Our Food Editor Brought a 28-Year-Old Bottle of Whisky Back from Scotland for Your Drinking Pleasure

It'll be at this Friday night's Dram fundraiser for the Vancouver Writers Fest.

March 8, 2018

By Neal McLennan

As you might imagine, the gang here at VanMag are long time fans of the Vancouver Writers Fest (my highlight last year? Tom Perrotta discussing his novel Mrs. Fletcher to an intimate crowd on Granville Island), so it was to much delight when the magazine recently came on as one of the festival’s media partners. I undertook the first—and the coolest—task of this new partnership: I brought a kick-ass bottle of Scotch back from Scotland for the festival’s The Dram fundraiser.

But once I accepted the task, I started to sweat it a little bit. What if I chose poorly? There would be brand ambassadors from Macallan, Glenlivet, Highland Park, Akashi, Glenfarclas, Aberlour, Glenrothes and Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series on scene, as well as actual distillers like Anderson, Sons of Vancouver, Victoria Caledonian, Odd Society and Dragon’s Mist—what if I chose something that was the spiritual equivalent to a Nickelback album? (No offensive Nickleback fans or residents of Hanna, Alberta.)

For starters, I couldn’t choose one of the above whiskies for fear of offending the other participants. And secondly, I wanted something that had an age statement with a high number…without bankrupting my family. Ultimately, I was able to source one of the 576 bottles that the great independent bottler Signatory created when it got its paws on a single cask 28-year-old Blair Athol. Blair Athol isn’t exactly a household name, but it is part of the Diageo empire and so it’s not exactly obscure either. And 25 to 30 years really is a magical time for single malt—more than that and the wood and the dryness becomes very pronounced. Plus it’s bottled at a hair over 60 percent, which means although it’s a 700 ml bottle, once you cut it with water to bring it down to a more drinkable level, you’re well past one litre of enjoyment.

So you’re encouraged to buy a ticket—and then you can tell me if I’m full of peat. And it’s far from the only item on the block: among many others, there’s a VIP dinner at the Cactus Club for you and 7 of your pals, a private Chef’s dinner from Joe Fortes, a behind-the scenes tour of the Aquarium (for hungover, guilty parents) and an $1,100 book on golf from Holt Renfrew—because whisky and golf are spiritually related.


The Dram

Friday, March 9 (8 to 11 p.m.)
Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright St.
Tickets: $100 (general admission) or $125 (VIP), available here

 

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