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Old 11-03-2009, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Scotch Club

Is anyone here a member of a Scotch club? Or any other type of drinking club for that matter.

I ask because I am starting one up with some friends and am looking for ideas, advice etc.

Basically, we will have regularly scheduled tastings, the frequency of which will depend on the interest of the members.

So far I have hosted 4 tastings that have been from my own stock and have charged enough to cover costs (which just goes into more Scotch purchases ).

Here are some of the questions I am pondering:
Should we charge dues and what additional benefits should come from that?
What type of venue should we have the tastings in? Home vs a venue?
Should the club start a Scotch collection, or should we keep tastings to what our members have?

There are more questions but I think some will resolve themselves as we move forward.

In any case, if you have any experiences or ideas to share, I will appreciate it.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Scotch Club

First, I would see how many are interested, and what their budget is for this annually. I would limit it to 1-3 different homes/venues so you'll be able to create some tradition. You have to define the frequency, scope, and formality of the tastings. Personally, I like more formal gatherings as I want to respect the tipple in question and it brings class to the event.

I would invite guests like people in the industry. Perhaps the owner of the best Newfie liquor store is a wise move. Next I would invite a journalist to write about the tasting. This could get a few new members. Generally, the evening's guest does not pay.

Maybe an initial investment of each member so you can have proper glassware and accessories. A roadmap for the year on which Scotch or themes the tastings will have and how this is going to be paid for. Crested blazers, fezes; they are all items to consider to make it more a "club".

You may decide a casual event of sheer drinking is best served or serious discussion is merited by the audience.

Keep us posted on how you proceed.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
First, I would see how many are interested, and what their budget is for this annually. I would limit it to 1-3 different homes/venues so you'll be able to create some tradition. You have to define the frequency, scope, and formality of the tastings. Personally, I like more formal gatherings as I want to respect the tipple in question and it brings class to the event.

I would invite guests like people in the industry. Perhaps the owner of the best Newfie liquor store is a wise move. Next I would invite a journalist to write about the tasting. This could get a few new members. Generally, the evening's guest does not pay.

Maybe an initial investment of each member so you can have proper glassware and accessories. A roadmap for the year on which Scotch or themes the tastings will have and how this is going to be paid for. Crested blazers, fezes; they are all items to consider to make it more a "club".

You may decide a casual event of sheer drinking is best served or serious discussion is merited by the audience.

Keep us posted on how you proceed.
Thanks for the input Moses. So far the tastings have been fairly formal, but not stuff. I have made up tasting cards for each event and we keep each sample small enough to appreciate without being in the bag by the time we are done. We discuss each sample and I try to provide some info about SMSW, and the drams in question. After the formal part of the tasting is over people can pour themselves a drink to sit back and enjoy with some snacks and general conversation.

Mostly my tastings have been 5-7 people, but I will be hosting a larger one coming up so it will be interesting to see how that goes. So far I have managed to have enough glassware but I like your idea of using some club funds to have a set on hand.

I'm working on a logo for our club that we can use to be engraved on glasses and printed on shirts.

We have our first official tasting coming up in 2 1/2 weeks and I will be engaging the group to determine where we want to take this. All our liquor stores are run by the gov't but there are a couple of special guests that we could invite to future tastings. We're not quite ready for the press yet, but we should be good to go in the spring.

hmmm...more to think about...
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Scotch Club

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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
All our liquor stores are run by the gov't
Even then, there's still people behind it that you want to become friends with. Restaurant owners or local celebrities/politicians are worth considering too.

Do you have score/review sheets that you give out to each participant? We (as you) do formal then casual after all the reviews are done.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
Even then, there's still people behind it that you want to become friends with. Restaurant owners or local celebrities/politicians are worth considering too.

Do you have score/review sheets that you give out to each participant? We (as you) do formal then casual after all the reviews are done.
Good point. I actually need to find someone with our Liquor Board who can influence what gets sold here. We could really use a wider selection.

The tasting cards I supply has room for notes on colour, nose, taste and additional information. We haven't got into scoring yet, but that could be an option.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Flavor wheels and ones that are specific to Scotch are good to have around the table.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Scotch Club

This might provide you some info and you might contact them for help:

http://www.smwsa.com/index.html
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Scotch Club

This link may also be of interest. The West Coast Whisky Society tends to hold 4 tasting per year + 2 or 3 additional special events depending on who and which industry reps come into town.

http://www.wcws.ca/home.html

Regarding glassware, depending on the number of attendee's, you may find it cheaper and easier just to hire iso tasting glasses from a local catering company.
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Old 11-03-2009, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Scotch Club

I was a member of a "club" with a few of my friends but it was nowhere near that formal. In my case it was just a couple of guys getting together at least once a month to try a new scotch or two. We did get to sample a huge variety of scotches though.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Ian,

Have a look at this link: http://www.thequaich.com/index.php Maybe you can open a chapter in your area.

Bruce
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Thanks for the tips and links.

We are planning a Scotch and Cigar night for our next event (after the tasting). Just a stick or two and a smaller selection of Scotch to enjoy along with the smoke. This one will be more about the enjoyment of good company, good cigars and good Scotch.

We have 11 people signed up for our first tasting so far with the possibility of a few more yet. This will be our largest tasting yet, but it is also a fund raiser so I think we are getting more people than we normally would. That's OK because it will likely increase the interest for the club and future events.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Scotch Club

Our first Tasting was a great success. We had 12 people show up and enjoy the evening. When I get the pics of my camera I will post a few up.

str8edg has been developing the logo for us and we will post up the final product when its ready.

We have 20 or so people interested in the club so far. We still have a lot of details to work out but we are well on our way. I think our next event will be for Robbie Burn Day. I won't be here but I'm trying to convince a couple of members to take lead on the event.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Scotch Club

I posted a couple of pics here:

http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/showth...836#post658836
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