Fundraiser for RCN Curling Club in Ottawa

We are very excited to be hosting this Whisky Tasting Fundraising event for the Royal Canadian Navy Curling Club on Dows Lake in Ottawa this coming Saturday night, January 30th, 2016.  The Curling Club is in need of repairs after some nearby construction work damaged their electrical cables.

therange_smOuidram is working in partnership with Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), world leader in high-quality products, as we present the amazing whiskies from Ardbeg and Glenmorangie distilleries.  Four Scotch single malts will be paired with appetizers to tease out the many flavours of the whiskies.  There are many stories to share about the history of these whiskies, so if you are in the Ottawa area on Saturday night, this event is not to be missed!

ardbeg-10-year-540x250Tickets are $50.00 per person.

 

Not only is this great value, but each guest will receive a gift courtesy of LVMH!  Details are listed in the attachment below, or contact us at info@ouidram.com for more information.  We hope to see you there!

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Best Birthday Gift – G&M Highland Park 2006

I shamelessly write this post as I am advertising it’s my birthday, but I could not let this pass without sharing the amazing gift that my partner in life as well as OUIDRAM gave me on this auspicious day.

5674-7950highlandpark2006-2015caskstrengthWaking up to glorious sunshine in -14°C ( I am so not a morning person) I was greeted with a rather heavy gift bag and sentimental birthday card.  In the bag was a bottle of Gordon & Macphail Highland Park 2006 Cask Strength.  This gift is perfect in many ways;

  1. I always enjoy the excellent expressions from Gordon & Macphail
  2. Highland Park is my “go-to” whisky, I call it ‘Scotland in a glass’.
  3. Cask Strength whiskies always allow you to drink them the way you want; a drop of water or a splash?
  4. 2006 was the year that Terry and I officially formed OUIDRAM Whisky Tastings as a company.

We have never looked back…

So there you have it…. the perfect gift on a perfect day.  Thank you T.

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Fundraiser for Mtl. Children’s Library raises $4000

Terry and I are so pleased to announce that our recent Whisky Tasting Fundraiser for the Montréal Children’s Library raised $4000 to help buy much-needed books and games for the library.  Held at the beautiful Maison Forget in downtown Montréal, forty guests enjoyed four single malts accompanied by great food donated by Simply Wonderful and prepared by various volunteers.

Brian pours Aberfeldy 12 yo

Brian pours Aberfeldy 12 yo

We tasted Aberfeldy, Auchentoshan, Highland Park Dark Origins and a beautiful Bowmore.  Guests enjoyed the stories and lore of these great expressions and asked great questions relating to Scotch whisky.

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Event organizer Amanda Fritz welcomes the guests before the tasting

As a surprise, Jim Murray’s 2016 World Whisky of the Year, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, was donated as a prize.  Thanks to all who donated and participated in this great event!

 

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Celebrate Robbie Burns at Willows Inn

OUIDRAM is pleased to kick off the week-long Birthday celebration of Scottis poet, hero and rascal; Robert Burns at the Auberg Willow Inn in Hudson, Quebec on Thursday, January 21st, 2016.  We will feature four (4) Single Malt Scotch whiskies paired with haggis (of course) and other delicious appetizers.  I (Brian McQueenie) will do the “Ode to a Haggis” and the “groaning trencher” will be piped in by none-other than piper extrordinaire Jordan Anderson.

The cost per person is $65.00 and promises to be a great time!  Contact Reception for tickets and more information: (450) 458-7006 www.aubergewillow.com

Robbie Burns Whisky Tasting 6:00pm
Auberge Willow Inn
208 rue Main,
Hudson, QC J0P 1H0

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Happy New Year 2016!

Hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and you spent lots of time with family and friends, as well as relax with your favourite dram.  Terry and I had a busy Fall 2015 as more and more people are discovering the word of Scotch whisky.

This year, we hope to take OUIDRAM to the next level with more fun & fact-filled tasting events, supporting our local communities through fundraising events, and opportunities to taste new and exciting whiskies from all over the world.

As we expand the business westward, OUIDRAM will take on a new partner who will help with the Sales & Marketing of our Québec events.  One of our New Year’s Resolutions is to give our wbsite a fresh look; making it more informative and interactive, so look for these changes in the next few months.  As always, check our events page for upcoming events in your area.  There is usually tastings for every level, beginner to connoisseur, at various prices to fit your budget.  Look for Robbie Burns events in January, as I do the honour of reciting Burns’ “To a Haggis”, as well as lead the whisky tastings.

If you are in Montreal, you may want to attend the Fundraiser for the Montreal Children’s Library on Thursday, January 14th, 2016 at 6:00pm.  More information can be found on the EVENTS PAGE of the website or in the flyer below…. we hope to see you there!

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One Year Since My Last Post

Can you believe it is almost a year to the day since my last post?! Where does the time fly…..? There is so much to talk about, but I won’t try to share everything. Let me just give you the highlights;

Terry and I moved to Ottawa in April 2014 and are settling quite nicely. Not too many events here yet, but we are networking and that should change soon. Back in Montreal things have been booming! Whisky tastings are alive and well there as we picked up new corporate clients and have had many private tastings as well.

We are very pleased to welcome Hurley’s Pub and Club Sportif MAA to our client list. We have performed a series of tastings at both clubs over the past six months and are looking forward to an on-going relationship with them both. New events are scheduled for the Fall of 2015, so please check our events page on a regular basis for times and dates.

Later on this week I will review our last two tasting experiences on this blog; a visit from John Campbell, Distillery Manager at Laphroaig Distillery, and the end-of season Gala event at the MAA this past week,

Until then, Enjoy Responsibly!
Brian

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American Women’s Club of Montreal

Recently OUIDRAM was the featured entertainment for a Fundraiser held by the American Women’s Club of Montreal.  The goal was to raise money for children’s charities in and around Montreal.  We were happy to contribute, and we would not have been able to put on this tasting event without the help of Morrison-Bowmore Distilleries.  MBD were very generous in providing four whiskies for us to taste.

The whiskies included Auchentoshan 12 yo, Glen Garioch 12 yo, Bowmore 12 yo, and Bowmore Darkest

The whiskies included Auchentoshan 12 yo, Glen Garioch 12 yo, Bowmore 12 yo, and Bowmore Darkest

The event was held at the Black Watch Armoury on Bleury; the perfect setting for such an event.  What made the evening extra special was the fact that most of the guests were women and many had never tried Scotch whisky before.  I always enjoy sharing a dram with newcomers, as most of them are pleasantly surprised at the taste and usually say that they enjoyed it.

Some of the guests at the Whisky Tasting Fundraiser

Some of the guests at the Whisky Tasting Fundraiser

I have to apologize for this next photo, but I couldn’t resist adding it in.  Notice the “halo” effect around my head?  I’m not saying anything, but…..

Does Brian have some divine intervention from the "spirits"?

Does Brian have some divine intervention from the “spirits”?

 

 

 

 

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Whisky Fête 2014

The second annual version of Whisky Fête was held on February 21st, 2014 with Richard Urquhart of Gordon & Macphail as our Honorary Whisky Ambassador.  Richard Urquhart is a member of the 4th generation of the Urquhart family who own and manage Gordon & MacPhail.  This year was a rousing success, just like last year!  Twelve distributors and agencies poured over 50 rare and exclusive single malt Scotch whiskies older than 18 years.  Limited to 200 guests,  Whisky Fête raised over $35,000 for a new Chair of Canadian-Scottish Studies at McGill University.

I had the privilege of pouring the wonderful expressions from the Edrington Group that included Highland Park 18yo, 25yo and the new limited release LOKI, as well as Laphroaig 18yo and The Macallan 18yo and Ruby.  You can well imagine, I was a very popular guy!

Brian & Terry pouring Highland Park and The Macallan

Brian & Terry pouring Highland Park and The Macallan

Some of the other expressions that were featured that night were;

  • Gordon & Macphail Pittyvaich 1993 (19 years old) Silent Still (closed in 1993)
  • Old Malt Cask Dufftown 30 years old (1 of 174 bottles)
  • Douglas Laing Old & Rare Port Ellen Single Cask 35 years old (Silent still – 1 of 155)
  • The Glenrothes 1979 Single Cask (26 years old; bottle 298 of 492)
  • The Dalmore 1978 (31 years old –  1 of 477 bottles; Rare Expression)

Whisky Fête 2015 will be held on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at the same venue; the University Club of Montreal, 2047 Mansfield Street, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y7.  Follow the activities such as featured whiskies and special events leading up to next year on Twitter @WhiskyFete or at www.whiskyfete.com

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OUIDRAM Starts off a Busy New Year

Happy New Year to those of you who follow us on a regular basis, and to those of you just visiting our site for the first time.  After a well-deserved break over the holiday period, Terry and I are back in the thick of things organizing our upcoming events.  There is an event for every whisky enthusiast and every budget.  We hope to see you at one of the events listed below, and as always, you can contact us by email or phone to organize a personal event or ask us a question.

January 21st – 6:30pm Douglas Laing & Co. Brand Ambassador Jan Beckers at the Burgundy Lion Pub, 2496 Notre-Dame O., Montréal, H3J 1N5

BP-bottle_small[1]This is the most special day of the year as it’s my Birthday!  So as a treat, we have flown in Jan Beckers from Scotland to share some of the whiskies from Douglas Laing & Co.  Just kidding!  The date is a coincidence, but what a B-Day gift!  Tonight I get to sit back and enjoy some great whiskies and learn about a company that has been in existence for over 65 years.

January 25th – Robbie Burns Dinner, the Forest & Stream Club, Dorval, QC

Our first big event of the year will be held at the Forest & Stream Club, a private establishment built by the Scots, to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s most famous bard: Robert Burns.  Although this event is not open to the public, it is shaping up to be a fabulous dinner paired with the excellent whiskies from Morrison-Bowmore; Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch, and Bowmore.

January 26th, 6:30pm – Burns Supper; Burgundy Lion Pub, 2496 Notre-Dame O., Montréal, H3J 1N5

BL-CrestThis is an annual event for us; A fabulous traditional Scottish dinner (including haggis) paired with 4 Scotch single malts.  This year’s theme is “hidden gems” at the SAQ, whiskies you may not have noticed but are well worth trying.  You will also get to see me in a kilt and perform the Address to a Haggis as written by Robert Burns.  Tickets are $70.00 per person and this event sells out, so contact Toby at toby@burgundylion.com or 514-934-0888 for reservations.

January 28th,  7:00pm – Tasting the “Famous Four” Distilleries – Shaare Zedek Congregation, 5305 Rosedale Avenue Montreal, QC H4V 2H7, 514-484-1122 

The second in a series of four tastings at Shaare Zedek to raise funds for youth activities in the community.  We will be tasting six single malts from: Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie and Laphroaig.  Guests will learn about their rise to fame and taste some of the innovative expressions recently released by these great distilleries.  Appetizers will be served.  For tickets contact Ron Karpman (514) 928-3376 or ronald@karpmanconsulting.com

February 4th 6:00pm – Blue Met Literary Festival, “Fedoras & Scotch”; Monument-Nationale, 1182, Boulevard St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2S5

The Blue Met Foundation has organized a Scotch tasting based on the theme: “Fedoras & Scotch” to raise funds for the Foundation.  This entertaining event features literary readings and short skits, and of course, single malt Scotch.  Tickets are $150.00 per person; for more information contact Blue Met at 514 932-1112 or info@metropolisbleu.org

February 12th 6:00pm – Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation Fundraiser; 5430 Royalmount, Montreal, QC H4P 1H7

The second of four fundraisers, we will taste a series of single malts (to be determined) in a small intimate, bar-like setting.  The food, served as appetizers, is outstanding.  Tickets are limited and cost $150.00 per person.  Contact Yaël Ricquebourg at yricquebourg_hjr@gouv.qc.ca for reservations and more information.

February 15th, All Day – Valentine & Scotch Weekend at Hillview Haven Estate B&B, Baltimore, ON, K0K 1C0

Can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s weekend other than at a beautiful guesthouse, eating fabulous food and tasting Scotch whisky?!  Peter and Irene Gittens are most gracious hosts that will make you feel welcome and comfortable.  Did I mention Irene is Scottish?!  They are offering a one-night stay for two with dinner, breakfast, and the Whisky Luncheon for $399.00 (plus tax) per couple.

Luncheon from 11:30am to 2:30pm  pairing single malts with appetizers; $49.99 (plus tax).  This is Peter’s menu:

  • Scottish Highland Beef Meatballs on a lightly fried tortilla shell topped with Pomegranate Slaw
  • Mushrooms stuffed with Turkey Breast
  • Smoked Trout Paté on Rye Croutons
  • Whisky Marinated Scallops with Chorizo and Green Olives
  • Scottish Shortbread with a Whisky Almond Topping

The overnight package is based on double occupancy and includes dinner, breakfast, and admission to the appetizer luncheon!  $399.99 per couple (plus tax).  The dinner and breakfast menus:

Dinner:

  • Lobster Bisque (paired with a Scotch Whisky)
  • Seared Salmon topped with a Calvados Cream Sauce on Wild Rice (paired with a Scotch whisky)
  • Spotted Dick drizzled with a Caramel Whisky Reduction (with a Scotch)

Breakfast:

  • Belgium Waffles with Maple Syrup topped with Whipped Cream (with a Scotch whisky, if you like)
  • Blueberry Crêpes drizzled with Maple Syrup (with Scotch)

Rooms and places for the Luncheon are limited so contact Peter at petergittens1@gmail.com or 905-342-5403 for reservations.

February 16th, 6:30pm – Fundraiser for the Montreal Pipes & Drums, Burgundy Lion Pub, 2496 Notre-Dame O., Montréal, H3J 1N5

Pipes & drumsThis is an event organized by the Montreal Celtic Society where THe Burgundy Lion will host the tasting of four whiskies from different Celtic whisky producing nations.  Appetizers will be served. $50.00 per person; no tickets at the door. For tickets contact Devin at (514) 217-4781 or Toby at (514) 934-0888.  www.montrealcelticsociety.org

February 21st, 6:00pm – WhiskyFête 2014, University Club of Montreal, 2047 Rue Mansfield, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y7

standrewThis is Montreal’s most unique Scotch tasting event; Only single malt whiskies will be available to taste, each one rare or over 18 years old, many both.  Organized by the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal, this event is a fundraiser for the new Chair of Scottish Studies at McGill University.  Tickets are $295.00 per person; entertainment and appetizers are provided.  Updates provided on Twitter: @whiskyfete Tickets and information can be found at www.whiskyfete.com or by calling Norma at (514) 842-2030.

February 22nd – The Spirit of Kingston Whisky Festival, Kingston, ON

Ouidram will be pouring the excellent whiskies from Highland Park and The Macallan with Canadian Brand Ambassador Marc Laverdière.  The general admission for this event is sold out, but some Masterclasses are still available;  www.kingstonwhiskyfestival.com

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Jura Ambassador Willie Tait Visits Montreal

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Willie shares the secrets of Isle of Jura whiskies with the crowd

Recently the Isle of Jura Brand Ambassador Willie Tait made a stop in Montreal on his whirlwind tour of Canada and OUIDRAM hosted a whisky tasting evening with Willie presenting a vertical sampling of Isle of Jura single malts.  An enthusiastic crowd of 45 guests listened to Willie tell stories of life at the distillery as they sampled the elegant Isle of Jura spirit.   Popular restaurant Le Local was the perfect setting as we tasted Jura 10 year old; Jura 12 year old; Jura 16 year old (Terry’s favourite); Jura Superstition and Jura Prophecy.  Le Local had prepared appetizers paired specifically to each whisky, making the evening extra special.

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Willie signing the bottle of The Dalmore 1978

With the gala whisky tasting Whisky Fête 2014 only a few months away ( February 21st, 2014), I took the opportunity to have Willie sign a bottle of Dalmore whisky, Jura’s sister distillery, that will be served at Whisky Fête.   For this expression, according to The Dalmore website, “2 years in Matusalem sherry casks from Gonzalez Byass follows 29 years in American white oak.  This additional period in aged Oloroso wood gifts the qualities of one of the world’s great wines.  A true masterpiece of malts, this magnificent expression is limited to 477 bottles.”  With Willie’s signature, this bottle will be one of the most popular whiskies at Whisky Fête 2014.

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From left to right: Esther de la Durantaye and Pascal, agents for Jura and The Dalmore in Québec; Willie Tait; Terry and yours truly

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