Scotch-tasting club seeking new members

The scotch lovers of Fort Frances are uniting to keep their tasting club alive, and are looking for new members to help attain that goal.
“In order to have a really good tasting, we need to have more people,” said Joyce Cunningham, secretary of the Loch La Pluie Scotch Tasting Club.
“The more we have, the more interesting it becomes,” she added.
As reported in the Times back in September, the club was facing some financial difficulties—and had some tough decisions to make.
“The people that are coming definitely want to make it go and are trying to find ways to make it go,” Cunningham said.
The 14 members met last Thursday for a tasting, where they addressed some of these issues. “We have established some procedures so we think we may be able to keep going,” she noted.
The club has decided to keep the annual membership fee at $125, rather than raise it to $150. The fee entitles the member to four tastings.
There generally are four tastings a year in which scotch lovers taste five different types, taking notes on qualities like colour, smell, and taste.
Then they discuss, trying to identify the aromas and flavours of each one.
Also part of the new procedures, members will be reminded by e-mail a week before the next tasting is scheduled to take place (generally on a Thursday evening).
Those unable to attend will be expected to notify Cunningham by the Tuesday before. Otherwise, the tasting counts as one of the four.
This is to address the problem of not having enough money in the coffers to pay for the five bottles of scotch bought for each tasting. “We were never sure how many people would turn up,” Cunningham said.
It had been suggested that tastings be cancelled if less than 10 people could make it, but members rejected that idea.
“The members said ‘Don’t cancel. Let’s try something else.’ So we may try tasting only four scotches instead,” she noted.
Cunningham added there would be a special guest fee of $35 “for anyone who wants to come and try it out.” Guests, however, will not be eligible for the draw for the heel—the scotch that’s left in the bottles at the end of the night.
The club is hoping to start branching out into more expensive types of scotch, but the membership numbers just aren’t there yet.
“We’re trying to get into the ones that aren’t readily available, and those are the ones that cost more,” Cunningham said.
“It is the single malt whiskey we’re interested in. We’re not interested in getting Canadian or American whiskey,” she remarked, although she added the club was considering dedicating a night to tasting Irish single malt whiskey.
“So we’re hoping by January we’ll have a few more members. Maybe it [membership] would make a good Christmas gift,” she hinted.
The Loch La Pluie Scotch Tasting Club next will meet Jan. 8 at the Masonic Lodge. For more information, contact Cunningham at 274-9248.
(Fort Frances Times)