The wood wowed them. It seems the judges at the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards were impressed by what a little extra barrel-aging can accomplish, naming Bearface Triple Oak Best New Whisky, and awarding it a gold medal for excellence as well.
“We created Bearface to challenge perceptions and elevate the craft of Canadian whisky,” says Anthony von Mandl, founder and chairman of Mark Anthony. Mission accomplished: Bearface is a corn-based whisky that is aged at least seven years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels in Ontario, then travels to B.C. to spend time in former wine barrels from Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, and is finished in Hungarian oak, which adds spicy rye-like notes.
And speaking of rye…at the January event, Ontario’s Forty Creek took home the title of Whisky of the Year for its 22-year-old Rye.
The Canadian Whisky Awards are held each year in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival; this year 10 independent judges blind-tasted more than 100 Canadian whiskies to select the country’s best. The full list of winners can be found at canadianwhisky.org.