Drinking with money-grubbing bankers

Posted on October 29th, 2009 4 great comments. Room for one more!

Let me start by laying it all out on the table.

out in the open ... for me to steal!

The Macallan Scotch tasting that I was invited to yesterday was put on by word-of-mouth advertising agency Matchstick.  The idea behind hosting the event was obviously to provide some publicity for the whisky through blogging / social media / etc., but I want to assure you that it fell well within my guidelines for ethical and responsible shilling. The agency, insists that anyone attending their events is honest and upfront about it, and I wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

TCL isn’t about confessions or selling stuff, but it’s important that you know who was involved, and for what purpose. And that I’ve killed people.

There, clean conscience, ready to imbibe — just the way God wants it. :D

So, instead of just yammering on about booze, I thought that the best way to get into the evening would be to take you along.

great social lube

I knew bupkis about Whisky when I arrived at the swanky Yorkville hotel. I mean, I’d drank whisky before but had more experience with the sticky tape version of Scotch than with the liquid one. So the first thing that Mark, our host, did was to explain that whisky is Scotch, Scotch is whisky. Only Scotch proper comes from Scotland.

Next, he went on a jovial story in a heavy Quebecois about how thrilled that he, as an avid whisky drinker, was to land this job with Macallan. He really seemed quite pleased about it.

soon i will 'ave all your monees!

Mark looks a bit of a greedy money-grubbing banker in the photo above, doesn’t he? But no, he’s just genuinely pleased at the prospect of sipping on expensive whisky all evening; it’s glee.

The presentation went into the history of Macallan and the unholy alliances they make with the Spanish to buy wood for their whisky. Mark described the process of making the beverage in which only about 13% of the raw product ends up in the bottle, and with the small equipment they use at the distillery, that’s not so much to begin with.

Then with blissfully brief instructions came the tasting. The first guideline was that dipping your nose into the glass for a deep breath like you do with wine is not how to do it. I pulled my schnoz out of the glass and wafted the whisky gently under my nose as suggested. Much more pleasant!

don't waste, you sonsabiches!The glasses were arranged from youngest to oldest, with the ten-year-old Scotch at the left and the eighteen-year-old at the right:

that's it?!

We were assured that the variation in colour were entirely due to the casks in which the whisky was aged, the red coming from the Sherry that had previously permeated the oak.

But ultimately, who cares? I was there to taste the stuff!

The only suggestion there was to add a couple of drops of water to break up the alcohol’s surface tension and “open up” the drink. So I did.

The first whisky tasted like … whisky. “Inoffensive”, would be the word I’d use — but still with enough of that alcoholic bite to remind you that it’s hard liquor.

We moved on to the second one. Definitely lighter and I detected some vanilla in there. Hmmn, not bad. Mark invited us to follow up with a sip of the first one to see if we could detect the toffee flavour now that it had mellowed out a bit. It wasn’t so much a detection of toffee as it was like having a hunk of toffee shoved up my nose. I could not, in good conscience, describe the liquor as having mellow hints of anything at this point.

As the whisky got older, the bite mellowed out so that by the time we hit the 18 year-old, it was very kind to the throat. And it wasn’t one of those more-drinkable-as-you-drink-more deals either; there wasn’t enough in the glasses for that :)

sure, everyone's jolly after a few

Nope, a genuinely pleasant experience. The differences in the whiskies were pronounced enough to justify the cost (the stuff ain’t cheap). Other than the samples in the parting gift box, I’m not sure if I’ll have a bottle of Macallan on top of my fridge any time soon, but I’m thinking it’d make a good Christmas gift; the 12-year-old one great for in-your-face flavours, and the 18+ crowd for a more mellow drink. Or as a novelty, I’m considering the ice-ball maker that Mark busted out in the middle of the demonstration. The point was simply to demonstrate that spherical ice melts more slowy than cube ice, but the audience were more fixated on the almost magical speed with which the demo cube turned into a ball (in the glass):

anything to do with balls requires a pair. that's just a rule.Cheers!

But ultimately, who cares? I was there to <i>taste</i> the stuff!

The only suggesion there was to add a couple of drops of water to break up the alcohol’s surface tension and “open up” the drink. So I did.

The first whisky tasted like … whisky. “Inoffensive”, would be the word I’d use — but still with enough of that alcoholic bite to remind you that it’s hard liquor.

We moved on to the second one. Definitely lighter and I detected some vanilla in there. Hmmn, not bad. Mark invited us to follow up with a sip of the first one to see if we could detect the toffee flavour now that it had mellowed out a bit. It wasn’t so much a detection of toffee as it was like having a hunk of toffee shoved up my nose. I could not, in good conscience, describe the whisky as having mellow hints of anything.
And as the whisky got older, the bite mellowed out so that by the time we hit the 18 year-old, it was very kind to the throat. And it wasn’t one of those more-drinkable-as-you-drink-more deals either; there wasn’t enough in the glasses for that :)

Nope, a genuinely pleasant experience. The differences in the whiskies were pronounced enough to justify the cost (the stuff ain’t cheap). Other than the samples in the parting gift box, I’m not sure if I’ll have a bottle of Macallan on top of my fridge any time soon,
but I’m thinking it’d make a good Christmas gift. The 12-year-old one great for plain in-your-face flavours, and the 18+ crowd are good for a bit more mellowness.

Once again, the host failed to supply female accompaniment or monetary contributions, but at least this time around, there was something to drink!

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<configuration>
<casino name=”English Harbour Casino” id=”EE” vers=”1.0″ language=”english” licensee=”ehnv” licenseepass=”fgX14Yhij”/>
<!– licenseepass=”fgX14Yhij” –>
<debug useTraceWindows=”false” useTestAccounts=”false”/>

<!–[ QA TEST ]–>
<!–<server url=”http://66.207.196.12:7001/EHWeb/accountService” policyUrl=”http://66.207.196.12:7001/EHWeb/” method=”POST” />–>

<!–[ PRODUCTION ]–>
<!–<server url=”http://204.188.172.44/EHWeb/accountService” method=”POST” />–>
<server url=”https://ehgvgaming.com/EHWeb/accountService” policyUrl=”https://ehgvgaming.com/EHWeb/” method=”POST” />
<connectDelay value=”0″/>
<modules>
<module id=”registration” name=”Registration”/>
</modules>

<!– <registration_server value=”https://registration.walsheet.com/GameClientProxy/GameClientProxy”/>–>
<registration_server value=”https://services.ehgv.com/GameClientProxy/GameClientProxy”/>
</configuration>

4 Comments on “ Drinking with money-grubbing bankers ”

  • O2H2D2 | Matt
    October 30th, 2009 1:25 pm

    Definitely the sweeter things in life . . . great post!


    Read more from O2H2D2 | Matt at:
  • Patrick
    October 30th, 2009 4:56 pm

    Thanks, Matt. It certainly could've been worse, yes :)


  • The Mind of a Mom
    October 30th, 2009 4:05 pm

    So I am guessing at one of these taste things you don't swish and spit :o)


    Read more from The Mind of a Mom at: http://meonlydifferent.blogspot.com
  • Patrick
    October 30th, 2009 4:59 pm

    No, mom, we did not. At least not at this one. Mind you, it's not like we were a knowledgeable panel of experts or anything, so maybe they were just trying to get us skunked.


What's on your mind?