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Whisky Live Toronto 2007

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Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby Matt2 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:11 pm

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The world’s greatest celebration of the whiskies of the worl

Where:
MTCC, Toronto. Canada.

When:
Saturday October 20, 2007 - 3pm to 9pm

Whisky Live Toronto is Canada’s whisky tasting event of the year, bringing the celebration of whisky to downtown Toronto. Held in the heart of the city in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Whisky Live Toronto brings all the very best whiskies from around the world under one roof. Appealing to both the enthusiast and the novice Whisky Live Toronto has expert advice on hand as well as the opportunity to learn about the whisky basics. It is the ultimate whisky experience with such a stunning range of whiskies, delicious food, Masterclasses, live music and regular nose-off competitions.

Tickets on sale now!

http://www.whiskylive.com/canada/toronto-2007/
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Postby soledoc » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:07 pm

Anyone planning on going? I am going to be in Buffalo that weekend visiting my grandfather and I'm thinking about going. Is it worth it?
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Postby Frodo » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:30 pm

I'd have to be convinced by the masterclasses to go. Am waiting to see what they are.
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Postby hpulley » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:26 pm

I hope to go.

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Postby Wendy » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:00 am

I hope to go with Harry and Frodo.

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I'm only 24 hours from Tulsa.. uh Toronto...

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:47 am

(with apologies to Gene Pitney)
I have to work, wish I could go with Harry and Frodo and Wendy! But I want to go to Portugal in April 08...

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:33 am

Aw crap, I'll be in Stornoway that night. With luck will console myself with a dram with Nick!
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Double drat!

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:41 am

I just received my copy of the Whisky Live Toronto info in the mail today and unless I win a lottery between now and October, I won't be going to the "big smoke" this year like I'd initially hoped.
Sorry Wendy, Frodo, Harry, et al

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:51 am

It's okay, Musky, there's always Whisky Live Kenora.
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Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:03 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:It's okay, Musky, there's always Whisky Live Kenora.

Hey! Good idea! Matt? Rob? A whisky tasting on a boat while we sail Lake of the Woods? Not likely eh?
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Postby Peter Alcamo » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:21 am

I will likely go, but I do prefer the format of the Spirit of Toronto (the all inclusive price).

Like Frodo, I am waiting for the masterclass sessions to be announced.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:04 pm

I also prefer the Spirit of Toronto's format as it gets expensive very quickly if you want to try a lot at Whisky Live. That said, the selection is actually pretty pedestrian outside of the masterclasses so you don't really need to try much if you've sampled what is available at the LCBO. The masterclasses are the main reason to go -- even at Spirit of Toronto if I just get the three masterclasses I want it is worth the price of admission. And by just trying the 3-5 whiskies per masterclass instead of 30-40 on the floor you can even appreciate most of them ;)

I didn't end up going last year but regretted that decision after hearing about it later so this year I'm going regardless, though I hope there are some good masterclasses.

Harry
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Postby Elagabalus » Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:15 am

I will be there.
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Postby Frodo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:22 am

Well, the masterclass secion is out although it isn't completed yet - a couple of masterclasses yet to be determined. Richard Patterson and a Balantines tasting looks good. Given that I'd have to book 4 masterclasses to make this work @ an extra $100 total, I'm still waiting on the last time slot in masterclass rm #1 before I make up my mind. Unless it is a great masterclass, I probably won't be going.

Masterclass #1 in rm #1 (Ian Millar, The Art of Oak) is one I'd like to skip given the lacklustre whiskies to try. Not sure what Mr. Millar is like. Can anyone give any imput here?
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Postby hpulley » Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:36 am

I too am underwhelmed so far. Richard Paterson alone might be worth the ticket, however and I still hold out hope for the other three which are still TBA. Still haven't bought my tickets though.

Ian Millar is a good guy. I've known him for years (in fact, his was the first company sponsored whisky tasting I attended). He's been pushing Glenfiddich and the Balvenie in these parts for quite some time. Actually the oak aged beer and the ale casked whisky and the 17yo Balvenie do look somewhat interesting so that might be a second masterclass for me to take. We'll see...

Harry
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Postby hpulley » Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:29 pm

The exhibitor list is also very sad right now. I hope they will expand and update it soon or I will give it a miss again this year.

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:55 pm

hpulley wrote:I too am underwhelmed so far. Richard Paterson alone might be worth the ticket, however and I still hold out hope for the other three which are still TBA. Still haven't bought my tickets though.

************************

Actually the oak aged beer and the ale casked whisky and the 17yo Balvenie do look somewhat interesting so that might be a second masterclass for me to take. We'll see...

Harry


I agree with wanting to see Richard Patterson. His tasting would be the centre piece for me. Regarding the oak aged beer, and the ale casked-whisky, those are currently available at the LCBO at cheap prices relative to single malts. The 17yr Balvenie would be more interesting for me if I liked Balvenie more...
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Postby hpulley » Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:05 pm

At this point it isn't looking like it is worth $100 and an afternoon just to see his talk. As I said above I hope the masterclasses and exhibitors lists fill out soon... or else I won't be there.

Harry
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Postby Direwolf » Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:20 pm

Greetings,

My wife and I are considering going to Whisky Live Toronto. It would be our first, and are curious to know if it's worth taking the train in from Montreal?

However, from the look of the exhibitors, it doesn't seem promising. Having been to New York several times, it almost seems that Whisky Week in New York, which coincides with National Tartan Day and Whisky Live New York, which I missed by a few hours, is a lot more fun.

Any advice?

Slainte!
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Postby Peter Alcamo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:56 pm

hpulley wrote:The exhibitor list is also very sad right now. I hope they will expand and update it soon or I will give it a miss again this year.

Harry


Sad indeed. Only 12 exhibitors compared to 34 at last years show. There are two classes that are of interest to me but shelling out $125 + the taste vouchers.

I'll keep my eye out for updates but it looks like there will only be one show for me in Toronto per year and that now occurs in the Spring.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:12 am

hpulley wrote:At this point it isn't looking like it is worth $100 and an afternoon just to see his talk. As I said above I hope the masterclasses and exhibitors lists fill out soon... or else I won't be there.

Harry


Entry cost is $87 (+ any vouchers) so that's $187 - assuming you want to see 4 masterclasses - unless you want to get in early which costs more. That's looking to be a steep price unless there's something more...

I've been really spoiled by SOI!!!
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Postby Frodo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:24 am

Direwolf wrote:My wife and I are considering going to Whisky Live Toronto. It would be our first, and are curious to know if it's worth taking the train in from Montreal?

However, from the look of the exhibitors, it doesn't seem promising. Having been to New York several times, it almost seems that Whisky Week in New York, which coincides with National Tartan Day and Whisky Live New York, which I missed by a few hours, is a lot more fun.

Any advice?


I guess it depends if you feel you're getting value for your money. Don't forget Spirit of Toronto is in the spring. 3 Masterclasses free of charge, no vouchers, and a very upscale venue with a good jazz band playing, all for $110 or so. If going to one or the other, I'd recommend Spirit of Toronto as much better value partly because I dilike the voucher system intensely.

As to going to this in addition to SOI, I guess it depends on why you want to go, and what you feel you'd get out of it. One of the limits for me is that the exhibitors want to push products that you can buy, so everything you try can be had at the LCBO. The problem is that there is no incentive to let people try things that are unavailable at the LCBO. I've tried everything that's a general list item at the LCBO in terms of whisky, so that cuts down on my opportunities to try and learn.

What would be really great is if exhibitors could let people taste and buy bottlings not available at the LCBO - for example Bowmore 18, Glenmorangie Rum Finish or part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. That would boost the value of going to Whisky Live for me. Even trying something like this without buying (although a tease) would be an improvement over the existing "same ol'".
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Postby Direwolf » Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:01 pm

Hi Frodo,

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. The whole point of going to these events is to learn and explore the variety of whiskies available. If the offerings are simply a listing of the LCBO or the SAQ's inventory, what's the point.

I, too, have tasted most everything in the SAQ's inventory, and while there are differences between them and the LCBO, the differences are only minor.

You are quite right that it would be wonderful if they could offer bottlings not available at the government comissions, as they do with other Whisky Lives or Whisky Fests. However, I believe this is impossible in Quebec and Ontario unless both the LCBO and the SAQ are dismantled and privatized.

Instead of Whisky Live TO, we will save our pennies and attend either Spirit or take a drive down to New York for Whisky Live New York. Last year, I had the pleasure of drinking various Ardbeg whiskies with a rep from the distillery who attended the convention at Chelsea Piers and she said it was a good time.

Also most exhibitors did not enforce the voucher system as it was difficult to do so (because how do you say no to someone who is a potential customer?) and they are more interested in getting brand exposure. As a result, the whisk poured freely.
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Postby hpulley » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:59 pm

Actually they can and do bring in special stuff at the Spirit of Toronto. This is allowed though it means potential customers must be prepared to do a private order, one case minimum. There are LCBO reps there but honestly I don't know what they're up to as customers have no input whatsoever as to what gets onto the shelves; agents suggest things and the LCBO accepts them or denies them.

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:39 am

You may be right Harry. From an exhibitor booth position, the goal is probably to expose potential custumers to what is available (from their company) at the LCBO.

Would be interesting so see when the 3 TBA masterclasses get finalized as this will determine if I am going.
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Postby hpulley » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:24 pm

There are a few more companies there now as exhibitors. Hopefully it will fill out more, along with the other three masterclasses as you said. Still not committed at this point.

Harry
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Postby Matt2 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:25 pm

Hi all, final 3 masterclasses have now been confirmed and online at http://www.whiskylive.com/canada/toronto-2007/

:arrow: The Macallan - Importance of the wood
:arrow: Highland Park - Peat, Wind & Fire
:arrow: Explore The Rarity of Johnnie Walker

Matt
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Postby Frodo » Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:53 am

Thanks Matt! Will have to think on this. Hmmm...
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby Pipe and dram » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:43 pm

My experience from last year:

As a whisky enthusiast I was really excited about attending the event. I arrived right at the opening bell and anxiously headed for the first booth to cash in my drink tickets. I choose Highland Park for my first victim.

I was greeted by a pretty young lady with a big welcoming smile behind the counter. I asked her "How are things in Kirkwall these days?"
She replied, "Kirkwall, where is that?"
I looked at her, with bit of a surprise, and said, "Kirkwall, on Orkney, you know the town where Highland Park distillery is located."

She answered, "Sorry sir, I have never been there."

Then I asked her is she had ever been to Scotland, or even drank whisky at which she continued to reply, "no", "no,"

Then I asked about she went about getting a job working at the booth and she replied that the "agency" hired her, and based on her appearance, I surmised the type of agency it was.

Oh well, so I drank up and headed to the next booth wanting to talk to someone that worked at the distillery or at least knew something about scotch whisky. I was disappointed. Not one person that I spoke to had ever been to the distillery they were representing, and only a few had any knowledge of whisky, other than some cursory marketing notes. And the all sounded like me - Canadians, from Toronto.

There was one exception to this observation and that was Ian Millar from Glenfiddich He more than made up for my desire to learn about whisky, so I attended both his Masterclasses, and they were great.

Now I realize that distilleries cannot afford to send staff across the ocean for events like these, but it would be nice to have at least staff that knew something about whisky attend the booths. Maybe I am just getting too old, but the choice between talking about whisky to someone from the distillery seems more appealing than talking to some wee slip of a thing in a kilt-mini skirt with knee-high black leather boots.
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby MGillespie » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:24 am

I'm leaving in the morning to drive up, with a stop at Kittling Ridge on the way. I understand the concerns others have posted about the relative lack of exhibitors compared to last year...for me, it's a chance to get some interviews and see some friends!

Mark
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby Matt2 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:42 am

Pipe and dram wrote:Then I asked her is she had ever been to Scotland, or even drank whisky at which she continued to reply, "no", "no,"


:headbang: , it does make it all the better when do meet someone there who knows what they are talking about....

Hope you have a good time Mark and look forward to your reviews. Looks like it is going to busy.
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby MGillespie » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:04 pm

Thanks, Matt!
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:33 am

Did you make it across the border yet?
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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:09 am

Ladies and gentlemen who are attending the Toronto Whisky Live tonight: A toast with a new bottle of Tamdhu 10 yo that just arrived in my mailbox.

Cheers! ...to Wendy, Mark, Frodo, Harry, Elagabalus and Peter. Hope you and anyone else I've missed has a great time tonight.

Slante mhor!

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Re: Whisky Live Toronto 2007

Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:35 pm

I was unable to make it but I hope the rest had a great time.

Harry
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