Ottawa, once called a sleepy town by a controversial travel article published by the New York Times, stood against all stereotypes one Wednesday night in the heart of the Byward Market.
It would’ve been easy to dismiss it as just another wintry/spring night but the invitation sounded too good to pass up on. Always up to get the exclusive the first ever, the Canadian Club’s #IHeartRye whisky tasting and 3-course dinner invitation was certainly something we’ve (E, myself and Tim O.) been anticipating and evidently, we were so right to be so.
Aside from the warm and courteous welcome and a glass of a cool whisky based drink as soon as you enter SOCIAL Restaurant and Lounge, it was in fact akin to walking into a friend’s house party, where you immediately you get hugged by this friend and kissed (one of each cheek of course, we are after all in the bilingual nation’s capital) by that friend. The evening was obviously off to a wonderful start and it didn’t stop from there.
Having established a good rapport with invitees and with key local ‘influencers’ who served as liaisons in facilitating introductions and connections well before the actual day certainly helped elevate the event similar to an evening out with friends rather than an industry networking with a bunch of strangers. It was a convivial gathering of friends and acquaintances gathered over good ol’ fashion Canadian Club whisky and whisky variations and a sumptuous 3-course dinner prepared by SOCIAL Restaurant and Lounge.
So with that and more…
Here’s OUR TOP 5 REASONS WHY THE CANADIAN CLUB 100% RYE WHISKY IS THE BOMB
1. FANTASTIC VISUAL PRESENTATION
With a perfectly laid out table setting complete with glasses aligned in precision and style, the guests’ excitement was clearly amplified. There was a gorgeous display of all the Canadian Club offering as well as all the necessary accoutrements to make just the perfect cocktail. Attractive visual presentations such as this, and the presence of a dynamic larger than life Canadian Club Brand Ambassador Tish Harcus, clearly heighten the standards and have a huge impact on the overall experience of the guests since it precedes the actual tasting portion of the night.
On this note, Canadian Club gets a A+.
2. SUPERB TASTE THAT LIVES UP TO ITS LEGENDARY NAME
Starting with the Canadian Club Premium, the brand’s original Canadian Club whisky, the classic 12 year (which was E’s favourite, there’s no surprise there… it’s the variant that one would have with a big fat cigar I imagine), the Sherry Cask (presented as 4th) and of course, the man of the hour, the Canadian Club 100% rye whisky. They all have distinct flavours, notes and aftertaste but they all lived up to the legendary Canadian Club brand as the taste, in my opinion (I’m no connoisseur though I’ve had my share of stiff drinks growing up with lots of male cousins and uncles and Dads) of all four was superb.
3. BEAUTY IN DIVERSTY
To Each His Own is a saying that couldn’t be more apropos with Canadian Club’s offering of different varieties of whisky and the 100% rye whisky. As mentioned, the evening presented 4 variants from CC and each caters to a particular mood, preference and occasion. There’s the right type of Canadian Club whisky for a romantic date night, a girl’s night out, a bachelor or bachelorette party or simply a night relaxing on the couch in front of the TV. There was beauty in this diversity that it catered to different types of tastes and personalities.
4. VALUE ADDED ENTERTAINMENT
If you can guide your guests to have the most fun while learning a lot of new things at the same time, you have an event that’s a surefire winner! Yes, it’s important to keep it dynamic, keep it real fun and highly entertaining but at the end of the day, you want that ‘fun’ to keep on going. You want that conversation hopping from this night to another… to perhaps an evening where one of your guests is out with a bunch of great friends. Armed with a newly acquired whisky education from Davin De Korgommeaux, author of the book Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert and a taste of flair from Beam Suntory Whisky Ambassador Matt Jones, who clearly is a master of his domain, that Canadian Club guest (now clearly a bonafide whisky convert!) can now regale his/her comrades with tales of how whisky is consumed under a 2-2-2 (2 shots, 2 ice cubes, 2 minutes, cheers!) in South Korea.
The bottom line is, that story will never really be complete without a mention of Canadian Club, would it?
5. PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE EVENT TO INTRODUCE CANADIAN CLUB TO OTTAWA
The way the Canadian Club 100% Rye Whisky was introduced was simply perfect. With a number of guests that’s not so many the room is awfully crowded nor too little you swear you can hear the crickets sing, the Canadian Club event had just the right amount of the people, at the right space, within the right time frame for an event. Since the SOCIAL Restaurant has a nice closed-off space that serves as a fantastic venue for an intimate private event, it provided the perfect ambiance for guests to mingle with each other and occasionally chat with the brand ambassadors.
Topping the night off with each guest going home with author-signed copies of Davin’s book and a lovely gift bag from Canadian Club (each thoughtfully handed by Margaret, who undoubtedly was a darling of the crowd), the evening clearly was one to remember for a long, long time.
Now, if industry folks can just learn a thing or two from Canadian Club’s #IHeartRye campaign, we will all be sharing a gigabyte full of memories and a hashtag that will continue to trend on Twitter for days to come.
Cheers, Kampai, Salut Canadian Club!