Canadian Blog House

Celebrating The Grain: An Evening Of Fine Whisky, Fine Food, And Fabulous Friends #IHeartRye

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Canadian Club #IHeartRye Celebrating The Grain

What happens when you bring Canadian Club‘s Tish Harcus, Beam Suntory‘s Whisky Chef Matt Jones, and award-winning Canadian author (and certified Malt Maniac), Davin de Kergommeaux together in one room at Social Restaurant & Lounge in the Nation’s Capital?

You end up with a room full of happy media and digital influencers eager to sniff and taste some of the finest whisky Canada has to offer.

It’s a rough job, but someone has to taste test the whisky, right?


We love a good whisky, so when we got invited by Canadian Club to come take part in an evening of “celebrating the grain”, was there really any other answer except “Thank you and….YES of course we will be there!”? We didn’t think so. Besides, celebrating the grain sounds like a great reason to celebrate if you ask me!

Our evening started out great when we were introduced to the fun and fabulous, Tish Harcus, Canadian Club’s Brand Ambassador. A Canadian Club employee for over 26 years, we could see why Tish is their Brand Ambassador. Not only does she know the answer to just about any Canadian Club whisky question you can throw at her, the enthusiasm she has for the brand is evident. She almost bleeds Canadian Club whisky. A very “down-to-earth” woman, full of personality, Tish is one of those people who you feel like you’ve known your whole life – five minutes after meeting her (maybe that comes from her Cape Breton roots!). Hang on to this lady, Canadian Club! She is one amazing ambassador!


Our first taste of iconic Canadian Club Whisky came to us by way of a special cocktail. At the time, I couldn’t tell you what it was, and what variety of Canadian Club Whisky was used in this drink. I’m not going to lie. I should have been paying more attention to the description of the drink, however, one look, one sniff, and one sip, and my thoughts took me away to a warm tropical beach where I could smell the scent of sun-kissed oranges. Ahhhh…it was citrusy delicious!

When I “came to” I had missed the description of the whisky…and sadly, I was still in cold and snowy (yes snowy!) Ottawa.

I later found out that this fabulous cocktail, the Sazerac, was made with the featured whisky – Canadian Club 100% Rye. Paired with the mouth-watering cheeses, crackers and other assorted munchies that we were offered, this was just a “taste” of the “grain celebrations” to come!


During our evening at the beautiful Social Restaurant & Lounge, we had the pleasure of chatting with Davin de Kergommeaux.  Author of “Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert”, this trained sommelier is a true whisky aficionado who could tell you anything you want to know about whisky.  It was such a pleasure to meet Davin and have him join us for the evening.

It wasn’t long before we were escorted to our seats where we each came upon this site in front of us:

Yes, if dinner had stopped with this offering, I would have left fully satisfied. But it just got better from here. Tish led us through an amazing portfolio tasting of these four Canadian Club whiskies. While I (obviously) loved the whole “sniff and taste” experience, what I truly enjoyed was learning some of the history behind Canadian Club and its whiskies, and I also loved coming away with tips like this:

We had never been to Social Restaurant & Lounge before this evening with Canadian Club. How did we not know about this restaurant? Seeing this menu before me, I wanted to replace all the “ORs” with “ANDs”. Everything just looked THAT delicious!  CanadianClubSocialRestaurantandLoungeIt was a difficult choice, but we knew we wanted to eat something infused with some Canadian Club whisky, so we chose the steak dinner. I don’t think we could have made a better choice. Our meal was outstanding! The steak was mouth-watering, the 100% Rye Onions were superb, and the whipped potatoes? Wow. I may have to go back to Social Restaurant & Lounge just for those potatoes!  I don’t believe I have ever been served such a thick, succulent piece of steak before…until this:

Steak…onions….mashed potatoes…asparagus…and @canadian_club ….mmmmm…….priceless. #iheartrye A photo posted by Sandi (@canbloghouse) on

Beam Suntory’s Matt Jones entertained the crowd for the rest of the evening teaching guests how to make special Canadian Club cocktails, including a “Dry Rye Manhattan”, another cocktail that contained the featured whisky of the evening, Canadian Club 100% Rye. It was a great watching all the smiles of those honing their Canadian Club bartending skills!

Of course, one of the best things about an event like this is enjoying an evening out in Ottawa with friends:

Canadian Club #IHeartRye Celebrating The Grain

CanadianClubGroupPhoto20YSPhoto Courtesy of Tim Obas

A huge thank you to Tish Harcus, Margaret Bourne, and Social Restaurant & Lounge for hosting such a great Canadian Club evening!

And so, my Canadian Blog House friends, are you a whisky lover? What is your favourite beverage? Would you like a chance to WIN an autographed copy of Davin de Kergommeaux’s book “Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert”? Davin graciously autographed two copies for me to give away on the blog – because I knew you would love to own one for yourself!

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to WIN:






Disclosure: Canadian Blog House was invited to attend this complimentary dinner/tasting event but was not obligated to write about it. All opinions are our own. Canadian Blog House reminds you to please drink responsibly!!


  1. April 10, 2015

    Lynne M

    That’s an awesome prize!

    • April 10, 2015


      So glad you think so, Lynne! Don’t forget to answer the mandatory question for your entry to count 🙂 I can’t wait to dig into my copy! Cheers!

  2. April 10, 2015


    Hey Sandy! It looks as though you had a wonderful time last night! I think you made the right choice when you chose the steak dinner to go with the whiskey. It looks DELICIOUS! I’m so happy you got to go out have some fun with an amazing brand!

    • April 10, 2015


      Thanks Lian!! It was a great time and I enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, I was so glad I chose the steak. The flavour of those onions on top…mmmmmmm! Thanks again for stopping by!!

  3. April 10, 2015


    Whisky with ice or if I’m out with the ladies…with coke.

    • April 10, 2015


      Great ways to enjoy whisky, Marcie! I tend to enjoy mine without ice…except for the Canadian Club Maple Whisky…a little ice goes so nice with that one (my fave!). Thanks for entering!

  4. April 10, 2015


    I do like whiskey!
    Sounds like a fun evening out.

    • April 10, 2015


      It is good, isn’t it Jay? It sure was a great evening! Thanks for entering!

  5. April 10, 2015

    Laura S

    We’re a whiskey family. Best enjoyed with ice and seltzer water.

    • April 10, 2015


      Ice and seltzer! Interesting! Would never have thought to try it that way – I just might! Thanks Laura!

  6. April 10, 2015

    Stephanie Dawe

    Love whiskey! Drink it on with ice!

  7. April 10, 2015

    Victoria Ess

    I love whisky and I drink it on the rocks.

  8. April 10, 2015


    On the rocks! In front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night

  9. April 10, 2015

    Gene D

    I like Irish Whiskey – Bushmills and Jameson
    straight on the rocks

  10. April 10, 2015


    I like whiskey but don’t know too much about it.

  11. April 10, 2015


    I appreciate a glass of 16 year old Lagavullan, on the rocks ofcourse.

  12. April 10, 2015


    I’m not a whiskey fan, but my father is. I prefer Coke.

  13. April 11, 2015


    I like whisky and I drink it neat

  14. April 12, 2015

    Marilyn Legault

    I’m not a regular whiskey drinker, but love trying new things. I’m a tropical fruit drinker (Pina Coladas)

  15. April 13, 2015


    On the whole, Canadian whisky is my favourite, although some of my favourite whiskys are American, Irish, and Scotch. I prefer them all neat, with a rare few better with water or a cube of ice.

  16. April 15, 2015

    Johan Andersson

    Would love to learn more about Canadian whisky. Since a friend introduced me to it and since it’s really hard to get in Sweden the quality ones.

  17. April 23, 2015

    Lee-Ann S

    Really don’t know if I’m a whiskey fan. My favourite drink tends to be a Long Island Ice Tea and rum isn’t that far removed from whiskey.

  18. April 23, 2015


    I read Davin’s comments about Canadian whisky they are always interesting & documented, coz in France we don”t have many different Canadian whiskies… I came across several brands 10 years ago but things have changed so much there too, with boutique distilleries added, single malts as well as blended or other types, so it’s exciting…


  19. April 23, 2015

    Nicole Jubleew

    Canadian Club and gingerale is my go to drink.

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