John Hall’s Forty Creek

John Hall’s Forty Creek

I have found that many of the new distillers in America have come to distilling from breweries and beer production. It’s a logical step, as “beer” must be brewed before whisky can be distilled from it. (I’ve always liked the saying, “Whisky is what beer wants to be when it grows up…”) Some distillers come to whisky with wine expertise as well. Why make cognac when you can make whisky, right? One such wine producer in Canada that has made the transition to whisky production is John Hall of Forty Creek Distillery. The international community is paying more attention to Canadian whisky largely because of Mr. Hall’s contributions to craft production. John Hall started making wine in the 1970’s and purchased Kittling Ridge Estates Winery in Grimsby, Ontario in...

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year for 2016 goes to…

So the news is out that Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was named the 2016 World Whisky of the Year by renowned whiskey writer Jim Murray. This news will most definitely affect sales for Crown Royal, but it may affect a bit more. Rye whiskey is making a comeback all over North America! Let’s be clear that the term “rye” does not carry the same definition in Canada as it does in the U.S. We know rye whiskey, here in America, to mean that at least 51% of the mashbill is made of rye grains. Original styles of rye whiskey grew out of Pennsylvania and Maryland and were crafted based upon which surplus grains farmers from those regions accumulated after their harvests. In Canada, the original style of whiskey produced there was made of wheat. Early in Canada’s...

Pakistan has a Distillery…

Pakistan has a Distillery…

Did you know that there is a distillery in Pakistan? Alcohol consumption is illegal, but that wasn’t made law until 1979 by the Hudood Ordinance. The Murree Brewery is the oldest and largest brewery in Pakistan. It doesn’t have much competition (is almost a monopoly there) due to the government’s strict regulation of alcohol. Murree Brewery Company Ltd. was established in 1860 to provide beer for British soldiers and personnel stationed in India. The brewery struggled through water shortages, natural disasters, and different ownership, but has survived through it all. In the 1960’s the brewery began distilling and aging single malt whiskey. They now have over 500,000 liters of whiskey aging in their underground storage cellars. They age a 12 year old and released...

Japanese Whiskey

I am a huge fan of Japanese whisky… Two of the most influential figures in the history of Japanese whisky are Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru. Torii created the Yamazaki distillery in 1924 to bring Japanese whisky to the Japanese people. Taketsuru studied whisky making in Scotland until moving back to Japan in the 1920’s (with his Scottish bride) and began work as a distillery executive for Torii. In 1934 Masataka Taketsuru left to create his own distillery, which would become Nikka. Japanese whisky is based on Scottish traditional methods of distillation. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Japanese tea ceremony, but I can assure you that it is no easy task to learn its methods and intricacies. (My best friend studies the art...