Singlemalting Whisky Blog # 131 – First Secret Spirits launch at Chicago Jewbilee

Cindy and I absolutely loved attending another fabulous Whisky Jewbilee and I have written about our past experiences with these well run shows a few times so it was exciting for us to be actually presenting for the first time ever in the US at Joshua and Jason’s event. This time our attention was focused on Illinois and the amazing city of Chicago.
The US market is daunting to say the least. Protectionist beurocracy and out of date prohibition inspired lawmaking has caused many aspiring suppliers to just give up and find friendlier markets. This is especially so when the product is a brand new category like ours.
Having spent a considerable amount of time in the US this year along with hours of work from prospective importers we were finally able to get all the label approvals in place. The unfortunate result however was that running the steeplechase over the seemingly unending array of hurdles left us well and truly out of time. I know that we have a lot of consumers that have been waiting on a release date and it is really sad that we have to announce that 2017 will be the year. The good news is that we now have a complete understanding of what is required and a formula to get it through the system in a timely manner. We will also be able to launch the second edition of the Rum’s Revenge into the US as soon as it complete in the first half of 2017.
So onto the Whisky Jewbilee event itself which was really as it turned out a bit of a teaser for us. We were straight away heartened to find that those who love whisky are very much the same in Canada and the US when it comes to the thought of tasting a unique Scotch every day for 25 days.
We did of course take along some delicious examples of some of the 2nd edition whiskies from Wemyss Malts, Samaroli, A.D. Rattray and of course Single Cask Nation to pour for the fantastic Jewbilee crowd. We were able to capture a great time lapse of the event as seen through the lens of our GoPro. It shows in a few minutes what attendees enjoyed over several hours. It is always so much fun sharing our passion with people and having my darling wife along for the ride makes it even more special. Our table was packed with goodies including the first look for the US at Angel’s Share Glassware and the Whisky Connoisseur Kits. We have found that pioneering cool whisky geek accessories for sale at these events is a very new concept but one that consumers are warming too quickly. Look for our table at an event near you or if you can’t find us feel free to order online even if in the US.
A big thanks to Joshua and Jason owners of the Whisky Jewbilee for having us promote Secret Spirits for the first time on US soil. Thanks to BC Merchants for working hard with us to navigate the extremely challenging label approval process and building a foundation for us to secure an importer for 2017. With another event over and a big tick next to the “should we put our products in the US” box it was time to head back to Canada but not before a little well deserved R&R.
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Mixing business with fun is always the order of the day and so when David Stirk of Executive Malts, Joshua and Jason joined me in a round of Golf at Willow Crest Golf Club, all sorts of crazy carnage ensued.
The Chicago sun shone brightly and the 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed the extreme challenge (except for David that is) of a round of golf in such a picturesque setting. I hope we can all do it again in Scotland sometime.
Not long now till we start thinking about December 1st and the start of 25 days of non-stop blogging. Next blog I will talk a little bit about the challenges faced this year and introduce our guest blogger for 2016.

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