Whisky Fest New York 2007

We had a great show last night at the Marriot Marquis Times Square. The room was quite large when compared to the past shows where we felt like we were in a small sauna. We had a slight issue setting up as it seemed our row had an extra booth which made our standard “Really Wild Scotchmen” banner stick out a bit from our booth. Basically, the row accross the way had 4 booths and we had 5. No bother in the end.

Our show neighbors was Isle of Jura with Willie Taite. If you have never met Willy he is quite a card and a lot of fun. Accross the way was Ardbeg with Davinia. With there new image I wonder if they have Wild Scotsman envy. There “chained ardbeg” bottle reminded me of King Kong being chained at his New York Debut.

Not having my favorite Whisky Chix to work the booth this year meant there were no breaks for John and I. In case you did not know she is my wife and we are expecting a wee little lassie in 5 weeks, so obvioulsy she did not rate standing for hours as high on the list. John and I were pumping from begining to end.  The message again was quite clear the public is demanding “REAL PEOPLE” pouring their “OWN BRANDS” and not stuffy sales people.  We are taking Scotch Whisky back to the “PEOPLE” where it belongs!  We poured the following brands:

  • Wild Scotsman 15yr Vatted Scotch Malt
  • Wild Scotsman 13yr Ben Nevis
  • Wild Scotsman 13yr Mortlach
  • John McDougall’s Single Cask Bladnoch 15yr
  • John McDougall’s Vatted Islay Malt 13yr
  • Wild Scotsman 15yr and John McDougall’s 15yr Bladnoch are now available in the NY and NJ markets through OPICI Wine. We have product located at Acker Merrall & Condit and Grande Harvest Wine-Grand Central Station.

    Our new brands: Wild Scotsman Ben Nevis, Wild Scotsman Mortlach, John Mcdougall’s Vatted Islay, and John McDougall’s Bladnoch 16yr can be ordered by mail through The House of Glunz located in Chicago. NY will not recieve the new brands until January 2008. We had a shipping issue out at sea which caused our brands to be late, but not forgotten.

    Next stop Whikey Festival Philidelphia on Nov 1.


    The Wild Scotsman

    Day 1 New York City

    John and I got up early to make the drive to Glen Rock NJ to see our wholesaler(s) for New York and New Jersey, Opici Wine Company.  We had a very productive meeting and we should begin to see much more of our brands in the market in both states.  We finished off our meetings and arrived back at the hotel around 12-noon and had a quick de-brief as well as making other calls.

    We took the train into the city and arrived at St. Andrews Pub in Manhattan around 1600/hrs.  We had a lovely “Dunch” (Lunch and dinner) while entertaining the staff behind the bar.  There were a few whisky personalities at St. Andrews as well which always makes for a good craic. 

     We finished off the evening walking around times square before taking subways and trains back to our lodging.  Looking foreword to our night at the Marriott Marquis for whisky fest ny.



    Hello New York

    John and I are up in our room here in NYC. We left Pittsburgh today around 1230 after watching a bit of Spurs vs Blackburn as well as Liverpool vs Arsenal at Pipers Pub. We left before the finish of both games.

    We arrived here around 1900hrs, however, it would have been sooner without the 1 hour delay on the motorway for construction (never take a side road!). My mpg was very good for my magnum (25.7 mpg -not the hemi engine). We had a quick bit to eat in the hotel and discussed the days journey and the weeks shows. We are running on full stills this week without much of a break.

    We are looking foreword be at Whisky Fest NYC at the Marriott Marquis this comming Tuesday.



    Good Bye San Francisco

    Sitting here in Pittsburgh, PA after leaving San Francisco at 12pm on Saturday. We had a great time Friday meeting shop owners and fans. We were sellling until 2330/hrs!! The big boys can sleep, however, John and I like to put a face with the name for every shop that carries our brands. Hope to be back after Christmass and see all of you again in San Francisco.

    Flight was good to PA, however, I believe I am officially tired of watching Harry Potter again on the plane. Not that it is a bad movie but I prefer not to watch it 6 times in a month unless its a newer one. No bother, it’s all car travel for me this last week on the road.

    Heading to New York on Sunday. For those of you in Manhattan do not be surprised if you see us at St. Andrews Pub on Monday.



    Day 4 Sales in San Francisco

    Wow…both John and I are quite knackered from our long day yesterday. We spent most of the day going up and down all the massive hills of San Francisco spreading the word and pouring samples of great Scotch Malt Whisky. We are quite pleased again that there is a massive up swell for independant brands of all kinds here in San Francisco. I have not seen a town in my travels that prefers the unknown to the known, which is great for us.

    We had a lovely lunch at Ploy II thai cuisine located at 1700 Haight Street. I quite enjoyed drinking the Thai Ice Tea. After Lunch we headed back to our hotel and got ready for our evening at The Irish Bank.

    The Irish Bank had a great crowd of people from all over the world. There were several promotions happening at once, however, everyone took notice of the two men in Kilts! We poured drams and had a good crack with those who came just to see us. It was a long night, however, not long enough as we did not notice the time passing by. We are out to about 130am, however, do not think for a moment that we went to our beds in a state of disrepair. Both John and I were up promptly at 0730/hrs to have our breakfast meeting.

    Today is our last full day here in the bay area and we will put a few more bottles on the shelves before we leave.



    Whisky Fest San Francisco

    Many thanks to the people of San Francisco for making us feel very welcome at the First Annual Whisky Fest San Fran. Both John McDougall and I were very pleased with the response from the PEOPLE about our brands and our message, “whisky that tastes and smells like Scotch Malt whisky and not whisky flavored wine”.

    We poured the following brands at the show:

  • Wild Scotsman 15yr Vatted Scotch Malt Whisky
  • Wild Scotsman Single Cask Mortlach 13yr
  • John McDougall’s 15yr Bladnoch Single Cask-Distillery Approved
  • John McDougall’s 13yr Vatted Islay Malt
  • Both the Wild Scotsman 15 and the John Mcdougall’s Bladnoch are available in California. The 13 yr Mortlach and Vatted islay will be available by December of this year.

    We will be at The Irish Bank this Thursday Oct 25 from 1900 to 2100/hrs pouring our brands for you. Stop by and join John and I for a good “craic” for you Irish or a good “crack” for us Scot’s.



    Day 1 Sales in San Francisco

    Spent the day with our new wholesaler on Monday here in CA. This is a bit of new terrirtory for both John and I here in CA. We have not worked this market before so it’s quite exciting to break new ground. I was quite amazed as to how steep the hills are here in San Francisco. They are quite fortunate that they do not have snow and ice here or there would definatley be huge pile ups in the winter time.

    We visited 6 new accounts which will carry our brands (4 shops and two restaurants) and looking to add more as the week goes on. We had a great dinner at Baghdad Nights Restaurants which is Iraqie food. It was quite different than the Lebaneese food I often eat.

    Today we have the First Annual Whisky Fest today, so John and I are relaxing.



    Napa Valley Afternoon

    Sir John and I spent the afternoon getting ready for our busy week here in sunny CA. Typically, we have at least one day to just do something not related to Scotch Whisky. We got up early this morning and headed up to wine country. Napa Valley to be specific. It was a beautiful drive up to Napa. The country side was fantastic. Our first stop was Grgich Hills Estate . We had a flight of 5 different wines:

    2006 Fume Blanc
    2005 Chardonnay
    2004 Chardonnay, 30th Anniversary, Carneros
    2004 Zinfandel, Miljenko’s Old Vines
    2005 Zinfandel
    2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

    The next stop was Caymus Vineyards We had a private tasting with Stan Masuda which was brilliant, especially since this was a last min. offer to attend. Caymus is one of my favorite red wines and I was over the moon to have such high quality reds in one sitting. I would give a list, however, it’s in the car with a few bottles I bought.

    Last stop was Franciscan Vineyards This was quite a top end shop and tasting room. A bit more tourist oriented than being at Caymus, however, John and I tasted 3 top end wines. John preferred the whites and I chose the reds and we both finish off with a port. The Franciscan 2002 Limited Release Port was quite good. This was their first port ever produced and only available at the winery so I obviously bought a bottle.

    John and I left Napa for a great drive down Highway 1 along the coast back to San Francisco.

    Monday we are hitting the trail to get Bladnoch and Wild Scotsman in a few more hands.

    Wild Scotchmen in San Francisco for Whisky Tour

    John McDougall and I have just got ourselves sorted this morning from traveling a tough schedule of planes, trains, and automobiles.  I arrived here around 1300/hrs and John arrived around 1900/hrs.  Today we plan on taking a drive up or down the coast and enjoy the beautiful views.  It is very important on long business trips that we take a day to do much of nothing when ever possible.

    This week we are making sales calls to shops, restaurants, and bars with our wholesaler.  California is both a huge and new market for our brands so we want to get things moving right for the holidays.  Having a whole week can at least give us a good start in San Francisco and we will need to come back to work out the rest of the state.  Now, those of you in LA or San Diego do not get upset that we are starting here instead of there.  Basically, we are in San Francisco for the first Annual Whisky Fest San Fran put on by Malt Advocate Magazine.

    Well, I guess it is time to get moving and enjoy the day