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”?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fundraising | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Fundraising, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jura Ambassador Willie Tait Visits Montreal

Willie1


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.

Willie3


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.

Willie4

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

Posted in Events, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OUIDRAM presents Isle of Jura Ambassador Willie Tait

willie_taitIsle of Jura Brand Ambassador Willie Tait will be passing through Montréal, Quebec and OUIDRAM is happy to be hosting him on October 1st, 2013 at Resto Le Local.  If you have never seen Willie, now is your chance; his stories and patter about distillery life is both informative and entertaining.  The last time he visited Montréal (about two years ago) we were in the grip of a snow storm.  This year should favour us much better with the weather and Le Local is the perfect spot for this event.

Wille will guide us through a vertical tasting of five (5) of Jura’s finest expressions, paired with appetizers from the chef at Le Local.  The whiskies featured are:

Jura-Posters-USA-No-Mist

  1. Jura 10 year old Scotch Single Malt
  2. Jura 12 year old Scotch Single Malt
  3. Jura 16 year old Scotch Single Malt
  4. Jura  Prophecy  Scotch  Single Malt
  5. Jura Superstition Scotch Single Malt

 Willie Tait’s Bio

willietaitIt was as a fresh-faced youngster in 1975 that Willie T began his life-long association with the island.  From Tunroom Man, Mash, Stillman Under Manager and Distiller Manager to the lofty position of Master Distiller and Global Brand Ambassador for the Jura Single Malt some 35 years later, Willie has seen it all and probably done it too.

He was recently awarded a Life Time Achievement Award from the Malt Advocate magazine (USA) for his 37 years’ service to the Scotch Whisky industry.  He doesn’t like to talk about it.  Modest as always.  Willie’s understanding of the whisky, the people and the island is unrivalled.

Come join us at Le Local for this great Scotch Whisky experience!  Tickets are only available through OUIDRAM Whisky Tastings.

WHERE: Resto Le Local; 740 William Street, Montreal, H3C 1P1

WHEN:  Tuesday, October 1st, 2013; 6:30 pm – 8:30pm  

PRICE:  $50.00 per person (limited to 45 guests)

 Reservations through OUIDRAM only; info@ouidram.com or (514) 636-1136

Posted in Events, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OUIDRAM Summer Newsletter

Traditionally, the summer months are usually quiet for  OUIDRAM Whisky Tastings, as folks head outdoors for beer & BBQs.  This year seemed to be an exception, as we recently had a busy July with three corporate Scotch whisky tastings and two private ones.  We decided to feature whiskies that would be enjoyable in the hot summer weather, and pair up nicely with some amazing food from two great local restaurants and the exclusive Mount Bruno Country Club.

BrianCODOne of the whiskies we tasted at all three corporate events was the Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams, Canadian Edition.  This expression is the result of 20 virgin American oak casks rolled around 11 cities in Canada, where people could write their dreams on the casks (see the April 2012 post on this blog).  The casks were then shipped back to Scotland where they were filled at the Glenfiddich distillery with whisky formerly aged in ex-bourbon oak casks.  The spirit was carefully monitored, as new oak can quickly overpower the whisky.  After about three months, Master Blender Brian Kinsman determine the whisky was ready to be bottled and shipped to Canada.  The resulting 10,000 bottles are now available all across the country.

Scalo1Our first corporate tasting was held in mid-July at Scalo restaurant in île Bizard for a group of friends working at CAE.  We served four whiskies; Bunnahabhain 12 year old, Tobermory 10 year old,  Glennfiddich Cask of Dreams and Auchentoshan Three Wood.  I wanted to give the guests a chance to taste whiskies from different producing regions of Scotland and some lighter expressions prefect for summer sipping.  Scalo2The whiskies were paired with antipasto, mussels, sausages and grilled vegetables.  While all four single malts shared the “terroir” of Scotland, many people commented on the Auchentoshan Three Wood.  The rich, full-bodied sherry finish lends itself well to the light Lowland spirit.  I understand it will be a regular item at Québec’s SAQ outlets this Fall. We look forward to working with team Scalo again.

SolemerThe following week Terry and I were at a fantastic customer appreciation dinner for Manulife Securities at Solémer restaurant on Sauvé and l’Acadie.  Owner Elie Abou Abdallah and his staff did an excellent job of hosting and pairing the whiskies with their Lebanese inspired cuisine.  The menu was:

  • Stuffed Oysters au Gratin with Balblair 2001 Vintage
  • Scallops Wrapped in Bacon with Bowmore Darkest 15 year old
  • Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese Plate with Tobermory 10 year old
  • Lamb Chops with a Three Pepper Sauce and Glenfiddich “Cask of Dreams” Canadian Edition
  • Crème Brûlée with Auchentoshan 21 year old

Guests were amazed at how well the Scotch whiskies accompanied the delicious food, as many were trying this for the first time.  An interesting note; once guests tasted the Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams, listen to the story and realized it was a limited edition, many ordered bottle from the SAQ on their phones!

MtBruno1Two days later we were at the Mount Bruno Club, an exclusive golf & country club built in 1918 and nestled in a conservation forest on the east side of Mount Bruno, Québec.  The tasting event was for AIMA Canada, a national umbrella group for alternative investment management companies.  On a beautiful summer night, with the golf course as a backdrop, I led the tasting of four whiskies from four regions accompanied by amazing appetizers prepared by in-house Chef Philippe Boulanger.  The combinations were:

  • Oyster & Sherry Vinegar Mignonette (vinegar, black pepper, shallot) and a Classic Beef Tartar on a Grilled Baguette paired with Glen Garioch 12 year old.
  • Smoked Salmon & Caviar on Blinis and Seared Scallops with a Shitake Mushroom Relish featured with Bowmore Darkest 15 year old.
  • Dried Ham from ‘les îles de la Madeleine’ with figs, and Sausages in a Date Marmalade accompanied by Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams.
  • Finished with a Pot of Bitter Chocolate & Caramel with Crumble served with Auchentoshan 21 year old.MtBruno2

The evening ended with a platter of assorted cheeses from Atwater Market and cigars out on the lawn.  It doesn’t get much better than that and it was unanimously voted in as a regular event to AIMA’s social calendar according to COO, James Burron.

July ended up with a surprise private birthday party for a group of friends.  I love these events as everyone is relaxed and excited, anticipating the whiskies to be tasted.  I caught the guest of honour, off-guard when I told him I was his Birthday present!  We had a great time tasting Tobermory 10 yo, Bowmore 12 yo, Glen Garioch 12 yo and Aberlour A’Bunadh but had to wrap up quickly as the party guests were about to have a Salsa dance lesson…. whisky and Salsa in the summer… oh, yea!

Julian

Posted in Events, Our Events | Leave a comment

Spirits Confidential Toronto 2013

BEAM_LOGOThe entire staff at OUIDRAM (that’s Terry and I) were invited to experience Spirits Confidential in Toronto on June 26th, 2013, one of only two events like this in North America.  This “invitation only” event was hosted by Beam Global and featured all their products under one roof.  We had the chance to sample many great flavours, as the Beam Global family spans the range of spirits categories.  The atmosphere was almost carnival like, as guests could partake in games and hands-on events, as well as enjoy some great food.  Great to sample some cool drinks on a hot day!

You could hand-dip your own bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon in their signature red wax; toss the caber in a mini-highland games area; have your photo added to the Beam Legacy on a label of Jim Beam and, if you felt a bit stressed, have a relaxing chair massage at the Skinny Girl coctail booth.  Oh, did I mention you could sample all of their products?!  Beam Global had all their Brand Ambassadors on-site representing their respective Brands, as well as some prominent mixologists showcasing their skills.

 

Terry rides the mechanical bull at the Jim Beam booth.  She didn't spill a drop!


Terry rides the mechanical bull at the Jim Beam booth. She didn’t spill a drop!

Terry and I started off in the whisky village, (where else!) as we had the chance to catch up with our friend the Macallan & Highland Park Brand Ambassador Marc Laverdière.  Marc was busy pouring the new Macallan flavour range that is presently being released all over Canada.  We tasted a new 10 year old expression from Highland Park and had a look at the new packaging for Kilbeggan Irish whiskey.  Take a look at our video to get a feel for the event.  I hope the girls are not still mad at me for breaking the caber….

 

Posted in Events, Special Events, Whisky Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whisky Tasting for a Great Cause

Glenmorangie1


Brian poses with the members of Kat’s Korner.
Katrina is in the middle.

Recently Terry and I had the chance to pour whisky at a fundraiser for cancer research.  Actually, the event was to raise money for a team cycling in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a grueling cycle from Montreal to Quebec City over two days in July.  The team is organized by a remarkable young woman, “Katrina”, who survived a bout with cancer a few years ago.  She is now healthy and captains Kat’s Korner, the team participating in the fundraising ride.

Guests enjoying the whiskies from Glenmorangie

Guests enjoying the whiskies from Glenmorangie

We were contacted by Emma Steven, one of Kat’s Korner teammates to start the fundraising off on a strong footing.  Forty guests were treated to a vertical tasting of Glenmorangie and Ardbeg.   The whiskies served were: The Glenmorangie Original, Nectar D’Or, Quinta Ruban, Ardbeg 10 year old and Uigeadail.

Guests who had never experienced Glenmorangie before were amazed how different each expression tasted.  We served the Quinta Ruban with chocolate truffles… a hit with the ladies!  The combination of the port finished whisky and smooth chocolate was a decadent way to finish off the evening!

 

Glemorangie & Ardbeg

Glemorangie & Ardbeg

The Ardbeg was quite a contrast for guests new to Scotch whisky.  But I know we had a few converts to the smoky Islay whisky as I saw many savour the taste.  The Ardbeg 10 year old, one of the best 10 year old Single malts out there in my book, was a perfect lead for the Uigeadail. 

Altogether, the event raised over $1,200 for Katrina’s team; great whisky and a great cause… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Posted in Fundraising | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Whisky Day 2013

Logo5

Join Brian on Saturday, May 18th 2013 at the Burgundy Lion Pub 2496 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest;Montreal, QC H3J 1N5 (514) 934-0888, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm where he will be pouring samples of whiskies from Morrison-Bowmore Distillers; The best part of this event, in honour of World Whisky Day, is that the drams are free!

Rejoignez Brian le samedi 18 mai 2013 au Pub Burgundy Lion  2496 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H3J 1N5 (514) 934-0888, 16h00-18h00 où il donnera des échantillons de whiskies de Morrison Bowmore Distillers. La meilleure partie de cet événement, en l’honneur de la Journée mondiale de Whisky, c’est que les drams sont gratuits!

BL10

You can read more about World Whisky Day at

Vous pouvez vous renseigner la Journée mondiale de Whisky à

www.worldwhiskyday.com and register for our event at:  http://www.worldwhiskyday.com/events/world-whisky-day-at-the-burgundy-lion-pub/

Take some photos on Saturday and enter them in the competition:

Prenez quelques photos samedi et entrer dans la compétition:

http://www.worldwhiskyday.com/photocompetition/

Posted in Events, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spirit of Toronto 2013

Ouidram had a whrilwind weekend last Saturday and Sunday as we drove to Toronto for the 9th edition of Spirit of Toronto, the premier spirit show.  The next day we sped back to Montreal to host our regular whisky tasting at the Burgundy Lion Pub on Sunday night!

Terry at the Highland Park booth


Terry at the Highland Park booth

Toronto was chaos and madness, but that was just the traffic…  As usual, Johanna Ngoh and Single Minded hosted a great event in the elegant setting of Roy Thomson Hall.  Over 100 spirits were available for guests to sample along with great food and smooth jazz, masterclasses by spirit experts from all over the world, even a cigar bar.  Terry and I were invited by our good friend, Marc Laverdière, Canadian Brand Ambassador for Highland Park and The Macallan, to help pour the excellent Scotch whiskies from Highland Park. 

I couldn’t believe how busy we were at the Highland Park table!  People kept coming up and saying that HP was their “go to whisky” or that they “always have a bottle in the house”.  Many guests came over for a wee dram as the last one of the night, as if they couldn’t end the night on a better note.  I hardly had to say anything to them, I was preaching to the choir!

Brian meets Ralfy Mitchell


Brian meets Ralfy Mitchell

One of the highlights of this years show was meeting Ralfy, the affable Youtube whisky reviewer from Scotland who has a strong cult following; www.ralfy.com.  Terry and I were lucky to spend a few minutes with him before the show started.  Apparently he produced a video reviewing whisky at the show.  I was hoping to post a video of my own on this blog, but frankly we were so busy at the booth I just didn’t have time to get out and shoot some scenes.  Maybe next year…

Posted in Events, Uncategorized, Whisky Shows | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment