Sips 'n' Cinema at the Argyle Attic

I was recently in Victoria in time to catch one of the Victoria Film Festival’s newly-minted events, Sips ’n’ Cinema. While the Argyle Attic is no stranger to regular whisky tastings, this was the first time that the Film Fest offered it up together with a movie screening at the Empire Theatres.

A fully-packed (not one seat left in the house!) audience took in Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s 2011 film No, followed by the tasting at the Argyle.

Sips program ad

Winner of the top prize in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, No stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries) as the brilliant young Chilean adman who helped topple the dictator Pinochet.

Part of Team No’s genius was to use humour in its ads, a quite bold move considering the seriousness and sadness behind the opposition to Pinochet. Besides having the chance to watch Bernal perform his on-screen charm, I was interested in this film from a graphic design perspective.

Victoria Film Festival Programmer Donovan Aikman
[Victoria Film Festival Programmer Donovan Aikman]

Festival Programmer Donovan Aikman was on hand to deconstruct the movie’s tone, direction, technology, and nuances, as the Argyle’s General Manager, Andrew Elliott, introduced whisky man Bill Atwood, a representative of Pernod-Ricard spirits company. Andrew also happens to own Smiths Pub downstairs.

Argyle Attic General Manager Andrew Elliott
[Argyle Attic General Manager Andrew Elliott]

Between sips of three whiskys, Donovan would talk film. It was an enjoyable evening, as film buffs were able to interact with one another while three brands were poured:

Wiser’s small batch, a third-tier Canadian whisky flavoured with rye at 43.3% alcohol, imparting fruity, nutty notes, and produced in Windsor, Ontario.
Jameson Irish whisky, the best-selling whisky in the world, now distilled in Cork, Ireland. This one’s triple-distilled with caramel notes and is clean and balanced.
Glenlivet single malt whisky, a 12-year old nutty-flavoured sipper with a little smokiness to it. Glenlivet was the first legal distillery in Scotland.

Pernod-Ricard spirits representative Bill Atwood
[Pernod-Ricard spirits representative Bill Atwood]

We learned that whisky is spelled with an ‘e’ in both Ireland and in the USA; the rest of the world omits the ‘e’.

As well, whisky has three components:
– Corn, rye, wheat (or other grain)
– The process is goes through
– Water (80% of a whisky bottle’s content)

Sips 'n' Cinema at the Argyle Attic Sips 'n' Cinema at the Argyle Attic Can't quite figure it out: is that deer wearing a hat or are those a pair of mittens on its head? Sips 'n' Cinema at the Argyle Attic

The Argyle Attic is Victoria’s new whisky bar, located upstairs from Smith’s Pub at 777 Courtney Street.

Sips 'n' Cinema at the Argyle Attic

My ticket for Sips ’n’ Cinema was generously provided by the Victoria Film Festival.

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