Wee Tipple at The Grand Hotel, Nanaimo, BC April 17th, 2015 – Whisky News


Wee Tipple at The Grand Hotel, Nanaimo, BC

April 17th, 2015

Whisky Intelligence received a surprise phone call from Susie Sirri at the Grand Hotel in Nanaimo, British Columbia inviting your humble correspondent to attend their Wee Tipple fund raising event. Proceeds from the evening  go to support Crimson Coast Dance Society and along with a desire to attend this event after missing it for a number of years it didn’t take long to say ‘yes’!


The Whisky Selection

On the 17th after a pleasant drive north we arrived in Nanaimo and quickly found the hotel and were checked into a very comfortable room on the 4th floor.  Soon after we were in the hotel restaurant having a very late lunch/very early dinner a short while before the event commenced with a few of the presenters catching up on their whisky news. The hotel sports a very, very good whisky selection with over 140 different whiskies and a Yamazaki 12yo was the dram of choice to set up the palate for the task ahead.

The Festival was scheduled to run from 7PM to 10PM and as the time approached the volunteers quickly processed the enthusiastic ticket holders and promptly at 7PM the doors opened and in everybody trooped, glasses at the ready.

The Festival was a ‘mixed’ event in that there were offerings other than whisky which can be a good thing if your spouse is not a whisky enthusiast.

Whisky Intelligence naturally maintained strict discipline and stayed true to form with the whiskies on offer.

Although it was a small Festival (which is a good thing) with only 150 tickets available there was a very good selection of whiskies from Amrut, Ardbeg & Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, Tullamore Dew, Gibson’s Canadian, Blackadder, Kilchoman, Benromach, NIKKA, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Glenfarclas, Old Pulteney, Kavalan, Tullibardine, Glenfiddich, and Balvenie. There were also a couple of samples available from the newer growing category of flavoured whiskies Spice Box and Tap 357.

For those in the know there were also some very nice ‘under the table drams’ and those were a welcome addition to the evenings other samplings.

There was also an outstanding selection of food that was available all night and there was lots of it. Whisky Intelligence may have had a little too much to eat… the smoked mussels were simply out of this world. Compliments to the Chef for such an excellent selection.


Generally music at Festivals can be over whelming but at this event the band managed to keep the volume at a level that didn’t make conversation an issue.

After a few hours it was time for a break. Happily an invitation had been received to the after party and shortly after 10PM it was in full swing in the Marrakesh Room. The Hotel decorated the room with Persian carpets, loads of pillows and themed wall coverings to make a relaxed space with everybody sitting comfortably on the floor. A variety of drams came out and the party went until at least 1AM when Whisky Intelligence called it a night.

If you have a chance to attend the 2016 Wee Tipple, do so and stay in the Grand Hotel, it’s a really nice hotel with friendly staff and a very good whisky selection.

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