Travel

Heading out east

It doesn't shout about it loudly but Canada has somegreat whiskies and some great distilleries to visit. It's just a matter of finding them and making the effort to get to them.
By Rob Allanson
In whisky terms Canada’s problem is that it’s just too vast. Even taking just one area, the East, the distance between distilleries is immense, and there’s no equivalent to Kentucky, Islay or Speyside to bite into.But over in the east there are distilleries that are well worth a visit, so the trick is to incorporate them into a Canadian holiday and tick them off over a period of time.The following refers to distilleries that can be visited and excludes Valleyfield near Quebec, which is also known as the Old Schenley Distillery. Whiskies produced here include Schenley OFC (Old Fine Canadian), which is sold domestically as an eight-year-old whisky, Schenley Golden Wedding, one of the country’s best-selling whiskies, and the Gibson range of whiskies.CANADIAN CLUB The distillery: Canadian Club is arguably Canada’s most famous whisky and the standard version of it defines what we normally mean when we talk of Canadianstyle whisky. But there are other expressions produced under the brand’s name, too, including the 10 Years Old Canadian Club Reserve, a 12 Years Old Canadian Club Classic and an eight year old finished in sherry cask.Traditionally produced by Hiram Walker in Walkerville, Ontario, Canadian Club moved to Beam Global when most of Hiram Walker joined the Pernod Ricard stable. As a result if you want to find out more about the Canadian Club story you need to visit the Canadian Club Heritage Center in Walkerville. It offers three tours a day from May to December,with each tour taking about an hour and leading visitors through the history of the brand and the Canadian Club whisky making process. Between January and April groups of 15 or more can be accommodated if pre-booked.Location: Walkerville is close to Windsor in Ontario, and not far from the Detroit River and a few miles from the American border and the city of Detroit.What else to do: Windsor has a number of museums and sites of historical interest, and the city of Detroit offers a wide range of bars, restaurants and entertainment options.International airport: Detroit in the USA, Toronto in Canada www.canadianclubwhisky.com CANADIAN MIST The distillery: An unusual distillery set up by Kentucky bourbon producers Barton brands, it makes its whisky with an all stainless steel production system, a mashbill featuring barley and corn. Rye imported from Kentucky is added in to the final product.Tours are permitted but by appointment only.Location: Collingwood is a small town in the state of Ontario but much further up on the edge of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It is a 90 mile drive to Toronto What else to do: Collingwood is close to pretty beaches along Georgian bay and offers a range of activities inland, including excellent hiking and riding facilities. There are a number of outstanding historical sites in the region and the town is proud of its programme of arts, crafts, theatre and music.International airport: Toronto www.canadianmist.com In whisky terms Canada’s problem is that it’s just too vast. Even taking just one area, the East, the distance between distilleries is immense, and there’s no equivalent to Kentucky, Islay or Speyside to bite into.But over in the east there are distilleries that are well worth a visit, so the trick is to incorporate them into a Canadian holiday and tick them off over a period of time.The following refers to distilleries that can be visited and excludes Valleyfield near Quebec, which is also known as the Old Schenley Distillery. Whiskies produced here include Schenley OFC (Old Fine Canadian), which is sold domestically as an eight-year-old whisky, Schenley Golden Wedding, one of the country’s best-selling whiskies, and the Gibson range of whiskies.CANADIAN CLUB The distillery: Canadian Club is arguably Canada’s most famous whisky and the standard version of it defines what we normally mean when we talk of Canadianstyle whisky. But there are other expressions produced under the brand’s name, too, including the 10 Years Old Canadian Club Reserve, a 12 Years Old Canadian Club Classic and an eight year old finished in sherry cask.Traditionally produced by Hiram Walker in Walkerville, Ontario, Canadian Club moved to Beam Global when most of Hiram Walker joined the Pernod Ricard stable. As a result if you want to find out more about the Canadian Club story you need to visit the Canadian Club Heritage Center in Walkerville. It offers three tours a day from May to December,with each tour taking about an hour and leading visitors through the history of the brand and the Canadian Club whisky making process. Between January and April groups of 15 or more can be accommodated if pre-booked.Location: Walkerville is close to Windsor in Ontario, and not far from the Detroit River and a few miles from the American border and the city of Detroit.What else to do: Windsor has a number of museums and sites of historical interest, and the city of Detroit offers a wide range of bars, restaurants and entertainment options.International airport: Detroit in the USA, Toronto in Canada www.canadianclubwhisky.com CANADIAN MIST The distillery: An unusual distillery set up by Kentucky bourbon producers Barton brands, it makes its whisky with an all stainless steel production system, a mashbill featuring barley and corn. Rye imported from Kentucky is added in to the final product.Tours are permitted but by appointment only.Location: Collingwood is a small town in the state of Ontario but much further up on the edge of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It is a 90 mile drive to Toronto What else to do: Collingwood is close to pretty beaches along Georgian bay and offers a range of activities inland, including excellent hiking and riding facilities. There are a number of outstanding historical sites in the region and the town is proud of its programme of arts, crafts, theatre and music.International airport: Toronto www.canadianmist.com What else to do: The region of Cape Breton is ideal for trekking and hiking and there are lovely scenic walks, impressive waterfalls and pretty and interesting flora and fauna for lovers of the outdoor life.International airport: Halifax KITTLING RIDGE The distillery: Kittling Ridge produces a range of wines and spirits including several whiskies.The pick of the bunch is the unique Forty Creek, which is produced using three grains separately distilled and matured in charred white oak casks for between six and 10 years before being married and finished in oak barrels.Location: Kittling Ridge is located in a picturesque setting at the southern end of Lake Ontario and less than 40 miles north of the Eastern end of Lake Erie.Toronto is 65 miles north, about 90 minutes away.What else to do: Niagara Falls is about 40 miles away.International airport: Toronto www.kittlingridge.com
For more information on accommodation and visitor attractions Toronto:www.seetorontonow.com Ottawa:www.ottawatourism.ca Montreal:www.tourisme-montreal.org