2018 MASTERCLASS SERIES
The most popular feature of the show, Spirit of Toronto is pleased to present no less than a dozen 45-minute tutored tastings in closed rooms on the lower level of Roy Thomson Hall. Whether you consider yourself a novice taster or a seasoned connoisseur, this is your opportunity to sample and learn more about rare and unique spirits in a quiet and unhurried setting. These sessions may only be attended by those purchasing a ticket to the main showcase.
Patrons with Early Admission tickets to attend a 5:30pm session enjoy priority entry into the main hall at 6:30pm. If you are attending the 7pm or 8:30pm classes, please note that your seat is guaranteed until 5 minutes before start time; all empty seats will then be assigned to patrons on a stand-by basis.
No reservation but still interested in attending a masterclass on stand-by? Please check with the ushers at the top of the classroom stairs; they will seat patrons if space is available.
EARLY ADMISSION 5:30pm
That ’80s Tasting with Angus MacRaild — $65
Spirit of Toronto is excited to welcome back Angus MacRaild, one of Scotland's foremost authorities on old and rare whiskies. In another whisky tasting cum history lesson, get set to revisit the 1980s: a turbulent era that gave rise to the infamous ‘whisky loch’, alongside a plethora of mouthwatering drams, a few of which Angus looks forward to sharing with guests.
EARLY ADMISSION 5:30pm
Northern Border Collection 2018 with Dr. Don Livermore — $35
Dr. Don Livermore returns to preview his second annual Rare Release as he continues to raise the conversation on Canadian whisky. Guests will experience the full versatility of the Northern Border Collection alongside this year’s roster of limited editions including the second cask strength release of Lot 40, Gooderham & Worts 11 Year Old and a second edition of Pike Creek 21 Year Old. Get set for a spectacular tasting with one of the world’s great whisky makers.
EARLY ADMISSION 5:30pm
The History and Mystery of Absinthe with Ted Breaux — $35
Join longtime absinthe historian and distiller Ted A. Breaux of Jade Liqueurs and Lucid Absinthe, as he delves into the murky waters of absinthe, including when and why it was created, how this classic spirit is traditionally produced, how it arose to extreme popularity, the reasons why it was demonized, and its place both in classic and modern cocktail mixology. Botanicals, art, sociology, science and marketing: this is a tasting that spirit geeks will not want to miss!
EARLY ADMISSION 5:00pm
No Italy, No Cocktail with Tad Carducci — $35
From Aperitivo to Digestif, Italy has long influenced the culture of mixology and drinking. Imagine your favourite cocktails without the flavour of Italy – where would that leave the Negroni, the Manhattan, or the Aviation? Join us on a journey that explores the origin and variety of Italian liqueurs, amari, and vermouths that have influenced the history and tradition of drinks. (Please note that this class starts at 5:00pm.)
Benromach: Taste Rediscovered with Bill Somerville — $15
Rediscover the lost taste of the Speyside through Benromach, an independent, family-owned distillery established in 1898. Using the finest natural ingredients, our distillers orchestrate every second of the distillation process; there are no short cuts to perfection and every cask is hand-filled, hand weighed and hand-stamped, before maturing for many years in our traditional dunnage warehouses. The result is an elegant fruity whisky with a touch of smoke – whisky the way it used to taste in Speyside.
A Highland Fling with Gordon Stevenson — $15
Join Gordon Stevenson as he presents whiskies from two of Scotland’s hidden gems, starting with a taste of the two faces of anCnoc, the sweet and approachable 12 Year Old alongside Peatheart, a newly released expression. Moving onto the remote Caithness coast of the Northern Highlands, guests will next explore the robust maritime malt that is Old Pulteney, including a sneak preview of the newest addition to the range, the Old Pulteney 25 Year Old, an even richer and more elegant heir to the 21 Year Old, famously named the World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2012.
Canadian Club From Past to Present with Tish Harcus — $15
The rich 160-year history of Canadian Club whisky will be presented by Tish Harcus, Global Ambassador, who is in her 30th year with the brand. Learn how the number one global Canadian whisky was produced 160 years ago and what the 2018 Canadian Club range looks like today.
Discovering Dutch Whisky with Patrick Zuidam — $15
Spirit of Toronto extends a warm welcome to second-generation whisky maker Patrick Zuidam of Zuidam Distillers, a family distillery founded in 1975. Guests will be treated to the Ontario launch of an extraordinary range of spirits including their 25 year old Founder’s Reserve genever, a 20 year old single malt whisky matured in American oak, single malt whiskies matured in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks, and a single cask of their Millstone 100% rye, rounding out a tasting not to be missed!
The R(h)um Renaissance with Benjamin Jones — $15
Meet Benjamin Jones, great-nephew of Homère Clément, founder of Rhum Clément, and venture into the world of rum, ron and rhum. Guests will explore rum’s wide diversity and learn about the differences in production and terroir in this tasting that highlights rum’s various styles, alongside a sample (or two) of rarer rums that have set the benchmark for excellence.
Deconstructing Forty Creek with Chris Thompson — $15
Forty Creek ushered in a new age of craftsmanship and originality in Canadian whisky by embracing innovation and the art of the blend. Sample the single rye, single malt and single corn whiskies that are the foundation of Forty Creek’s award-winning portfolio, and discover how the flavour and character of each grain are used to develop exceptional whiskies of balance and complexity. You will quickly see how Forty Creek helped elevate the potential of what Canadian whisky could be!
John Dewar’s Fine Whisky Emporium with Gabe Cardarella — $15
John Dewar & Sons has been creating fine Scotch whiskies for over 160 years and Gabe Cardarella looks forward to sharing the stories and single malt whiskies from the John Dewar & Sons Fine Whisky Emporium, featuring Aberfeldy, Craigellachie, Aultmore, The Deveron and Royal Brackla. Cardarella has been trained by Dewar’s Master Blender Stephanie Macleod, and now travels the world extolling the depth, complexity and beauty of Scotch whisky.
A Single Cask Journey from Scotland to Ireland with Frank Biskupek — $15