Tartan Day Interview on Daytime Ottawa 04/05/16

Had a great time with Roula and Tammie yesterday on Daytime Ottawa talking about the history of Tartan Day (April 6th) and enjoying the great Scotch whisky from Glenmorangie!  Here is the full segment… Sláinte!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fobarcd5rk41bdg/Tartan%20Day%20Rogers%202016.mp4?dl=0

 

 

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Author Jack Whyte gives OUIDRAM a Glowing Testimonial

Many of us don’t take the time to celebrate our successes but this is one opportunity we cannot let slip by…  Recently we hosted a whisky tasting at the Harbour House Restaurant in Victoria, B.C. where one of the guests was acclaimed author Jack Whyte.  Jack is best known for his historical novels based on real events or characters.  Some of his books include; The Templar Trilogy (based on the Templar knights), The A Dream of Eagles series based on the Arthurian legend, as well as The Guardians, a trilogy about Scotland’s William Wallace, Robert The Bruce and Andrew Murray.

This is what Jack had to say about attending our OUIDRAM Whisky Tasting event;

img_jack_whyte_largeAs an author, entertainer, actor, Regimental Bard to the Calgary Highlanders and so-called “expert” on Robert Burns, I’ve travelled widely throughout Canada in the past forty-odd years, and in the course of those journeyings I have sipped more than a few fine Scotches and attended countless whisky tastings.

The high spot of all of those tastings, though, was an event I attended on the 2nd of September, 2015, in a delightful restaurant in Victoria, BC. There were only four whiskies featured that evening, but they were superb, and each was paired astoundingly with a magnificent hors d’ oeuvre. The presenter that night was a fellow called Brian McQueenie and I’d never heard of him before, because I live in BC and he lives in Quebec. But that night, over the course of  two hours that flew by in a blink, I learned more about whisky, both generally and specifically, than I had picked up formerly in all my travels.

The GuardianOf course, the reason for that was the personality and enthusiasm of the presenter, Brian McQueenie, because he snatched me up, along with every other person there that night, and transported me to a place I had never been to before; a place in which Brian’s passionate commitment and dedication to his subject—the history, traditions and techniques of distilling the whiskies of Scotland—showed me, and allowed me to appreciate, the truth underlying all the baffle-gab that is so often blathered and spouted about our national drink.

I look forward to reliving that experience in the future and I have no hesitation in recommending Brian McQueenie’s services to anyone looking to put on a superlative, game-changing whisky tasting.”

 

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OUIDRAM Selects Cask for Special Whisky Bottling

In 2013, the Executive Board of the Sons of Scotland Benevolent Association (SOSBA) were looking for ways to make their 2015 triennial Grand Camp Convention in Victoria B.C. very special.  A Celtic Concert was planned, along with a Charity Golf Tournament, but the Board was looking for something to make this event memorable.  A few months earlier, some of the Executive Board members had visited a newly-opened distillery in Campbell River on the northern part of Vancouver Island called Shelter Point Distillery.  We were most impressed with the facility, especially the fact that they had purchased their stills from Scotland. They planned to make a single-malt whisky using the same techniques distilleries in Scotland use to make Scotch whisky, while using home-grown barley and the fresh, sweet water of the area.

One of the stills at Shelter Point.

One of the stills at Shelter Point.

The seed was planted; why not inquire about purchasing a cask of Shelter Point’s whisky and bottle it for Grand Camp 2015?  The owners at Shelter Point were happy to accommodate us, so, after all the costs were analysed, the Board decided to go ahead with the project.  Bottling a whisky from Shelter Point seemed a natural fit for the Sons of Scotland; the spirit is made from Scottish parts (much like most of our members!) and ingredients from the land, reinforcing our link to both Scotland and Canada.

Shelter Point Master Distiller James Marinus noses our cask with SOSBA Director Robert Stewart

Shelter Point Master Distiller James Marinus noses our cask with SOSBA Director Robert Stewart

Of course, we could not call our whisky “Scotch” as Scotch whisky has to be made and aged in Scotland.  Here in Canada we have similar laws stating the spirit must be aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years in order to be called whisky.  The cask we selected was aged for two weeks’ shy of four years (we planned to bottle it for Grand Camp in September of 2015) and was aged in an American oak cask that once held Jack Daniel’s whiskey.  Scotch whisky distilleries use oak casks that once held other alcohol such as bourbon and sherry.  They feel that a fresh cask tends to overpower the spirit, giving too much character from the wood in a short period of time.  By using a “previously used” cask, the changes over time are subtler, adding the flavour notes and colour that we have come to recognize as Scotch whisky.

The beautiful production area at Shelter Point Distillery

Although we can’t call our whisky “Scotch”, we can call it a Single Malt.  A single malt whisky is one that has come from one single distillery and is made from malted barley.  Similar to beer, malting the barley is a technique where the grain is steeped in water and allowed to germinate over a few days.  This converts the enzymes in the grain to a sugary starch, which is ideal for making a distilled spirit.

Bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv), our cask gave us 312 bottles.  As is common with American oak casks, the nose gives subtle hints of vanilla and green apples.  The taste has a sweetness at the front of the tongue that changes to a hint of caramel with light fruits such as pears and apples.  The finish is quite short, which is characteristics of young whiskies.

The Scotian Single Malt whisky

The Scotian Single Malt whisky

We are extremely happy with our first whisky bottling endeavour, which we believe is a great representation of our Scottish heritage and culture in Canada.  The Scotian Single Malt whisky is only available for purchase by members of the Sons of Scotland and sells for $60.00 per bottle.  Proceeds from the sale of the Scotian will benefit the Sons of Scotland Foundation.  Remember, this is a single cask; no other cask will taste like this one… when it’s gone, it’s gone.  Slàinte!

For more information on how to obtain a bottle of Scotian whisky, please contact Robert Stewart at 1-800-387-3382.

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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.

Library1

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

Robert_burns

 

 

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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!

whisky tasting flyer - FINAL_bf

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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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