Frank's Whisky Blog

Whisky for the Holidays

Written by The Lunar Rogue Thursday, 18 December 2014 15:13

                          Whisky For the Holidays

Every year I am asked to recommend a whisky as a gift for a Christmas present. Not as easy as it sounds as everyone has different tastes when it comes to Whisky. Not always knowing if someone appreciates a whisky with smoke, peat, sherry, vanilla, etc  can be challenging to make a recommendation they might like in the end. If you have a rought idea of what they like now can be a big help in deciding what to select. The price point you can afford always comes into play for most of us. So that said here are a few of my recommendations and price points. Single Malt under $50.00 in NB It is not easy anymore but I like Aberlour 10, Aberfeldy 12 and Strathisla 12. They are all very good whiskies for the price. 

 

   

Raise Your Spirits Festival 2014 Rum Dinner

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 24 October 2014 18:14

The 2014 NB Spirits Festival kicked off with a new Event for our 19th year. We are please to announce that on Tuesday Nov.17th the First Rum Dinner will be held at the Delta Fredericton hosted by El Dorado Rum Ambassador Stefanie Holt from London UK. This 4 course dinner will include a selected El Dorado Rum with each course. You can find the entire menu on the Festival website www.raiseyourspirits.ca . The price of $75.00 includes all the taxes, grats, and rums. This will be a not to miss event if you are a lover of rums or new to the drink.

 

 

   

The Rogue Whisky Bible Updated

Written by The Lunar Rogue Tuesday, 05 August 2014 18:12

I am pleased to annouce that we have a new updated Whisky Menu at the Rogue. Now with over 500 whiskies to choose from it might take a while to decide your next whisky. Whiskies from newer whisky producing countries have been added to the Bible including South Africa, England and India. Stop in and have a dram and give the updated bible a study! We have been busy adding new dispaly shelving in the pub. The Rogue will be finally displaying a lot of whisky we had no room to present. We will be adding extensively to our American, Canadian and Irish catagories in our new cabinets. ANBL just listed a new South African/ Scottish Blend Three Ships 5 yr Old. I highly recommend you try this whisky. A multi awarding winning Blended whisky made up of South African Single malt and Scottish Grain whiskies it's a real stunner!

   

Whisky Prices

Written by The Lunar Rogue Thursday, 17 July 2014 13:25

Over the past year you might have noticed a dramatic increase in the price of whisky at your local liquor outlet. The prices will be with us for awhile. Demand of quality whiskies have grown and quantities are in shorter supply.If your like most of us the ablility to pony up another $20.00 or more for the same dram your were buying regularly a year ago is not always an option. I know I personally have been purchasing more blended whiskes were the price creep has not been so significant. There are some great blends out there Teacher's, Famous Grouse, Grant's Family Reserve, Cutty Sark Storm, Ballantine's all come to my mind. It is getting harder to fnd a malt in NB under $50.00 a bottle but you can if you look for them. Great malts still under $50.00 ie Aberfeldy 12, Aberlour 10,Benromach, Fraser's Lowland Reserve,Glenburgie 10,Glenlivet 12, Glenfiddich 12, and Tamdhu. Glenburgie and Tamdhu are both on sale at ANBL at the moment at the clearance table. It's rare to see Single malt on a discount table. I picked up a couple of each. Might be a cold winter.   

   

Inuksuit of the Rogue

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 07 February 2014 15:24

Inuksuit of the Rogue Many friends of the Lunar Rogue Pub have lived in the city and moved away, or have come here to work and have moved on. But in a very Canadian way, many have left their Inuksuk in the Lunar Rogue over the last 25 years to show that they were here. We’ll point some of these out below so you can notice them the next time you’re in The Rogue. In the “days of sail”, sailors would be at sea for years and had no home except the ship. They would leave a mug at a pub in some port to feel at home somewhere. The tradition lives on at the Rogue. Some of the mugs hanging behind the bar at the Rogue are used by their owner every week, and some mugs come down only once in a while. Others have been waiting for their mate’s return for years. One of the mugs behind the Bar belongs to the late George Melvin. A friendly, gregarious, giant of a man who was literally one of the first people to walk through the door of the Lunar Rogue Pub on the first day it opened in 1989. He was a fixture on every St Pat’s Day celebration. After he sat down in the new pub, Frank and Brian asked “So what do you think of our new pub George.” His eyes darting around the new pub he was smiling from ear to ear he said quietly “Have my mail forwarded to this address”. George passed away a number of years ago, but the mug remains, and a couple of us who were his old friends still bring his mug down every St. Patrick’s Day to have a pint from it. George would be smiling. Over the front window there’s a series of pictures of a Soccer Club that begins as a provincial championship side called The Galleons in the 70’s and 80’s. Look across the pictures and you’ll see many of the same faces. One of them is the late John Rutter, a former Royal Marine and a great friend of the Rogue. John was the one who suggested shortly after we opened that we needed dividers down the long bench on the wall across from the bar to create ‘snugs’. John’s idea was a key element to the atmosphere of The Rogue and is his inuksuk that Frank and Brian remember. That led to the opportunity for Ned Bowes’ creations of stained glass in them, the most prominent and beautiful inuksuk in the Rogue. Over the back bar there is an old beer barrel. On it is printed “James Ready St. John NB”. Philip W. Oland himself identified it for us as a barrel from the Moosehead brewery of about the 1930’s. It was placed there as a gift to the Rogue by the Fredericton St. Patrick’s Society in 1991 by its President Frank Forrestal for permanent safe-keeping by the Rogue for the Society. The Society refers to it as the “Wee Neillie Barrel”. The Society had a fun tradition of inviting internationally renowned Leaders to speak at their annual Dinner. The PO letter from the invitee declining the invitation would be read at the dinner to the cheers and applause of the attendees, because it meant they didn’t have to sit through a speech before they got to the Bushmills. They were proudly told to PO by some of the best. Over the front door as you leave the Rogue you notice a poster with the legendary Front Row of the New Zealand All Blacks, Richard Loe, Sean Fitzpatrick, and Steve McDowell reminding you of an important message. Donna Gordon brought that back from a friendly pub in Queenstown on the South Island in 1990. Donna says that when she saw it, she just knew it belonged in the Rogue. Frank and Brian had it properly mounted on a board and knew just where it should be hung. Once in a while you’ll notice a big paw quietly reach up and gently touch the poster as the big person attached to it walks out the door. Rugby is a game of deep but subtle respect.
   

The Rogue 25th Anniversary Brew

Written by The Lunar Rogue Wednesday, 22 January 2014 16:09

The Rogue team would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter a name in the Lunar Rogue 25th Anniversary Brew contest. This special brew is being hand crafted by the Picaroon's Brewery exclusively "on tap" to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Lunar Rogue Pub.
The judges from the Rogue and Picaroon's teams poured over every (pun intended) submission. To be completely honest it was no easytask to select an overall outright winner that we all liked. So we thank you for giving us lots to think about.
In the end we wanted something different and unique. A name we could call our own, distinctive and different. The new brew will be called "Parcel of Rogues" The name was submitted by Duncan MacSporran and we congratulate him for his winning entry. Well Done Duncan! So when you stop in for a pint please call for a "Parcel"
The Brew is now being prepared and will be kegged next week. The official launch will be held at the Rogue on Wednesday Jan.29 at 7:00 pm. Please come by and taste this evolutionary new brew from the brew masters of Picaroon's. The style of the beer is still a secret known only to Picaroon's brewers. We are excited to see the end result as much as you are.
The Lunar Rogue was the first pub in Canada to sell the Picaroon's keg beers "on tap" and we are pleased to continue the tradition of supporting our own local brew.
We thank our good friends at Picaroon's for making this special effort on our behalf.
To make the evening extra special we are going to offer a great deal on our famous Nachos. We will be selling them for the price they were on our menu in 1989, 25 years ago when we opened our doors for the first time. $3.99 for a regular order! One night only.
Stay tuned for more info in the coming days on a few more surprises!

   

Anniversary Begins

Written by The Lunar Rogue Tuesday, 07 January 2014 19:17

       Lunar Rogue’s 25th Anniversary begins with “Honouring the Rogue Pint”.

The Lunar Rogue Pub has created a number of 1st’s in New Brunswick since it began in 1989. For instance, The Rogue was the 1st   in New Brunswick to serve its draught beer in the 16oz mug. Prior to that every tavern served draught in the same styled 9oz pilsner glass. The Rogue was the 1st in New Brunswick to have more than one type of draught beer on tap. That’s right; in 1989 taverns would only have 1 brand of beer on tap. The Lunar Rogue was also the 1st in New Brunswick to have imported beer on tap: 4 of them from the UK, John Courage, Youngers Tartan, Newcastle Brown and Double Diamond.

Walking into The Lunar Rogue Pub in 1989 was a whole different experience than any other Tavern or Bar of the day in New Brunswick. The list of 1st’s goes on and on throughout our history as the Lunar Rogue Pub continues to set the standard for a pub in New Brunswick: “A Maritime Pub….an old tradition done right.”

To honour the birth of “the Rogue Pint” you’ll begin to see our Lunar Rogue mug appearing with our 25th Anniversary Logo on it beginning in mid-January with some other variations on the mugs over the winter. We have another very good reason for introducing a commemorative mug. That’s because our good friends at Picaroons are going to do something special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Lunar Rogue Pub.

Picaroons is going to create a series of exclusive seasonal draught beers for The Lunar Rogue in addition to your favourite Picaroons already available. The first Picaroons draught honouring the Pub’s 25th Anniversary will be launched at the Rogue the week of Jan 27. But, it needs a name and that’s where you come in.Send us your suggestions for a name for the beer by Jan. 17, and have a chance to win a $300.00 Picaroons Draught & Dinner Party for you and 5 of your friends. The winner will be selected and announced the week of Jan. 20th

   

The Rogue's 25th Anniversary

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 03 January 2014 15:30

The Lunar Rogue Pub’s 25th Anniversary Celebration 1989-2014

This is an extra special Happy New Year to everyone. It was February 1989 when Brian and Frank sat back in their chairs a brew in their right hand and a problem on the table between them. Their latest venture, a pub in downtown Fredericton, was due to open in May and they needed a name that would reflect the distinctive Maritime flavour they meant to create.

Their inclination was to reference some noteworthy historic figure from the Maritimes but they were uninspired until Frank remembered Henry Moon – The Lunar Rogue. A trip to the library to brush up on the details of his life revealed that Barbara Grantmyre's book on Moon titled "The Lunar Rogue" had not been taken out for over 20 years. It was time to revive his memory and what better place to commemorate one of the greatest rogues in the province's history than in a traditional Maritime pub.

2014 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the opening of The Lunar Rogue Pub. Over that time, the Rogue has earned its place within the fabric of this old town. The traditional role of a pub has been best described as the village living room. That’s more than just a business, it’s a responsibility. We have tried to reflect the personality of our community by delivering ‘quality without pretence’.

Along the way The Lunar Rogue Pub has been internationally recognized as one of the Best Whisky Bars of the World, and by industry writers as not-to-be-missed by travellers and visitors to our home - Fredericton. We know you; and we know you expect that of us; and we know you are proud to bring your friends “from away” to your Pub. We’ve got some celebrating to do, and it’s going to take all year to do it right. So Happy New Year and stay tuned for a series of commemorative events throughout all of 2014 – and we’ll get the ball rolling early in January.

   

Lots of Whisky News

Written by The Lunar Rogue Friday, 13 September 2013 13:04

Sept 13

You might want to check out the single malts page on the ANBL website you will notice a couple of new products coming in to NB, Highland park has launched the Highland Park 10 yr expression at $62.99. The 10 yr will only be available in Canada, it will be a collectors item to the rest of the Whisky world. I have not tried it yet but I look forward to my very first sample. You may notice that it is more expensive then the 12 yr priced at $60.29. I predict that by the end of the year Highland Park 12 yr will cost $69.99 to $79.99 at ANBL outlets. If your Highland Park fan my recommendation is to stock up now. It will never get cheaper. I mentioned to  you a few years ago that the Balvenie 10 yr Founder's Reserve was going to disappear off the shelves of your local outlets. It was selling for approx. $35.00 a bottle at that time. If you can find a bottle today anywhere in the world you will be paying a minimum of $150.00. Makes it difficult to open your last bottle doesn't it? 

The other new one is the Macallan Amber from the new 1824 range. I have been fortunate enough to have tried this one and I can report it was a wonderful whisky. I can not remeber ever having a poor quality Macallan.The new 1824 Range will be replacing the aged Macallans now available in NB. Expect to see the Gold, Sienna and Ruby follow in the coming months. The Amber is priced at $99.99 and it will replace the Macallan Sherried version 12 yr now at $84.79. Buy one now.

If your a fan of the Famous Grouse 12 yr you might consider buying an extra bottle or two. My sources have told me this will be a discontinued product. It's really not all that surprising. The whisky is a 12 yr old blended malt selling for less than $39.00 in New Brunswick. I can not think of any 12 yr old malts selling for under $40.00 anywhere. This Grouse punches way above it's weight in terms of a quality dram for value. I challenge you to go find a whisky that is this good for this price. I plan on picking up a few extra bottles over the next few weeks. ANBL does not have anymore in their warehouse just in stores around the province. 

Whisky prices will not be coming down anytime soon. I am sure if you have been into the local liquor stores you would have noticed the dramatic price increases over the past 16 months. It is not going to stop. Demand for Single malts and scotch whisky in general has skyrocketed in Asia, South America, Russia.Taiwan is now a major importer of single malts. Many of the major companies have offices and presentation in all these markets. New developing markets have driven supplies lower tha ever before especially malts. During my last trip to Scotland, It was obvoius that many of distilleries are operating 7 days a week, ramping up production to new record levels. New distilleries and old ones that have been previously mothballed are opening or reopening all over Scotland. Diageo has been adding new stills to several of it's key distilleries such as Dailuaine, Mortlach, Dufftown,Glen Elgin, Linkwood, A new distillery is planned for the Black Isle near the Teaninich Distillery with plans to produce in access of 10 to 12 million litres per annum. Diageo opened up a state of the art distillery called Roseisle near Burghead, north of the A96 outside of the town of  Elgin, Morayshire a few years ago that can produce over 10 million litres per annum.It is reported it can produce any style of new make required by the Master Blenders. 

Chivas Bros are building a new 10-12 million litre distillery on the site of the old Imperial Distillery in Carron, Speyside to be called Carron Distillery. They have also re opened Glen Keith in June of this year after being shut down in the mid 90's. The Rogue has a botle of the old bottling Glen Keith prior to it closing down. Quite hard to fine now a days.

 Glenlivet has built a new still house, new mash tun (a monster size I will put some photos on the Rogue Facebook page) and a slew of new washbacks to increase production (one of the prettiest still houses I have ever seen).

A slew of new smaller craft or farm distilleries are popping up all over Scotland. Kilchoman on Islay, Daftmill in Fife, ( the new smallest distillery in Scotland) both grow their own barley on their farms, Annandale, a long closed distillery in the borders, is now ready for the builders, Abhainn Dearg at Uig on the Isle of Lewis is now producing and selling product.  

   

Whisky Tasting at the York St Train Station

Written by The Lunar Rogue Monday, 04 March 2013 17:39

We will be hosting a new Whisky Tasting at the York St Train Station ANBL Educational Center on Wednesday April 3rd at 6:30pm. Tickets will be able soon at the York Street Liquor Store only. The Theme for this tasting will be " Unique Speyside and Highland Whiskies". Pierre and I will be selecting  whiskies that might not be on your radar. The price point on the planned whiskies is higher than normal tastings we have been showcasing. I will detail the selections in the upcoming days. 

 

   

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