About Our Club

“The proper drinking of Scotch whisky is more than indulgence: it is a toast to civilization, a tribute to the continuity of culture, a manifesto of man’s determination to use the resources of nature to refresh mind and body and enjoy to the full the senses with which he has been endowed.”
– David Daiches, 1912-2005



Newcomers Whisky Club, Plano, TX was established May 2012. and hold irregular, bi-monthly meetings. The club is a small (we currently have approximately 30 members), social club composed of whisky fans of all types, from experienced single malt drinkers, to blend drinkers seeking to try something new, to complete novices who are excited to learn about and appreciate whisky.Our focus is on the enjoyment and exploration of whiskies of all types in a casual and informal atmosphere.NWC Logo II

How did we start? Well, while attending various wine tastings and other group activities over the years, my good friend Mike Dainauski (who introduced me to quality single malt scotch whisky) and I discovered that a number of our other friends also enjoyed scotch whisky. We also discovered that most of them rarely ventured very far beyond the standard blends and ubiquitous single malt whiskies commonly seen behind the bar. So, with that information in hand, Mike and I decided to start-up the Newcomers Whisky Club as a way to expand our whisky experiences in a fun and casual setting.

Drink Responsibly: Newcomers Whisky Club recognizes that the consumption of alcoholic beverages in large quantities or too frequently can have potential negative effects on health, family life, work performance and overall well-being. Alcohol places high demands on the liver, and over-consumption can result in cirrhosis. There is also evidence which links high rates of consumption to heart disease. Furthermore, misuse of alcohol can have disastrous results when mixed with driving or operating machinery. Yet with all of this, responsible, moderate consumption can lower the risk of heart attack, reduce stress, serve as a social hub, and enrich our lives with its variety of flavors and aromas.


  1. Newcomers Whisky Club endorses a Quality, Not Quantity policy, advocating moderated consumption of premium, well-matured spirits which call for slow, careful appreciation.
  2. Newcomers Whisky Club educates members on the recommended number of units of alcohol adults may safely consume per day (4), emphasizing off days, physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  Newcomers Whisky Club teaches members how to read bottle labels to determine Alcohol By Volume (ABV%) and determine how much of a spirit constitutes one unit.  We discuss appropriate rates of consumption (1 unit per hour) and the importance of hydration.
  3. Newcomers Whisky Club facilitates alcohol mentorship, encouraging new consumers to learn about moderate, paced-consumption from experienced connoisseurs who exemplify appropriate, healthy drinking practices, and conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen while enjoying alcoholic beverages.
  4. Newcomers Whisky Club ensures a positive social environment for learning about the: history, production methods and nosing & tasting of fine spirits.
  5. No person under the age of 21 is served.

Club Co-Founder: Eric Sanford 

As one ESanford_biophotoof the co-founders of the Newcomers Whisky Club, I’ve enjoyed my role in running the club. I do the technical things like putting together the menus and tasting notes that we compile into book inserts for our members, and now I am learning how to build, update, and maintain a website….a first for me! Setting up a club website was something I’d considered for some time and having recently retired from the mortgage banking industry, I had the time, so why not? 🙂

The Newcomers Whisky Club website/blog is serving a dual-purpose. First, this site will be used to communicate with and update our NWC members about upcoming club events and to share other information. It also serves as a repository and historical archive for our club documents, including our comprehensive tasting log, our meeting booklets, photos and so on.

The second purpose for this site is more personal. This site will also serve as my own blog about my whisky hobby, documenting my exploration and enjoyment of various whiskies (and the occasional other spirits, as well as the possible beer or two). I’ve read a lot of very good whisky blogs and, not that I claim to have anything earth-shattering to contribute, but I do look forward to becoming a participant in the discussion.

My good friend Mike introduced me to the wonderful world of single malts a few years ago when he offered me a small glass of Caol Ila 12 year-old and inadvertently started something that soon grew into a real passion for me. From that innocuous start I quickly discovered a great big world full of all-things whisky that I find fascinating. Fortunately for me, I have met a number of like-minded folks who share this passion and we meet on a frequent basis to share new finds or old rarities!

During my exploration, I’ve learned about the chemistry of whisky and how the various distillation methods and the process of maturation impacts and creates flavors. I’ve learned about the technical side of distillation – how temperature and speed of distillation affects the results, how the shape and size of a still, fill levels, and lyne arm angles can also have an effect.

Through various sources and  recommendations I have discovered some great books on whisky and the history of the industry. A by-product of my reading and research is that I may know more about Scotland than is probably good for any one (non-Scot) person! …… But the best part is that I get to enjoy some really good whisky, too!

So, as I continue to learn and explore, this site will serve as my blog to allow me to share in my passion, be part of the dialogue about whisky that goes on, and to just generally have some fun. I hope you have fun with it, too!

Slainte, Cheers, Prost!

Club Co-Founder: Mike Dainauski

My love affair with single malts goes back to my time at a mining town (Mt Keith) in Western Australia in the mid-1990’s. Some friends introduced me to Lagavulin 16. Before I first tasted it, Lagavulin was described to me as licking a newly creosoted telephone pole….they were right, but I loved it!   To this day, Lagavulin remains my favorite dram of all.

My most exciting, and disturbing, whisky story is about how, on a trip to Singapore, I found a $60 bottle (back then) of Johnnie Walker Excelsior, which I bought as a gift for my daughter. $60 was very expensive at the time!  When I JW_Excelsiorgot home, we opened up the bottle and shared it with some of my daughter’s friends…..finishing it in a single sitting. The disturbing part is that if you look up this bottle these days, it runs right upwards of $1000 a bottle! Maybe I should have bought two! Oh well, whisky is for drinking and enjoying, right?

As a co-founder of NWC Whisky club, my major contribution was having Eric taste a single malt (12 y.o. Caol Ila), the rest is now history. Thankfully, despite my starting him down this road, Eric’s wife, Teri, still speaks to me!

At the moment, I am on a sort of hiatus from the club as I am living in Perth, Australia, although I do get back to the States every few months. While it is challenging to think about the clubs meetings and not being able to make them, I do look forward to the future when, as Douglas MacArthur said, or was it Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I shall return.”