Discover delightful drams for every type of whisky lover at Vancouver Cocktail Week

There is a whisky for everyone at Vancouver Cocktail Week 2024. barmalini/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

Whether it’s sweet, vanilla-scented bourbon, spicy rye or smoky peated malt, we love whisky, the “water of life” that transforms humble grains into sophisticated spirits. And one of the best places to sample whisky of all sorts—and the drinks in which it shines—is at the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week, March 3 to 10.

Sip, sample and learn about whisky at these events.

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From cornflakes to corn whisky

Ontario’s Paradigm Spirits Co. wins Whisky of the Year at the 2024 Canadian Whisky Awards

Paradigm Spirits 2022 Heritage Collection: 19 Year Single Grain Oloroso Blend Whisky is 2024 Canadian Whisky of the Year. Photo courtesy of Canadian Whisky Awards

For nearly a century, residents of London, Ontario, smelled toasty corn aromas coming from what was formerly a grain facility and then a Kellogg’s Cornflakes factory. These days, it’s the scent of whisky mashes — and victory — that’s wafting from Paradigm Spirits Co., a distilling and blending enterprise located in that space since 2020. It won Whisky of the Year on January 18 at the 2024 Canadian Whisky Awards for its 2022 Heritage Collection: 19 Year Single Grain Oloroso Blend Whisky bottling.

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Winter of Whisky

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler

A great bottle of whisky has always been the ultimate holiday gift, but this year Scotch brands are leveling up with immersive whisky experiences that include exclusive tastings, food pairings and even hotel stays. If your whisky tastes run more local, snap up a presale bottle of Sheringham’s rye-forward whisky, coming in 2024: it’s bound to be as stellar as their award-winning gin.

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Armed Robbery

The Armed Robbery is a subtly butter-washed cocktail that is as cozy as it is complex. Chelsea Brown photo

This cocktail from The Watson is warming and fragrant with smoke, honey, walnuts and buttery shortbread. Note that the whisky will take two days to infuse before you can make the cocktail.

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High on rye

Sons of Vancouver pins the future on whisky

SoV’s winning whisky features tropical notes of banana, pineapple and demerara sugar. Photos courtesy of Sons of Vancouver.

In January, a B.C. craft whisky was named the country’s best for the first time in the 13-year history of the Canadian Whisky Awards. The rye-based Palm Trees & A Tropical Breeze was only the third whisky released by Sons of Vancouver. But it offers an aromatic taste of the future for this North Van distillery better known (until now) for its amaretto and other liqueurs.

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On Point

B.C.’s Shelter Point Distillery becomes the first Canadian bottling by the prestigious Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

152.1, also known as “Vibrant and Vigorous,” is the first SMWS bottling from a Canadian distillery. SMWS photo

During the Victoria Whisky Festival on January 20, the Canadian chapter of Scotland’s Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) unveiled a new bottling, 152.1, also known by the name Vibrant and Vigorous. The “.1” identifies the first-ever bottling from a new-to-SMWS distillery, and the Society identifies whiskies only by number and their often-fanciful house names, because each whisky is a single cask bottled at house strength, and may be a unicorn that doesn’t align with the distillery’s house style.

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Sunset cocktail. Getty Images photo

This twist on the scotch classic is created by David Wolowidnyk.

1 oz Glenfarclas 17-year

1 oz Marsala

0.5 oz Bénédictine liqueur

2 dashes orange bitters

Garnish: orange peel, shortbread

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