was, I gather, quite a bit less densely packed than many similar events, and was not uncomfortably crowded at all.) And frankly, after a certain number of drams, I just can't taste anything any more, anyway. This was only my second event of this kind, and while I did much better than last year, I think further refinement of my strategy will be in order. I had my first-ever of a number of things, and tried to taste the sort of stuff I wouldn't normally, like bourbon, rye, blends, and Irish; but I really couldn't tell you much about any of them. The only one that stood out late in the evening was a SMWS Littlemill, and that isn't a compliment.

In fact, I hadn't intended to stay for much of the general session, thinking I would sneak off for a pint or two instead. But I stayed until the end, as it was a nice social occasion, and it was a chance to hang with forum members not seen in a year, or just met. The scene in Suite 952 was a convivial one, as well, and it was with regret that I made my exit earlier than most--don't need Dave making fun of me next year--not knowing when or if I will see many of you again. Whisky is a social drink, best shared with friends, as Len, with his bottle of Glenfarclas Quarter Cask, can attest. (At least I hope he still feels that way; it went awfully fast.) Fate may cross our paths again or not. Each dram holds fond memories.

À la prochaine!
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Postby lbacha » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:14 am

I would have felt bad if it didn't go, and with all the drinking going on before I was a little worried.


Len
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:36 am

Thanks for an excellent report Mr. T.

I attended Richard's Masterclass in WL Glasgow last year and I thoroughly enjoyed many of his antics, but he didn't buckets of water around the hotel conference room.
(He restricted himself to squirting a bit of water over our heads to remind us it always rains on Islay. It was Islay wasn't it Criefty?)

However, he did use that "If I see you holding a glass like this, I'll kill you" routine which was the one gag which fell a little flat.
I notice the same 'gag' on his "how to taste" slot on SingleMalt TV.

I will say that where I originate from in the North of England, "I'll kill you" sentiments were often used very lightly throughout the 1970's 1980's without actually meaning "kill".
I suspect this is how RP means that particular gag, but as I have now lived abroad for quite a few years I appreciate that not everyone understands the lighness meant by such a regionalised sentiment and quite frankly, times have changed and he should consider amending his patter to reflect this.


As for that Glenfarclas QC:
I have never come across a whisky which changes so much in such a short time. Whenever I open a new bottle I detect the aromas of a marvellous Olde English country house. Lots of old oak, musty old books, leather and a hint of sherry.
A truly good dram.
But after about a week, the leather, books and oak recede and the sherry prevails, in true Glenfarclas style.
So, although I am pleased to hear that you all sampled and enjoyed the QC, it is perhaps a slight shame that you didn't experience this metamorphosis that so far, I have only found in the QC.

Slàinte,
MT
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:05 pm

I am sorry to say (and don't tell Len) that the dram of 'farclas QC I had was really wasted on me--my palate went to bed long before the rest of me. But I really appreciated the chance to take a shot at it.

Your comments re killing are illuminating, and make me feel a little better, being someone who understands how one might be prisoner to arcane cultural reference (d'oh!). But yeah, I think he should drop it. It sounds defensive--as though he and Murray were carrying on an argument with us poor saps as go-betweens.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:55 pm

It's interesting about the two different schools of thought on how to take your whisky from Richard & Jim and as one of the organizers of the Festival we're thrilled with this. We don't want one school to dominate over the other and these different perspectives help educate attendees on which is the best path for them. At the end of the day the whisky is bought with our money and we're free to decide for ourselves.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:13 am

Lawrence wrote:It's interesting about the two different schools of thought on how to take your whisky from Richard & Jim and as one of the organizers of the Festival we're thrilled with this. We don't want one school to dominate over the other and these different perspectives help educate attendees on which is the best path for them. At the end of the day the whisky is bought with our money and we're free to decide for ourselves.


Cheers to that!!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:45 pm

I absolutely agree, Lawrence, and am very happy to hear differing viewpoints. But I object to being told by anyone that this is the only right way to do it, and I found the sniping annoying. Murray was quick to say that they're all friends, and the argument is a good-natured and ongoing one, but still the tone of it put me off.

Looking through my photos, I find I really have no very interesting whisky-related ones. However, after arriving in town on Friday, I chanced to espy Wendy outside a toy store whilst having a walkabout, and snapped this charming candid photo.
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Postby WestVanDave » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:48 am

You've really captured the essence of all things Wendy in that pic Mr. T... (or should I call you Mr. K for Karsh???

Ever cheerful - ever smiling - pony-tailed and eyes so bright - that's our Wendy from the forum, all right!!! :wink:

Now, if only I could figure out how to post my pics here - I could share a few of the crowd - including Mr. T (while still conscious and less than bright-eyed and bushy-tailed) and the after-party in Lawrence's suite...
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Postby Jan » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:15 am

Such lovely blue eyes....

WVD: you just upload your pics to one of the sites that hosts pics, for precisely that purpose, photobucket, photovillage etc. They provide an url to the photo, which you post here. IF you use the img function, it will be shown directly, otherwise one would have to click the link to see it.
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