The Lions Toast

Our Whisk(e)y tastings

At the end of each meeting, we have "The Lions Toast" - a traditional toast to Lions Clubs International which lets us drain off the remnants of the glasses that have seen us through the rigours of a busy evening.    One of our members, as he drained his Glenfiddich, suddenly had the inspiration for a fundraising event and being Scottish, the rest is history.

When we look at fundraising activities, we like to have a variety of different events not only to appeal to as wide an audience as possible but often to make full use of the skills our members have and so by mixing a Scottish, Malt Enthusiast who has significant fundraising skills, The Lions Toast series of whisky tastings came into life.

The series started in 2013 with Malt and More and we have tried to run at least one event each year since.    Our initial offering was attended by 25 people whilst Spirit of India had over 70 attending to taste the products of an Indian Distillery, John Distillers Pv.

Have a look at what we have done, over the years (Click on the title for more details) and at the bottom. find out about our next venture - Mackmyra whisky from Sweden..

Past 'Toasts'

Islands of Dreams This event concentrated on introducing the 50 folks attending to the Islands around the West Coast and some of the whiskies produced there. A short video tour introduced the Island and Nick Worricker of Duncan Murray Wines and Spirits of Market Harborough introduced the 7 different whiskies which were tasted.    A coin toss for a bottle of Six Isles Blended Malt Whisky raised £87 and an auction for a Miniature sized bottle of Bruichladdich X4  generated a magnificent £100 making a total of £400 raised for the nights charity - The Batten Disease Family Association.

An E or not an E Ask many Scotsmen what is the most annoying thing about their National Drink and many will respond with "Folks that can't spell it properly", referring of course to the fact that Scotch is spelt Whisky and a number of other nations offerings is spelt Whiskey.   In an effort to both educate our audience to the spelling and explain the difference between Scotch and Irish Whiskey, we ran this evening resulting in adding over £400 to our charity account.    Find out how we did by clicking here.

The Spirit of India   To reflect the 'International' aspect of Lionism, when some of our members and friends attended a major Whisky Tasting in London and discovered Paul John Indian whisky, they were so impressed that they just had to arrange a tasting in Olney.   Supported by Shilton Almeida, the distillery representative in the UK, we were delighted to expose our, now growing band of Malt enthusiasts to this amazing whisky but another venture including food was called for when we added a couple of curries to help create an Asian atmosphere.   By now, our ticket sales have reached 70 and we raised £1400 - read about the night by clicking on the title to the left.

Malt at the Movies A showing of Ken Loache's movie, "The Angels Share" saw our audience enjoying the same whiskies as the cast as they did their research and homework prior to carrying out the theft of the Century.   Support from a number of the distilleries involved in the filming including some personalised items from Charles Maclean (Rory McAllister in the film and world famous whisky guru), Northampton Saints Rugby Club and Lion Derek Seymour saw us being able to run our own version of the Auction.  No £m whisky, I'm afraid but a brilliant ending to a superb night attended by over 60 people which contributed to increasing our Charity Account to the tune of £800.


Malt Masterchef

Working with the management of The Bull Inn and Bill Hutchieson of Gordon & McPhail, the evening consisted of a 7 course meal accompanied by 9 different whiskies.  A fabulous night that saw many preconceived ideas which people had on whisky at the dining table being challenged and views changing significantly - did we turn people off the wines normally served with meals - perhaps not but new ideas have been exposed whilst we raised £500 from the venture.  A fabulous night from our friends at the Bull who, incidentally, as a result of the interest in Malt whisky which Lions have generated in town, are now carrying a selection of 46 different malts.

More Malt

Our second event aimed at introducing those attending to the different expressions of whisky that can come from a single distillery.   Presented by Dr Andrew Forrester, brand ambassador of The Balvenie distillery we experienced their Doublewood Cask 12, 17 year old, first Fill, Caribbean Cask and the 21 year old Portwood.  An evening filled with loads of distillery stories, anecdotes and humour from an  excellent orator gave us a great result thanks to the drams being provided by The Balvenie - £1200 into our charity account


Malt & More 

Our first venture into the world of malt whisky including an educational tasting led by Michael Hoppert, Royal Mile Whiskies, London which covered whiskies from all major Scottish areas, Wales and England.   We also featured stalls containing a collection of almost 200 whiskies, library of whisky books, exhibitions from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and the Whisky Magazine.   The evening raised over £500 - not bad for our first attempt.

Thanks to these events we have managed to raise over £5000 for our charitable activities.

Coming Soon

Our Lions Toast series of whisky tastings aim to educate those taking part into the wonderful world of whisk(e)y.

If you fancy joining us at the event or would like details of one of our tastings, please let us know via our Contact Us page and we will add you to our mailing list.

Meanwhile, do come back to our website regularly to find out what other events in the Lions Toast family we have planned