Frank's Whisky Blog

The Rogue Whisky Bible Updated

Written by The Lunar Rogue Tuesday, 05 August 2014 18:12

I am pleased to annouce that we have a new updated Whisky Menu at the Rogue. Now with over 500 whiskies to choose from it might take a while to decide your next whisky. Whiskies from newer whisky producing countries have been added to the Bible including South Africa, England and India. Stop in and have a dram and give the updated bible a study! We have been busy adding new dispaly shelving in the pub. The Rogue will be finally displaying a lot of whisky we had no room to present. We will be adding extensively to our American, Canadian and Irish catagories in our new cabinets. ANBL just listed a new South African/ Scottish Blend Three Ships 5 yr Old. I highly recommend you try this whisky. A multi awarding winning Blended whisky made up of South African Single malt and Scottish Grain whiskies it's a real stunner!

   

Whisky Prices

Written by The Lunar Rogue Thursday, 17 July 2014 13:25

Over the past year you might have noticed a dramatic increase in the price of whisky at your local liquor outlet. The prices will be with us for awhile. Demand of quality whiskies have grown and quantities are in shorter supply.If your like most of us the ablility to pony up another $20.00 or more for the same dram your were buying regularly a year ago is not always an option. I know I personally have been purchasing more blended whiskes were the price creep has not been so significant. There are some great blends out there Teacher's, Famous Grouse, Grant's Family Reserve, Cutty Sark Storm, Ballantine's all come to my mind. It is getting harder to fnd a malt in NB under $50.00 a bottle but you can if you look for them. Great malts still under $50.00 ie Aberfeldy 12, Aberlour 10,Benromach, Fraser's Lowland Reserve,Glenburgie 10,Glenlivet 12, Glenfiddich 12, and Tamdhu. Glenburgie and Tamdhu are both on sale at ANBL at the moment at the clearance table. It's rare to see Single malt on a discount table. I picked up a couple of each. Might be a cold winter.   

   

Inuksuit of the Rogue

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 07 February 2014 15:24

Inuksuit of the Rogue Many friends of the Lunar Rogue Pub have lived in the city and moved away, or have come here to work and have moved on. But in a very Canadian way, many have left their Inuksuk in the Lunar Rogue over the last 25 years to show that they were here. We’ll point some of these out below so you can notice them the next time you’re in The Rogue. In the “days of sail”, sailors would be at sea for years and had no home except the ship. They would leave a mug at a pub in some port to feel at home somewhere. The tradition lives on at the Rogue. Some of the mugs hanging behind the bar at the Rogue are used by their owner every week, and some mugs come down only once in a while. Others have been waiting for their mate’s return for years. One of the mugs behind the Bar belongs to the late George Melvin. A friendly, gregarious, giant of a man who was literally one of the first people to walk through the door of the Lunar Rogue Pub on the first day it opened in 1989. He was a fixture on every St Pat’s Day celebration. After he sat down in the new pub, Frank and Brian asked “So what do you think of our new pub George.” His eyes darting around the new pub he was smiling from ear to ear he said quietly “Have my mail forwarded to this address”. George passed away a number of years ago, but the mug remains, and a couple of us who were his old friends still bring his mug down every St. Patrick’s Day to have a pint from it. George would be smiling. Over the front window there’s a series of pictures of a Soccer Club that begins as a provincial championship side called The Galleons in the 70’s and 80’s. Look across the pictures and you’ll see many of the same faces. One of them is the late John Rutter, a former Royal Marine and a great friend of the Rogue. John was the one who suggested shortly after we opened that we needed dividers down the long bench on the wall across from the bar to create ‘snugs’. John’s idea was a key element to the atmosphere of The Rogue and is his inuksuk that Frank and Brian remember. That led to the opportunity for Ned Bowes’ creations of stained glass in them, the most prominent and beautiful inuksuk in the Rogue. Over the back bar there is an old beer barrel. On it is printed “James Ready St. John NB”. Philip W. Oland himself identified it for us as a barrel from the Moosehead brewery of about the 1930’s. It was placed there as a gift to the Rogue by the Fredericton St. Patrick’s Society in 1991 by its President Frank Forrestal for permanent safe-keeping by the Rogue for the Society. The Society refers to it as the “Wee Neillie Barrel”. The Society had a fun tradition of inviting internationally renowned Leaders to speak at their annual Dinner. The PO letter from the invitee declining the invitation would be read at the dinner to the cheers and applause of the attendees, because it meant they didn’t have to sit through a speech before they got to the Bushmills. They were proudly told to PO by some of the best. Over the front door as you leave the Rogue you notice a poster with the legendary Front Row of the New Zealand All Blacks, Richard Loe, Sean Fitzpatrick, and Steve McDowell reminding you of an important message. Donna Gordon brought that back from a friendly pub in Queenstown on the South Island in 1990. Donna says that when she saw it, she just knew it belonged in the Rogue. Frank and Brian had it properly mounted on a board and knew just where it should be hung. Once in a while you’ll notice a big paw quietly reach up and gently touch the poster as the big person attached to it walks out the door. Rugby is a game of deep but subtle respect.
   

The Rogue 25th Anniversary Brew

Written by The Lunar Rogue Wednesday, 22 January 2014 16:09

The Rogue team would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter a name in the Lunar Rogue 25th Anniversary Brew contest. This special brew is being hand crafted by the Picaroon's Brewery exclusively "on tap" to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Lunar Rogue Pub.
The judges from the Rogue and Picaroon's teams poured over every (pun intended) submission. To be completely honest it was no easytask to select an overall outright winner that we all liked. So we thank you for giving us lots to think about.
In the end we wanted something different and unique. A name we could call our own, distinctive and different. The new brew will be called "Parcel of Rogues" The name was submitted by Duncan MacSporran and we congratulate him for his winning entry. Well Done Duncan! So when you stop in for a pint please call for a "Parcel"
The Brew is now being prepared and will be kegged next week. The official launch will be held at the Rogue on Wednesday Jan.29 at 7:00 pm. Please come by and taste this evolutionary new brew from the brew masters of Picaroon's. The style of the beer is still a secret known only to Picaroon's brewers. We are excited to see the end result as much as you are.
The Lunar Rogue was the first pub in Canada to sell the Picaroon's keg beers "on tap" and we are pleased to continue the tradition of supporting our own local brew.
We thank our good friends at Picaroon's for making this special effort on our behalf.
To make the evening extra special we are going to offer a great deal on our famous Nachos. We will be selling them for the price they were on our menu in 1989, 25 years ago when we opened our doors for the first time. $3.99 for a regular order! One night only.
Stay tuned for more info in the coming days on a few more surprises!

   

Anniversary Begins

Written by The Lunar Rogue Tuesday, 07 January 2014 19:17

       Lunar Rogue’s 25th Anniversary begins with “Honouring the Rogue Pint”.

The Lunar Rogue Pub has created a number of 1st’s in New Brunswick since it began in 1989. For instance, The Rogue was the 1st   in New Brunswick to serve its draught beer in the 16oz mug. Prior to that every tavern served draught in the same styled 9oz pilsner glass. The Rogue was the 1st in New Brunswick to have more than one type of draught beer on tap. That’s right; in 1989 taverns would only have 1 brand of beer on tap. The Lunar Rogue was also the 1st in New Brunswick to have imported beer on tap: 4 of them from the UK, John Courage, Youngers Tartan, Newcastle Brown and Double Diamond.

Walking into The Lunar Rogue Pub in 1989 was a whole different experience than any other Tavern or Bar of the day in New Brunswick. The list of 1st’s goes on and on throughout our history as the Lunar Rogue Pub continues to set the standard for a pub in New Brunswick: “A Maritime Pub….an old tradition done right.”

To honour the birth of “the Rogue Pint” you’ll begin to see our Lunar Rogue mug appearing with our 25th Anniversary Logo on it beginning in mid-January with some other variations on the mugs over the winter. We have another very good reason for introducing a commemorative mug. That’s because our good friends at Picaroons are going to do something special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Lunar Rogue Pub.

Picaroons is going to create a series of exclusive seasonal draught beers for The Lunar Rogue in addition to your favourite Picaroons already available. The first Picaroons draught honouring the Pub’s 25th Anniversary will be launched at the Rogue the week of Jan 27. But, it needs a name and that’s where you come in.Send us your suggestions for a name for the beer by Jan. 17, and have a chance to win a $300.00 Picaroons Draught & Dinner Party for you and 5 of your friends. The winner will be selected and announced the week of Jan. 20th

   

The Rogue's 25th Anniversary

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 03 January 2014 15:30

The Lunar Rogue Pub’s 25th Anniversary Celebration 1989-2014

This is an extra special Happy New Year to everyone. It was February 1989 when Brian and Frank sat back in their chairs a brew in their right hand and a problem on the table between them. Their latest venture, a pub in downtown Fredericton, was due to open in May and they needed a name that would reflect the distinctive Maritime flavour they meant to create.

Their inclination was to reference some noteworthy historic figure from the Maritimes but they were uninspired until Frank remembered Henry Moon – The Lunar Rogue. A trip to the library to brush up on the details of his life revealed that Barbara Grantmyre's book on Moon titled "The Lunar Rogue" had not been taken out for over 20 years. It was time to revive his memory and what better place to commemorate one of the greatest rogues in the province's history than in a traditional Maritime pub.

2014 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the opening of The Lunar Rogue Pub. Over that time, the Rogue has earned its place within the fabric of this old town. The traditional role of a pub has been best described as the village living room. That’s more than just a business, it’s a responsibility. We have tried to reflect the personality of our community by delivering ‘quality without pretence’.

Along the way The Lunar Rogue Pub has been internationally recognized as one of the Best Whisky Bars of the World, and by industry writers as not-to-be-missed by travellers and visitors to our home - Fredericton. We know you; and we know you expect that of us; and we know you are proud to bring your friends “from away” to your Pub. We’ve got some celebrating to do, and it’s going to take all year to do it right. So Happy New Year and stay tuned for a series of commemorative events throughout all of 2014 – and we’ll get the ball rolling early in January.

   

Lots of Whisky News

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 13 September 2013 13:04

Sept 13

You might want to check out the single malts page on the ANBL website you will notice a couple of new products coming in to NB, Highland park has launched the Highland Park 10 yr expression at $62.99. The 10 yr will only be available in Canada, it will be a collectors item to the rest of the Whisky world. I have not tried it yet but I look forward to my very first sample. You may notice that it is more expensive then the 12 yr priced at $60.29. I predict that by the end of the year Highland Park 12 yr will cost $69.99 to $79.99 at ANBL outlets. If your Highland Park fan my recommendation is to stock up now. It will never get cheaper. I mentioned to  you a few years ago that the Balvenie 10 yr Founder's Reserve was going to disappear off the shelves of your local outlets. It was selling for approx. $35.00 a bottle at that time. If you can find a bottle today anywhere in the world you will be paying a minimum of $150.00. Makes it difficult to open your last bottle doesn't it? 

The other new one is the Macallan Amber from the new 1824 range. I have been fortunate enough to have tried this one and I can report it was a wonderful whisky. I can not remeber ever having a poor quality Macallan.The new 1824 Range will be replacing the aged Macallans now available in NB. Expect to see the Gold, Sienna and Ruby follow in the coming months. The Amber is priced at $99.99 and it will replace the Macallan Sherried version 12 yr now at $84.79. Buy one now.

If your a fan of the Famous Grouse 12 yr you might consider buying an extra bottle or two. My sources have told me this will be a discontinued product. It's really not all that surprising. The whisky is a 12 yr old blended malt selling for less than $39.00 in New Brunswick. I can not think of any 12 yr old malts selling for under $40.00 anywhere. This Grouse punches way above it's weight in terms of a quality dram for value. I challenge you to go find a whisky that is this good for this price. I plan on picking up a few extra bottles over the next few weeks. ANBL does not have anymore in their warehouse just in stores around the province. 

Whisky prices will not be coming down anytime soon. I am sure if you have been into the local liquor stores you would have noticed the dramatic price increases over the past 16 months. It is not going to stop. Demand for Single malts and scotch whisky in general has skyrocketed in Asia, South America, Russia.Taiwan is now a major importer of single malts. Many of the major companies have offices and presentation in all these markets. New developing markets have driven supplies lower tha ever before especially malts. During my last trip to Scotland, It was obvoius that many of distilleries are operating 7 days a week, ramping up production to new record levels. New distilleries and old ones that have been previously mothballed are opening or reopening all over Scotland. Diageo has been adding new stills to several of it's key distilleries such as Dailuaine, Mortlach, Dufftown,Glen Elgin, Linkwood, A new distillery is planned for the Black Isle near the Teaninich Distillery with plans to produce in access of 10 to 12 million litres per annum. Diageo opened up a state of the art distillery called Roseisle near Burghead, north of the A96 outside of the town of  Elgin, Morayshire a few years ago that can produce over 10 million litres per annum.It is reported it can produce any style of new make required by the Master Blenders. 

Chivas Bros are building a new 10-12 million litre distillery on the site of the old Imperial Distillery in Carron, Speyside to be called Carron Distillery. They have also re opened Glen Keith in June of this year after being shut down in the mid 90's. The Rogue has a botle of the old bottling Glen Keith prior to it closing down. Quite hard to fine now a days.

 Glenlivet has built a new still house, new mash tun (a monster size I will put some photos on the Rogue Facebook page) and a slew of new washbacks to increase production (one of the prettiest still houses I have ever seen).

A slew of new smaller craft or farm distilleries are popping up all over Scotland. Kilchoman on Islay, Daftmill in Fife, ( the new smallest distillery in Scotland) both grow their own barley on their farms, Annandale, a long closed distillery in the borders, is now ready for the builders, Abhainn Dearg at Uig on the Isle of Lewis is now producing and selling product.  

   

Whisky Tasting at the York St Train Station

Written by The Lunar Rogue Monday, 04 March 2013 17:39

We will be hosting a new Whisky Tasting at the York St Train Station ANBL Educational Center on Wednesday April 3rd at 6:30pm. Tickets will be able soon at the York Street Liquor Store only. The Theme for this tasting will be " Unique Speyside and Highland Whiskies". Pierre and I will be selecting  whiskies that might not be on your radar. The price point on the planned whiskies is higher than normal tastings we have been showcasing. I will detail the selections in the upcoming days. 

 

   

Festival News

Written by Administrator Monday, 31 October 2011 00:00

Oct.24/13

The NB Spirit Festival Tickets are now on sale at the Rogue. All Master Classes tickets are available only at the Rogue. Check the Website for all the details www.raiseyourspirits.ca

 

 

 

Sept.12

Just a quick note to let you know ANBL has released the new Highland Park 10 yr and The Macallan Amber in select ANBL outlets. I have not tried the new HP but I am looking forward to sampling the new release.  

Sept 6

You might want to check out the single malts page on the ANBL website you will notice a couple of new products coming in to NB, Highland park has launched the Highland Park 10 yr expression at $62.99. The 10 yr will only be available in Canada, it will be a collectors item to the rest of the Whisky world. I have not tried it yet but I look forward to my very first sample. You may notice that it is more expensive then the 12 yr priced at $60.29. I predict that by the end of the year Highland Park 12 yr will cost $69.99 to $79.99 at ANBL outlets. If your Highland Park fan my recommendation is to stock up now. It will never get cheaper. I mentioned to  you a few years ago that the Balvenie 10 yr Founder's Reserve was going to disappear off the shelves of your local outlets. It was selling for approx. $35.00 a bottle at that time. If you can find a bottle today anywhere in the world you will be paying a minimum of $150.00. Makes it difficult to open your last bottle doesn't it? 

The other new one is the Macallan Amber from the new 1824 range. I have been fortunate enough to have tried this one and I can report it was a wonderful whisky. I can not remeber ever having a poor quality Macallan.The new 1824 Range will be replacing the aged Macallans now available in NB. Expect to see the Gold, Sienna and Ruby follow in the coming months. The Amber is priced at $99.99 and it will replace the Macallan Sherried version 12 yr now at $84.79. Buy one now.

 

Aug.29

If your a fan of the Famous Grouse 12 yr you might consider buying an extra bottle or two. My sources have told me this will be a discontinued product. It's really not all that surprising. The whisky is a 12 yr old blended malt selling for less than $39.00 in New Brunswick. I can not think of any 12 yr old malts selling for under $40.00 anywhere. This Grouse punches way above it's weight in terms of a quality dram for value. I challenge you to go find a whisky that is this good for this price. I plan on picking up a few extra bottles over the next few weeks. ANBL does not have anymore in their warehouse just in stores around the province. 

Whisky prices will not be coming down anytime soon. I am sure if you have been into the local liquor stores you would have noticed the dramatic price increases over the past 16 months. It is not going to stop. Demand for Single malts and scotch whisky in general has skyrocketed in Asia, South America, Russia.Taiwan is now a major importer of single malts. Many of the major companies have offices and presentation in all these markets. New developing markets have driven supplies lower tha ever before especially malts. During my last trip to Scotland, It was obvoius that many of distilleries are operating 7 days a week, ramping up production to new record levels. New distilleries and old ones that have been previously mothballed are opening or reopening all over Scotland. Diageo has been adding new stills to several of it's key distilleries such as Dailuaine, Mortlach, Dufftown,Glen Elgin, Linkwood, A new distillery is planned for the Black Isle near the Teaninich Distillery with plans to produce in access of 10 to 12 million litres per annum. Diageo opened up a state of the art distillery called Roseisle near Burghead, north of the A96 outside of the town of  Elgin, Morayshire a few years ago that can produce over 10 million litres per annum.It is reported it can produce any style of new make required by the Master Blenders. 

Chivas Bros are building a new 10-12 million litre distillery on the site of the old Imperial Distillery in Carron, Speyside to be called Carron Distillery. They have also re opened Glen Keith in June of this year after being shut down in the mid 90's. The Rogue has a botle of the old bottling Glen Keith prior to it closing down. Quite hard to fine now a days.

 Glenlivet has built a new still house, new mash tun (a monster size I will put some photos on the Rogue Facebook page) and a slew of new washbacks to increase production (one of the prettiest still houses I have ever seen).

A slew of new smaller craft or farm distilleries are popping up all over Scotland. Kilchoman on Islay, Daftmill in Fife, ( the new smallest distillery in Scotland) both grow their own barley on their farms, Annandale, a long closed distillery in the borders, is now ready for the builders, Abhainn Dearg at Uig on the Isle of Lewis is now producing and selling product.  

Watch for growth in Irish whisky in North America over the coming years. With a lower price point and good quality products it will become a favouite of price conscious or entry level whisky drinkers. Wm Grant is now building a brand new Irish Distillery in the village of Tullamore. Watch for the brand Tullamore Dew to take off in the future.  

 

 

Aug.20th

On Sept.11th, Pierre Mullin and I will be hosting a Whisky tasting at the York Street Train Station Education Center at 6:30 pm. The theme of this tasting will be "Cask Strength Single Malt Whiskies". The whiskies we have selected for this nosing and tasting are, Aberlour a'bunadh, Glenfiddich Distiller's Edition 15 yr, Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yr, Glenfarclas 105, Benromach Cask Strength and The Macallan Cask Strength. We plan to pair each whisky with a food item. Tickets are available at the York Street ANBL outlet only. We hope to see you there!  

Aug.15

This past spring Jackie and I had the pleasure to make our annual trek to Scotland for the Spirit of Speyside Festival held all over the Speyside area.The five day festival at the heart of Whisky country is in a class all it's own. To me, this festival is not about the marketing telling you their whiskies are the best (That's for us to decide anyway) it's about meeting the folks who make the stuff every day, sharing in their passion at the heart of the whisky world. We enrolled in the "Spirit of Speyside Whisky School" held each year at Knockando Distillery in hpes to gain an indepth knowlwdge of the world's great spirit. We were not dissappointed. The School is run by Ed Dodson, former distilery manager at Glen Moray, Elgin, Moray.  With a group of retired distinguished former Distillery Managers and Whisky experts who have over 250 years of expertise in distillation, maturation and production between them. Dr. Tim Dolan from Highland Distillers, Charles Smith, Diageo & Cardhu, Innes Shaw, former manager of Knockando, Mortlach distilleries and Peter Warren of Cardhu and Diageo Speyside Distilleries  manager.The school runs over 3 days with morning classes hosted by industry experts covering all aspects of production from barley to the bottle. The afternoon was full of hands on site visits to Forsyth's Coppersmiths, the Speyside Cooperage and the new Glen Grant bottling hall and varoius Speyside Distilleries. No question was deemed too silly or go unanswered, everyone was welcoming and informative freely sharing with a great deal of laughter and fun. I would highly recommend to anyone who has the the yearning to learn about whisky to book a trip over and go. The only problem is the school is limited to 16 students per year. I believe thay are taking names for 2015 now. Google Spirit of Speyside Whisky School to find out more.    

 

Aug.12

Sorry for my long absence from the Blog page. Since I last updated this page I have a great deal of info to pass on so I will not bore you with the reasons why. The Rogue now has a over 440 whiskies behind the bar. Yes, as you might imagine, we are running out of space and the bartenders are contantly reminding me were do we put any more? Build more shelves I guess cause we are not stopping now. I hope we are over 550 by the end of this year.

So whats new?

The newest whisky arriving at the Rogue is a very limited single malt cask strength special Edition bottling, of a malt you may never have heard of, Glenury Royal 36 yr old. Distilled in 1968 at a cask strength of 51.2% abv., the distillery was demolished in 1985. There is a very limited supply of this whisky available anywhere. The Rogue managed to special order one bottle of this unique dram and I plaesed to report if you have deep pockets you will be able to sample it at the pub.

The Tasting notes on the box "Deep amber it is wonderfully mellow and lightly aromatic with lovely flavour.The nose is vivacious for it's age,complex,full and deep. There scents of sweet vanila, black cherry and cooked apricots with herbal overtones.Behind this a leathery masculine note emerges, with herbal overtones. A sandalwood box contains Turkish delight, dried fruits and black plum"

We plan to add the Highland Single Malt Glengoyne 1972 and the Islay gem, Laphroaig 25 yr soon.

I am pleased to announce we now have 2 new Canadian Single malts from the new Still Waters Distillery in Concord, Ontario. Stalk and Barrel Cask number 2 and Cask number 3 bottling are now available. The Whisky is produced using Canadian grown two row barley ( 6 row is used more with brewing beer) and aged in ex bourbon whisky casks, it's bottled at no less than 46% abv and each bottle is individually numbered.

The whisky I have been impressed with recently is Glenfiddich Distillers Edition 15 yr 64.99 at ANBL. Try it

   

Feb.18th

The long days of winter are apon us and what better way to pass a winter evening is to get out of the cold and head to the York St Train Station ANBL outlet on Wednesday evening for a Whisky Tasting. I will be hosting a Tasting along with Ross Perry starting at 6:30pm in the Educational center at the Station. The Theme for this tasting is "Whiskies of the World" We will be featuring 6 unique whiskies including Jameson Select Reserve form Ireland, Buffalo Trace from Frankfort, Kentucky USA, Forty Creek Copper Pot Canadian Whisky, Penderyn, from Wales,the only Welsh whisky available, The deluxe blended Johnnie Walker Black and Single malt, The Glenlivet 18 yr. This is a great opportunity to get a close look at the differences between the various types of whiskies from around the globe. Each whisk(e)y has a story to tell, so come along and taste the differences for yourself. Tickets are available at the York Street Liquor Store only. Only a few tickets are left so hurry in and pick one up.Hope to see you there!

Feb.11

New "Whisky of the Week" this week For the first time and especially for the Valentine's week we are offering The great Highland Whisky "GlenDronach 12 yr" as our featured weekly dram.Colour a deep amber red gold. Nose, Sweet, creamy vanilla,with hints of ginger.Spiced mulled wine. Palate, Rich, silky, creamy, very smooth,warm, rich oak and sherry sweetness, raisins and soft fruits. Finish, long, full and slightly nutty. Enjoy.  

 

Feb.1

The Glenfarclas Single Malts that were ear marked for the NB Spirits Festival have finally arrived at ANBL outlets. A great Speyside whisky still owned by hte Grant Family and one of the few still under Family control in Scotland. The Whisky has been noted for it's sherry finish and rich full flavours. I highly recommend sampling the Glenfarclas.

 

Jan.28

I delighted to announce the Rogue Whisky Menu has been updated and now available for you to pour over! (Sorry, I could not resist the pun) Over 420 whiskies are now available on the back bar or in our various whisky cabinets located throughout the pub. I believe this is the most extensive selections of whisky in Eastern Canada.  The Rogue has ordered new Glencairn nosing glasses with our logo on them, they should be available soon for purchase or sampling your favourite dram. We have also updated our Drinks and Cocktail Menu and Wine Menu.

This week's "Whisky of the Week" at the Rogue  is the ever popular Aberlour 10 yr. I have always admired this whisky.It  has always had a place on my home bar, a of a top quallity dram at a very reasonable price at the Rogue and ANBL outlets. It easy to drink maybe too easy at times I highly recommend it..  

Jan.11/13

The new whisky cabinet is nearly completed and we can't wait to load it up with our new purchases at the NB Spirits Festival. I was in Scotland for Christmas visiting my Father in law and while we had snow Scotland had rain and rain and more rain. I cannot imagine anytime in the future that whisky production will be in any danger of running out of water to make whisky.While I was there for only 10 days I did manage to visit 3 distilleries in my short time away. I had a quick look around in Deanston, Tullibardine and Glenturret Home of the Famous Grouse Experience near Crieff. We have usually stopped in to see their great shop and restaurant on every visit to Scotland over the past 10 years.

 

Dec.28

The Lunar Rogue Whisky menu  is in growth mode with a new whisky cabinet now under construction. We hope to have the new cabinet up during the first week of January.The next day we plan to fill it up to the brim. With what? Bruichladdich Octomore Comus ,Bunnahabhain 12,18, Dailuaine 1997, Highland Park Thor, Ledaig 10, Tobermory 10, 15,Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams, & Distillers Edition 15 yr. The Glenlivet Josie and the Glenlivet Helios ( we maybe the only bar in Canada with those two) Laphroaig Cairdeas, Power's Gold, The Dark Horse, Forty Creek Port Wood Finish, Bowmore Laimrig 15 yr, Glen Garioch 1994, Isle of Jura Superstition, Penderyn Welsh whisky The Dalmore Cigar Malt. Cardhu 12 is back after more than 5 years absense and the list goes on and on. Our plan is to have well over 400 whiskies by the end of 2013 and we are well on our way to achieving that goal. I have not even memtioned the new bourbons. Stay tuned. 

Dec.16th

Tried the Glenfidich "Cask of Dreams" Canadian Edition on the Weekend as I must said I was impressed with this Cask Strength dram. I found a few tropical fruits, citrus and a lovely mouthfeel. Not many left in NB I would not wait to pick up a bottle if you get the opportunity. I am spending Christmas in Scotland this year visiting relatives so I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas. I hope to stop in to a distillery or two while I am over and see old friends and make a few new ones. I will update my adventures if I am able. Merry Christmas  

Dec.7th

I am now currently sampling the Dark Horse a new Canadian Whisky from Alberta Distillers. I have heard a great deal of hype with this new whisky so I was excited and curious to try it. I have not been dissappointed with the long wait. The name  gives you an impression of the colour. It is very dark compared to most Canadian whiskies on the market today OK I know Crown Royal Black is out there I said most .A very impressive nose, sweet vanilla, rich fruits and hints of a floral bouquet. The flavours hit you on the very tip of the tongue. The palate, hot and spicy,ginger developing, nice viscosity and feel on the palate. The finish I found a lot of spices and a bit on the warm side hot maybe/ A very nice whisky well balanced definitely worth a try. 

Dec.3

I was one, for a long time too.When I think about now I cringe. The dreaded malt snob. I drank only single malts turning my nose up on a blend.Time, maturity, thought and sampling a vast selection of single malts slowly changes one's perspective on the theory that the malt whisky is the end all be all. Don't see it that way. I challenge you to do a blind sampling of blends and malts. You might be surprised to find out that your having a very difficult time picking out the malts. Most likely you will find that you are selecting the blended whisky as the ones you prefer. A shock to the snob especially in front of our friends. The horror of it all. 

Most malts are produced to be used in blending, not for drinking as singles. I am not speaking about the ones that have been developed  major single malt brands.ie Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Highland Park, Macallan

Some of the best whiskies I have ever had the pleasure to sample, savor and enjoy have been blends. I recently had the opportunity to sample the Cutty Sark Tam O' Shanter 25 year. Outstanding in every way. A masterpiece of deluxe blending. Others that come to mind Chivas Regal Royal Salute 21, Teacher's Highland Cream, Johnnie Walker Black, Blue and Gold. The Famous Grouse is always been top shelf as Wm Grant's Family Reserve. I had a Wm Grant 30 year a few months ago and it was incredible.

The only way you can find out that I am not making this up is try a blind tasting with a few friends ( someone has to sit out to pour He'll or she'll be one in the kitchen having an extra nip ) 3 blends and 3 malts You'll be amazed.I promise.

Lots of great drams at ANBL right now but they will ot last forever.I was pleased to see the great selection of whiskies for the festival this year a lot of them  with price points below $125.00. In this tough economy it's nice to see a good variety to choice from below even $90.00. Over the next few days I will give you a few choices for Christmas gifts.Whiskies I sampled and enjoyed recently.

First one to try Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams, note lots of oaky vanilla notes and tropical fruits, I loved it. Unfortunately, only 50 cases came in to ANBL and they are half gone already. Price? $92.00 and change. It's a very collectable bottle to boot nice packaging if your into that sort of thing. I guarantee it will double it's value in 3 years.  

Nov.30

Happy St Andrew's Day to all our Friends from your Friends at the Rogue. I recommend a wee dram in celebration of the day. If your in a very generous mood try a dram of the new Highland Park "Thor" or the new Glenfiddich "Cask of Dreams" in limited supply here in New Brunswick.

Nov.21st

The wait is over the Festival starts today with the Whisky Dinner Now sold Out. Thursday Masterclasses start at 4:30pm at the Delta Federicton

See you at the Show Frank

Nov.15

Festival Friday Night Showcase tickets are all sold out  at the Lunar Rogue and Read's New Stand on King St. Fredericton. The remaining tickets left are available at the Select ANBL stores. You can go on line to the ANBL website and get the exact account at each stor in the province. Go to Products and type in "NB Festival" The bulk of the remaining tickets are at the York Street Store and the Prospect St Store in Fredericton.I believe there will be very few left on Monday.

The Whisky Dinner sponsored by Balvenie and Glenfiddich on the Wednesday Nov.21st has just a couple of tickets left. They are available at the Lunar Rogue.The dead line for tickets is tomorrow Friday Nov.16th The Dinner will be hosted by Martine Nouet one of the world's leading expert's pairing food and whisky.

The Whisky and Chocolate and Fiddle hosted by Martine has a few tickets left. Sample 5 whiskies paired with chocolates made by hand from Choco of Cocagne NB.Krista Touesnard will provide a  tune to accompany the chocolate and dram and evoke a wee bit of emotion perhaps.Tickets are $30.00 and this class is sponsored by Washburn and Associates.

Nov.12

General main Showcase tickets are sold out for the Friday night at the Lunar Rogue. ANBL Select stores still have some. You can also check at Read's New Stand on King St.  Fredericton. They will most likely have a few left. I think the Showcase tickets will be gone by the weekend. I would not leave it too long or end up buying them on Kijiji for  double price.

The Rogue still has tickets to a few of the Thursday Night Master classes. Tickets are starting to sell to our new event on Thursday evening called "The Whisky Games." Starting after the last Master class on Thurday at 10:00 pm this is a great event to learn, sample some great whiskies, meet new friends and enjoy some whiskies. All the table events have multiple questions and answers so everyone can play and learn and not feel embarrassed about your current whisk(e)y knowlwedge level. It's about having a good time and maybe win a prize. Everyone over 19 years can play.

 

Nov.9th

Great tasting last night at the Train Station Education Center. Thanks to Trevor, Carol and Jake for all their assistance organizing another fun Nosing and Tasting experience.All the whiskies were well received and there was no clear favourite by consensus. The Glenfiddich 18 yr and the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban sold well after the class. Many folks told me they enjoyed the Aberlour a'bunadh Batch 41.

  I am pleased to report that the Lunar Rogue only has 17 Festival tickets left on hand. The Whisky Lunch has Sold out as well as The Port Class, The Balvenie Class and The Burn Stewart Class. Tickets are selling fast on the Ultimate Master Class, Highland Park and Macallan classes.

Martine Nouet's Whisky Chocolate and Fiddle has sold 75% of the available tickets.This will be an experience you will not want to miss. Martine's Friday Night Class "Trip around Islay" has 7 tickets remaining.

Tickets are still available at Select ANBL outlets Read's News Stand on King St. and The Delta Fredericton ( Cash Only)  

Have a save long weekend "Lest we Forget"

 

Nov.5

I am pleased to announce that Pierre Mullin and I will be hosting our final Whisky Nosing and Tasting Presentation of the year at the York St Train Station Educational Center on Thursday night Nov.8th at 6:30pm. The theme of this tasting will be "Whisky Finishes" We will also be pasting out the product and price list for the 2012 NB Spirits Festival. We plan to discuss "How to Work a Festival", the must try products, and your overall plan to get the best experience  out of a Festival. Thw Whiskies we will be pouring on Thursday Night include 2 that will be at the show. This Tasting will be an opportunity to get a sneak peek and purchase them early! Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or and Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban are both on the program along with Aberlour a'bunadh, Auchentoshan Three Wood, Cynelish Distillers Edition, and Glenfiddich 18 yr. Tickets are available at the York St Liquor Store. We hope to see you there! 

Oct.26

The NB Spirits Festival Main Showcase tickets are selling at a record breaking rate. I believe the tickets could be all sold before the middle of November.Please do not be disappointed buy early.Piere and I will be hosting the final Nosing and Whisky Tasting at the York Street Train Station on Nov.8th at 6:30pm. We plan on pouring a couple of the whiskies that will be released for the Festival on Nov.23rd. Glenmorangie Nectar d' Or will be one. We plan on releasing the complete product list for all the attendees of the class and the ones you should make note of. We plan to discuss How to get the Most out of your Festival Experience. others to be sampled include Aberlour a'bunadh, Auchentoshan Three Wood, Clynelish Distillers Edition Glenmorangie Quinta Riban, Glenfiddich 18 yr.Tickets are available at the York St Liquor Store only. Hope to see you there.

 

Oct.19th

One of the more interesting Master classes will be "Whisky, Chocolate and Fiddle" hosted by Martine Nouet along with  Choco Cocagne NB chocolatiere, Ginette Aheir and Fredericton's finest Maritime style fiddler Krista Touesnard. The 3 ladies will host an entertaining evening to enhance the senses of taste, feel and sound. Not to be missed. Tickets are avaulable at the Rogue for $30.00 and are in limited numbers. 

 

Oct.15th

Tickets for the 17th Annual NB Spirts Festival are now available at Select ANBL outlets, Read's Newstand, The Delta Fredericton and The Lunar Rogue Pub.The Rogue will be once again the only vendor selling tickets for all the Master Classes, the UMC class, the Whisky Dinner, the Whisky Lunch and The Whisky Games. I suspect that the Festival will once again sell out. IOt has sold out the last 4 years and it gets earlier each year. Please purchase your tickets early and avoid disappointment. I do hate people buying tickets from scalpers the night of the show.

The Festival starts on Wednesday Nov.21st with an amazing "Whisky Dinner" hosted by famous writer and editor, Martine Nouet, of Islay, Scotland. This will mark the 3rd year Martine has been able to join us for the full 3 days of the Festival. Known to many as "The Queen of the Still", Martine will guide us through a six course dinner accompanied with a matching whisky.We are currently working throught the final details of the menu. I plan to announce each course over the next couple of weeks. 

Oct.9th

I am sad to report that our great friend and long time great perfomer here at the Rogue has passed away. John Ferguson opened our first pub The Old Chestnut Inn in 1977 and opened our second "The Lunar Rogue" in 1989. This was something that John was very proud of and so were we. Our friendship has never waned. John was a great ambassador for Maritime music..Everyone in the East coast music world new him and loved him.... He had a wonderful sense of humour..he loved to share stories and news... he could laugh until he cried and often did.. and he made us cry too....John could be away for a year and come back to the Rogue and he knew everyone's name.. I wish I could do that....He played for many years at St Patrick's Day celebrations at both pubs..These were special times and great memories for us all. We will miss him and toast him every St Pat's along with other special friends we remember on that day.Rest in Peace John....

 

Oct.3nd

The NB Spirit Festival tickets go on slae next week. My feeling,  this will be the best Festival ever. 18 companies over 250 products, 14 Masterclasses, several new events all cramed into 3 days. Mark Nov.21st 22nd and the Main showcase on Friday Nov.23rd on your daytimers.

Festival Showcase tickets will be available at Select ANBL stores, Read's on King St Fredericton, The Delta Fredericton and the Lunar Rogue Pub.All other tickets will be available at the Lunar Rogue Only.

Sept.17

Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival now over and the Rogue whisky selection took a big hit over the 5 days. Lots of new whisk(e)y drinkers in sampling our vast collection. I am pleased to report that we still have most of the whiskies still available. I have had a lot of regulars asking about Cardhu and when we might see it back in NB. The good news ? I am pleased to report it will be on the list of whiskies that are coming to the Festival this year. The bad news the price will be up from the mid $40's when it dissappeared off our local ANBL outlet shelves to mid $70.s for the new stock. Buy whisky now the prices are only going in one direction. Up! 

 

Sept.5

Not sure if you have been in to the local ANBL outlet lately but I am sorry to report that Highland Park 18 yr has gone up in price to $119.99 from $89.99. Quite a jump. The reason is simple supply is low and demand  high. I reported several months ago on this Blog this was going to happen. I hope everyone managed to lay down a bottle or two before the price increase. I did. Even at the price of $119.99 our ANBL's price is still great value. Driving up to Ontario the  price is $139.25, Quebec $149.50 and driving to Nova Scotia will not save you any dollars either The price is uncomfortable $144.99.  

 Sept.4

After taking the summer off from blogging I am please to say I'm back at it. Sorry for the long delay it's been a very busy summer season at the Rogue. I am pleased to announce that Pierre Mullin and I will be  hosting a Whisky Tasting at the York Street Train Station Liquor store on Tuesday Oct.9th. The start time is 6:30 pm  Only a few tickets are still available at the York Street Liquor Store.The theme of this tasting will feature the west coast of Scotland whiskies along with a food pairing.

We are planning to do a final tasting of the year at The York St. Station just before the NB Spirits Festival . The main focus will be "How to get the most out of the Spirit Festival" and give you a sneak peek at the products that will be available at the "On Site" ANBL store on the Friday night of the show.

The Dates for the NB Spirit Festival for this year are Nov.21st 22nd and the Main Showcase on the 23rd. The Delta Fredericton will be once again hosting the Festival for the 3 days. The festival committee and The Delta Fredericton have a block of rooms set aside for anyone coming to Fredericton at a special rate of $134.99 a night. Book early to get this special as rooms are limited to a first come basis. You also must say your coming to the festival at the time of booking to get this great rate!Book early and save. 

 Some of the Highlights of this year's Festival starting on Wednesday Nov.21st  "Whisky with Dinner" hosted by the world famous whisky connoisseur and writer, Martine Nouet and The Balvenie Global brand Ambassador, Mr Sam Simmons.The dinner will feature whiskies from Wm. Grant and Sons portfolio. Tickets will be available at the Lunar Rogue on Oct.9th. More details coming soon.

On Thursday Nov.22nd the Festival will focus on education and appreciation.  Master Classes from some of the world's leading experts on quality highend spirits.I am pleased to announce whisky writer and  conniosseur, Davin de Kergommeaux, will be hosting a Canadian Whisky workshop on the Thursday evening. Davin has just released his new book "Canadian Whisky, a Portable Expert" published by McCelland and Stewart. 

Thursday night the Festival will launch a new event "The Whisky Quiz". We hope you have a chance to meet other whisky enthusiasts in fun, educational and relaxed setting. The questions will all be multiple choice. Teams will be selected randomly so everyone has a chance to win some great prizes  and sample a few nice drams too. 

Friday Nov.23rd the Festival starts at 11:45am with a new event The Whisky Lunch hosted by Martine Nouet. A three course lunch with an accompanying dram selected for your please by Martine.

The Main Sowcase starts at 6:45 pm until 10:00pm. This year ANBL staff have secured a wonderful selection of Single malts,Blended deluxe whiskies, along with great Canadian, Irish, Welsh whiskies. A marvellous selection of highend Rums, Cognacs and liqueurs. I am pleased to announce the Festival will  showcase a very nice selection of Ports! Over 200 unique products will be showcased and all on sale at the On site ANBL store. Stay tuned I will annouce a few products that are coming very soon .  

   

Archive

Written by Administrator Monday, 01 November 2010 00:00

Jan.5/12

I am pleased to report the addition of one of the greatest whiskies on the planet has arrived at the Rogue gantry, The Macallan 25 yr Sherry Wood is now available for purchase. Yes, I will give you the fact that it's expensive, but this whisky will never be on the deal bin at any liquor outlet.This is a special treat to be savoured, enjoyed on a special occasion.

I have added a few new whiskies to the bar this week including Wiser's Legacy, Century Reserve 21 yr Rye, Caribou Crossing, a new deluxe rye whisky bottled in the US,Canadian Club Classic 12 yr, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and Prosperous New Year. I'll blog about my new Christmas bottles in the new year.

Dec,16/11

A few whisky suppliers have lowered their prices at your favourite liquor store for the Christmas season. A couple of my favourites have been reduced by $5.00 a bottle. Glenfiddich Solera Vat 15 yr old and the Macallan Fine Oak 15 yr. I plan on picking up a bottle of each for the holidays. The other great deal at the government store and I do hate nagging about this one Highland Park 18. The price of $89.99 is a gift considering it runs in just about very province in Canada for a minimum of $129.99 to $159.99 depending on where you live.Mark my words this will go up in the very near future to $129.99 here in NB!! The next shipment into NB will have the new  marked up price due to distiller's increase brought on by lower supply and ever growing world  demand. Here is a Christmas tid bit to you from me. For every three you buy it's like getting one bottle free. Stock up.

Dec.14/11

Right now in NB you can purchase just about all the Distiller's Editions bottlings from Diageo.This quite unique situation to be in. A quick check around the whisky shops in the world and most can not supply all nine of the bottlings.at the same time.Nine you say? Yes, I know. Diageo markets only six bottlings as the "classic six". However they do nine bottlings of the Distiller's Editions. Right now in NB you can purchase the ultimate Christmas gift for the whisky connoisseur in your family.  Caol Ila DE for $99.99, Cragganmore DE for $79.99, Clynelish DE for $99.99,Dalwhinnie DE for $89.99, Lagavulin DE for $119.99, Oban DE for $109.99, Royal Lochnager DE for $140.79 and Talisker DE for a steal at $82.98.The only one missing? Glenkinchie DE maybe next year. So what would your eight days of Christmas joy cost you in total?  A whooping $823.71. I know I have not been that good so it's it's doubtful I will be picking up a set. What would the set cost in say Ontario?Well you could only get 4 in Ontario, What about Quebec? only 5. If you wanted a full set from outside of NB you would have to finish up you drive in Alberta to get the rarest one Talisker DE ( and one of the cheaper ones here). No other province has that bottling east of Alberta. That's right Alberta!! The total price if you picked them up on the road? $995.99 That does not include gas or road expenses.Sometimes it's great to live in New Brunswick. Especially, if you love great single malt whisky. Right? Now we have to buy it up before they figure it out up there.

 

 

Dec.13/11

A good selection of American whiskies still on the shelves at ANBL. I have been waiting a while to sample a couple of them. Just to many whiskies in the system right now and we all have just so much available $$$'swith the Holiday Season coming up soon.I will be sampling Jack Daniel's new Tennessee Honey, Evan Williams Single Barrel and Balntons; in the very near future.

Dec.7/11

A new whisky will be hitting the shelves of ANBL very soon. Keep an eye our for Glen Grant 16 yr. a Speyside whisky that has rarely been available in Canada. ANBL managed to secure 10 cases out of the 100 cases that have been made available to Canada. Nice job ANBL!! Priced in the 75.00 range not a bad  for a 16 yr old single malt. The whisky has been aged in ex bourbon casks, the nose has lots of fruits I found  pear, kiwi, creamy vanilla, th palte was soft and spicy, hints of coconut, with a  spicy  pleasurable finish, a very enjoyable whisky.

Dec.1/11

A month left in the year.... hard to believe that 2011 is almost a done deal.Stopped by the York St Station Store yesterday to pick up a bottle of Balvenie Signature 12 yr ( I got the last one in Freddy but there is more in Dieppe) This is the 4th Batch of the Signature and it could be argued that this one is the best yet. I sampled the whisky at the Balvenie Distillery in May. The Malt Master, David Stewart guided us throught the full range of Balvenies including the Doublewood 12,Single Barrel 15 yr, Portwood 21 yr and the glorious Balvenie 30 yr. The Balvenie Signature  12 yr was included and I recall enjoying it very much. Good luck tracking down a bottle.If you can not find one, remember we have lots at the Rogue.

Nov.28/11

Took a break on the weekend and sampled the lovely Glengoyne 21 yr. I have been lobbying ANBL to get this whisky in the province for a few years now. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned up on the 2011 Festival product list.  I picked it up at the Festival and I am sorry to report that it all sold out that night.Loads of character this has been aged in a sherry cask for awhile, definite sherry notes, mouth coating  buttery feel on the palate, spicy, toffee, rich, this is a charmer, Stewed pears and custard came to my mind on the nose, bursting with flavours.This is a great one to have over the holidays. it's available at the Rogue if you missed it at the Festival.

Nov.26/11

Just added a nice selection of whiskies to the Rogue's back bar. I will updating our whisky menu over the next few days as I work my way through the drams. Awful job but I will shoulder on. No smirking. Today we put up Laphroaig Triple Wood 48% abv.Only 34 bottles left in the province as I write this note. So I would not dally if you want one.

.The whisky that has been finished in 3 different casks types starting in an ex bourbon for an undetermined time.tranfered into the small quarter casks ( Laphroaig use the quarter casks to mature whisky faster than traditional size casks try their Laphroaig Quater Cask some time) again for an unknown time period, then finally finished in European oak ex sherry casks. I found this whisky completely different from your standard Laphroaigs and I would recommend you go slow with an open mind. This is not a whisky that the Laphroaig 10 guys are going to fall over themselves getting to the ANBL store. Lighter on the peat smoke than usual, some rich spiciness with a bit of sherry notes thrown in for good measure.The nose is kind of creamy and I found hints of lemons. The mouth feel is creamy,rich with a complex balance between the fruitiness of the sherry and the peat smoke. The finish long fruity,smoky and it lingers for ever. Priced in the $70.00's I liked it. Alot.

Nov.21/11

Another great Festival and a major success to boot. I want to thank all the folks who attended this year and helped make our 3 day event one for the record books.I think we were all impressed with the selection of products this year. Congratulations to the folks at ANBL who did an outstanding job sourcing out this years catolog of fine spirits.The on site store ran extremely smooth with four tills in operation all evening I found that the lines moved quickly.I thionk this allow many of you to stop in for a second and third visit over the evening.

Ever supplier had some very unique products and I managed to sample quite a few and chat with many of my blog readers. It was a great pleasure for me to meet you individually and talk about our passion "Whisk(e)y" Thanks for all the positive feedback, I had no idea how many of you were keeping up with my rants.Lots of great discussion and it was great for me to see your interest my selections. I hope you will enjoy your purchases over the next weeks and months and I hope it will last until the holiday season. If it doesn't, well, there is still a great selection of products still available in the ANBL stores. I will give you my thoughts on some of purchases over the next few days and weeks. I told far to many people about my love for the Glenrothes 30 yr by Gordon and MacPhail, It was all gone by 9:00pm. The Old Pulteney 21 yr flew off the shelves.

Slainte

Frank

Nov.15/11

Just a quick update. I have 2 pairs of tickets at the Rogue for sale.They are from people who had something come up and can not attend Friday night Main Showcase.Unfortunately, if your looking for a tickets it must be paid in cash to the bartender at the Rogue so that I can pay the current ticket holder. Please hurry as tickets are sold out at all stores. I will start a waiting list at the pub if any others might have to cancel and want to sell, them.

Good news Lagavulin Distillers Edition and Dalwhinnie 15 yr have just arrived in time for the Festival.Please check out the Diageo list up of their Classic six Distillers Editions at the show. Talisker is one of my favs. The other one just in is Laphroaig Triple Wood. I think we have close to 200 products at the Festival. Great rums this year too. El Dorado has a full selection fo various ages. There are a few top quality master Class tickets still available.

Nov.10

The Festival Product list will be available on the Festival website very soon. I am afraid to report the tickets for the Main Showcase are all but gone for this year. You can still take part on the Thursday evening Master Classes and most tickets are a very reasonable $10.00. Most classes the reps are pouring hundreds of dollars worth of great whiskies and cognacs. All class tickets are available at the Lunar Rogue.

Nov.9th

The days are rushing by and I find myself getting further behind on my "to do" list. I apologize for not getting back here sooner for more updates.The Festival consumes a lot of time with the dinner only one week away. Let's continue with Speysides and a couple of new ones coming in from Glencadam Distillery located near Brechin. We have the Glencadam 12 yr Portwood and The Glencadam 21 yr. I am looking forward to sampling both these whiskies. I have never had a Glencadam that I did not like. Maybe not that well known in the global community this is one to watch in  the future.

The sister distillery of Glencadam is Tomintoul Distillery and I am delighted to see it back at the Festival this year.Tomintoul is the highest distillery on Speyside and located near the village of Tomintoul. The village has an excellent whisky shop called the Whisky Castle and  if you ever happen to be on Speyside in the future, the shop owner/manager can sometimes organize tours of Tomintoul (not usually open to visitors) and many insiders consider it one of the the best tours you can ever get to a distillery.

The Tomintoul 16 yr  has a  nose of candied peel with a lovely hazelnut coming through. The palate I find has a smooth, rich spiciness, full favoured and creamy. Tomintoul 12 yr Oloroso Cask is back this year, This whisky sold out quickly and after trying it recently I can see why.Lovely hints of oloroso sherry (mostlikely a second fill cask) I found it to be soft creamy and elegant.Well worth a look and a reasonable price to boot.

Nov.5th

The count down continues only 30 tickets for the Friday Night Main Showcase remain at ANBL select outlets.Check their website for store locations with tickets left on hand.Speyside whiskies coming to the Festival? I promised awhile ago I would give you a peek into the list so here goes. One of my long time favourites Balvenie will have the latest version of the  12 year Signature on hand, The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 year, the Balvenie Peated 17 year and the glorious Balvenie Portwood 21 year. The first time we had this whisky at the Festival it was selling for $83.99, I wish I had bought a case.It now sells for $225.00. The demand as out strips  the supply available from the distiller. I say buy it now, it will be $275.00 in a year or two.

The great Speyside distiller, The Macallan has a wonderful selection this year including the sherried family of The Macallan 12 yr, The Macallan 18 yr and the out of this world Macallan 25 yr and the Fine Oak Macallan 15, and the Fine Oak Macallan 30 yr ( bring your Brinks truck for this one at $1099.99)

Gordon and MacPhail the great independent bottler has a lovely selection of Speysiders. Some you might know and others you might not be that familiar with. The list includes the cult like favourite Mortlach 15 yr, MacPhail's Collection Glenrothes 30 yr ( a favourite of mine heavily sherried) The work horse of the Diageo family of distilleries the blending malt, Dailuaine 1993,and the long closed Imperial 1993 and The Macphail's Collection Tamdhu.

The uniquely independent, Grant family owned, Glenfarclas Distillery has great selection at the Festival this year and they include The Glenfarclas 15 yr,17yr, 21yr and the lovely 25yr at a steal of a price of $125.00, What a great deal for a 25 year old whisky. Stay tuned for more....

 

Nov.4/11

As of this morning, I did a quick check around with our ticket outlets and they tell me that there are only 62 tickets left for the Friday Night Main Showcase. Looks like the earliest sell out ever! Please get your tickets soon and avoid disappointment.

The interest in quality spirits has never been higher. I am pleased to report that ANBL will be adding extra tills in the on site store this year, doubling the number two last year to a total of four this year. This should expediate customers through the store in a much more timely manner.

The Whisky Dinner on Wednesday Nov.16th hosted by Whisky and Food pairing expert Martine Nouet of France and Islay Scotland and Marc Laverdiere Brand Ambassador, of Highland Park/The Macallan will  be the highlight of the 3 day Festival.A six course dinner pairing carefully with matching drams should be a delightful evening of fun. The Whiskies selected for the dinner include The Macallan 15 yr Fine Oak, The Laphroaig Quarter Cask, The Famous Grouse 18 yr The Highland Park 18 yr and the Macallan 18 yr. aong with an arrival whisky or cocktail.

Nov.2/11

The problem with a great selection of Master classes at this year's NB Spirits Festival is which ones to miss. I am going to make that choice a little bit harder for everyone attending this year's classes.This year we have an amazing selection of fine cognacs from Pierre Ferrand Cognac of France. Ferrand is located in the heart of the Grande Champagne area in France where only the very best quality grapes are grown in the unique chalky soil that provides the right amount of acidity to produce amazing grapes that are used in the process to make great cognac. Their Brand Ambassador, Mr. Guilluame Lamy, will guide you through a selection of their best vintages, Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Ferrand 1er Cru Reserve and Ferrand Selection Des Anges,1er Cru. The highlight of the evening will be a once in a lifetime experience, a sample the glorious Pierre Ferrand "1914" . With a retail price of over $6000.00 a bottle it maybe the most expensive product we have ever had sampled at a Master Class at the Festival. This will be your only opportunity to sample this extremely rare cognac at the Ferrand Cognac Class on Thursday evening at 8:30pm. Ticket price? $10.00 This like winning the lottery for cognac lovers.

Oct.31/11

Tickets update The Main Showcase is down to about 100 tickets left in the province.Select ANBL outlets have a few. Try Prospect St or York St Liquor Stores in Fredericton or Vaughan Harvey Blvd. in Moncton and Parkway Mall store in Saint John.

This year we have a very nice line up of Diageo whiskies coming to the Festival.A few for the whisky collector's out there, who like me, scour the globe looking for a rare or interesting bottles. This year we have a very rare bottling of a long closed distillery, Glenury Royal. Glenury Royal was founded in 1825 near Stonehaven Aberdeenshire, the name being taken from a local nearby glen in the district of Ury. It was only one of 3 distilleries that was given a warrant from the crown to carry the name "Royal" the other two being Royal Lochnagar and Royal Brackla.

The distillery was mothballed in 1983 and finally closed for good in 1985. In 1993 private developers purchased the buildings, land and  demolished the distillery to make way for new housing. The bottling at the Festival is the Glenury Royal 40 yr and sells at a modest price of $759.99. We plan to pour it a bottle at the Ultimate Master Class on Friday afternoon at 4:30. This could be your only chance to sample some liquid history.

Oct.25/11

I am pleased or sadden to report (depending on your point of view) that the Main Friday Night Showcase  tickets have all sold out at the Lunar Rogue. There are still lots of tickets vailable at select ANBL stores around the province. You can quickly check availability by goning to the ANBL website do a product search and type in Festival ticket. The list of stores and  remaining tickets will pop up. If, you know people who are planning on attending this year I would recommend you get them sooner rather than later. I believe that most of the Festival showcase tickets will be gone by the first week of November.You can also try Read's on King St or the Fredericton Delta.

The Rogue has lots of Master class tickets available although some classes are running low.The Whisky and Food Paring Dinner tickets are selling very well.

 

Oct.21/11

I prosmise I will come back to Bourbons in a day or two, but I had the urge to type (ugh) about a whisky that rarely gets much attention or discussion in this area. GlenDronach. A great Speyside whisky long known for it's sherry finish and great price. Under valued in MHO. For a long a it was the  main contributing malt in the Teacher's blend.The last time I stopped by the distillery it still had a huge Teacher's Highland Cream mirror in the very welcoming visitor's center.The distillery has changed hands several times over the years the last time in 2008 when the lengendary distiller, Billy Walker and a consortium from South African purchased  the distillery along with a vast quantity of aging casks from Pernod Ricard.They had purchased the BenRiach Distillery a few years earlier from Pernod for approx 6Million Pounds including a great deal of matured whisky.

Pernod had run the distillery periodically over the years before mothballing it from 1996 to 2002. No whisky was produced during that time period. When they did re-open Glendronach  in 2002 they were filling alot of the casks in ex bourbon casks not the traditional ex sherried butts their house style.

The company is now spending in excess of half a million pounds per year purchasing ex sherried butts to keep them well stocked long into the future.

With the distillery being mothballed from 1996 to 2002 they can not produce a 12 year old for a while as no spirit was available from that time period. In actual fact, they are putting mostly 15 yr old whisky in the 12 year bottle. Great news for us you love GlenDronach They are filling bottles with whisky aged in Olosoro and ex PX casks.70% 30%  Great bang for your buck. When they start back up producing the new stock 12 yr old they will incorporate some of the old stocks along with newer sherried casks  I doubt it will be quite the same percentage of Oloroso and PX.  So for fans of this whisky get it now. This years show will feature  the 12 year ,15 and my favoutite 18 year old.

Oct.20/11

I love talking about whisky, I hate typing. I love whisky, not typing. That said, I will push the fingers to let you know about some of the great American whiskies in this year's line up. Jack Daniel's the world's largest selling American whiskey will be there and I recommend you sample the standard bottling, but the one you need to sample is the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel. Their premium expression of their core product line, with a smaller number of selected casks matured at a higher level in their warehouses gives this one extra matuation due to the vast climate changes. The nose, brown sugar,orange peel, caramel are the key notes, the body sweet, syrupy, reminds me of my Grannies sugar cookies, vanilla. hints of cloves and cinnamon at the end. The finish is very nice, spicy, hints of charcoal, new oakiness of the casks comes on through.Gentleman Jack is their second bottling in their core range. If I could say one thing about this whiskey, it's incredibly smooth. Try it. Running it through an extra 10 feet of charcoal  in the filter process has really taken the edge off.

Other American whiskies to keep an eye out for Woodford Reserve ( more later on this one), Maker's Mark and the new version, Maker's Mark 46. Maker's is usually aged for approx 6 years in new white oak Amercian barrels.They have taken some of their aged casks and added french oak charred  barrel staves, fixed them inside the barrel, refilled the cask and let it age for several more months. The French oak is more tannic than American oak and adds winey, spicy. woody characteristics to the aging spirit. This is certainly more inventive for a company that has rarely budged in the process used for many years. Well worth a sample. I liked it alot.

Oct.20/11

The Rogue is running low on tickets to the Friday Night Showcase. Remember that ANBL select outlets have tickets available. The Rogue will most likely be out by the weekend. We do have Masterclass tickets for Thursday night. The dinner tickets with Martine are selling well and I expect a sell out for this amazing dinner experience. Martine selects great whiskies to accompany a 6 course dinner including a soup to start, a fish course, a main course, cheese course, dessert course with Highland Park 18 yr and finally coffee and a Macallan 18 yr to finish the evening.

 

Oct.18/11

Tickets have been flying for the NB Spirits Festival now only 28 days away. I strongly recommend that you visit the Festival wesitewww.raiseyourspirits.ca and find out all the details of this amazing Festival. A whisky and Food pairing Dinner on Nov.16th, 9 Master Classes with Brand Amabassadors pouring some of the best spirits their companies offer on Nov.17th &18th ,The Ultimate Master Class, with rare and unique whiskies and the Main Showcase on Nov.18th.The main showcase will present  over 200 products to choose from.Soon the website will offer a full list of products to pour over ( no pun intended). My advise is select your must try products first.There is no way you can sample everything so you must prioritize your list and keep a record of everything you sample.

This year I am delighted to see a nice selection of whiskies from the northern most tip of main land Scotland, Old Pulteney, of Wick. I can not remember a time, if ever, I have not enjoyed a Pulteney whisky. This year we hope to see the Old Pulteney 17, 21, 23 and 30 year olds. I recommend this as "a must stop" booth and check out these maritime, sea air flavoured gems.

Another whisky you need to sample this year is the sister distillery of Old Pulteney, Balblair. Located in Eddington,northwest of Inverness, Balblair has long  been a go to whisky for me. If I have have an open bottle at home I am pulled back lioke magnet till it's gone. I think the old Balbalir16 year was in my "top 10" of all time favourites.Sadly, now departed and replaced by various vintages such as the 1989,1997,1965,1975 the new offering called  Balblair 2000 is definitely worth a stop.Aged in first fill American Bourbon Casks the nose I find as a distinct honey nose character, some floral notes and definite hint of citrus.The palate was rich, butterscotch, toffee and pears. I found a wee bit of coconut on the finish.The other at this year's Festival is the Balblair 1978 in very limited supply. Only a few bottles were made available to ANBL.The rising demand for old and rare single malts around the globe is making it more difficult to source supply.

Oct.11/11

I am pleased to report that we now have the 2011 NB Spirit Festival tickets available at the bar.The phone started ringing early today for tickets from folks in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec. The Rogue is the only ticket outlet with the Ultimate Master Class tickets, Master Class tickets and the Wednesday night Whisky and Dinner tickets.

A few new whiskies to New Brunswick coming to the Festival this year. Glengoyne 17 and 21 yr are both favourites of mine. The distillery located in the Campsie Hills just outside Glasgow, you might think that the whisky is from the Lowlands region of Scotland. It is not though, it's a Highland whisky. I'm delighted to see it at the Festival. Make sure you try it. I will be surprised if there is any left at the end of the night.

For Islay fans peat and the smoke heads the list is looking quite impressive. Ardbeg Corryvreckan is making it's first appearance along with long time favourites Lagavulin 16, Lagavulin Distiller's Edition, the Bowmore 12,15,18,25, The Bowmore 25 is priced at a very reasonable $130.00 for whisky at this age and development, a new release of the very rare Port Ellen 30 yr from Diageo (bring your gold card with the price hovering around $430.00) is welcome news.I believe that stocks of this silent distillery must be running lower every year. Caol Ila 12 and Distiller's Edition are back along with the ever popular Laphroaig. A very nice line up of age statements available this year with the 10,18,25 all on the shelves in various price points. The 25 can be picked up for $550.00 and change. The Quarter Cask will be back this year. A nice selection of Bruichladdichs, ( The Laddie )including the Links 15, Islay Organic, Peat, and The Classic Laddie. That should keep any Islay fan busy for an hour or two.

Tomorrow, I will give you a peek at some of the great Speysiders coming this year including one of my favouites from Gordon and MacPhail, Dailuaine 1995. Not an easy whisky to come by any time. Lots of Island whiskies at the Festival this year from Isle of  Arran, Skye, Orkney, Jura . Stay tuned

Oct.10/11

Just did a quick count of the whiskies at the bar. The Rogue now has an incredible 316 whiskies to sample. I doubt you can find that many whiskies anywhere else in Atlantic Canada! This fall we plan to add many more. The NB Spirits Festival has a great new selection of some very rare  whiskies coming in and we plan on topping up our selection for the pub. Stay tuned for the list. Please stop by the Rogue and check out our new whisky display cabinets. You van now read most of the bottle information and get you eyes up close to see all these great whiskies.

 

Oct.8/11

Sorry for not updating more often. It's a crazy time of the year with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton held each year in mid September and them right into major preparations for the highlight of the whisky year, The New Brunswick Spirits Festival. Plans are well under way. Relax we have been busy dreaming up a bunch of new things to experience. I believe this year's Festival will go down as a classic. The addition of the Ultimate Master Class (UMC) a new and exciting opportunity a taste of  the best the Festival has to offer all in one room.

The doors open to this unique experience at 4:30 pm and your whisky dreams come to fruition with 12 of some of the  most expensive or rare whiskies at the ANBL on site store has to offer. It can be tricky to get around to every table in the main Showcase to get a taste of every one of these unique whiskies. They are poured by company reps at different times around a very large room, getting a bit of each would prove difficult for any seasoned festival regular attendee.

With a UMC sampling room at your disposal you can relax, take your time, think about flavours and contemplate how the hell can I buy a bottle of each one of these amazing drams and pass on paying the mortgage this month. By a bottle or make an RSP contribution this month? Whisky prices seem to be going up about 10% a year with the increased world demand by India, China, Russia Brazil prices will likely never go down.Tickets are only available at the Lunar Rogue for $50.00 with the purchase of a Main Festival Showcase ticket of $75.00.

I am delighted to announce the addition of the Whisky and Food Pairing Dinner hosted by whisky connoisseur, Martine Nouet of France and Scotland. Martine is a regular contributor to the Whisky Magazine with fascinating articles on food and whisky pairings.Martine also rates all the new whisky offering featured in the magazine along with whisky writer, Dave Broom. Martine has written several books on whisky. She was the first editor of the Whisky Mag in France.She is known throughout the whisky world as "The Queen of the Still".

The Dinner will be held for the second time (last year's was not adverised and sold out) at the Delta Fredericton on Wedneday Nov.16th at 6:00 pm. A six course dinner with accompanying whiskies with Martine guiding you through this incredible feast for the senses. Tickets are limited to 125 and only available at the Rogue. The price? $140.00 (includes all taxes and gratities).

 

Sept,18/11

A new whisky has arrived on the shelves of ANBL and the Rogue, Crown Royal "Black" .Initially released for the American market it has started to show up on Canadian shelves over the past 8 months or so.The dark colour is a bit of a change for Crown Royal fans who might find this a bit strange.I am not sure if it's extra char from the casks or distillers carmel, most likely a bit of both. The nose reminded me of fruit cake and rum, a rich dark rum,with vanilla notes, hints of ginger and oranges. The ABV is a bit higher than the regular Crown at 45% giving me a bit of nose prickle. The palate I found to be rich,creamy and hot spices.a wee bit of chocolate orange for me with a dryish sweet finish maybe hints of toffee? It's a whisky I would highly recommend to try.

 

Aug.5th

I am pleased to announce a new whisky menu will be available today.A few new ones to tempt your taste buds.I spent last week pouring (not literally) through our storage cabinets looking for whiskies I had purchased from ANBL and decided that with the addition of our new whisky cabinet it would allow me to put a few bottles of whisky on the bar I just did not have room for in the past.Some amazing Canadian whiskies you have unlikely heard of recently  Pike Creek, Lot 40 and Gooderham and Worts.These whiskies are now highly collectable and quite rare.This is mostly likely the only bar in Canada or the World for that matter were you would get a chance to sample such fine hand crafted gems.

On the single malt end of things, we have added a couple of Isle of Arran finishes, The Highland Park 30 yr, Tomintoul 1976, Tomintoul 33 yrs, The Glenlivet XXV and Glenfarclas 25 and 30 yr. Irish Blended Midleton Very Rare a lovely drop and a must try.

If your visiting Ontario this summer pick up a bottle of the new release by Glenfiddich called "Snow Phoenix" It's a cracker of a whisky, bottled at approx 57% abv cask strength. One of the new releases by the new Malt Master at Glenfiddich Brian Kinsman. It will only be available in Ontario and priced right at $89.95 Nice presentation packaging and a lovely bottle to boot. Pick up a couple, it's a long way to drive for just one. I highly recommend this dram.

July 15th

A new single malt will be coming to Canada soon. Glen Grant the iconic whisky from Rothes on Speyside be available in some parts of Canada in the fall.If you ever have a chancve to visit Speyside a trip the Glen Grant will be well rewarded not only for their generous Highland hospitality, distillery tour and visitor center, it's the amazing gardens and waterfalls is a "do not miss" adventure. A peaceful,relaxing stroll through the gardens is a feast for the eyes and the soul.Glen Grant  is owned by Campari of Italy has been sold for the most part in Europe.The whisky has a huge following  in Italy where it's standard bottling is released as a 5 yr old. We should see a 16 yr version available here in Canada.

 

July 15th

The NB Highland Games and Scottish Whisky Tasting will feature the Glenfiddich 12, Balvenie Doublewood 12, The Glenfiddich 15 yr Solara Vat, Grant's Family Reserve, Gibson's 18 yr and the Grant's Ale Cask along with a few special surprises.Please join in a fun afternoon in the amazing Old Government House to celesbrate all this Scottish

 

July7/11

I have had the pleasure of hosting a Whisky Nosing and Tasting every year at the New Brunswick Highland Games and Scottish Festival  for the past 15 years.I will be back again this year on July 23rd at 2:00pm in Old Government House. Tickets will be available at the information booth located in front of OGH. This years Sponsor is PMA Canada representatives of  The Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Grant's Family of whiskies. The class for a max of 30 has been a completely sell out for the past 15 years.

I hope you can join us for this fun exercise sampling some wonderful drams. I plan a few surprises at the presentation this year so mark the date down and come along.

 

 

July 2/11

Happy Canada Day! ANBL hhas a few new whiskies on the shelves these days,Check out a few new bottlings from Gordon and MacPhail Strathisla 1997 and Caol Ila 1997. Both are now available on the pub shelves. Benromach Origins has a new Port wood finish available. I thought it was a very interesting dram, lots of character, sweet, vanilla and dried fruits.I would put this down as a buy bottling.
A few new Irish whiskies now on the bar shelves. Tyrconnell Port wood, Sherry wood and Maderira wood finishes. I thought the Port wood finish worked, I have yet to sample the others. I hope to report soon!!

Keep an eye out for Greenore Single Grain, Locke's 8 yr and Midleton Very Rare all in at the pub.In the next few weeks we will be adding Glenlivet XXV, Tomintoul 1976, Tomintoul 33 yr, Laphroaig 25 yr.

I got a peak of the planned whiskies for this year's NB Spirit Festival, If it all comes in New Brunswick wil have a wonderful selection of products for the Christmas season.I would start planning to save a few dollars in anticipation of the sales in Novemeber. I will be announcing a few products at a time of the next few months. One I will be looking at is the new Highland Park release Earl Haakonanother in their Earl's releases.

Cheers

 

June30/11

Sorry, I have been away for a bit. Great news coming out of Speyside today, The Edrington Group who controls such iconic brands as The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse have sold the silent distillery Tamdhu to Ian McLeod Distillers of Glasgow.This is the second distillery Ian MacLeod has purchased from The Edrington Group.Back in 2002 they secured the highly successful Glengoyne distillery located just outside Glasgow in the Campsie Hills.Tamdhu has been silent for the past 18 months after Edrington closed the distillery to focus on their core brands and it's other 4 major distilleries.Tamdhu, located on the Spey River in the heart of the Speyside Whisky producing region has been a work horse for such blends as the Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.Located next door to the distillery is the Edrington maltings,it too was closed at the same time as Tamdhu. Heavily depended on labour to produce malted barley for the company it was closed in favour of a cheaper supply of malted barley from a nearby maltings. I doubt Ian MacLeaod will purchase the maltings. I think you will see a few Tamdhu  new "Finishes" being released in the future by Ian McLeod. Great news for workers on Speyside to see this distillery back up and running. I am sure it was well maintained by The Edrington Group so start up should be seemless,.

May 30/2011

No visit to the Speyside would be complete with stopping for high tea at the Grouse Inn at the Cabrach, just a few miles from Dufftown on a narrow,winding road that seems to climb up hill for hours. The scenery alone is worth the drive. The Grouse Inn is a special place. In all my whisky travels, I have never seem a bar with so many whiskies on optic. Over 250 behind the bar alone. The selection  in a word is stunting. One could spend an hour trying to take it all in.The landlady's hushand was a whisky collector and his massive collection is on display throughout the bar.My jaw was on the floor most of the time I was there. The whisky prices were the most reasonable I found in Scotland for a dram, and the food was simple good fare and friendly service. The Grouse was an old coaching Inn and dates back to the 1800's and in it's history it has been owned by owly three families.The current Landlady is 80 years old and looks 55.Maybe working around whisky keeps you young, Hasn't been working for me.

 

May 28/ 2011

Wow this Month has flown by, it seems like it was May 1st only yesterday.Our trip around the northern highlands of Scotland found us with sunny weather with  the odd shower thrown in just to clean the bugs off the windscreen. We booked a cottage in the coastal village of Brora. Great place to stay if you enjoy sandy beaches, links golf and friendly people. The local Hotel/ pub named the Duke of Siutherland has a fabulous selection of whiskies, hundreds by the look of the bar, and  a great menu to pour over.The owner/manager  Leon was very hospitalble and he pointed out a new dram on the bar to try " MacKinlay's  Rare Old Highland Whisky  or the Shackleton whisky as many now call it.  It was one that made headlines after being discovered in the Antarctic. Very interesting whisky, smoke on the nose,  rich, full citrusy, peat and peppery notes. I tried to purchase a bottle during nmy visit but it was sold out everywhere I went. Very nice dram only 50,000 bottles for sale worldwide.US price of around $169.99.

Brora has 2 distilleries available for visits Clynelish and the Old Brora distillery.If you give the distillery a call a few days ahead you can book a tour of the old Brora distillery, silent since the early 1980's.Old Brora's have become a cult like whisky(one of my all time favourites is the Brora 30 (2005 bottling) The staff greeted us warmly and we had a very nice visit.

We set off each day looking for adventure, scenery and whisky distilleries. We were never disappointed on all counts. The drive from Brora to Wick was glorious eye candy without a cloud in the sky. Rolling hills and lush green fields full of sheep with young lambs. Large numbers of wind farms always on the horizon, gently turning in the fresh sea breezes.

Our first stop of the day was Old Pulteney Distillery where we were greeted  by the Office manager who set us up in their old style warehouse visitor center with a short audio/visual history of Old Pulteney and the fishing town of Wick. Once famous for it's massive herring fleet of over 1000 boats, Wick harbour was once bustling with the ships harvesting the silver herring, loaded them into wooden barrels for export through ou the known world.Those days are long gone, the harbour now seems sleeply in a way, a few boats not like the glory days.

After dropping a few quid in the distillery shop on bottle of Old Pulteney 12 yr cask strength (only available at the distillery too sad) glassware, water jug and a golf shirt we headed off for a relaxed pace tour of a classic working distillery. Old Pulteney produces whisky the way whisky was made 50 years ago, hand crafted with passion and patience. Nothing much has changed in that time. I really enjoyed watching their cooper hand painting the barrel ends with gleaming white paint, then stencil on the distillery name and cask number preparing them to be filled with new make spirit.Only two stills with a unique flat top design and worm tub condensers made the tour more unique. You do not see this kind of operation any more. A real shame. The bean counters have taken over most distillery operations. The passion is slowing slipping away.Not at Old Pulteney. Great whisky. A complimentary dram was waiting for us at the end of our visit. Great stuff. Thanks to all the staff who took time to meet and greet us. You made us feel special.

April 30th

The day started off with brilliant sunshine and unbelieveable warm temperatures. Is this the Scotland I know? It took about 5 minutes to drive from the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie to travel to The Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown. It took a few minutes to find the new entrance in to distillery but it was worht the effort.A new car park and a leisurely stroll through a forested area along a foot path to the back of the floor maltings and end up ate the Distillery office. We were greeted warmly by our good friends, David Mair, The Balvenie Distillery Ambassador and the Balvenie Master Distiller and Blender, David Stewart. David Stewart has been with Wm. Grant and Sons for 49 years producing the famous iconic brands Glenfiddich. The Balvenie and Grant's Family Reserve whiskies. The day started with coffees and conversation followed by a tour of the maltings, the kiln house the mashing and brewing houses and finally the impressive Balvenie stills in full production. The demand for Balvenie has the distillery working 7 days a week 24 hours a day.A qick stop at the Glenfiddich cooperage to see the coopers reparing the casks for refilling. A good cooper can repair up to 24 casks a day, Very hard work. I'm glad I\m a publican not a cooper.

The next stop was warehouse 34, where the oldest stocks of Balvenie whiskies are kept. David hosted a sampling of the new Balvenie that will be launched in the near furture, Mash Tun 1401.Made up of 5 casks of various old casks of Balvenie this was a highlight of the trip so far.Rich, dried fruits, sherried and full flavoured, another masterpiece is in hand.A definite moment to savour a great dram! We were given the opportunity to fill a bottle of cask strength whisky from one of 3 casks made available to us a sherry butt, a hoghead or a bourbon cask. I selected the sherry butt, a big bold rich dram with lots of rich flavours,orange peel,Christmas cake and sherry notes.

Back to the Balvenie visitor center were David Stewart guided us through a sampling of the various age satements ofThe Balvenie, The Doublewood 12, the Signature 12, 4th bottling, the Single Barrel 15 year, the Portwood 21 and the Balvenie 30. As an extra treat we were offered cask strength samples from David's vast stocks, a Balvenie 1969 , 1970 sherry butt. Wow.

The afternoon ended with a delicious 3 course lunch hosted by David Stewart at the Glenfiddich Robbie Dhu centre.The day started at 10:00am and we finished our day at 4:00pm One of the best days I have ever had on Speyside. Thanks to both David Stewart and David Mair for their kind hospitiality at a world class distillery,

 

 

 

 

April 29th

Greeting from Craigellachie Scotland! Last night I had the opportunity to attend the opening Gala t the Spirit of Speyside Festival at the |Knockando distillery in the village of Knockando.Parking was organized at the Cardhu distillery and guests were bussed down the hairpin turns to Knockando. The Distillery staff had done an amazing job of preparing the distillery to welcome hundreds of guests from all over the globe to this annual kickoff of the Spirit of Speyside Festival. The gala began with a blind nosing challenge of six drams 2 in the 12 years and under catagory, 2 in the 13 to 20 year and 2 in the over 21 year. The first 2 were your choice of Aberlour a'bunadh or the Balvenie 12 yr Signature. The second pairing included the Glenlivet 15 and Glenlivet18 year.The last pairing was a wonderful surprise, The Balvenie Portwood 21 yr and the Glenfiddich 30 yr. The attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favourite in each catagory and the results will be announced in the next day.

So far we have managed to stop by the Aberlour and Glenfiddich distilleries and pick up a few bottles of new releases.Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 yr old finished in a Madeira cask sounds promising. The Aberlour has a new 30 yr old bottling at 500.00 BPS a bit steep for me.

I will update a bit later cheers

 

Apr.23rd

The next few weeks I will updating the Blog from Scotland as I head for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in the heart of whisky country, Speyside. I would recommend you Google the Festival name and check out the website of this truly wonderful festival. This will mark my 8th year attending and I plan go back every year I am able.The incredible list of events to choose from would give any whisky enthusiast goose bumps.I plan to give frequent updates of my exploits, as my plans todate, include visits to Aberlour, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas, Mortlach, Glenrothes, Balvenie, Strathisla, Macallan, Knockando, Tullibardine, Glengoyne, Cardhu, Balblair, Old Pulteney,The Dalmore, Glenmorangie and Highland Park distilleries.Stay tuned for details.....slainte

 

 

Mar.31st

Great news for Irish Whiskey fans the Rogue has added a slew of new ones to tempt your noses and palates.Kilbeggan 15 yr, Kilbeggan Grain, Tyrconnell Port Wood,Tyrconnell Madiera Wood, Greenore Single Grain, Connemara Cask Strength, Connemara 12 yr and  Locke's 8 yr Single Malt.

The good news continues with a nice new selection of single malts to add to the gantry including Aberlour 18, Glenfarclas 25, Tomintoul 14 yr, Glen Grant 1993 by Gordon and MacPhail, Isle of Arran's new peated malt Machrie Moor, bottled at 46% abv with no chill filtering or artificial colouring.The first release was limited to just 9000 bottles for world wide sales.

Watch for a few others arriving in a few days Tomintoul 33 yrs and Glenlivet XXV but bring along your wallet for those ones they will not be cheap. The reality is good whisky never is.

 

 

March 17/10

St Patrick's Day can often lead to a few pints of Guinness or a whiskey  with  glass being raised to toast the day and all who celebrate it.Here at the Rogue we have a fine selection of Irish whiskies to help you do just that.A couple of my favourites from the land of Erin start with a Jameson's or Old Bushmill's.Both considered the standard whiskies of Ireland and to most whiskey drinkers easily recognized. This whiskies are usually found in most pubs throughout the world today. Both are great whiskies easy to drink, great mouth feel and very smooth.I would recommend you try a few others that you may not be familiar with on a regular basis.

I really enjoy Black Bush a whiskey finished in a Olorso sherry cask is a rich, dark blend from Ireland's oldest working distillery, Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim. It is made up of almost entirely of single malt whiskey. The malt whiskey used to create Black Bush is aged in  selected Spanish Oloroso sherry-seasoned oak casks then blended with a small portion of  single grain whiskey. The secret of  Black Bush's unique character lies in the perfect combination of the intense, spicy malt whiskey and the lighter, lively single grain. As the whiskeys meld together, rich amber colouring and distinctive spicy taste of Black Bush comes alive to reveal it's secrets.

Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a rare and original among Irish whiskeys is a single malt, layered with gentle peat smoke. Smoke rising through the malted barley during this drying process imparts the whiskey with a unique peaty flavour and aroma. The traditional distilling methods along with all natural ingredients and years in oak casks will  create a whiskey that is simply outstanding.

The only aged Pure Pot still whiskey on sale today Redbreast 12 years is one of all time favourites. Matured for a minimum of 12 years in Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon casks.The oaky vanilla makes an appearance,along with the sherry malty sweetness, a thick deep kind of sweetness (like demerrara sugar) rather than cloying. This is not a harsh whisky, certainly as smooth as any 12-year I have tried and has a long finish, you can still taste it for the better part of a minute after you swallow. It is a warm, long as far as an Irish whiskey goes, with a sherry-sweet dried fruits finish. Lovely I highly recommend it with a old Cheddar cheese or rich dark chocolate

Happy St Patrick's day to all!!

 

 

March 9/10 updated
Whisky and Food pairings have become very popular lately and I must say I have been enjoying the opportunity to explore the different flavours of whisky and how well  they work together with food. For example try a Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 year with smoked salmon..( I prefer Wolfhead Smoked Salmon from Letang, NB. the best smoked salmon on the planet in mho) The flavour of the smoky saltiness of salmon seems to blend wonderfully with the dried fruits and rich character of the whisky.Glorious stuff. Another pairing that might surprise you is one of my favourite Islay drams, Lagavulin 16 year and fresh orange segments.I think you could actually give this to a person who does not care for Lagavulin and watch their surprised reaction.If you can not find a Lagavulin at the local shop try a Bowmore 12 year I find it works quite nicely. Two other foods that work with whisky,  chocolate and cheese. I believe a great old cheddar works well with Arran Malt 14 year or the Irish Whiskey, Redbreast 12 year.Chocolate, and I really mean a good quality chocolate, pairs upl with GlenDronach 12 year or Glenfarclas 15 year old.The idea is to really experiment and see if your favouite dram works with different foods.Experimentation is half the fun. Good luck.

 

 

Feb.24th

I am pleased to announce I will be hosting a "Whisky and Food Pairing" tasting at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on Friday March 4th in the McCain Gallery. Exquisite Art and Whisky. The tasting will include a glass of wine apon arrival at the Gallery, 6 single malts Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 yr, The Arran Malt 14 yr, Lagavulin 16 yr,Auchentoshan 12 yr, Glendronach 12 yr and Highland park 18 yr. accompanied by various food samples to compliment each dram.Tickets are $60.00 each and include a cab ride home.Tickets are available at the Gallery. Limited number available.

Feb.22nd updated

I am pleased to report that "The Singleton of Glendullan" is back on the shelves of ANBL stores.This whisky arrived in NB last fall and quickly became a hit with whisky consumers, completely selling out in a month or two.With the price point of approx $40.00 it's in the right price range  for single malt drinkers to have on daily basis or their go to dram . It quickly grew a fan base here in NB.I find it to be a great intro to whisky malt. Smooth, easy to drink with a complimentary finish.  I think having a good selection of whiskies at the $40.00 range is most welcome. Younger, new malt drinkers on a budget need to have a few whiskies that they can purchase allowing them to get into the whisky catagory without breaking the bank. Single malts  can be extremely expensive venture for most people. The more you get into them the faster your bank account can drop. My top selections by customers  at the Rogue are Glenfiddich 12, Aberlour 10 yr, The Glenlivet 12 yr, Highland Park 12, Johnnie Walker Black 12 yr, Bowmore 12 and Teachers Highland Cream.

 

Feb.21st

If your a whisky fan you most likely keep track of the whiskies available at ANBL outlets in New Brunswick. Some of the best prices in the country and usually a fair selection on hand at the ANBL Selection stores throughout the province.However that being said, ever since the NB Spirit Festivals,  the past 3 years being sell outs whiskies have really started to sell alot quicker in NB.If you cruise throught the availability right now you see a catagory thats really being hoovered up. The Balvenie's have disappeared except for the 12 yr, BenRiach's are almost gone,Bruichladdich 12 disappeared last week. The Balblair's are going. Glenfarclas 10 yr is down to a few bottles,Lets hope ANBL has a new shipment coming in sometime soon. Keep an eye on the site if you are looking for anything over the norm.

I have been writing about single malts most of the time in this space and have been neglecting the whiskies that really sell 92% of the scotch whisky market. Blends.Worldwide demand for blended whisskies will soar in the next 10 years as China, Brazil and India become major consumers of whisky. The major distillers have been ramping up production over the past 5 years. Diageo recently opened the new jewel in their production porfolio, Roseisle, a mammoth distilling complex that can produce several styles of Speyside spirit with an output at over 10,000,000.litres per annum. Most, if not all of this spirit will go towards blending whiskies in their massive portfolio.Johnnnie Walker family of products,Bell's, J&B Rare, Buchanan's, Vat 69,Old Parr,White Horse,Dimple,Pinch.Nice list. The thing is most of these whiskies are better than they were a few years ago with a much better understanding of the effects that wood has on whisky flavour. Try a Johnnie Walker Black. It's a damn fine whisky period.

 

 

With the Christmas long pass and the frugal season now apon us it's a good time to look at whiskies that not only offer great value but great taste and flavour.In the under $40.00 price range, a few nice bottlings are available here in New Brunswick.The Glenfiddich 12 yr and The Glenlivet 12 yr are both top knotch single malts with worldwide notoriety.In mho these two malts just keep getting better and better.

The Glenfiddich 12 is the world's top selling malt, available in just about every bar around the globe.Recognized for it's famous triangular green bottle and Stag's head on the label. It's known for it's light rich, character, hints of fresh pear and subtle oak.Aged in American Oak and European Oak Casks for a minimum of 12 years

The Glenlivet 12 year is the second largest selling malt in the world.The whisky has a soft smooth balance of summer fruits and floral spring flowers. Hints of peaches and soft vanilla notes and a malty dryness on the end. A great friend.

Another great value is the Aberlour 10 yr. It has a fine sherried spiciness one the best values from the Speyside area of Scotland. This is in my opinion it is the "Best Bang for your Buck" malts out there today.Rich in body, exceptionally smooth and creamy on the palate with sweet spice of nutmeg and honey, with fall fruits.This is top drawer stuff!

 

 

I get a lot of calls this time of the year from people who are looking to purchase that special bottle of whisky for a Christmas gift for someone special.. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind being asked, that being said, it's not the easiest task in the world trying to figure out  what flavours someone enjoys in a whisky without actually speaking to them.Whisky can be very subjective,one persons pleasure can be another's pain. I recommend asking the person in casual conversation what kind of whisky they enjoy. If you can get an idea of the flavour profile of the whisky that they sip it can make the purchasing experience that much easier.Here are a few of my recommendations. Highland Park from Orkney (any age statement if fine) is a great whisky considered by many one of the great all rounders in the whisky world. For a single malt it has  a range in price to please.. I enjoy Glenfiddich 15 Solera a well balanced, glorious nose and great after dinner whisky. It also goes well with smoked salmon or a nicely aged cheddar. It's on sale for $5.00 off at ANBL stores until the end of the month. Johnnie Walker Black, amazing blended whisky is $1.50 off right now.A few other favourites, Old Pulteney 12, hints of the sea, Glenlivet 18yr, The Macallan 12 yr, Christmas cake in a glass, The Macallan 15 Fine Oak, sweet vanilla and I think better than the 21 yr, and Aberlour a'bunadh cask strength, always a great choice. If it's smoke and peat they love,  try a Talisker, Lagavulin, Laphroaig or Bruichladdich Peat.A bit of smoke and sherry Ohan 14 yr or Highland Park 18 yr.

If your stuck, don't be afraid to ask the ANBL in store product advisors.And of course you can always contact me here at the Rogue ask for Frank

 

The Lunar Rogue updated whisky menu will be out this week. Lots of new whiskies to tempt your senses. I believe there are whiskies in all price ranges so if moneys tight this Christmas season you might want to strt with a few of the new Irish whiskies like Redbreast 12 yr or Connemara the peated Irish whiskey.Jameson 18 yr is now available at the Rogue for the first time.

We have a great selection of American whiskies such as the new Buffalo Trace considered by many bourbon fans as a classic. Maker's Mark is still made in small copper stills in batches like Scotch whisky and receives high praise in quality and value.bakers no & and Bookers are rare ones, back this year in NB, Blanton's with it's famous trade mark horse on top of the bottle.

Unfortunately, ANBL did not re-order any Japanese whiskies for the festival this year.I hope that we can see a return of Yoichi and Yamazaki whiskies to New Brunswick. The Rogue still has plenty of the Yamazaki 18 yr available. These are wonderful whiskies that are definitely worth a try.

New Scotch whiskies? Lots of new ones, over 20 or more . I have marked the menu with NEW so they're easy to spot. If, you have any questions about whisky please feel free to drop me an email question through the "contact the Lunar Rogue" button on the site, I will attempt to answer them on my blog.

 

 

There seems to be no end of the highend whiskies coming out this year.The Dalmore just announced the release of the Dalmore Aurora a 45 year old "masterpiece" according to their Master Distiller Richard Patterson. The release gave no indication of price and it's doubtful that anyone other than a lottery winner could ever hope to get one. The distilleries have huge demand and dwindling stocks for older expressions.Prices are skyrocketing for any whisky over 25 years.Fortunately, for us here in New Brunswick, Canada  there are some hidden gems out there with a resaonable prices attached. Let's see. I would recommend the following whiskies for that special someone for a super nice Christmas stocking stuffer.

Highland Park 18 yr ($85.99) or 25 yr ($161.79) are great prices and even better whiskies.You can never go wrong giving Highland Park whiskies for a gift. Hint, hint.. Glen Ord 30 yr (249.99) is not a bad price for a 30 year old and very well received at the Festival's own pouring booth this year. I doubt you could find it anywhere else in Canada.

The Macallan 18 Sherrywood is a super whisky at a super price of $166.49 in New Brunswick (that would be another $100.00 in Ontario to $266.49.ouch). The Speyburn 25 yr at $142.29 is great value.Not to mention the Benromach 25 yr at  $137.39. Talisker 25 yr is a bit of a stretch but still a good deal at $264.33. Talisker is a classic whisky from the Isle of Skye. If you love Islay whiskies your in luck this year. Laphroaig 18 year ($150.49 )and the 25 ($550.49)year are both availbale right now. There not cheap,but I am  sure it would make someone a Christmas to remember.It would make my whole year! If your ticket comes up on the next lotto you can start shopping at the ANBL outlet and pick up a bottle of Highland Park 40 year for a steal at $1999.79 or a rare Macallan 1976 for $2199.99 . The rarest whisky available in NB right now is the incredible Balblair 1965 for $2198.99. Distilled on March 23rd 1965 matured in an American Oak ex sherry Butt .Only 350 bottles available wordwide.If you need a friend to help you sample I am available.

 

I am pleased to report the Rogue has recharged it's whisky shelves with some amazing new drams.We have a great new selction of Islay whiskies including the Laphroaig Cairdeas produced annually for the Islay Whisky Festival every May. It's a rare treat for us in New Brunswick to see this dram. The Laphroaig 18 yr is another great whisky, I had a chance to try this at the NB Spirit Festival, it really impressed me with it's soft undertones and rich character. The smoke is more subtle than in the younger Laphroaig's. A very classy whisky.

Speyburn 25 yr and Benromach 25 yr are both on my list to try next. The Rogue added about 25 new whiskies so keep and eye watch for my comments.

To name a few new ones Royal Lochnagar DE, Clynelish DE, BenRiach Rum Finish 16, BenRiach Sauternes 16 yr, The Balvenie Signature 12 yr, Batch No 3, The Balvenie Peated 17 yr, Caol Ila Distilleres Edition, The Isle of Arran 14 yr, MacPhails Collection Tamdhu 8 yr,

A new whisky appeared on the shelves at ANBL outlets recently "The Singleton of Glendullan" a Speyside whisky that for the most part is relatively unknown in the Canada.The distillery is from the village of Dufftown, one of the busiest in the whisky world. Dufftown is home to such noted distillies as Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Dufftown, Mortlach and Kininvie..Glendullan is actually the 3th largest Diageo distillery with production of new make spirit at 3.7 million litres of alcohol per annum.The largest being the newly opened distillery Roseisle with an annual production of 10 million litres. Duffown Distillery at 4 million litres of alcohol.( Dufftown is the main malt of  Bells blend) is the 2nd largest in production

Glendullan has been used as a blending malt for a host of the Diageo blended whiskies such as Bell's, Johnnie Walker and J& B Rare and  Buchanan's.

But now it has been released as a single malt and one I believe will be around in North America for the forseeable future.This malt allows Diageo to enter in to the $40.00 price point in the Canadian marketplace. Other whisky companies  have dominated the $40.00 shelf  in local liquor outlets, single malts such as Glenfiddich 12, Aberlour 10, Glenlivet 12 have the cornered themarket. Diageo single malts have been for the most part in a much higher price point. Lagavulin, Talisker, Cragganmore are all higher. Are they better? Well, we could  discuss that topic for a few hours, but I give you this  they are harder to come by on a regular basis

I think this one is worth a try especially for the money.

Frank

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