Calgary-based Roberto Roberti will lead a whisky tasting called A Trip Across Scotland at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday

Calgary-based Roberto Roberti will lead a whisky tasting called A Trip Across Scotland at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday

Whisky school attracts imbibers to Victoria Highland Games

Popular Highland Games includes some less physical Celtic traditions as well

Among the most popular events at the Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival are the caber flip, the hammer toss and the whisky tasting.

The latter is not always synonymous with the annual weekend event, which happens May 15 to 17 at Topaz Park. But the Whisky Tasting School is a lock to sell out early. There are eight different sessions of Whisky Tasting School this year, and registration is open now.

“It’s perfect for new drinkers to get a feel for the different styles of whiskies and for others to experience whisky they haven’t had before,” said Calgary-based Roberto Roberti, who started Barrica Wine and Spirits and represents a variety of whiskies.

Roberti has led classes twice before at the Games as well as a Grand Masters Class at the Victoria Whisky Festival, which takes place each January in downtown Victoria.

Roberti will lead A Trip Across Scotland at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. The tasting will provide an opportunity for guests to nail down the geographical and historical whisky map of Scotland.

“We’ll sample one or two whiskies from each region: Islay, Speyside, Highlands, Campbelltown and Orkney, to study the different profiles.”

His other class is a history on Tullibardine (3:30 p.m. Saturday), which started in the 1300s and provided beers to King James IV in 1488. Tullibardine produces Highland single malt whiskies.

“When the modern-day distillery opened in 1948, it was on the same site as the historic brewery. Because it served beer to King James, it is able to bear the royal symbol on its bottles,” Roberti said.

Registration is $35 for all sessions except Monday’s Whisky and Chocolate, which is $45. All registrations include a day’s gate pass to the Highland Games, worth $15, through victoriahighlandgames.com/whisky-school.

reporter@saanichnews.com