This year the Whisky Wisemen Society took its next step towards one of its objectives, to create a sustainable fundraising model. On July 13th 2017 we hosted our very first inaugural golf tournament at the beautiful University Golf Club. This was a very special years for us as our Presenting sponsor, Glenmorangie, gifted us an incredible prize; flight, accommodation, and ticket to the opening of the British Open.
Read below how winner of our contest Lucas McCann leads us through his journey!
SPECIAL THANKS TO GLENMORANGIE FOR THEIR GENEROUS PRIZE.
Unfolded on Monday night as I flew out of Vancouver and into London. Here in London I met some friends for a couple of pints and food. It was amazing to see some familiar faces right of the hop. It was a 9 hour flight and I landed at noon their time. Jet leg was coming but it wasn't here yet.
After leaving my friends I just had to head to Buckingham Palace to say hi to our Queen. I don't think she was home. But who knows. It was quite a sight to see though.
I had an 8 hour layover in London and in this time had to make it from Heathrow to Gatwick Airport. It was an adventure but it was fun one.
After the next flight I landed in Inverness, Scotland. My big day of travelling was over finally. It was now Tuesday night almost midnight their time Scotland. So around 4pm Vancouver time. A big 20 hours already filled with a couple of flights, friends, beers, food, movies and 3 countries. Canada, England and Scotland. Not bad for most people, but my trip that I won really hadn't even begun yet.
I'm now in Inverness, Scotland and it's wednesday morning. I managed to have some sleep, but was a bit out of it. The sun did help as my body was like, ohhhh it's day time, okay off we go now. After some breakfast and coffee, haggis and black pudding. If you know what this is it's a bit hard for us westerners to put down. But I just had too. I mean I'm in Scotland.
The trip is to begin at 11am. That's when my shuttle is to pick me up and head to The Glenmorangie House. So I had an hour or so to check Inverness out. I made my way to the Inverness Castle, this is the first castle I've ever seen in person. It was cool, I had the opportunity to head up to the top and check out the views. Quite amazing and I felt like the king of the world at that point.
I've now been picked up and we make a few more stops to pick up some more people with us on this trip. The person who was picking us up was Ruddy. The National Brand Manager for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. Obviously my two fav brands of Whiskey by the end of this trip.
That Just a given.
We head to The Glenmorangie House. As we drive up the road the fields are full of Barley waving in the wind like the waves in an ocean. We are met at the front door by some people that work there. Almost like they lived there and we were staying at their house. It was one of the most surreal and unreal, amazing places I've ever stayed at. We as I pointed out before, are on a schedule, only have a few minutes to head to our rooms, get changed and head to our first destination. The Glenmorangie Distillery, but first we sit down and chat with the group of 4 of us. Get to know each other a bit. The staff bring out some hot soup and sandwiches.
Off to The Distillery we go. We are on a private tour of this place. It was so cool to talk to the brewers and staff. Learn the history and see the operation. Taste samples from barrels and bottles. This is not your usual tour, we are being treated like we are family and given the back of the house walk through. This tour was a couple hours long and deservers it on blog all together.
So after some good tasting and some amazing Scotch in my blood. I'm feeling very comfortably numb. We head back to The Glenmorangie House. As we arrive to the house we have about a 45 minute break to get ready. I can now take a shower and get some nice clothes on cause I at this point thinking this dinner that's about to happen is going to unreal. It was better than unreal, I make my way down to a separate room, met with the group as they too are just arriving. A bartender is making me the best Old Fashioned I've ever drank. Made from Glenmorangie and some great ingredients. I have picture of that recipe here.
After this we are led to another room. This house doesn't end, it's rooms upon rooms. The age of this house dates back to the 1600's. Just take a moment and put that into perspective. Canada just had it's 150 year event. This house alone is 400 years old. CRAZY!!!
We head to this room that has had visitors from all over the world. Royalty and fame have sat in these seats. The sheer history of where I am at this point can't ever be replicated. This house is not something that can just be rented out. You have to be invited to come to this.
Our meal was this amazing 4 course event filled with great conversations. White and Red wines and was easily one of the best dinners I have ever had in my life. Ever meal was romanced to us as it was brought out by our server. This young, polite, well spoken kid. Maybe early 20's who was in love with what he was doing. The cutlery didn't end, as all I could remember from growing up to take your cutlery from outside in. There was 4 pieces of everything. New glassware for ever glass of wine and water. This was a 6 star service if that even exists. Well it does here.
After dinner we are guided to this next room where we entered with the likes of our server. HE was in the corner playing the Accordion for us and was so good at it. My mind was blown, this room very cottage like. A wood fire is burning, old piano in the corner. Vintage photos and poems on the walls. It was here that the Scotch did not stop. What would you like to drink Sir I was asked again and again. Hours upon hours go by and I'm like 10 Scotches in. WE tried everything under the rainbow there. We played some gold as we putted through chairs and told stories of who we are and what we do. Stories about the Scotches we are drinking Every single Glenmorangie you can think of was there. Just order and it shows up in a glass however you drink it. This again deserves a separate blog post of it own.
It was 2 in the morning and a big day of events. We are down to only a couple of us left and we stumble back to our rooms. Morning is just around the corner and a big day lies ahead.
Thank you Glenmorangie and Whisky Wisemen Society
Again it feel like its only been minutes as my alarm goes off. There's no way it morning already. This king sized bed in my fit for a king room was my best night of sleep yet. But I was still wishing I had a few more hours of rest. So I get up, shower and get ready. As I know that breakfast is being served early before we are off to the airport. I head down to the breakfast room. Super foggy but not terribly hungover. Something some coffee, juice and eggs, black pudding will solve. Well actually the black pudding almost became a very bad idea.
Today we are to make our way from Inverness, Scotland to Liverpool, England. But before we head off in our shuttle we have something else in store for us. The shuttle swings around to pick us up and it takes us through this small town and onto the beach of the Glenmorangie House. We could have walked as it was only a 15 minute walk but we are a bit behind schedule and the Scottish weather is starting to come in. The winds are picking up and the clouds are getting dark. Rain is on the horizon.
Here we are at The Cadboll Stone which we are met by the artist Barry Grove. This is from his website written below.
At the end of the eighth century AD, on a windy Peninsula in the far North East of Scotland, one of the most significant pieces of early European sculpture, the Hilton of Cadboll Stone, was being carefully carved by the Picts. Centuries later, battered by time and half destroyed, the original stone was relocated to the National Museum in Scotland for safe keeping. The highly skilled carvings on the Cadboll Stone would come to inspire the Glenmorangie whisky emblem, motivating us to commission Barry Grove, a local sculptor, to recreate a stone by hand with a hammer and chisel. Work began on this enormous slab of sandstone in 2000, but it would take Barry over four years of painstaking labour before the sculpture, a testament to the skill of both the ancient Pictish and modern day Scottish people, could be re-installed on its original location.
Barry Grove was there in front of us and telling us the history of the stone and how he went about recreating it. it just seemed fitting that at this point the rain came down and the winds picked up. It was actually another surreal moment and one that I will always remember.
So now we are off to the airport. We get on the plane and it was time for a nap. I wake up and we are now in Manchester and in our shuttle headed to the Pullman Hotel. As we arrive it seemed as though this is where the trip picks it up a notch. We have spent the last day in the family like environment and history of Scotland and Glenmorangie. But now this is where the modern world meets the old world of Glenmorangie.
I was right as when I got to my room there is Glenmorangie stuff everywhere. I written letter welcoming me from Glenmorangie and bottles of Scotch around. I was wondering if I was in the right room but the letter had my name on it. So I must of been. Our host mentions that we should put some nice clothes on as we head off for the night. I was wondering what is in store, this is whenI can finally bring out my custom made to measure suit from Indochino....
Oh ya I don't think I mentioned that as the winner of this trip I also won a suit form Indochino. This is by far the best suit I one and I own a few. Every detail I get to put my own twist on. The liner is unreal, the fit too. The colour and fabric, the custom fit shirt with tie. I mean I must be one of the luckiest people in the world as everything was coming up Roses for me at this point in my life.
So I put on my Indochino Jacket with a different shirt and pants as I wanted to save the full suit for the next days of events. This all took place in the matter again of 45 minutes that I had to get ready for the night. SO off again I went, we were to meet on this specific level and in this room I went. All decked out in Glenmorangie stuff and clouds and art. This room was great, this looks like it will be a good night. At this point there are now easily 50 people in this room. This are Glenmorangie people from all over the world. Reps and managers, brewers and clients. Is it bad if I grab a beer in the fridge I think. There has been so much Scotch and if the previous night was any indication I knewtonight there would be more.
It was fine that I grabbed that beer cause it went down like water and in just moments another Scotch was in my hand. I felt like a girl in Vegas as everything was taken care of. I haven't spent a dime yet on this trip. The food, drinks, travels has all been taken care off. This truly is the trip of a lifetime. So after a few drinks and snacks our host says we are off to the next location. Here I was thinking this was it. We walk through Liverpool and the area we were staying down a boardwalk and arrive at The Tate Art Gallery.
We walk in and again are met with ore Glenmorangie Scotch. This time this room is 3 times the size and so is the crowd. Some great drinks were had and we eventually were guided to another room. We had a table for our group, my name written and again so much cutlery. Servers walking around with white and red wine. A 3 course meal and a Scotch tasting of the 10 year Glenmorangie and the new Signet from Glenmorangie. The night had some great speeches from brewers and also the 1969 Open Champion Tony Jacklin.
After this dinner we are guided back to the room we were at originally and again the drinks and scotch just kept on flowing. After a few more our group decided to head back to the hotel.
Tomorrow is the day that we get to go to The Open.
As most of my nights have gone. The alarm came way too early and fast. It was another fuzzy morning and I had to be down in the lobby early as I wanted so badly to get to The Open and spend the Day there. I met up with the group, checked out and was given my pass for the day. With no clue what to expect we were off to the Open.
Once we arrive we head through a VIP area and straight to the Glenmorangie area. This area is overlooking the 15th fairway in a covered tent and no expense saved. Again decked out in everything Glenmorangie. I sit at the table for us, get to order some breakfast and coffee. Look at the tv's in the room and the Open is on. In a matter of moments Tony Jacklin shows up. This is a legend and I'm in the present of him. I have to get a photo of him, I do and we chat for a bit. wow, what a day already. Groups like Matt Kucher and Rickie Fowler head by the 15th. It's time we head out on to the course to check it out. But of course as most of the days have gone. A little Glenmorangie for the road.
I could write 1000's of words about the detail of this day. From tasting Scotch only available to us and no one else in the world. to meeting some great people. To seeing my biggest idols in golf. To high fiving, some famous golfers. Drinks and food. and the history of the whole moment.
This day was a day full of moments that are to be savoured for the rest of my life. I'm at one of the Major Golf Championships and of them all this is THE OPEN. The oldest tournament of them all....the 146th Open at The Royal Birkdale. I'm following the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rory, Jordan Spieth and Mr Gretzky (Dustin Johnson).
I mean there really are no words for this day as it was a life long dream of mine. The time that I get to go is while being hosted by Glenmorangie, through Whiskey Wisemen and waring my Indochina suit. Dreams do really come true.
This day was us walking around, doing a social media takeover for WW on their instagram stories. Going back and forth from our tent. For lunch and snack and more drinks. It just didn't stop.
After a full day at THE OPEN....This trip was about to come to an end very soon.
Our shuttle showed up and we were off to the Manchester Airport Hotel. We as a group met up for a little pub food and a drink of course. Then said our goodbyes. Off to bed and up at 4am to my 20 hour venture home.
Each and every day and moment on this trip I made sure to enjoy to the fullest. Each and every day of this trip deserves it's on detailed blog post.
It truly was the trip of a lifetime. i can only thank everyone for this opportunity. Everyone at Whiskey Wisemen, Glenmorangie, Indochino and every one that made it possible.
Thank you all