The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is making a charitable donation after being forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival following a prohibition-style raid by the province a day earlier.

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) is making a charitable donation after being forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Victoria Whisky Festival following a prohibition-style raid by the province a day earlier.

Due to this week’s raid, the festival has decided to cancel the classes prepared by the Society, said Rob Carpenter, owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada. Tickets to those events are being refunded, resulting in less money going towards the two charitable beneficiaries of the event: Crime Stoppers and the T.L.C. Fund which supports various children’s charities and initiatives in the Capital Region.

In light of this, the Society has committed to making a donation to cover the difference.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Carpenter. “We love this festival. It is one of the best in the world. We would never do anything to risk their license or success.”

The Society has been attending the festival for four or five years “with no indication of any concerns,” according to Carpenter.

Yesterday, the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch confirmed to Black Press Media that raids occurred simultaneously Thursday at Union Club and Little Jumbo in Victoria, The Grand Hotel in Nanaimo, and Fets Whisky Kitchen in Vancouver. The alcohol was confiscated because it was not acquired through the Liquor Control Branch, according to B.C. Ministry of Attorney General.

“Our partner bars have had liquor inspectors come through in the past and said everything looks good. If there were issues, why didn’t they bring them up? Why now with this heavy-handed approach?”

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a private club whose website states Canadians can access the largest selection of single cask, single malt whiskies available in the world through a membership.

At the Victoria Whiskey Festival this weekend, the Society had a tasting planned for Friday night, two master classes on Saturday and a table at the consumer tasting session, but Carpenter said they must sit this one out.

“We brought a UK brand ambassador over for this and now he has nothing to do.”

Carpenter re-iterated that if the province took issue with the Society, they should have brought it up first before initiating a raid.

“It would have been great to have a more civilized conversation than this kind of thing which has just intimidated the festival into saying ‘well, we love having you involved but we can’t run the risk of impacting the rest of the festival,’” he said.

There has been an outpouring of support online for the establishments that got raided as well as for Scotch Malt Whisky Society with most calling for the government to revisit its legislation around private liquor sellers to modernize the system in light of specialty products.

Black Press has reached out to the Victoria Whiskey Festival.

 

This is one of three events cancelled as a result of the raid. (Screenshot)

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo committee chairs appointed

Coun. Ben Geselbracht to chair RDN solid waste management committee

Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Tour marks 30 years of handmade art

Around 20 artists and artisans south of Nanaimo to open their studio doors

Fired Nanaimo CAO’s peace bond hearing won’t be until the new year

Tracy Samra’s three-day hearing scheduled for March 27 in B.C. provincial court in Nanaimo

Nanaimo actress wins two Joey Awards for young Canadian actors

Hannah Zirke, 13, won for her TV roles in ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Sacred Lies’

Column: This holiday season, support a local artist

Many opportunities to attend craft markets in the Nanaimo area in the coming weeks

Family-friendly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to Nanaimo

Local playwright describes adaptation as ‘less Alastair Sim, more Muppet’

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP look for tips about suspected poppy donation thief

Police have released images of a man suspected of stealing poppy donation cans

Regional District of Nanaimo to review water infrastructure

Region to make assessments of each of its water service areas

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read