Whiskey and history — it’s a pairing that has more in common than one might think.
In trying to attract new crowds to historic sites like Bellevue House, Parks Canada has been looking to target different audiences — including liquor enthusiasts.
George Muggleton, who organized a recent whiskey tasting at Bellevue House, says the event gave people the opportunity to enjoy historic Kingston in a social setting.
“This whiskey tasting, and part of the seminar that we offer, guides everybody through and gives them opportunity to taste a whisky from Scotland, but also Canada and the United States,” he explained.
“And they’ve been creatively paired to kind of blend in nicely with our Canada 150 story as well.”
Whiskey, rye, bourbon and scotch were all on the menu at the Bellevue House event. Muggleton says the historic site has seen large audiences take advantage of new programs like the whiskey tasting, so he’s hoping to organize similar events in the future.
“Having those conversations that we’re shooting for, to get people to come in and experience in a different way… It’s been quite enjoyable.”
Local sommelier Sylvain Bouffard of Just a Wee Dram led tasters through the history of the different types of whiskey, while local history experts explained the background of Sir John A. Macdonald and the Bellevue House.
“Kingstonians probably have been in Bellevue House once, twice, three times, and they don’t come back,” Bouffard said. “So this gives them the opportunity to think outside the box — to try something new, experience the old, and enjoy a fantastic evening.”
If whiskey isn’t your thing, Muggleton says there are plenty of other programs running at Bellevue House through Thanksgiving weekend. And if it is, look for the tastings to return to Bellevue House next summer.
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