U of L unveils commemorative scotch whisky in celebration of its 50th anniversary

The University of Lethbridge’s 50th Anniversary Scotch gives aficionados the chance to get their hands on a unique 25-year-old scotch and help support U of L student scholarships at the same time.

Building on the U of L Alumni Association’s private bottling of scotch for the U of L’s 45th anniversary — an initiative that raised $10,000 for student scholarships — alum Doug McArthur and Gord Jong, former chairman of the U of L board of governors, met with Max Baines, retired owner of Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits about doing a similar initiative for the U of L’s 50th anniversary.

“This time around, we have secured a cask so I can truthfully tell anyone that the scotch we’ve had bottled is totally unique,” says McArthur.

Just as champagne comes from the Champagne region in France, scotch whisky comes from Scotland. Through Gordon & MacPhail, described online as an “internationally renowned malt maturation expert, retailer, UK wholesaler and distiller” based in northeastern Scotland, the U of L was able to source 400 bottles. Each bottle has been packaged in a special wooden case commemorating the U of L’s 50th and sells for $400. Bottles can be purchased online and shipping charges are extra.

“When we are all finished, we will end up putting about $50,000 into the scholarship pot,” says McArthur. “For $400 you’re getting an excellent scotch and a commemorative box, you’re doing something positive for U of L students and you’re going to get a tax receipt for $155.”

The single malt scotch whisky will be unveiled at the U of L Alumni Association’s 2017 Scotch Tasting on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Markin Hall Atrium. Steve Firth (BA ’14, MA ’16) will guide attendees through a flight of six scotches from entry level to premium quality, culminating with the U of L’s 50th Anniversary Scotch. Tickets, at $75 each or $600 for a table of eight, can be ordered online.

“It is the nectar of the gods. People who like scotch are passionate about it. Scotch is one of those very rare drinks where you can become a scotch snob in no time at all,” McArthur says.