Tag Archives: NHL

The Highlands and Lowlands of Macallan Scotch Tasting

Solo Scotch
7:43 Arrive at Macallan scotch tasting at 99 Sudbury. Free parking is nice, though a central location and not having to drive to an event celebrating alcohol would have been even nicer.

7:44 Handed a silver Macallan coin, told to exchange it for a drink. Instead reminded of Super Mario Bros. 3.

7:45 Exchange coin for drink. Apparently tonight, a drink is defined as “a tall, thin glass containing just enough scotch to wonder whether or not there’s actually any scotch in there.”

7:46 Move to charcuterie buffet. Surprisingly well-stocked with four types of cheese, several cured meats, and a selection of bread and olives.

Charcuterie Buffet

7:48 Note to self: cheese with fancy names distracts crowd from lack of alcohol… Must increase cheese budget for next party.

7:50 The line at the buffet is now 30-people deep, compared to the three surrounding it minutes earlier. I’ve still only had one drink.

7:51 Getting frustrated at lack of alcohol at this scotch tasting

Scotch Set

7:52 Noticing a lot of attendees do not look like they are influential bloggers. This suspicion is confirmed after talking with staff… “They wanted to cram in as many people as they could fit…”

7:53 Random cute server surreptitiously offers me another drink, despite my lack of a silver coin. I wholeheartedly accept.

7:54 Starting to feel like a scotch cattle call

7:59 The event is scheduled to start at 8PM, but organizers show no sign of moving people into next room

8:05 Handed a second silver coin from a friend just as drink service stops. I have somehow angered the scotch Gods.

8:08 Ushered into second room; stage and screens in front, as well as Macallan bottles on display; tables and seating all around.

Ice maker

8:10 Sitting with three others. Nothing on the table except bottles of water and a glass full of nuts.

8:14 If walnuts and cheese were scotch, I’d be enjoying this tasting a lot more right now.

8:19 The Macallan rep tells us we were served 10-year old scotch to start, and will be getting into older scotches now. Sounds promising!

8:21 While Macallan rep goes into history of brand, I can’t help notice a lack of scotch on my table and the tables of others

8:24 The first audience question is asked, and the audience member receives a full bottle of scotch as a prize. Dozens of hands shoot up immediately.


8:28 Jealously eyeing plate of cheese the guy across from me brought from the other room. Even more jealously eyeing bottles of scotch in front of room.

8:31 Servers (finally!) appear with trays of 12-year old scotch, while a video montage screens highlights from 1998 (including clips from Titanic and A Bug’s Life) set to a Wallflowers tune. Really, Macallan?

8:37 Macallan rep describes making of 15-year old scotch while audience members tweet frantically.

8:41 Servers appear with trays of 15-year old scotch, while a video montage screens highlights from 1995. Really, Macallan? Really?

8:46 Servers appear with trays of Macallan Sherry Oak Cask Strength and individual Lindt chocolates. I am momentarily appeased.

8:47 Drink finished. Appeasement over.

8:48 Realize that Macallan encourages, facilitates, and condones tweeting under the influence of alcohol.

8:49 Note to self: On drive home tonight after scotch tasting, tweet @MADDOnline to alert them of dangerous drinking/typing epidemic sweeping our youth.

8:50 Looking around the room, I’m reminded of the lyrics to Kanye West’s Runaway:
Let’s have a toast for the douchebags,
Let’s have a toast for the assholes,
Let’s have a toast for the scumbags…

8:51 Macallan rep breaks out the patented (or maybe not) Steel Macallan Ice Ball Maker 2500 SCT (note, I made that name up).

Scotch Ice Ball

8:53 While Macallan rep discusses the merits of Ice Balls vs. Ice Cubes (cubes have larger surface area, therefore melt faster), I prefer to discuss merits of Ice Cube vs. Ice-T vs. Vanilla Ice (Ice Cube wins this round, with an honourable mention going out to Iceberg Slim).

8:54 Servers appear with trays of 18-year old scotch, while a video montage screens highlights from 1992. Seriously?! To be fair, crowd cheers for 1992 Toronto Blue Jays team photo, boos vociferously at following still of Ottawa Senators logo.

8:56 Macallan rep informs us that 18-year old scotch is best drank neat, and that ice is best made with bottled water, not tap. Who has time to make ice with bottled water, you ask? Being a Toronto Elitist… I have the time.

8:57 Crowd is thanked, event over. I search in vain for taxi chits, giftbags or takeaways, to no avail.

8:59 I steal a block of cheese.


Thanks Macallan, Matchstick and Praxis PR for a good time, and a special shout-out to Macallan for your goddamn fine scotch.


Genuine Emotion or Political Opportunism?

This afternoon’s Toronto Star has a story about the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their farm team, the Toronto Marlies, and how they may have “jumped the line,” already receiving H1N1 vaccinations. This comes on the heels of a similar controversy with Calgary’s NHL team, the Flames. Ontario’s Health Minister Deb Matthews is, apparently, outraged at the situation in Toronto, and deemed it “unacceptable“.

The reason it’s at all an issue is the Ontario government received a limited supply of the vaccination – enough to immunize 2.2 million people – and expects to run out by the end of this week (that’s tomorrow… To The Clinics! Swarm! Swarm!). That said, the province  set out strict regulations prioritizing groups to be inoculated with the first wave of medicine: pregnant women, children between six months and less than five years of age, people under the age of 65 with chronic conditions, and those living in remote communities.

My question is this:  Is the issue here really NHL players receiving preferential treatment and early vaccinations?

It seems to me this is an opportunity for the Ontario government to distract the media and the public from their own bungling of the vaccinations and “priority groups” by bringing up the age-old argument of wealth and status giving way to said preferential treatment. The public rarely sympathizes with millionaire athletes, and likely even less so in the face of a mass pandemic. Still, athletes have been receiving top-shelf, preferential medical treatment for decades now. Why should it be any different in this case?


The people writing the government’s messaging surely are aware of this, and strategically used it to craft a message positioning the sad-sack Maple Leafs as the bad guys here, while the government strives to deliver vaccinations to the general public. Haven’t the Leafs suffered enough this young season? Now they’re villainous vaccination pirates, stealing life-saving inoculations from the arms of women, children and the elderly? Give me a break.

Ontario, Deb Matthews, City of Toronto, and all your respective communication departments: Concentrate on the real issues affecting your constituents, citizens and stakeholders. Stop creating controversy where there is none and instead focus your efforts on improving the situation.

Now, while the on-ice product may have you fooled, the Toronto Maple Leafs actually have no players in the priority group for vaccination. Just for fun though…

Pregnant Woman?

Colton Orr

Children between six months and less than five years of age?

People under the age of 65 with chronic conditions?

Jason Blake

Van Ryn

Those living in remote communities?

Maple Leafs Bruins Hockey

Here’s A Joke: The Toronto Maple Leafs. The End.


Thursday, October 1, 2009. Toronto Maple Leafs fans have had this day circled on their calendars since the Leafs’ inglourious end to the 2008-09 NHL season. Over the course of the off-season, GM Brian Burke and Assistant GM Dave Nonis have retooled the Leafs, supposedly transforming them into a tough and truculent team. We shall see. Today, with a day left before the official start of the 2009-10 NHL season, Toronto fans have already been promised they’ll see the Leafs in the playoffs for the first time in four years, and there is a considerable buzz around the team. Of course, in Toronto, every year is The Year.

Leafs Stink
In honour of the Leafs’ annual ineptitude and their fans’ annual irrational optimism, a few Leaf jokes to start the season. Feel free to leave your own. Or you can just steal these. That’s what I did. Sorry Dean Blundell Show. (i’m not really sorry)

Q. Where is the red-light district located in Toronto?
A. Behind the Leafs’ net.

Q. What do the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays all have in common?
A. They all wish they could play hockey.

On Notice

Q. What happens when Hamilton gets a Bona Fide NHL team?
A. Toronto will want one too.

Q. What does a Leafs fan do after Toronto wins the Stanley Cup?
A. Turns off his Xbox.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal, Bank of

Am I the only person who sees the irony in Bank of Montreal (BMO) being the official bank of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Maybe Leaf fans just don’t really know what the word “irony” is nor have any comprehension of its meaning or context.


If it were Toronto-Dominion (TD) in as the official bank of the Toronto Maple Leafs, well that would just make perfect sense. And BMO would sponsor Les Canadiens and the world would be a better place. But somehow, the greatest rivalry in the NHL and certainly one of the greatest historical sports rivalries of all time has been perverted to such a degree that a company hailing from the hometown of our heated and hated rivals has come to be a major sponsor of our Leafs.

Meanwhile, Les Canadiens don’t seem to have any bank as their official sponsor (but Bell sure loves those Habs). Does that make sense to you? Tell me, because I’d love to know.

Oh the crazy world of corporate sponsorships… where will you take us next?