Empire Fergusson Lodge No. 225
8th Annual Whisky Tasting Night
28 July, 2017

Russell Pratt
Empire Fergusson Lodge Whisky Tasting Night
This email is being sent to you because you have either previously attended an Empire Fergusson Lodge Whisky Tasting Night or you are on our VIP list of people who should have attended but haven't quite made it yet. This is a pre-release opportunity for you to register for this year's event. The event has become so popular that it is unlikely to be advertised. We have already pre-sold many of the tickets. Tickets to this years event are being sold on a strictly first come - first served basis.
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Dear Friend and Whisky Aficionado,

For the past 7 years Empire Fergusson Lodge has been running its annual Whisky Tasting Night. For the last 6 years we have had to turn people away.

This year, like last year, we have further increased the numbers to accommodate the expected demand.

If you've never been to a whisky tasting evening you will love the relaxed format and style of our host, Clive Lloydd.

Empire Fergusson Lodge ‘stole’ the idea of a winter Whisky Tasting from a lodge in Southland that had been doing it for over 12 years. Since its inception in 2010 we've sampled over 38 different whiskies; mostly single malt, but the occasional Irish whiskey and bourbon just to keep people on their toes. If you are  interested in attending I encourage you to book as soon as possible as tickets typically sell out within two or three days!

As well as having great fun you'll help Empire Fergusson Lodge raise enough money (hopefully) to subsidise another young boy as part of the "Big Buddy" programme. If you are not familiar with this fantastic programme then follow the link below to learn more.

Visit the Big Buddy Website!

It costs $5,000 for a young boy to go through the Big Buddy Programme - a huge cost, but such a small investment to change the life of a young boy who doesn’t have a father figure in his life. Like last year, we’ll endeavour to have the Freemason’s Charity match us dollar for dollar for any money raised on the night.  Our goal for this year is $30,000.
I am delighted to advise that Richard Aston, the Chief Executive of the Big Buddy Organisation will be attending this year again. Richard will be speaking to us on developments in the Organisation and on how other Lodges can get involved. In many ways the Big Buddy organisation is aligned with the values of  freemasonry; to my way of thinking they are a perfect match.

Some of you may recall that we were able to present Big Buddy with a cheque last year for $30,000. I am keen to hear from Richard on how those funds have been applied - and to understand Big Buddy’s current priorities.

The tasting will be conducted with the utmost of decorum. This is not a boozy whisky swilling night - it is an opportunity to enjoy a collection of excellent Whiskies and broaden your horizon on some of the attributes that make one Malt Whisky different from another. This year we will be tasting a variety of single malts including Kilchoman which in 2016 was selected in 2nd place of all Scottish Whisky's in the world. The best whisky was Glenmorangie Signet - which we sampled in 2015.
Kilchoman Single Malt - Voted 2nd best in the world! This will be 'tasted' on the night!
Richard Aston,
Chief Executive of the
Big Buddy Corporation
The evening will start at 7.00pm with a warm welcome by the organising committee. Later in the evening our piper will be piping in the haggis that is currently being crafted for us by hand. After being ‘addressed’ the haggis will be distributed to participants along with water crackers.

Like the last seven years, the tasting part of the evening will be run by W.Bro. Clive Lloydd PGS. Clive has attended a number of Whisky Tasting events over the years. He is looking forward to taking you on a journey of discovery as you learn how to tell Whiskies apart from one another. By the end of the evening you  will be able to describe the attributes of different aged Whiskies and be able to instantly tell the difference between whisky and whiskey; and single malts and blends (maybe).

We will also be having several raffles - the prize for each raffle being a bottle (or two) of Single Malt Whisky. Raffle tickets start at $5 each. All proceeds will be going to our charity The Big Buddy programme.

Like previous years we will ensure all whisky samples will already be poured when you arrive. You’ll spend the first 30 minutes ‘nosing’ the samples and then the next 30 minutes tasting the samples.
Clive Lloydd, PGS,
This will be his 8th year
as Whisky Night Host
You’ll enjoy a great meal at the end of the tasting. In true Scottish tradition we will be serving a hearty beef stew, mashed potatoes and as much buttered bread as you can eat. Complimentary beer will also be served throughout the night.

As an added bonus we will be enjoying entertainment from Empire Fergusson’s very own Chris Lee. Chris is a crooner in the style of Kenny Rogers - so don’t be surprised if you get a little bit of ’The Gambler’ or ’Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town’.

The evening will be fairly fast paced - there’s lots to get through - but if anyone else wants to try their hand on the karaoke machine we will have a few minutes towards the end of the evening where you can try your hand. Let me know in advance if you'd like to participate in the Karaoke portion and I'll make sure I  have "your song".

If you’re not sure what to expect you can - click on the youtube clip below to see the highlight video from the 2013 event.

You’re probably thinking that this event will cost you an arm and leg. When you consider that some venues charge $80.00 to sample 4 Whiskies. With no haggis, no meal, no beer, no Chris Lee, what a good deal for only $75.00 per person.
Resident Crooner
Chris Lee
You will also receive a complimentary 24 page Souvenir Programme including a full colour map of Scotland’s Whisky Distilleries and you’ll also be able to take home the tasting sheet you completed on the night.

And based on feedback from previous years - we are offering you a ride to the night and home again (from as far north as Waikanae and Upper Hutt) for $40 if you wish. Once again - proceeds will go to the Big Buddy Programme. This year we will be using 12-seater mini-buses; they will collect people from as far north as Waikanae and Kaitoke and deliver you home safely afterwards.

The event is open to men only - but your non mason mates are also most welcome. There is no Masonic ceremony during the evening, except for Grace before the meal. What a great opportunity to bring your friends along for a great night out.  On the strength of this event over the last 7 years several visitors have  decided to become Masons.
Check out the video clip we made at the 2013 Whisky Tasting Night (many thanks to Chandresh Thakrar!)
So, just confirming the details:
Date: Friday 28 July

Time: 7.00pm sharp start

Where: Wellington Masonic Centre, Brooklyn

Cost: $75.00 per person ($40.00 for non-drinkers)
The organisers look forward to seeing you on the 28th. Avoid disappointment - complete the online booking form now and secure your place at what may be the Wellington Masonic social event of the year! Please note that your booking will not be confirmed until payment has been received.
Don't worry about things like dress code, street address, transport etc yet. I will be sending an email to those who register a week prior to the event with all of the details you need to know on the night.

We're making some subtle changes to the format this year - to make the evening even more fun for you. Avoid disappointment - book now!
Complete the Booking Form Now!