Posts Tagged ‘fun’

The Whisky Festival on the Island of Jura

Jura Whisky

The popular pop-up restaurant Jimmy’s in London is part of the attraction of the renowned whisky festival at the island of Jura this year. Whisky legend Richard Paterson and street artists Recoat from Glasgow will also be featured in the event this coming May 25 and 26.

Tastival is the contribution of Jura to the Feis Ile Festival that attracts many whisky aficionados from around the world to open days every year at the many distilleries in the neighboring Islay.

Over the course of the two-day festival, visitors will be exploring the only distillery of the island while having to experience the various ways to enjoy whisky through live entertainment, a series of exclusive tours, and tastings.

The organizers of the festival believe that the event has something for everyone. Whisky fans will have to be quick in buying tickets as 95 percent of the tickets sold last year have been bought in just 24 hours.

Jura Whisky

Jura Festival. Image:

The ticketed sessions this year include Dine the Different Sides of Jura, where the popular Jimmy’s Pop-Up will be coming up with a special menu for the event that will reflect the sweet and smoky sides of the island’s whisky. Jimmy has been seen on the TV show “This Morning” as a resident chef and he specializes in creating a unique pop-up dining experiences. Meanwhile, Fyne Ales, a Scottish craft beer, will be joining by pairing their beers with whisky.

Willie Cochrane and Graham Logan, both Jura managers, will be hosting a special event in the Masters Tour. This event will give a rare opportunity to experience the Jura still house through the eyes of those who make the whisky.

In Conversation will be featuring an exclusive Jura tasting, as well as question and answer sessions with Richard Paterson, the whisky master blender. Meanwhile, Whisky on the Waves will let visitors cruise on the open sea as they savor the Jura Turas-Mara.

Aside from that, the Cooperage will also be accessible where Recoat will be bringing in to life the different sides of Jura on a large-scale mural in the Dramming Bar. Jamie Johnson is set to paint the sweet side; while Will Barras will paint the smoky side. These artists were especially picked because their styles reflect these two elements. If you must know, Recoat previously worked on projects that transformed the Rotunda Building in Glasgow and for brands such as Converse and Vodafone.

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Celebrating National Beer Day in Oregon

National Beer Day

In April 7th of 1933, former president Roosevelt legalized beer; hence, National Beer Day is celebrated on this day. He signed a bill that would allow people to produce and sell beer again, which was the first step that ended prohibition.

National Beer Day

Cheers To National Beer Day! Picture from

Find out how your favorite bars in Oregon celebrate this very special day!

Brew Hog Blowout

From 4-10 PM, North 45 Pub, located at 517 N.W. 21 Avenue will be hosting a Brew Hog Blowout in celebration of the National Beer Day. There will be 21 brewers filling the patio to end the Brew Hog series and their last chance for the delectable smoked ribs.

Dam Flat Tail’s Dam Wild Invasion

Saraveza, located at 1004 N. Killingsworth Street, is hosting a Dam Flat Tail’s Dam Wild Dam Invasion where they will have 3 beers from their seasonal series served side by side. Nominate your favorite dam; the one that garners the most votes would win a prize from the Dam gift shop. The Dam Wild series makes use of the sour blonde that is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain which is mixed with various ingredients. On Thursday’s tap are Peaches and Cream, Pink Lemonade, Marion Berries and Pink Peppercorns.

Beer Dinner at Altabira City Tavern with Culmination

Altabira and Culmination will be celebrating the National Beer Day serving a cuisine cooked by Altabira chef Luis Escorcia, paired with a Culmination beer. The beers that will be featured are the Euphoric Brett IPA and the Choco Mountain Stout. Altabira City Tavern is located at 1021 N.E. Grand Avenue. They will be open from 3:30 PM until closing.

Block 15 Tap Takeover at Orenco Taphouse

Orenco Taphouse, located at 1198 N.E. Orenco Station Parkway, Hillsboro, will be featuring Block 15 of Corvallis at their taps. Beers that will be slated include Alpha IPA (a Northwest-style IPA); Block 15’s seasonal lineup; Gloria; Demon’s Farm; Sticky Hands; and Incredible.

2016 Nano Beer Fest

The Nano Beer Fest or the World’s Largest Nano Beer Fest will feature over 30 brewers this weekend. It will be held at John’s Marketplace, located at 3535 S.W. Multnomah Boulevard, for only $20 per ticket. Aside from meet-the-brewer opportunities and tastings, they will be giving away rare bottles of beer, memorabilia, and hourly prizes. The raffles will benefit the Oregon Humane Society, which will feature adoptable dogs on Saturday, from noon to 3 in the afternoon. There will be a preview party on April 8th, from 5 to 10 in the evening, at The Commons, with 6 participating nano-breweries.

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Whisky Galore Set to be Staged at Markinch Town Hall

Whisky Galore Logo

Markinch Amateur Operatic Society is preparing to stage its new production, Whisky Galore, at Markinch Town Hall. They will be performing “Whisky Galore – A Musical!” from Tuesday to Saturday next week. A Fifer who assisted in adapting the tale for the stage helped them to prepare for the said event.

Ian Hammond Brown, from Dunfermline, has joined the Markinch Amateur Operatic Society (MAOS) as the director for this latest production. Along with Shona McKee McNeil, they adapted the popular tale of Compton Mackenzie from the novel to a musical.

Ian said, “I was working with SusanLoftus from Cutting Edge Theatre Company in Edinburgh and she had gone to London and managed to set up a chat with Cameron MacIntosh about producing musicals in Scotland. He suggested picking up on Compton Mackenzie’s work.”

“I met up with Susan in Borders Bookshop and at that time we were trying to decide which of Mackenzie’s work to do. We saw Whisky Galore on the shelf and decided that was the one. It was one of my favourite films when I was young. We read the book and approached the relevant people to get the rights to adapt it,” he added.

The production was showcased first at Edinburgh Fringe in 2006 and has been developed from there.

“It was very successful there so I took it on from there and continued to develop it,” Ian said. “Pitlochy Festival Theatre was looking at Mackenzie’s work so I went up there and pitched it and was commissioned to rewrite for the 2009 season. After that I decided to release it for amateur productions.”

Whisky Galore Logo

Markinch, Fife, Scotland, who produce a musical show in March of each year. By

“Whisky Galore – A Musical!” is set during the time when the curse of rationing visited Hebridean islands of Little Todday and Great Toddy, which was in 1943. The thirsty islanders ran out of uisge beatha (the water of life) when a cargo ship came aground with 50,000 cases of whisky.

Currently, Ian is working on a new piece called the “Carnegie” — a musical based on the life of Andrew Carnegie which is set to be staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

When he was asked about the Markinch production, he further added that, “It’s falling into place. It’s been a lot for the company to learn, as many weren’t that familiar with the musical. I think it will be an amazing night out.”

“Whisky Galore – A Musical!” will be staged from March 22 to March 26 at the Markinch Town Hall.

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Speyside: What You Should Know

Speyside Festival

Want to know a fun fact? The only time alcohol is allowed in the House of Commons is during Budget Day. According to Parliamentary tradition, the chancellor may drink whatever he wishes to drink when making a budget speech; most of them opt for whisky. Rumor has it; Kenneth Clarke was partial to drinking Glenfarclas from Speyside while giving his speeches.

A Festival in Speyside

The 2016 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will be taking place from Aril 28 to May 2. If you’ve tasted the various whiskies produced in this part of the world, you’d know that delivering a serious speech while drinking a dram is difficult.

If you ask me, Speyside whisky is somewhat like a lover. It needs to be treated kindly and respectfully, looked at and admired, and of course, tasted. Where you drink it is also of significance, particularly with expensive malts, as you’d want to savor the flavor while taking in your surroundings.

There are a lot of Speyside available with a handful of good places to enjoy a dram. Aside from that, there is no shortage of experts who will give you an idea about their favorite dram; where it’s produced and its little history.

Speyside Festival


History of Whisky Distillation

A few years ago, distilling whisky was rather tricky. With primitive equipment, lack of expertise and knowledge, you’d probably end up with a lethal spirit. As distillation processes have been improved over time, advancements were seen. Apparently, monks had significant knowledge about distilling which explains why they are often seen happy and peacefully quiet. Soon, whisky has become a tradition in Scotland and was served in many social gatherings.

However, all things come with a price. Taxmen soon wanted shares from the profits. This resulted to stills that were produced underground. If we believe rumors, the remote Braes of Glenlivet had over 200 illegal stills operating during the major whisky smuggling era. There were 3 major whisky roads that started there which allowed smugglers to transport their goods to cities in the east and south. Evading taxmen and smuggling whisky has become a part of life after the English Parliament was established in 1644.

Present Day

Today, on the other hand, is a different story. While Speyside is known as the home of Scotch whisky as well as more than half of the distilleries in Scotland, many of which are organizing special events during festivals that sell out quickly; hence, booking in advance is important. Highlights to festivals include tastings in various distilleries, fine dining experiences, live music, and challenges to find the best whisky in town that would go well with bacon roll.

Where to Stay during Festivals

A highly recommended accommodation among tourists is the Craigellachie Hotel on Victoria Street in Speyside. Sounds familiar? This historic hotel, which has been elegantly upgraded without losing its old-style charm, has become popular among celebrities including Noel Gallagher and Kate Moss. The hotel gives off a vintage and relaxed vibe and a bar that serves over 700 whisky bottles, making it a rather fun place to chill.

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Irish Whisky: A Main Feature at Harrow Whisky Festival

Harrow Whisky Festival

A large numbers of whisky enthusiasts attended and enjoyed the INAUGURAL Harrow Whisky Festival held at Grim’s Dyke Hotel in Harrow Weald last weekend. In the said event, over 40 distillers around the world presented each of their best whiskies.

The main feature of the festival was the tasting sessions, as dedicated Ireland Whiskey table presented the likes of Coley, Bushmills, Jameson, Connemara, Paddy and Inish Turk Beg. Such presentation of distiller’s banquet was held Friday evening and a whisky breakfast/brunch was also held on Saturday morning. The dedicated Ireland table with variety of Ireland whiskeys truly became a special attraction in the event.

Harrow Whisky Festival

Experts and enthusiasts. Photo – Malcolm McNally

The festival started with a night of music and entertainment. Since Grim’s Dyke Hotel is the former home of Sir William Gilbert (Gilbert & Sullivan) Irish and other music was also staged on that agenda. Part of the live music and entertainment were the presentations of Gerry Molumby from Triskellion Irish Theatre and Concert Productions and singer and multi-instrumentalist and Irish Post columnist Joe Giltrap.

A limited edition 15 Year Old Single Malt was one of the stars of the weekend; which was made by the Teeling Whiskey Company. The Teeling Whiskey Company was also the maker of ‘The Revival’ which produced it to mark the opening of its new distillery, the first in Dublin for over 125 years.

The stunning setting for the festival has been made possible through the best efforts of Grim’s Dyke Hotel as it also has a well-stocked whisky bar, which significantly boosted whenever whisky tasting or festival event is coming up. For people looking for their retail needs, there are ‘Hard to Find Whiskey’ company present in occasion like this to help them satisfy those needs and of course dedicated  Irish whisky table that they really need to experience.

Harrow Whisky Festival talks about quality whisky and other things like various insights from whiskey specialists, explorers, and bloggers as well as magazine writers. There are also generalized talks in the Drawing Room of Grim’s Dyke Hotel which will give everyone an idea of touring the scenic area of the place, new distilleries and the wildlife.

Of course, whisky festival celebration can never be more fascinating without mentioning the iconic kilt! Some of the speakers be wearing Highland dress, and  if you’re going to stay overnight and want to try a kilt, the hotel  have various sizes available for their guests– even if it’s just long enough for picture taking.

The Directors of Grim’s Dyke Hotel, Mary McGowan and Robin Cooke as well as the organizers of the Harrow Whisky Festival were truly delighted with the positive outcome of the event and said they are already have plans for next year event.

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What to Expect on the Golden State of Cocktails 2016

Golden State Cocktails

On its third year, the Golden State of Cocktails will be bringing about 3,000 people from the booze industry and cocktail fans to downtown’s Majestic event space, Sunday to Tuesday, for 3 days of tipsy seminars, lunches, and happy hours. The event aims to take a look at mixology, consumer trends, and how the spirits industry is today.

While GSC will only hold smaller events in San Diego and San Francisco, their marquee city will be Los Angeles, in the hopes of gathering the biggest crowds, as well as some of the most popular people in the business. This year, the award-winning bartender of the exclusive 365 Tokyo bar in Las Vegas, SeongHa Lee, will be hosting a Japanese whiskey tasting.

What are the other highlights of the event?

Among the highlights of the GSC events are Sunday’s Tiki Cocktails and Culture in a Modern Setting, which tackles about the revival of the tiki culture. Meanwhile, a talk on the effect of drought for the spirits industry and how to make drought-friendly cocktails will be held on Monday. On Tuesday, there will be a discussion about punch bowls, their origins, and how to make a perfect one. In partnership with Munchies, Vice’s food site, dinners will be held every evening at Girasol, Faith & Flower and Hatchet Hall.

Golden State Cocktails

Golden State of Cocktails returns to Los Angeles with drought-friendly drinks and plenty of whiskey. By

Brief History of Golden State Cocktails

The Golden State of Cocktails event was created by 213 Hospitality, a group that helped revive the nightlife among bars in downtown Los Angeles for the past few years. It is expected that the attendance will double compared to the previous years.

“This was just sorely needed in California. Many of us have been flying to cocktail weeks in London, Portland, New Orleans, New York City. And none of those were covering all the issues and tastes of California’s business climate and customer. Also, we wanted to unite California’s hospitality industry,” says Cedd Moses, the 213 Hospitality’s proprietor.

Meanwhile, the director of the event, Geoff Nudelman, said that, “Los Angeles has really come into its own as an international cocktail and spirits destination.”

To purchase tickets for the events and to know more about it, you may check their site online. The Daytime programs, which cost around $40, are open to anyone who is 21 years old and over. Most of the talks held during this time will come with samples according to the subject being discussed.

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The Victoria Whisky Festival: What’s in Store for You?

Victoria Whisky Festival

The taste of the present and the past comes to town as the annual Victoria Whisky Festival will be held from January 14 (Thursday) to January 16 (Saturday).

In its 11th annual celebration, the festival aims to attract whisky enthusiasts worldwide. Aside from the tasting of newly released drams and classic favorites, attendees have the chance to learn about the distiller’s process and what makes a huge difference among the types of whiskies.

According to Dave McMillan, this educational aspect is the key feature of the festival. The 19-year old veteran police of Oak Bay had just retired last year and made one of his post-retirement vacations a working holiday for those who are at the Springbank Whiskey Academy. Here, he joined whisky aficionados from Denmark, France, Italy and other countries to work and learn more about distillery.

Dave McMillan has been involved with the festival for 8 years already. He has appreciations for the amber nectar which began after he received a whisky as a gift. He started to learn more, and that led him to the Victoria Whisky Festival.

“I got more involved, and started tasting more and learning more about it. I also enjoy learning and getting educated,” McMillan said, noting that he has appreciation for the Scottish culture. “Each distillery has its own story and its own kind of whisky.”

Today’s festival features 8 consumer tastings, Canadian Whisky Awards dinner, and 36 master classes. The festival is held at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which will end with the Grand Tasting on Thursday evening. Proceeds from the festival will be given to charitable organizations.

Victoria Whisky Festival

Victoria Whisky Festival held each January. Photo(c):

“It’s not about the drinking, it’s about the flavours. My motto is you don’t drink whisky, you taste it,” he added, advising festival goers to taste the whisky rather than drink it.

According to Lawrence Graham, the president of the Victoria Whisky Festival, with a lot of new whiskies, people are interested at learning more about them.

“Rather than buying their same favourite whiskies, they are becoming more adventurous, armed with a knowledge of the process and the results that creates. People are more and more curious about whiskies from Canada, the United States, Japan, India, as well as from Scotland,” he said.

The festival this year will be showcasing over 250 whiskies that were made in 50 distilleries from Canada, England, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, Taiwan, and the United States.

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Cocktails for a Warm Winter

Holiday Cocktails

Having a warm winter cocktails with the people you love can make your holiday celebrations festive. If our ancestors knew anything about how to enjoy a festive season, it is preparing the table without having to pay anything for overindulgence.

It is not a secret that most of the traditional recipes for having a festive cocktail would include ingredients like cream and eggs. This is probably the reason why some of the favorite mid-winter warmers by most people are Spanish, English, and Scottish cocktails. So, double up on your hangover remedies! There will be two for the price of only one!

Holiday Cocktails

Holiday Cocktail Recipes To Warm Your Body And Soul. Image (c):

  • Athol Brose

The Athol Brose is how the Scotts welcome the New Year or the first-footer at Hogmanay. First-footer is a term used for the first visitor to step over your threshold after midnight. Fair exchange, on the other hand, is a lump of coal used for the fire where you hope that your first-footer is friendly dark-haired person instead of blonde blue-eyed Viking. Christmas north o’ the border is a much solemn affair. Remember that in Scotland, whisky never has an “e” in it.

Athol Brose’s can be prepared within 5 minutes and cooked in 15 minutes. You can garnish it with nutmeg sprinkled on top or additional creamy swirl.

  • Lamb’s Wool Wassail

The Lamb’s Wool Wassail is an elision of Saxons’ merry toast. According to the old wives’ tale, it would be wise to serve it using an apple wood bowl to keep the witches away from joining the party. If you’re wondering where this came from, this has something to do with the tradition of going outside to the orchard when the clock strikes 12 on the eve of Christmas Day while banging drums or firing guns to scare the evil spirits away that may stop the apple trees from bearing fruits.

The prep time for this recipe is only 10 minutes with cooking time of 20 minutes. Should you need to re-heat, don’t allow it to boil or the egg will curdle.

  • Ponche

The Ponche holiday cocktail is a traditional eggnog based from brandy for which similar recipes can be found throughout Europe. It has a Spanish version where it is thickened using ground almonds that are traditional ingredients for Christmas. It should be served warm on a cold Christmas night with something that is sweet and crisp for dips.

The prep time for Ponche is 10 minutes and it can be cooked within 20 minutes. Remember to shake it before pouring.

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The Whisky Expo

Prometheus Whisky

If you want to experience a grand holiday, Mahesh Patel  — famous for his 5,000 bottle whisky collection worth over $6 million — wants to take you for a $2.5 million whisky experience in Scotland.

According to Patel, the main idea is to get 5 people on the jet to Scotland, where they will be going to private tours, tastings, and dinners at some of the most popular distilleries in Scotland: Balvenie, Dalmore, Glenfiddich, and Strathisia, home of the 62 Gun Salute.

What you will Enjoy During the Trip?

While you’re on the trip, you will be picking up a cask of a very old whisky from one of the three family-owned distilleries in Scotland, Glenfarclas. You will be choosing a cask and transferring it to customized decanters that are made by Glencairn crystal, a company owed by a very famous family in Scotland.

Patel will be giving high roller tickets to the four-day Universal Whisky Experience which will be held at Wynn Encore Resort in Las Vegas. The Whisky Expo will be featuring more than 90 top brands with a special 8-course whisky dinner at the restaurant of Chef Joel Robuchon.

Prometheus Whisky

Prometheus Whisky

Lap of Luxury: $2.5M whisky tour of Scotland. Image by

Prometheus, a 26-year old whisky, is sold for about $1,000. It comes from the most popular distilleries in Scotland that Patel is keeping a secret. It’s an old-style whisky that his house became popular for.

According to Patel, Prometheus comes from Greek Mythology. Prometheus is the one who came to the world, did incredible things and died. Patel will only sell a limited number of bottles (about 1,000) of Promtehus this year at 26, next year at 27, again 28, and 29. The amount of whisky that will be left will be bottled at year 30 and then Prometheus will be gone. Currently, the stock is already diminishing.

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Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky Targets 450,000 KM of Safe Drives Home Worldwide during the Holidays

McLaren Honda Test Driver Stoffel Vandoorne, Johnnie Walker(R) Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Häkkinen pictured with his Caparo T1 supercar and the lesser-seen McLaren 570S supercar, alongside fellow F1 World Champions and McLaren Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso at London's Westminster Parliament buildings. (PRNewsFoto/Johnnie Walker)

Formula 1 stars Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, takes the initiative to launch the Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky’s call for global responsible drinking.

This holiday season, what do you think is the best gift you could wish or give to a friend? Well, a safe ride home will be one of the best choices.

With the holiday season starting to bloom, hanging out with friends and relatives becomes a constant scenario. Thus, Johnnie Walker, which is the world’s number one Scotch whisky aims to encourage people to pledge to never drink and drive in order to make sure that they get home safely.

As a start of this holiday festive regarding responsible drinking campaign, a 450,000 KM of safe drive towards home around the world is promise by the world’s leading Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker. It includes the cities of Madrid, Sao Paulo and Edinburgh.

McLaren Honda Test Driver Stoffel Vandoorne, Johnnie Walker(R) Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Häkkinen pictured with his Caparo T1 supercar and the lesser-seen McLaren 570S supercar, alongside fellow F1 World Champions and McLaren Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso at London's Westminster Parliament buildings. (PRNewsFoto/Johnnie Walker)

McLaren Honda Test Driver Stoffel Vandoorne, Johnnie Walker(R) Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Häkkinen pictured with his Caparo T1 supercar and the lesser-seen McLaren 570S supercar, alongside fellow F1 World Champions and McLaren Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso at London’s Westminster Parliament buildings. (PRNewsFoto/Johnnie Walker)

To those who are interested and would want to participate in responsible drinking towards a safe drive home they need to make a commitment by signing through “Join the Pact “. This year some people will have the opportunity to move forward and experience the season of giving. This is through nominating a friend for a safe ride home and this will start in London.

In order to encourage more people to participate in the campaign, three formula 1 worlds champions like, Mika Hakkinen, Fernando Alonso and McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button has gone behind the wheels together with McLaren Honda Test Driver Stoffel Vandoorne at a “Driving Spectacular” at London’s Wembley Park.

These personalities has got behind the wheels in order to support the “never drink and drive” campaign. Along with sending such message is the promotion of the new Join the Pact film which is joined by Mika Hakkinen, which is the Johnnie walker Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador.

Also present in the event was the Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director, Guy Escolme which said that they are delighted with the Formula 1 champions, Mike, Fernando, Stoffel and Jenson for participating in the event.

Formula 1 is considered as the most progressive and exciting sports in the world and is proven to be repeatedly. The good thing about this sport is that when you put a lot of passion, commitment as well as your love for this circuit you will surely come a long way.

Over 400 million people are a fan of the formula 1 race all over the world, thus, for almost 10 years; we are reaching a lot of audience with our responsible drinking call. This has been possible through our partnership with McLaren Honda. More and more people are now considering the “Join the Pact” to never drink and drive campaign.

During the event, Mika Hakkinen said that the holiday season is a time where friends and families celebrate the season and share gifts. This is a perfect time to throw parties and reunions. Thus we want to encourage those people who are planning to drink alcohol in the party to never bring their cars with them.

Hakkinen also said, “I strongly urge everyone to Join The Pact to never drink and drive. Some of those who make the commitment this year will be able to thank their friends with the gift of a safe ride home, thanks to a partnership between Johnnie Walker and UBER in the UK and other transport partners across the world.”

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