George S. Grant is part of the sixth generation of the family that bought the Glenfarclas distillery in Scotland’s Speyside region in 1836. Now the director of sales for the brand, he talked to The Alchemist about innovation, tradition and the distillery’s most famous drams.
There’s a lot of innovation in whisky and in Scotch today. Is the Family Cask series at Glenfarclas where your fans see that within your brand?
“We’ve seen the revamping of Scotch, or the experimentation side of things, I suppose. I’m not saying we do don’t it or haven’t done it, but it’s things we’ve done 60 or 70 years ago. Primarily, all of the Glenfarclas range is now 100 per cent aged in Oloroso sherry casks. Back in the 1960s we did an experiment where we filled 15 different types of sherry casks—fino, Manzanillo, Amontillado, Pedro Jimenez… About 20 years ago was the first time you started seeing finishing ranges on Scotch, and ever since then people have been jumping on the bandwagon.
Sip whisky and talk business with a Dragon at this speaker event
Looking for wisdom at the bottom of a whisky glass? Vancouver’s upcoming Be Wise Speaker Series and Whisky Festival has merged world-class whisky tastings with business-oriented conversation in the round, for a most sophisticated pairing.
A sneak advance sip of Canadian Club Chronicles 41, the second in a series of ultra-aged Canadian whiskies that redefine our country’s style
The smell alone is intoxicating: that heady fusion of sawdust and toffee scents that signals a whisky-aging warehouse. It wafts out of a raised white garage door just outside Windsor, where a bottle of teal-labelled Canadian Club Chronicles 41 glows the colour of teak.
A great patio does not always mean a great cocktail—except on these dandy decks.
Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio • D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver • Earls Ambleside Beach • Gotham Steakhouse and Bar • H2 Rotisserie and Bar at The Westin Bayshore • Homer Street Café • Keefer Bar • Reflections: The Garden Terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia • Vij’s Restaurant
The Alchemist’s tasting panel samples B.C. vodkas for a taste of the province’s most crowd-pleasing spirit
Nazdarovya! With the FIFA World Cup kicking off this month in Russia, our thoughts have turned to vodka. (That and Neymar’s incredible comeback, of course.)
Vodka is often described as a “colourless, odourless, flavourless” spirit, but its clean subtlety is sometimes just what we crave. And so we asked our Alchemist tasting panel comprising some of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Olivia Povarchook of Vij’s Restaurant, Katie Ingram of Toptable Group and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bells and Whistles, Bufala, Lucky Taco)—to sample eight artisanal B.C. vodkas, share their thoughts and suggest cocktails to make with them.
The South Okanagan is a fruitful playground for distillers to innovate and collaborate
“Smile, there’s gin,” says the chalked sign. Perched on the Naramata Bench, with a sleek tasting room and sunny patio overlooking Okanagan Lake, Legend Distilling could be mistaken for a hip winery. But a taste of its Doctors Orders gin puts me firmly in the spirit world as I begin my quest to discover what unites the South Okanagan Distillery Trail, a handful of stops mapped on a passport-style stamp card.