Literature & Libations

A dram, a tip, a nip, a splash, a finger or a spot: there are many names for the ubiquitous spirit, often the tipple of choice for some of the world’s most celebrated authors, from Fitzgerald to Hemingway. What is it about whisky that can swell the soul and stimulate the mind? At the Vancouver Writers Fest’s annual whisky tasting fundraiser, Whisky & Words, we want to delve a little deeper into the story behind the sip.

Our series of masterclasses aim to intrigue all from the newbie to the experienced taster and invite all into the hidden realm of the revered drink.

If you’re seeking an entryway into the world of whisky, where better to start than by discovering the spirits in your own backyard? During our BC Whisky masterclass at Edible Canada, experienced aficionado Charlene Rooke will introduce attendees to the top whiskies from the province including Lohin McKinnon (Surrey) and Goodridge & Williams (Delta).

Perhaps you’re curious about the angel’s share or how wood can transform the taste of a tipple. If you’re intrigued about barrel-aging, Darryl Lamb of Legacy Liquor will explore the power of the grain and its impact on flavour while attendees dine on complementary bites from the Dockside Restaurant during our Time in a Barrel masterclass, held in the Granville Island Hotel.

The world of whisky need not be exclusive; long gone are the days of pipes, slippers and the old boy’s club. The glass does not—and should not—discriminate, and more and more people of all backgrounds are drinking whisky. Celebrate your freedom to imbibe with Canada’s first female scotch ambassador, Beth Havers, as she leads a Women & Whisky masterclass at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Havers will lead a Virtual Distillery Tour of Glenfiddich and explain from grain to glass how the world’s most awarded single malt is crafted while attendees enjoy savoury creations from PICA chefs.

Whether you’re a fresh-faced whisky enthusiast, a seasoned expert or someone who just wants to know what all those classic authors were on about, we have a whisky masterclass for you. Bring a friend—or two or three—and discover (or rediscover) your new favourite drink.

Whisky & Words takes place on March 8, 2019 at Performance Works. Limited tickets to all masterclasses are available. Learn more about the full lineup of masterclasses here.


Lauren Dembicky