Canadian Whisky News by Davin de Kergommeaux – Canadian Whisky News

Canadian Whisky for 2013

Canadian Whisky News
Vol. 3 No. 3 – June 25, 2014

She’s A Canadian Whisky Icon!

Tish Harcus, brand ambassador for Canadian Club whisky and manager of the Canadian Club Heritage Centre, was named an Icon of Whisky at the World Whisky Awards held recently in London, England. The Canadian Club Heritage Centre is located at the distillery complex on Riverside Drive, in Windsor, Ontario, in the replica Florentine palace that was Hiram Walker’s office.

As well as learning the ins and outs of whisky making, visitors to the centre enter the subterranean speakeasy where Al Capone finalized many a whisky deal – some at gunpoint. More cerebral types may prefer the art gallery featuring some of Canada’s most renowned painters. All will learn the history of Canadian whisky while enjoying a fine dram (or two).

Congratulations to Harcus, Beam Canada, and Canadian Club brand owner, Suntory.

Whisky: The Manual

Dave Broom has been a whisky thought leader and taste maker for several decades. He was the first international writer ever to include well-researched and comprehensive coverage of Canadian whisky in his work. His most recent book, Whisky: The Manual provides new insights into the real joy of whisky – its myriad flavours. After delving into its history and how whisky is made, Broom sets us on a most enjoyable journey: teasing out the richest and most subtle of these flavours.

While he’s a Scot, who knows his Scotch, Broom emphasizes the pleasures of many whisky styles, illustrating his genuine enthusiasm for Canadian whisky with examples of how best to enjoy his favourites. Drinking customs he has picked up in his journeys around the world reveal just how much more there is to whisky than the serious contemplation of a neat dram.

Introducing five mixers used by whisky connoisseurs from around the world, Broom shows us which whiskies they work best with, and how. His highest accolades go, among others, to Seagram’s VO with coconut water and CC Premium with unsweetened green tea. With a page devoted to each of 102 whiskies from around the world, blends and single malts alike, Whisky: The Manual becomes a check list and a guide for those seeking an in-depth understanding of whisky flavours. Very highly recommended.

Available here on Amazon

Spammers Beware!

On July 1, it will become illegal to send spam in Canada. Yippee! It’s about time. There has been extensive discussion though, about how newsletters such as this one might be affected. It looks like Canadian Whisky News is exempt because most of our subscribers have added themselves to the mailing list. The rest are people with whom I have corresponded or exchanged business cards at whisky, cocktail and spirits events. As well, since this newsletter originates in the USA the whole discussion is likely moot.

Single Distillery Whisky

The cachet of whisky made in a single distillery is one of the special virtues often pointed to by lovers of single malt Scotch. But did you know that almost all single malts are really blends? Blends that is, of various malt whiskies, all distilled in one distillery and then aged for different periods of time in different types of barrels. Once they are ready, these diverse whiskies are brought together according to a deliberate recipe to create the consistent flavours we’ve come to expect from the brands we love.

For the most part, Canadian whisky is very much the same as single malt Scotch. The various component whiskies of an individual Canadian whisky brand are almost always made in a single distillery. While the pressures caused recently by growing demand for Canadian whisky have meant that, at least temporarily, a few brands currently include some whisky purchased from other distilleries, the overwhelming majority of Canadian whiskies are single distillery whiskies – just as single malt Scotch is.

Tasting Whiskey
A book by Lew Bryson

I feel as though I just spent an afternoon with a patient and kindly uncle who regaled me with stories and anecdotes while explaining the mysteries of whisky. Lew Bryson, Managing Editor of Whisky Advocate Magazine has written one of the most original and entertaining whisky books I’ve read yet. It’s a book, not about Scotch, bourbon or rye, but about whisky writ large and written to inform and engage the reader. A wealth of easy to understand colour illustrations ensure the lessons are mastered effortlessly. Best of all, for readers of this newsletter, Bryson really “gets” Canadian whisky.

“Tasting Canadian blended whiskies both before and after I fully understood how they were made and what they were intended to be has led me to reconsider some long-held prejudices about Canadian whisky, blended Scotch, and grain whisky. The frustrating thing now is encountering whisky drinkers who clearly still have those prejudices and not being able to get through to them with my newfound enlightenment.”

It’s complete, it’s comprehensive, and with its conversational style, Tasting Whiskey: An Insider’s Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World’s Finest Spirits is just so engaging. Very highly recommended.

On sale October 21, Tasting Whiskey is available now for pre-order on Amazon.

From Newfoundland to New Orleans we’re tasting Canadian whisky

Tales of the Cocktail New Orleans 2013

If you’re planning to be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, July 16 to 20, master blender and mad scientist, Dr. Don Livermore and I will be pouring Corby and Wiser’s whiskies at a Pernod Ricard USA® spirited dinner, Thursday. I’ll be signing books Friday morning at Octavia Books, and Sunday will present Just A Little Bit: The Secret Hidden Additives of Spirits, a SED Talk about the subtleties of rum and whisky flavours.

And if you happen to be in St. John’s Newfoundland tonight – June 25, why not drop down to the Underbelly Speakeasy on Water St. (right below the Yellowbelly Brew Pub on George St.) at 9:00, for a tutoured whisky tasting.

Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert

The world’s first in-depth book about Canada’s national spirit.



Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert is published by McClelland & Stewart and distributed by Penguin Random House. It is available from most book shops and on-line book sellers. On Amazon

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