The Scotch Malt Whisky Society will always hold a special place in my heart. Those of you who know me well will already be aware that my most recent place of employment, The Strath Ale Wine & Spirit Merchants in Victoria, British Columbia, was a retail partner shop for the SMWS in Canada, and for all intents and purposes I was the face of that partnership (along with the lovely faces of SMWS Canada founders Kelly and Rob Carpenter). With the help of my trusty sidekick, Mr. Adam Bradshaw (who has since taken up my old mantle of Whisky Specialist at The Strath), I organized and hosted monthly, and eventually twice-monthly tastings for around 50 eager SMWS members and guests. Naturally, when my wife and I spotted a chance to attend an SMWS Outturn here in the Netherlands (as the invited guests of SMWS Benelux Ambassador Hans Offringa no less) we jumped at the opportunity. Continue reading “Scotch Malt Whisky Society Netherlands”
July 1, 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation as a nation, a fact that if you’re not Canadian may well have escaped you (and if you are Canadian, it’s been hammered into each of our minds relentlessly since at least January of this year). As a proud son of Canada, I think now is perhaps the perfect time to highlight my affection for one of our great and lasting contributions to the world at large, Canadian whisky. Continue reading “10 Canadian Whiskies For Canada 150!”
As I concluded in my post documenting the happy experience I had while attending the Ypenburg Whisky Festival, one of the true joys of convening with other whisky people is the immediate sense of community the environment creates. One of the many connections I was able to make through this event was to a gentleman who has a small sideline in purveying 30ml sample bottles of the whiskies in his collection for a nominal fee (mostly to cover costs so he can then procure more whiskies). This is not at all uncommon practice in the whisky world, and national shipping laws permitting, many enthusiasts have taken to trading samples in order to spread the love and knowledge of whisky with friends and strangers alike (there’s even a /r/scotchswap subreddit for such transactions). Continue reading “Dram Good Netherlands – Scotch Whisky Samples!”
I doubt many of you, either inside or outside of the Netherlands, are familiar with the Ypenburg Whisky Festival. The name doesn’t ring bells or generate press the way popular outings like Fèis Ìle, Limburg Whisky Fair, or the Victoria Whisky Festival do. While it may not be as large, glitzy or well funded as the aforementioned events, it’s almost certainly every bit as fun. Continue reading “Dram Good Netherlands – Ypenburg Whisky Festival”
A few months back I wrote a post entitled “How Do You Drink Whisky?” in which I dove in to some of the fundamental nuts and bolts of whisky appreciation. In an effort to put some of that theory into practice, I’ve decided to put together some tasting notes on one of the purchases I’ve made recently here in the Netherlands. Keen eyed observers may well recall this release was one of the sample bottles I picked up at Van der Boog in Rijswijk. Continue reading “Whisky Tasting Notes – Sansibar Islay 8yr”
Rotterdam – Whiskybase
The next leg of our Low Countries journey (catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them) took us to the sprawling, modern metropolis of Rotterdam. Ostensibly a hardscrabble port city dolled up with some futuristic architecture and a healthy dose of modern art installations, the place was admittedly lacking in some of the Old World Dutch charm to which my wife and I have grown so accustomed (blame it on Ze Germans I suppose). The crown jewel in the city for my money however, has got to be Whiskybase, located not far from Rotterdam Centraal station. Continue reading “Dram Good Whisky – Netherlands Pt. 3”
Rijswijk – Van Der Boog
The next stop on our whisky tour of the Netherlands took my wife and I to the town of Rijswijk. Essentially a suburb of our home base of The Hague, we made the journey via foot power in a little under an hour to mark to occasion of World Whisky Day. Much like De Druiventuin in Leiden, Wine and Whisky Specialist van der Boog is tucked away discreetly in a strip mall, far off the beaten path for your average tourist. Continue reading “Dram Good Whisky – Netherlands Pt. 2”
As some of you may be aware, I’ve spent the entirety of my whisky drinking/writing/speaking/loving career (and my entire life for that matter) in the vast wilds of Canada. As of a week ago, I’ve taken a jump across the pond to settle in the Netherlands for a time, with my new Dutch-born bride in tow. I’m admittedly more or less just relaxing and exploring on my honeymoon for the time being, but whisky has never been far from the back of my mind. I thought I’d document my whisky experiences thus far in the Low Countries for your viewing pleasure.
My plan for The Whisky Mafia going forward over the next several weeks is to navigate away (for now) from the Whisky 101 series I’ve been presenting so far, and delve a little more into some personal stories, tasting notes, & in-depth whisky discussions. Before I shift gears however, I wanted to leave you fine readers with a generous handful of some truly useful additional resources to further your whisky education. I’ve by no means come across the information I’ve presented so far via divine intervention, so let’s take a look at some of the resources that I use on a daily basis to keep my brain soaked with whisky knowledge.
Welcome back! Last time we jumped into the question of What Is Scotch Whisky? and this week I’m following it up with some practical tips and suggestions for drinking and enjoying whisky. The question of how one should best enjoy their whisky is far more a matter of personal opinion than of science, but I aim to at least nudge you in the direction of conventional whisky wisdom when it comes to getting the best possible experience out of your dram. Just remember the golden rule while reading through this post: these are merely suggestions. How, when and why you enjoy your whisky is entirely your business, don’t let anyone dictate to you or try to tell you you’re wrong for getting satisfaction out drinking whisky any way you like it.