What’s gold and bronze and acclaimed all over?

Local Lohin McKinnon Whisky launches to international accolades.

Lohin McKinnon’s new handcrafted single malt Peated Whisky and Chocolate Malt Whisky were recently awarded gold and bronze at the 2018 San Diego Spirits competition. Central City Distillers photo

Gold and bronze aren’t just hues to be found in fine whisky — they’re also the colours of the hardware Lohin McKinnon’s new whiskies took home at the recent 2018 San Diego Spirits Competition.

Having only just released in British Columbia, Lohin McKinnon’s new handcrafted single malt Peated Whisky and Chocolate Malt were both recognized with awards.

These rich and innovative whiskies “pair perfectly with the season’s flavours, but are just as palate-pleasing sipped on their own”, say brewmaster Gary Lohin and head distiller Stuart McKinnon.

Made by Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey, Lohin McKinnon’s Peated Whisky marries Canadian craftsmanship with Scottish whisky tradition. It’s distilled with peated malt from Scotland, and the spirit’s earthy and smoky notes taste exquisite with hot-off-the-grill chicken, ribs and steaks.

Cacao lovers are sure to swoon over Lohin McKinnon’s Chocolate Malt Whisky. The first Canadian whisky crafted with highly kilned chocolate malted barley, it boasts notes of vanilla and chocolate, plus an intriguing layer of complexity (thanks to time aging in French Sauternes wine barrels). Sip it between bites of dark chocolate, chocolate cake and ice cream.

And the judges took note. The distillery was awarded Double Gold for the Lohin McKinnon Peated Whisky, a silver for its classic Lohin McKinnon Single Malt Whisky and a bronze for the Lohin McKinnon Chocolate Malt Whisky.

Though McKinnon is a purist who says a great whisky is best enjoyed neat or “with a dash of water to help bring out the flavour complexity,” Lohin will be mixing these new spirits into cocktails (think a Chocolate Malt Whisky Old Fashioned, a Mint Chocolate Whisky Smash, a Peated Thyme Manhattan or a Peated Whisky Sour).

With such special flavour profiles, consumers can only imagine which concoctions Lohin and McKinnon are working on next. McKinnon says, “We have everything from sherry barrels to Muscat, rum and tequila barrels in the cellar to be used in the whisky-making process. Over the next 20 years we will have some very interesting whiskies to bring to market. They will only be announced though, once the spirit is 100 per cent ready for consumption. We can’t rush these things.”

—by Lise Boullard

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