It may say Spring on the calendar but the forecast calls for snow, again. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of talking about the weather. Let’s talk about Whisky.
Specifically let’s talk about Highland Park whisky. Orkney Islands’ northernmost distillery. Tickets are now on sale for our Blind Tasting of Highland Park Whiskies April 22nd at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, at the Arcade in downtown Providence.
So many people commented on how much they liked the blind tasting format from our January Budget tasting, that I thought we’d do a blind tasting with the whiskies from the Edrington Group’s Highland Park Distillery. It will be led by Jacqueline Connetti, Innovation Manager, Edrington Americas. This is a great chance to taste some great whiskies and let your palate, and not a number, decide which is your favorite.
Tickets for the tasting are $25 and are available today, as usual, at Bottles Fine Wine. Buy your tickets with celerity because this tasting will sell out, as usual.
We’ll have our usual post-tasting prize raffle to benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to helping homeless vetarans – so bring your cash and a generous spirit. So far we’ve raised over $1,600 for OSDRI and I hope we can raise even more this year. I hope to see you at this tasting – it should be a fun night with some interesting whiskies. -t
Snow is coming, again. dooming any thoughts of an early Spring.
While I can’t do anything about the snow, I can help you take a virtual vacation to the Emerald Isle – with our Irish Whiskey Dinner March 11th at Waterman grille. We’ll be tasting six whiskies while enjoying a plated 3-course dinner.
The tasting will be led by Mairead Heavey, Irish Whiskey Ambassador for the Kilbeggan Distillery. She lead us through tasting six whiskies while we enjoy a 3-course dinner created by the Waterman Grille Chef.
First things first because it’s the reason you’ve read this far. The Whiskey lineup for the evening will be as follows:
- 2 Gingers Whiskey
- Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
- Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey
- Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey
- Tyrconnell Sherry Cask Single Malt Irish Whiskey
- Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
The evening’s menu will be
- First course – Bangers and Mash with House Made Sausage
- 2nd Course – Lamb Shepherds Pie
- Dessert – Guinness stout Cake
Tickets for the Dinner are $50 and are available today, as usual, at Bottles Fine Wine. Buy your tickets quickly because we are now selling out every month, and I expect this one to sell out as usual. Remember WhiskyRI tasting tickets make great gifts for that special someone in your life.
We’ll have our usual post-tasting prize raffle to benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to helping homeless vetarans – so bring your cash and a generous spirit. We’ve raised over $1,500 for OSDRI and I hope we can raise even more this year. I hope to see you at this tasting – it should be a fun night with some interesting whiskies. -t
Our recent vintage New England cold weather has really made people want to reach for some nice vintage single malts to enjoy by a roaring fire. I can’t help with you with the fireplace, but I can help with the single malts.
I’m pleased to announce that our next whisky tasting will be a tasting of whiskies from independent bottler and distiller Gordon & MacPhail, Tuesday February 11th at Waterman Grille from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The tasting will be led by John Heffernan, Brand Ambassador of Gordon & MacPhail. If you aren’t familiar with independent bottlings, this is a great introduction to an important part of the whisky industry and a great chance to taste some unique whiskies from both well known, and less well-known distilleries.
The Lineup for the evening is as follows:
- Linkwood 15 Year Old
- Mortlach 15 Year Old
- Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old
- Glen Scotia 21 Year Old
- Highland Park 8 Year Old
- Glenburgie 21 Year Old
- Caol Ila 10 Year Old
Tickets for the tasting are $30 and are available today, as usual, at Bottles Fine Wine. Buy your tickets quickly because we are now selling out every month, and I expect this one to sell out as usual. Remember WhiskyRI tasting tickets make great Valentine’s Day gifts for that special someone in your life.
We’ll have our usual post-tasting prize raffle to benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to helping homeless vetarans – so bring your cash and a generous spirit. We’ve raised over $1,400 for OSDRI and I hope we can raise even more this year. I hope to see you at this tasting – it should be a fun night with some interesting whiskies. -t
I didn’t want to do it but I’ve rescheduled tonight’s tasting for Jan 28th. Given the snow forecast, the parking bans and just plain safety we are rescheduling this tasting for Tuesday Jan 28th at 7:30 at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits in the Providence Arcade.
We are still sold out – although if the date change frees up any tickets I’ll announce it on Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully everyone stays warm and safe tonight and I’ll see you next week. Thanks -t
A true snowy Paradise is one with Pappy close at hand.
Looking out over the new snow, Rhode Island is now a winter paradise – albeit one without bread and milk by the look of the stores - I thought I’d take a moment to look back on 2013.
It was a big year for WhiskyRI, 2013 was the first full year we’ve been doing our tastings and I’ve pulled together some key factoids about the year.
- $1,030.00 – Our post tasting raffles raised $1,030.00 for Operation Stand Down Rhode Island – benefitting homeless Veterans – with your generous donations. This brings our total raised to date to $1,430.00. We’ll work hard to make 2014 even better.
- 160 People – We had 160 different people come to our tastings in 2013. I’m incredibly thankful to everyone who came to our tastings in 2013. Some data - 71% of people came to a single tasting and 29% came to two or more tastings. This is an increase over 2012 which had 62 people attending tastings – 79% of them attending a single tasting and 21% attending 2 or more tastings.
This was not one of the 99 whiskies, maybe it’ll be the 100th?
- 99 Whiskies - We tasted our 99th whisky since WhiskyRI began in August of 2012. Our very first whisky was the Auchentoshan 12 Year Old and our 99th whisky was The Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood. Therefore the first Whisky of 2014 will be our 100th whisky. I’m working hard to ensure that our 100th whisky is as special and memorable as it should be.
- 72 Whiskies in 2013 - give or take, sometimes things get a bit hazy after tasting a few whiskies. We started the year off with the Benromach Traditional working our way through Scotland, visiting some world whiskies, checking out some American distillers, heading up North for some Canadian Whiskies, having a bit of Islay whisky, finally having some bourbons, ryes and finishing up the year with 5 different expressions from The Balvenie.
- 37 Brands – We tasted whiskies from 37 different brands and 32 different distillers. We even tasted 7 different rums illustrating different styles and stills. I know whisky is our focus, but sometimes you want something a little different and after all, rum is pretty tasty.
- 15 Brand Ambassadors and Moderators - I want to specifically thank the people and they brands they work for who were vital to making our tastings possible. Each and everyone of you helped make 2013 a great year for WhiskyRI.
- 11 Events – After taking January off to give everyone’s whisky budgets time to recover, we had a tasting each month from February to December. We sold out every whisky tasting and had a dedicated and appreciate audience at our Rum tasting.
- 2 venues – we did 10 of our 11 events at Waterman Grille. They really work hard to accommodate us and we are very appreciative of their support, hopefully it will continue in 2014. If you need a venue for a private event – you’d be hard pressed to find a more attractive in Providence. In December we also tried out a new venue, Ri Ra Providence – very helpful staff.
- 1 Retail Partner – Big thanks go to our retail partner – Bottles Fine Wine – they’ve been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to work with them in 2014.
- Lots of Prizes – it was a good year for our raffle prizes. Please forgive the lack of detail but I lost count of how many bottles of whisky and whisky-related books and ephemera we gave away this year – it was a lot. I do know however that we gave away 12 copies of the Whisky Advocate. The Whisky Advocate has been a reliable supporter donating the magazine for us to give away each and every month.
Looking forward my hope is 2014 will be even better – we’ll try some new ambitious events like an Irish Whisky Dinner, another author tasting and book event, maybe a field trip to an active whisky distillery (unfortunately not one in Scotland, we’ll stay right here in Rhode Island) plus a few other surprises. We’ll keep raising money for Operation Stand Down RI and we’ll keep having fun.
Ideas, suggestions and wishes for WhiskyRI are always welcome and actively sought. Sláinte -t