A decade of great Canadian whisky

B.C. distillers scored big at the 10th annual Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria last night.

The BC winners at the Canadian Whisky Awards included (from left to right): Grant Stevely of Dubh Glas Distillery, Kevin Titcomb and Ken Winchester of De Vine Spirits, Terence Fitzgerald and Jason MacIsaac of Sheringham Distillery, and Leon Webb and Jacob Wiebe from Shelter Point Distillery. Charlene Rooke photo

At a gala awards ceremony celebrating 10 years, the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards recognized famous whiskies and big achievements of the past decade, while giving kudos to small-batch innovations from artisan distilleries, including four from B.C.

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Hi-ya! Barate Kid is back

Cheer on your favourite bartenders while learning about Vancouver Cocktail Week and supporting the Australian bushfire relief efforts

Logo courtesy of Barate Kid.

Vancouver’s favourite high-speed bartending competition returns on January 26, and this time it’s both a launch party for Vancouver Cocktail Week and a fundraiser for Australian bushfire relief.

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When smoke gets in your glass

Bearface blender makes the most of Canada’s flexible rules in his whisky-mezcal mashup

Bearface master blender Andres Faustinelli. Supplied photo

Consider Andres Faustinelli an industry disrupter, in the best possible way.

“The beauty of this project was in our mind from day one,” says the master blender for Bearface Spirits. “The whole idea with Bearface is we’re going to showcase what we can do in Canada, and be way open about it. We’re going to be disrupting and having fun.”

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Last minute gift guide: Warming whiskies

Need something to tuck under the tree? We’ve got you covered with these holiday bottles

istockphoto.com

Here at The Alchemist, we pretty much always think a bottle of something delicious makes a good gift, especially if that bottle contains whisky. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift, these are the are the sippers we’d like to find under our own Christmas trees. (For more gift ideas, see Last Minute Gift Guide Part 2: Spirited presents.)

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Rock & Rye: Resurrecting a distinctly Canadian spirit in Vancouver

As a Canadian distillery, Resurrection Spirits has taken ownership of a distinctly Canadian spirit: rye. Photo: Resurrection Spirits Inc./Facebook

There is an inescapable paradox at play in the notion of craft production. It is like the beloved local indie band that creates a hit single and then ends up filling stadiums on the next tour. “Sellouts!” we cry, too cool to support them now that they are popular. “It used to be about the music, man.”

Make something cool, people like it. Too many people like it, your thing is not cool anymore. It is a philosophical minefield that makes artisanship a tough gig.

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Thrilling open-bar event with 30+ drink stations mixes cocktails and science

With over 30 stations pouring exciting drinks made by top Vancouver bartenders, Science of Cocktails 2020 promises to be another thrilling night of drinks and fun. Photo courtesy Science World

It’s one of the city’s most dazzling drinking events: The Science of Cocktails pairs some of Vancouver’s most accomplished mixologists with the wow-factor of physics, chemistry, and biology for an epic open bar night to remember.

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Open your mind to the aperitivo

“World’s Best Bar” Dante NYC joins Homer Street Café and Bar for a pop up—and shares their vision of the future of drinking.

Dante NYC is doing a pop-up bar at Homer Street Café and bar until November 6. Supplied photo

It’s time to bring back the aperitivo, says Naren Young.

“This is something we’ve been obsessing about,” says the beverage director of Dante NYC, which was which was just named “World’s Best Bar” both by World’s 50 Best Bars and, earlier this year, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards. “The Europeans have been doing this for centuries. Now the rest of the world is catching on.”

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The Phantom Distillery

One of the most coveted bottles in Saturday’s 2019 Premium Spirit Release comes from a non-existent distillery on Islay… or does it? Welcome to the world of Independent Bottlers, brokers of rare, exclusive and unique Scotch and other spirits.

Oliver Chilton, blender for Elixir Distillers. Supplied photo

Last year, one of the hottest items in the BC Liquor Stores Premium Spirit Release—selling out in 24 hours—was the Port Askaig 100 Proof Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Offered again this year, it’s the spirit of Islay in a bottle: a nose full of spicy oak spice, with sea spray, smoke and dark earthy, kelpy flavours, bottled at a robust 50% ABV for rich texture. Yet anyone who’s been to the town of Port Askaig, on Islay’s east coast, will be puzzled: there’s no distillery there.

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