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Northern Stone

Northern Stone

Canada’s Best Rock Climbs
edition:eBook
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The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries

The Portable Expert to Over 200 Distilleries and the Spirits they Make (From Absinthe to Whisky, and Everything in Between)
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

From the Introduction

There is a movement stirring in Canada’s spirits world. If you doubt us, just visit the farmers’ market in Duncan, BC. There, among the local vegetables, grass-fed meats, cheeses, handcrafted soaps, and wines, you will find the Schacht family, who operate Ampersand Distilling just up the road, selling products they make by hand: gin and vodka. Duncan is typical of the scores of communities across the land where a burgeoning interestin locally produced food and drink has grown to embracespirits. More than 200 distilleries have sprung up across Canada to meet this surging demand, most of them in the past five years alone. New distilleries are popping up so regularly that it is almost impossible to keep up.

These new enterprises are not small-scale knock-offs of the major distilleries that already provide more than 99% of the spirits that Canadians drink (and yes, that’s the real number). Small or large, each of Canada’s distilleries has its own distinct, often eccentric, personality. And for the most part, each one turns to local produce to make its fine spirits. While larger distilleries focus on high-volume, mass-market liquors, the smaller distillers specialize intiny batches of specialty spirits. Often, they sell these products in shops inside their distillery.

What these smaller start-ups may lack in volume, theymake up for in cachet. Many of them, for example, are raising terroir to an almost fetish-like obsession. It’s notan exaggeration to say that you really can taste Vancouver Island barley in Shelter Point’s whiskies, while Cirka’s gin telegraphs innovative flavours from Quebec’s boreal forest. As well, distillers are creating a new understanding of formerly traditional flavours for spirits. Still Waters Distillery and Dillon’s Distillers have each created their own versions of rye whiskies with surprising and appealing new flavours. Pemberton Distillery has been digging peat right on its own property to fuel the kiln that dries and flavours its malt. Distillerie Fils du Roy harvests New Brunswick thuja staves for its barrels, while a collective of Quebec distillers has created an official geographic designation known as acerum, for spirits they make from maple sap.

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The idea for this book began to take shape while we were travelling across Canada, writing a travel and whisky adventure series. Entering crowded tasting rooms from Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley, Alberta, to Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario, showed just how popular “drinking local” is becoming. As we have gotten to know some of these distilleries, we realized each has a unique product and a story that needs to be told, and thus this guide was born.

In all 10 provinces and one territory, you will meet the quirky personalities who create these spirits and who run the distilleries that make them. Some of the distilleries featured have been around for over a century; others are creating their spirits for the first time. Each plays its part in Canada’s spirits landscape. There has never been a better selection of rich specialty spirits to tempt the palate and add to your long-time favourites, and the tasting notes we have included will help guide you.

There is a lot to say about the over 200 profiles featured in this book. To make it as comprehensive as possible, you’ll find the technical details of each distillery—whether it is their street address, the kinds of stills they use, tour information, or a listing of where you can buy their products—in sidebars on every page. As well, we have included regional maps to plan your next distillery-crawl adventure and to track your progress. We have also mentioned each distillery’s nearest neighbours, in each direction, so no matter which way you are heading, you know where to stop next. Once you have taken that first sip, we are confident you will want to visit them all. And when you get home, new discoveries in hand, why not try some of our distillery-specific cocktail recipes—some classic, most unique.

This book is as up-to-date as we could make it. And like every book, it is up-to-date until the moment someone pushes the “Print” button. Given all of the exciting things we have seen in our research, we know there will be new additions by the time it reaches your hands. And this is why, for the latest updates, we invite you to visit us at www.canadiandistilleries.com.

As you work your way through this book, you will—in words, at least, and we hope later in fact—taste all the spirits these distilleries create, and hundreds more. There is a whole new world of flavour in Canada’s distilleries, and we hope our book will help you be part of it.

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150 Nature Hot Spots in Canada

150 Nature Hot Spots in Canada

The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places
edited by Debbie Olsen
edition:Paperback
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