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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    New whiskies in Ontario

    In a sleepy industry, it is rare to see a new Canadian whisky (or new in Ontario): today I saw three. One is Danfield's Private Reserve Small Batch Whisky from Lethbridge, Alberta, one is Centennial 10 year old Rye Whisky, the other a new version of Wiser's: Special Reserve, at 43% abv (rare in Canada). The ad copy on each are the usual commercialisms (the word smooth omnipresent, the assurance of blending skill, etc.) but I am hopeful these or some of them will taste good, in due course I'll try them and report comments. I believe the Centennial has been available in the U.S. in some iteration anyway, but I think the others are not known there as yet. At Summerhill liquor store where I saw these today there is a whisky promotion going on and somehow they got a disused 5000 litre spirit still from Glenfiddich in the place, however due to space issues it is smack dab in front of the fine wine section!

    Gary

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    Gary,

    Do you happen to know where that Centennial rye is produced?

    The one from Lethbridge, I take it, must be a premium version of Black Velvet, then? Ive been looking for that 10 yo called Red Feather Saloon (also produced by Lethbridge) but, as always, Canadian deluxe offerings, at least here in Europe are almost as rare as teetotallers on a whiskey festival.

    By the way, was it ever settled where those Hirsch rye-bottlings originated from? I might have slept at some crucial stage but I got the impression that the issue remains unresolved.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    Hi Hedmans, the Centennial 10 year old is from High River, Alberta, about an hour south of Calgary. It is made by Highwood Disillers. I believe this company, which is privately owned, is controlled by European interests. A range of spirits is made, see www.highwood-distillers.com, which shows a picture of the Centennial 10 year old I saw this morning at the Summerhill branch of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. You must be right that Danfield's Private Reserve is a new label of Barton's distillery in Lethbridge, Alberta, and presumably is a version of Black Velvet. Maybe it is a small batch version of the 8 year old Black Velvet. I have been disappointed by new releases before. Clearly the Centennial is not new, but the Danfield's is and so is the 43% version of Wiser's I mentioned and maybe this time it will be different..

    Gary

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Jun 2005
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    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    In a sleepy industry, it is rare to see a new Canadian whisky (or new in Ontario): today I saw three. ... At Summerhill liquor store where I saw these today there is a whisky promotion going on
    This is a province wide, four week promotion called "Whisky Rocks."

    The campaign's web site is interesting, but they give short shrift to US whiskeys by featuring Jack as the only pictured representative. Oh well.

    The LCBO press release gives more details.

    Thanks for the alert and review of the Danfield.

    I have an order in for the Danfield with friends who go across the border regularly (< 50 miles from here), and may have to add the other two bottles, depending on your reviews.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    Thanks, you will enjoy the Danfield's, it is a winner!

    Tonight: Wiser's Special Reserve.

    Gary

  6. #6

    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    Jeff, if you think they give short shrift to American whiskey on their website, I can assure you that it is often much worse in the store. Too many LCBO outlets in Ontario (my section of it anyway) seem quite confused by anything that isn't JD. To really get a stare like you have two heads, just start explaining to them that Jack Daniels isn't bourbon.
    Luckily, I found a clerk in one store who is a bourbon fan herself and she has been great about trying to help me get things ordered in.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    In the end there is no substitute for self-education.

    When someone tells me in a Provincial liquor store, as happended recently, that there are only two working distilleries in Canada, I just shake my head - no use in arguing.

    Gary

  8. #8

    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    I agree. I can understand them not knowing about it. If there was enough call for the product to require their knowledge, then there'd be more choice on the shelf to begin with.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
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    Apr 2003
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    Alabama
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    125

    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    Cheers to the Great White North!
    The Wiser's SR is intriguing, as I miss my regular deliveries of the standard Wiser's from Kitchener.
    IMO, Wiser's has Crown beat all to heck.

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    Oct 2004
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    400

    Re: New whiskies in Ontario

    In the end there is no substitute for self-education.

    When someone tells me in a Provincial liquor store, as happended recently, that there are only two working distilleries in Canada, I just shake my head - no use in arguing.

    Gary
    If it was a product consultant, then I agree. If it was someone stocking the shelves, well they aren't hired with product knowledge as a prerequisit. Try asking for something with a Gailic name, and watch the fun responce...

 

 

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