The Victoria Whisky Festival kicked off on Thursday night at The Hotel Grand Pacific. Fittingly, the festival began by featuring some of Canada’s best Whiskies. Davin de Kergommeaux curated a private tasting, highlighting Whiskies such as Forty Creek’s Copper Pot, Canada Club’s 100% Rye, Lot No. 40, Crown Royal, JP Wiser’s Hopped Whisky, and three varieties of Canadian Rockies 21 Whisky, which had previously only been available in Taiwan.
de Kergommeaux, author of Canadian Whisky: the portable expert, proved a perfect host to the event. While he pointed out that “some people who do tastings often get a little bit full of themselves”, de Kergommeaux’s knowledge of Canadian Whisky was only matched by his humility and sense of humour as he regaled an attentive crowd of tasters with tales of the Canadian Whisky World.
de Kergommeaux dispelled myths about the supposed superiority of Craft Whisky distillers, which are popping up all over Canada, describing the product as not very good, but made with earnest intentions. When asked about this journalist’s personal favourite, Alberta Premium, de Kergommeaux described the Whisky as best consumed around a fire with “the boys” until the bottle is all gone—supremely sip-able, the only regret with regards to the purchase of Alberta Premium is the following morning’s inevitable rot-gut hangover.
A panel of 10 independent whisky experts named No. 40 Canada’s Best Whisky after a blind tasting later in the evening. Lot No. 40, which de Kergommeaux describes as a “rye whisky sensation,” is proof that Canada makes the best all-rye whiskies in the world. We look forward to exploring some international whiskies on Saturday afternoon at the Victoria Whisky Festival. Keep an eye out for analogue freelancer Christine Comrie’s article in the next issue of analogue magazine.
words: Nick Lyons
photo: Tim Fryatt