On September 20, 2018 scotch lovers from around Mississippi Mills and area will gather to enjoy a Scotch tasting evening. This inaugural event will be hosted in a private home, facilitated by a local expert and include selected appetizers for guests to enjoy with their selection of whisky samplers.
The first scotch tasting club in the Almonte area formed some 30 years ago when retired businessman Al Potvin opened a local chapter of the Quaich Society. This soon became an independent club, aptly named the Wee Dram.
Over time the Wee Dram members sampled almost 85 whiskies, some as old as 21 years. They sipped Canadian whiskeys, bourbons and very old rums. The events changed venues as the restaurants closed or changed ownership. The death blow came when JRs burned down. It was impossible to find a local venue with a separate room to accommodate up to 40 persons. In 2016 the Wee Dram hosted its last event. The bank account for the original Wee Dram (of over $1860) will be donated to the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre.
For a rural Canadian town with deep Celtic roots, it was only a matter of time before a new single malt club was to rise again. Again, the catalyst was Al Potvin. In 2017 Mr. Potvin decided to dispose of his collection of approximately 200 bottles of single malt whiskies, collected over 20-30 years, that had taken up residency in Mr. Potvin’s basement. About one-third of the bottles were full and the entire collection covered almost 100 distilleries, with many highly coveted brands and several rare bottles. Divesting himself of this vast collection of fine whiskies became yet another act of generosity – Mr. Potvin’s private sale raised over $4,500.00 – with all funds being donated to the Almonte General Hospital – Fairview Manor (AGH-FVM) Foundation’s campaign to acquire digital imaging equipment.
The group of scotch lovers who came forward to relieve Mr. Potvin of his stash of single malts became the nucleus of the new scotch tasting group. After three meetings a small committee was formed and the Wee Dram or Two (WD2) was born. The committee determined that it was best to start small and adjust its program based on input from the members of the Wee Dram or Two, hence in the first year only 5 scotch tastings are scheduled, starting September 20, 2018 and then every third Thursday of alternate months (November 15, 2018, January 17, 2019, March 21, 2019 and May 16, 2019).
After hearing from those interested in attending scotch tastings, the Committee determined that – in order to keep the overall cost down for participants and maximize attendance – it would be prudent to start with less formal, more intimate gatherings hosted at private homes. Nevertheless, the WD2 expects to organize at least one catered, restaurant-hosted event, likely as the season-ender in May 2019, depending on feedback received during the season. With the first single malt tasting evening coming up on September 20, the Wee Dram or Two invites interested residents to join the group and consider coming to a scotch tasting evening. Appropriately enough, as a welcome to those who just want to learn about single malt whiskies and also as a refresher for the more experienced scotch drinkers, the first evening is an introduction to the regions of scotch production.
The Wee Dram or Two can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.