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Whisky event advice

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Whisky event advice

Postby pouranother » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:28 am

I need a little advice concerning a local "Malt Advocate" sponsored tasting and the Whisky Live event in Toronto. Since I am new to malts, is it worh the investment to attend these events? I have limited knowledge, and resources, but a lot of interest. Are these things for "beginner" to "expert" or they mostly for the latter? Thanks
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:02 am

This from Whisky Magazine:

Whisky Live Toronto 2006
When : 14th October 2006
Heritage Court. Toronto. Canada.
We are delighted to announce that, on 14 October Whisky Live will bring the celebration of whisky to the financial and cultural centre of Canada, Toronto for the first time. Whisky Live Toronto will be held at historic Heritage Court, in the heart of Toronto’s world famous Exhibition Place.
Whisky Live Toronto is Canada’s whisky tasting event of the year, bringing the celebration of whisky to the heart of Toronto for the first time. Held in the spectacular Heritage Court, part of the National Trade Centres, Whisky Live Toronto brings all the very best whiskies from around the world under one roof. Appealing to both the enthusiast and the novice alike, with expert advice on hand and the opportunity to learn about the whisky basics, Whisky Live Toronto is intended to provide the ultimate whisky experience. Whisky Live Toronto has much to offer with the varied tastings available, the whisky experiences, appetizing food, masterclasses, live music and regular nose-off competitions.

Whisky Live Toronto will have a number of exciting features to accompany the Whisky sampling stands where enthusiasts from throughout Canada meet producers and importers and enjoy their products.

Whisky Live Toronto gives visitors the unique opportunity to sample some of the greatest whiskies of the world, whilst mingling with the producers, independent bottlers and brand ambassadors. In addition to learning about the world of whisky, visitors have the opportunity to sample rare and sought after whiskies and meet the stars of the industry.

The Whisky Experience areas are the education and entertainment zones, with themed areas providing sensory experiences such as coopering, food tastings, cocktails and much, much more. With a dram always on hand the Whisky Experience seeks to educate and entertain those who want to learn a little more about the diversity of this delicious nectar.

With live music, on site retailing and great food, Whisky Live Toronto will bring the fantastic world of whisky to you.
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:55 am

Hello? What about the Spirit of Toronto?????

But to answer your question;you are simply going to have to find out for yourself. I'm sure there will be one or two people on this forum who will have bad things to say about festivals but the reality is that festivals are springing up all over the world and people are going to them in droves.

They are a lot of fun and you can learn a lot about the whiskies being presented.

Go on, give it a try. My advice is go to as many as you can. Become a festival addict. Some people after attending a few organize a festival in thier home town. :shock:

:P
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Re: Whisky event advice

Postby Frodo » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:34 pm

pouranother wrote:I need a little advice concerning a local "Malt Advocate" sponsored tasting and the Whisky Live event in Toronto. Since I am new to malts, is it worh the investment to attend these events? I have limited knowledge, and resources, but a lot of interest. Are these things for "beginner" to "expert" or they mostly for the latter? Thanks


Hi Pouranother:

1) These things are for both beginner and enthusiest alike. Beginners will not be "lost" in the festivals.
2) I'm not sure about your concept of value, but I'd think the opportunity to try different malts for a reasonable fee is a great way to learn about whisky, and expand your likes and dislikes. The local Malt Advocate sponcered event sounds like something at Monk's Cafe, and is probably reasonably priced for something smaller than a festival like Whisky Live.
3) Spirit of Toronto was a rip roarin' sucess according to most attendees last year. My choice to attend Whisky Live Toronto will hinge on their master classes - who's teaching them.

Cheers
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Postby rthomson » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:03 pm

I've attended two festivals and they were great fun. There were many who had more knowledge than me and many who had less, but everyone was enjoying themselves. Attending the festivals provided the opportunity to try many, many whiskies I wouldn't otherwise have experienced. It would have cost me far more if I had to buy all those bottles; for that matter, purchasing dram by dram at pubs would have cost much more too. And don't discount the camaraderie shared by all the whisky enthusiasts, that greatly added to my enjoyment. I wouldn't call myself a festival addict (yet) but I do plan to attend one later this year and another in January.

Go for it!

Cheers,
Ron
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Postby Jobi » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:00 pm

I went to Whiskey Live New York last year and I am fairly new to single malts myself. It was a great experience. I got to try a number of different styles and distilleries in one shot. I would be going to this year's as well, but my wife and I are expecting our first the next day. Priorities...
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:23 pm

I would be going to this year's as well, but my wife and I are expecting our first the next day.


Now where have we all heard this before??? It seems very familiar, wasn't there a thread on this very subject? Perhpas it's time to dig it up. :P
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:20 pm

I'd love to attend the Toronto event, but I'm going to be in Scotland. Gosh darn!

Actually, I've only been to one festival (thanks, Lawrence!), and I am somewhat ambivalent about them. I don't really like crowds, and I don't like being "sold" to. And you can only try so many whiskies and really appreciate or even remember them. I think Frodo's right--it depends on the masterclasses, which are potentially the most edifying events. And even there, the trick is to figure out which ones are really interesting and educational, and which comprise you paying for the privilege of sitting through an hour-long advertisement.

That said, I'll return to Victoria if I can, but as much for social reasons as anything else, and to see if I can figure out why Dave is so obsessed with ladies' underwear.
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:34 pm

to see if I can figure out why Dave is so obsessed with ladies' underwear


:D :P I missed that part of the weekend, I wonder if there is another forum he's not telling us about???
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:59 pm

I'm new to whisky myself having only really appreciated it for a little over 6 months now. (I live in Ohio so I didn't get alot of access to Whisky) In that 6 months I have been to 4 festivals, 2 whisky lives the one in London and in Belgium, another festival in Brussels and then the Limburg whiskey festival. Each one had something to offer both begginers and seasoned drinkers. Limburg was more geared towards a seasoned drinker but the Whisky Lives especially the one in Belgium was a great learning experience.

I met many interesting people including some distillery managers one of whom I'm visiting this weekend when I go to Scotland. (At his distillery of course) I've also made some good friends over this period. I would recommend if you like meeting people and can handle crouds that a festival is a great thing.

Len
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Postby lbacha » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:05 pm

By the way will there be anything else going on in Toronto that weekend that will make attending the festival worth the trip. I don't know why they make it only one day and a short day at that. New York was the same way. Whisky live Belgium was Fri thru Sun and it was an all day affair on both sat and sun. This gave you a chance to really enjoy yourself and the crowds wern't as bad.

Len
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:12 pm

No, Toronto is a very dull place. You can't get a drink on Sunday, the restaurants are terrible, and the locals go to Buffalo to have fun.

(Oops, excuse me, I seem to be stuck in 1963.... Just go, ibacha, it's a great town with lots to see and do all the time.)
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Postby Wendy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:43 pm

Hi Ibacha and others,
If you wanted to spend a week in Toronto, you could easily attend two whisky events. Whisky Live Toronto is scheduled on October 14th and the Spirit of Toronto has been scheduled on October 21st, 2006. Both are one day events.

The Spirit of Toronto Whisky Festival will be celebrating its' 3rd year and is the brainchild of whisky entrepreneur Johanna Ngoh. You can read more details on her website: http://www.singleminded.ca.

FYI: Last year in association with the Spirit of Toronto festival, a special dinner and pairing of Compass Box whiskies was organized. It took place the evening before the festival and was hosted by John Glaser. It was a wonderful night that set the tone for the rest of the weekend. I am not too sure what is in store for us this year.

I have only attended 3 whisky festivals, but I have always enjoyed myself. It has been an opportunity to sample "out of reach whiskies" and to meet other enthusiasts and people in the industry.

Anyway, it should be quite an eventful whisky week for Toronto!

Cheers,
Wendy
Last edited by Wendy on Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PuckJunkie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:48 pm

lbacha wrote:By the way will there be anything else going on in Toronto that weekend that will make attending the festival worth the trip. I don't know why they make it only one day and a short day at that. New York was the same way. Whisky live Belgium was Fri thru Sun and it was an all day affair on both sat and sun. This gave you a chance to really enjoy yourself and the crowds wern't as bad.

Len


I may be a bit prejudiced, but there's no question I'd have to make another stop if I were in Toronto:

http://www.hhof.com

:) :)

Puck
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Postby Wendy » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:15 am

Hello pouranother,
I meant to ask in my earlier post if John Hansell, Publisher & Editor of the Malt Advocate magazine, was hosting the "Malt Advocate sponsored tasting"? If he is, and only by going on what I have heard, I think he would provide you with a very informative, enjoyable and healthy introduction to an interesting selection of whiskies.

Maybe someone on the forum who has attended a Malt Advocate tasting can give you some feedback.

Cheers,
Wendy

P.S. PuckJunkie, with your love of hockey, I think you would feel very at home in Toronto!
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:33 am

Pour...I think you'll enjoy the Malt Advocate event in Emmaus...I go to John Hansell's tastings every chance I get, and always learn something new. Unlike most tastings at bars, John brings whiskies from his personal collection, and usually, some are no longer available anywhere or not sold in the US. You will learn a great deal and have a good time doing it.

Mark
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:37 am

PuckJunkie wrote:
lbacha wrote:By the way will there be anything else going on in Toronto that weekend that will make attending the festival worth the trip. I don't know why they make it only one day and a short day at that. New York was the same way. Whisky live Belgium was Fri thru Sun and it was an all day affair on both sat and sun. This gave you a chance to really enjoy yourself and the crowds wern't as bad.

Len


I may be a bit prejudiced, but there's no question I'd have to make another stop if I were in Toronto:

http://www.hhof.com

:) :)

Puck


That's a must-see...I had one of the guards shoot a photo of me with the Cup, and it's in my office! Also, don't forget about Gretzky's restaurant...it's a couple of blocks away from the Skydome...er...Rogers, Center...er, Centre, or whatever they're calling the damn thing this week.

Mark
Last edited by MGillespie on Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pouranother » Sat Jun 03, 2006 4:22 am

Mark,

Compliments on your deduction, was wondering if somebody would put my address with the event. Thanks for the advice. Are you attending? Compliments also for Whiskycast, I look forward to new episodes.

P.S. what's the deal, 8 days no new episode :lol:
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:42 am

Unfortunately, I have a bleepload of relatives in town that weekend for my oldest daughter's high school graduation, so I won't be able to make it. I usually go to John's tastings at Monk's in Philly, though...

Thanks for the kind words...glad to see someone's going through withdrawal symptoms. Had a bunch of job interviews this week, and with getting ready for the festivities in a couple of weeks, I've just been too busy...but will try and have a new one up over the weekend. It's not as though the last episode was outdated, though...since the Islay Festival is still on through this weekend.

Mark
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:21 am

OK, Pour...just posted a new show focusing on independent bottlers with Duncan Taylor's Euan Shand and Lorne MacKillop of MacKillop's Choice...

Mark
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Postby PuckJunkie » Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:25 pm

Wendy wrote:Hi Ibacha and others,
If you wanted to spend a week in Toronto, you could easily attend two whisky events. Whisky Live Toronto is scheduled on October 14th and the Spirit of Toronto has been scheduled on October 21st, 2006. Both are one day events.

The Spirit of Toronto Whisky Festival will be celebrating its' 3rd year and is the brainchild of whisky entrepreneur Johanna Ngoh. You can read more details on her website: http://www.singleminded.ca. [...]

Is there any more info on the Spirit of Toronto festival? The link provided doesn't work for me. I'm thinking about scheduling a trip that week. It could be a lot of fun with two whisky festivals bookending a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame and a Leafs game - I've been waiting for the NHL schedule to be released, it came out today. One game is scheduled the same night as Whisky Live, unfortunately, but on the Wednesday between the two events Colorado comes to town (making it very easy to be a Leafs fan for the night).

Sorry for the babbling, I get overexcited about going to new hockey venues. I feel like one of the guys from the Guinness ads - "Hockey AND Whisky? Brilliant!" Anyway, while I was suprised to see the events are just for one night each, it still provides a much-needed excuse to finally visit TO. So any additional information on the Spirit of Toronto would be very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Puck

P.S. What's Toronto like in mid-October? Sounds cold...
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Postby WestVanDave » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:17 am

PuckJunkie wrote:P.S. What's Toronto like in mid-October? Sounds cold...


A lot of Torontonians are cold... which is strange, given that they are at the "Centre of the Universe"... (at least that's the Canadian perspective)...

But truthfully, Toronto can be great - lots of warm & friendly folk (Wendy, Frodo, Harry, Lord P - and others), lots to do (Hockey, drink, hockey, gamble, drink and did I mention hockey?) and in October borderline mild temperatures (unless you're from Texas - in which case, bring your long underwear!!!)...
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Postby Wendy » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:01 pm

Hi Puck,
There isn't any new information out yet on the Spirit of Toronto festival. You may want to key in: Single Minded, A Single Malt Whisky Journal or http://www.singleminded.ca for more info. The author of the journal is the same woman, Johanna Ngoh, who is the creative force behind the Spirit of Toronto.

Dave is a very wise man: "But truthfully, Toronto can be great - lots of warm & friendly folk..."; plus, some good whisky bars to boot. Weather wise, I think October is a beautiful month...not too hot, not too cold, etc. It is definitely sweater-weather.

With your love of hockey, you may also want to fill your week with a Toronto Marlies game (great hockey, great prices): http://www.torontomarlies.com.

Keep us posted.
Cheers,
Wendy
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Postby Frodo » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:15 pm

Hey Puck!

Be sure to let us know when you're comming down! Sounds like a good excuse for a blether and a dram or three!

As for the Leafs I just can't justify the cost of a ticket. And the atmosphere I've heard is not great. I think the cost has risen above the pockets of a lot of true fans, although this may not be unique to Leafland.

If you do come for the whisky shows, lots of us Ontarians will probably be going as well, although I'm still waiting for the announcement of the masterclasses for Whisky Live (SOT I'm sold on based on the last two yrs).

Cheers
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Postby PuckJunkie » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:26 pm

Dave, I'm originally from a good 200 miles north of Texas, so I'm much more cold-resistant than your average native Texan. ;) (Actually, I hate cold weather. Long underwear it is.)

Wendy, I appreciate the advice. Strangely, the Single Minded site was not working (at least for me) yesterday afternoon, but it appears to be working now. I'll check it out. I'm not as into AHL hockey as I am NHL and the juniors - although that was not the case during the work stoppage! Neither the AHL (minors) nor the OHL (juniors) have released their schedules yet, but if the Toronto St. Michael Majors (OHL) are playing that week I'll probably go. It's always fun to watch the younger players.

Frodo, sorry to hear about ticket prices. It's not unique to Toronto, but it's not widespread. It's really only the hotbeds of hockey in large cities; Detroit, New York (Rangers only! nobody goes to Islander games!), etc. Last time I went to Calgary, I sat five rows off the ice for $45 CDN, which is absurdly cheap by my measure.

For me it will be a one-time event, so it would have to be a pretty steep cost to prevent me from going. On a more regular basis, well, I'm glad I live in Dallas. Ticket prices are cheap enough, and my time is scarce enough, that whenever I do get the time to go I just go. The days of season tickets ended when I had a daughter a few years back. Now I usually buy a 10-game pack for the season and go just to those plus a couple on the spur of the moment. Hopefully that will enable me to get All-Star tickets in Dallas this year... otherwise it's a ticket broker. Talk about expensive.

Thanks to all. I'm not sure what a blether is, but if Frodo's up for it I suppose it can't kill me... right?

Puck
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Postby Wendy » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:30 am

Hi Puck,
Blether = chit chat, hearty conversation. It is right up there with the Frodofactor - talk is cheap!! :D
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Toronto fibs?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:45 am

Puck:
Don't let the Torontonians bluff you about the weather there in October. Compared to other areas of the province, Cabbage town is positively balmy in October. Heck, for some of us it's sweater weather there in December. Everything is subject to perspective, -5 ain't that cold.
Both the T.O. venues sound good from up here... if I can I'd like to make it and meet Harry, Chris (aka Frodo) et al.
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Postby MGillespie » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:42 am

OK, gang...I'm taking WhiskyCast on the road, and Toronto is the first stop! I'll be coming in for Whisky Live on October 14th...too bad I can only come in that morning and leave on Sunday afternoon! Anyone want to get together either at the show or after for a dram or two???

Mark
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Postby Frodo » Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:46 pm

Definatly after! My decision to go or not is still up in the air...
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Postby Wendy » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:48 am

MGillespie wrote:OK, gang...I'm taking WhiskyCast on the road, and Toronto is the first stop! I'll be coming in for Whisky Live on October 14th...too bad I can only come in that morning and leave on Sunday afternoon! Anyone want to get together either at the show or after for a dram or two???

Mark


Hello Mark,
That is GREAT news! As we close in on October 14th, lets put some plans together. Frodo, if there ends up being only one Whisky Event this October in Toronto, my vote would be for you to join in on the fun at Whisky Live.
Cheers,
Wendy
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Postby MGillespie » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:17 pm

I have to admit, I did look at both weekends, but since I'm burning frequent flyer miles for the trip, I picked the weekend with the most convenient flights.

By the way, I'm staying at the Toronto Hilton near downtown. How far away are the LCBO stores with the tasting towers?

Mark
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Postby Frodo » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:14 pm

Hi Wendy:

I'm still thinking about these. May have a better take on things when the masterclasses are anounced!


Hi Mark:

The easiest tasting tower to get to would be the Summerhill one at Summerhill Subway station. Just get out at the station, and ask anyone around where the liquor store is. It's just south of the Summerhill subway station on Yonge St. It also has the best selection as well - bonus!!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:19 pm

And the guy at the bar with his nose in a glass is Frodo, of course.

When you get there, answer the following survey question: Which subway station looks most like your bathroom at home?
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Postby MGillespie » Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:54 am

As long as my bathroom at home smells better than the subway station, I'm happy... :roll:

Frodo...I may call on you or Wendy for a guided tour of the tower!

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:41 am

MGillespie wrote:As long as my bathroom at home smells better than the subway station, I'm happy... :roll:


I wouldn't bet on it...this is a Toronto subway station, after all! Not like what we Murkans are used to.
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