Russell Pratt Organiser Empire Fergusson Lodge Whisky Tasting Night
Dear Friend and Whisky Aficionado,
For the past 9 years Empire Fergusson Lodge has been running its annual Whisky Tasting Night. For the last 7 years we have had to turn people away.
This year we have made several change to the format; including a change to the venue due to us selling The Wellington Masonic Centre in Brooklyn. This year's event will be at the Wellesley Boutique Hotel - in the Central CBD - close to rail and public transport links.
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 60 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.
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.
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 the Japanese Kurayoshi 18yo, voted as one of the best whiskies in the world!
Kurayoshi 18yo. Voted as one of the best in the world! This will be 'tasted' on the night!
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 nine 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.
It's hard to imagine a more enjoyable thing to do on a miserable winter's night.
You’ll enjoy a great meal at the end of the tasting. In true Scottish tradition we will be serving a hearty beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes and as much buttered bread as you can eat. Complimentary beer will also be served throughout the night.
Sadly, our crooner, Chris Lee will not be present this year - he has another gig on a Cruise ship travelling around the Pacific - but he will be with us in spirit. I am close to finalising another vocalist who will entertain us on the night.
Clive Lloydd, PGS, This will be his 10th year as Whisky Night Host
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 crooner, what a good deal for only $75.00 per person.
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.
Due to the close proximity to public transport from our new venue we will not be offering a transport option this year. With the cost of UBER now being less than the cost of our shuttles you'll probably save some money as well.
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 9 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 26 July
Time: 7.00pm sharp start
Where: Wellesley Boutique Hotel (Maginnity St, Wellington CBD)
Cost: $75.00 per person ($40.00 for non-drinkers)
The organisers look forward to seeing you on the 26th. 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 further subtle changes to the format this year - to make the evening even more fun for you. Avoid disappointment - book now!