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Mid-week whisky tasting to unveil new spirit, song

Chris Gormley, drummer with Hamilton-based band the Trews, will debut Nectar of the Gods in the former home of Ward IV in east Hamilton on May 17. 

Whisky and songs and food inspired by whisky will be the stars of an event in the former home of Ward IV in east Hamilton.

Chris Gormley, the drummer with The Trews who is also known by his persona The Whisky Hunter, will unveil his new personally crafted small-batch whisky Nectar of the Gods. He will also unveil his new single of the same name.

“I’ve been following the whisky industry for a while and really admire Chris. He is super talented,” says Sarah Kupferschmidt, the owner of the former Ward IV who has launched event company Klout Entertainment.

“When I read a post that he was partnering with a distillery, I reached out to him to see if we could do something together.”

The Whisky Hunter really took off when the pandemic hit and Gormley’s performing career was paused. He and his wife also welcomed twins in those early days of lockdown.

“So it was a good excuse to go into the basement to drink whisky.”

Gormley also took to writing and releasing “whisky songs.”

“Usually whisky events feature a DJ with jazz or blues in the background. Ninety-nine per cent of my songs are inspired by whisky culture,” says Gormley.

“The spirit world has really accepted me. I get to meet great people all the time.”

But it’s special to release Nectar of the Gods, a collaboration with Okanagan Spirits.

“Tyler (Dyck, CEO of the distillery) sent three five-year aged whiskys for me to sample. He said, ‘You tell me if it inspires you to write a song.’ I picked the one I liked the best and poured myself a glass. I wrote the song right then and there.”

Hamilton is a natural place to debut his song and his matured bourbon-style whisky, says Gormley. The city is where his musical life is based and he’s also involved in the Hamilton Distillery. The enterprise, based out of the fifth floor of 21 King Street West, promises to release a vodka soon.

Only 25 tickets will be sold for the May 17 event, which will also feature whisky-inspired tapas dishes created by chef Clay Smith.

Kupferschmidt’s Klout Entertainment hosts tastings, festivals and markets. Its next event is a Canada Day market that will feature Indigenous artists, musicians and food.