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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    Looking for Bourbon In Montreal

    Recently I spent a few days in this old city. The town is as gracious and "settled" as ever. Today it has an interesting multi-ethnic mix, quite French still but with other influences evident (English Canadian, non-French European, Asian, Middle Eastern and other). I walked around downtown and dropped in to 3 liquor stores to see what was new in the bourbon area. Sadly, very little. The Quebec liquor monopoly tends to focus on Europe (especially France due to the historic links) and there was a superb wine and brandy selection. I saw Jack Daniel single barrel and two artisinal whiskies (one was McCarthy's from Oregon, the other a Peregrine whisky from California) but no bourbon. Two of the stores were special selection and therefore can't be viewed as having the normal run, the third, regular selection store had Jack Daniels only though, not even Beam White or Wild Turkey. I guess the people that run the liquor monopoly would say there is little demand for bourbon (although monopolies can help create demand) but it is really a pity to see so little interest in bourbon. Even in Canadian whisky there seemed a relatively small choice, e.g. none of the new small batch products we have seen in Ontario were there. There was one new luxury Canadian whisky, in a bottle that looked somewhat like a flying saucer (except a little taller). It looked interesting but was 40% abv and in view of the rather high cost I decided to pass. Canadian whisky used to be a big seller in Quebec and it was disappointing to see how the market has gotten smaller. There was a specialty selection of maple-distilled and flavoured alcohols, I did not have time to study these so I passed on them as well but I might try to learn more in the future about them. But for those interested in luxury armagnacs and cognacs there was a huge choice. (And I was stunned to see e.g. a jeroboam of Chateau d'Yquem costing a few thousand dollars). There is good beer in Quebec but few imports in the stores - maybe the burgeoning microbrewing movement has taken share away from the imports. Here I don't mind as much because the local domestics offer great variety but I was saddened to see so little bourbon in town. Just a few years ago you could buy Hancock's Private Reserve, Dickel 12 year old and a few other good straight whiskeys.

    Last edited by Gillman; 05-08-2006 at 03:53.



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