Tag Archives: live
Last weekend I had the chance to attend a whisky tasting event for Auchentoshan where I was able to try three of their best bottles. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to drinking straight whisky, so these events always intimidate me, but as someone who always appreciates a good drink – I love learning as much as I can about every option available.
The first sample their ambassador introduced us to was their American Oak, the standard whisky of the three. It tasted of roasted malt and a toasty, nutty oak with a crisp, strong finish.
The second was their triple distilled 12 Year Old Single Malt which came off slightly fruitier, due to notes of tangerine and ginger.
The third, their Three Wood Lowland Single Malt, was my favourite of the three by far. Aged in three different casks (American Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso sherry and Perdro Ximenez sherry), I was able to taste notes of brown sugar, hazelnut, orange, cinnamon and toffee with every sip. As someone with a sweet tooth who can’t usually handle straight scotch, this one made me realize there is a scotch for everyone, you just have to find yours.
The best part is, it was all followed by an intimate show (it happened at Common Sort, a small vintage boutique in the east end) with Sam Roberts performing acoustically. It was free to the public, but like any in store in a small space, you had to arrive quite early to get in.
Once he took the small stage (aka the back of the store) he told us they had a couple new songs they would play from their latest, Terraform, and then they’d be taking requests from the crowd.
All the songs you’d expect people to request were yelled out incessantly, and while they did play “Don’t Walk Away Eileen” to a grand singalong, the crowd did not get to hear “Brother Down” despite not taking the hint and requesting it after every single song. Sam noted that they haven’t played some of these songs live in years, so it felt like a great risk pulling them out and hoping they’d come out right.
The set was short but fun, and having an open bar for everyone who made it in only made it all the better. Here’s to more great events like this popping up around the city.
The other week, I had the chance to take part in a bourbon tasting event with Jim Beam, before heading off to the surprise Yukon Blonde show they put on at the Mod Club (if you were lucky, you might have even won a pair of tickets to it from me).
There are few things that go together better than a good bourbon and live music, so this was the perfect night for me.
I arrived early at the venue, where a handful of bloggers were on hand to learn all about the different varieties of bourbon Jim Beam makes. Each bottle had various levels of aging involved, and there was even a Honey and Apple variety that I was proceeded to happily drink the rest of the night. Who knew flavoured bourbon was a thing? Turns out it’s a really, really great thing.
Their fabulously bearded mixologist taught us all about what goes into aging the perfect bottle of bourbon, and I found it interesting that whiskey barrels can never be reused for whiskey because, high standards (they do get recycled for aging other kinds of liqour though).
Also, there is a minimum rule that (I might be remembering this wrong) whiskey in Canada must be aged at least 2 years, and all Jim Beam bourbon is aged at least 3 years. So this might be why I find bourbon so much stronger than any other hard liquor I indulge in.
We each had the chance to create our own drink for the evening, and because I was so into the Apple bourbon during the tasting, he suggested I try this combo:
1 ounce regular Jim Beam
1 ounce apple Jim Beam
1 part simple cinnamon syrup
Top with ginger beer
No lie – it ended up tasting like apple pie. It is going to become my new go to staple at my home bar. So simple, so yummy.
After we had our new cocktails in hand, we headed downstairs to see the Luke Austin Band open, and then Yukon Blonde took the stage. As per usual they brought their uplifting, carefree west coast pop rock to Toronto and the packed venue was singing along to every song. While On Blonde hasn’t pulled me in quite as much as Tiger Talk did back in 2012, I still always have a blast seeing these guys live. Jeff and co. always give their all onstage, and the crowd of diehards that won their way into this event were definitely happy to see them again.
Overall, it was an excellent night of live music and great tunes, and I will be incorporating more bourbon cocktails into my bartending repertoire immediately.
Any Queen fans around here? That’s what I thought.
There is a symphonic production coming to the Sony Centre on Wednesday November 25th spotlighting the music of Queen, and I have a pair of tickets to give to one of you.
I have always been a fan of blending different mediums together to make them more accessible to various tastes. This is another example of doing just that.
If you would like to see some talented musicians perform the epic songs of Queen with the symphony, all you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Queen Ticket Giveaway.’
You can also get a bonus entry by following me on Instagram and hearting the photo about this giveaway once it’s posted.
One winner will win two tickets to the Toronto performance at Sony Centre on November 25th, and will be contacted via email by Monday November 23rd at 5pm.
You guys already know how much I love Amex for all their entertainment based perks. They are the one company that seems to focus squarely on the kind of person I prefer to surround myself with and write for: culture and entertainment nerds.
While other credit card companies might give you the basic travel insurance perk, Amex goes above and beyond, especially when it comes to those of us who love the nightlife and live music.
I’ve told you about their Front of the Line partnership with Live Nation before as part of the overarching Amex Invites program, and, I’m happy to reveal that the deal has been renewed, and this time it’s even bigger and better.
For 26 years, they’ve partnered with some of our favourite entertainment providers to bring exclusive access to their Cardmembers, and in recent years, Canada’s largest concert tours (from Van Morrison to Nick Jonas) have had almost 50 percent of ticket sales sold through FOTL presales. Yes, that means if you want good seats to the big shows, you should probably have an Amex card in your wallet.
The best part of course, is that these perks aren’t just reserved for those big spenders with the Platinum cards – any Amex Card will give you access.
Every Front of the Line experience I’ve ever had has been above and beyond – the real VIP treatment – no matter if I was seeing Kelly Clarkson at the Amphitheatre or Daniel Lanois at Massey Hall for Luminato.
With the new deal, advance ticket access will more than double, meaning there will be over 600 events Cardmembers can snatch up the best seats in the house to in the coming year.
And don’t worry, they’ve also renewed their deal to be the official sponsor at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, so Cardmembers still get to skip the line and hang out in that awesome lounge before the show.
To learn more about the partnership and upcoming shows, check out Amex’s official press release.
This post was sponsored by Amex Canada, but all opinions are my own!
By now you all definitely know I am obsessed with Lena Dunham – she is younger than me and she’s already achieved every dream I’ve ever had for my life. I adore her talent, her persistence, her self confidence, the hard work she put in to get where she is, and the way she is changing the worlds perception of what beauty is.
Her first book, a collection of essays titled Not That Kind Of Girl comes out September 30th, and to promote it she’s going on a book tour.
Her Toronto stop will coincide with the upcoming, highly recommended, hilarious comedy festival JFL42.
On September 20th at the Sony Centre she will be interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi, give a reading from the book, and open it up for what is likely to be a fascinating audience Q&A. I am BEYOND excited for this.
Lucky for you, if you want to be there too, you can enter to win one of five pairs of passes to see her courtesy of my friends at JFL42. Follow them on Twitter @JFL42 and find them on Facebook as well.
To win, you must be a subscriber to the weekly post recap newsletter. If you are already a subscriber, just leave a comment below using the email you used to subscribe, so I know you want your name thrown in the hat.
If you’re new, just enter your email into the form below and after you hit the confirmation email you will be entered.
If you want a bonus entry, Facebook fans can, as usual, like/comment or share my page’s status about this giveaway on Facebook.
Followers can retweet my tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.
And Insta followers can like my photo on Instagram about this giveaway once it’s posted.
You have until September 16th at midnight to enter – winners will be contacted via the email they used to subscribe the next day.