Awards & Events

Maple leaf malts

The Toronto event goes from strength to strength. We report on the second gathering in Canada's largest city.
By Rob Allanson
Whisky Live Toronto, held in October in Constitution Hall at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was nothing short of a resounding success.In only its second year,Whisky Live attracted more than 800 whisky-lovers for an evening of fine food, Highland dancers, Bagpipers, music, and of course more than100 of the world’s best whiskies.The Liquor Control Board of Ontario attended in full force with their whisky lounge and a well-stocked retail store where attendees could immediately indulge in the purchase of newly tasted whiskies. In addition, the LCBO and Whisky Magazine sponsored a live whisky cocktail competition among five of Canada’s most talented mixologists. The competition was won this year by Shoana Jenson, of KI Modern Japanese Bar who created a cocktail called Tropical Canadian Winter with cinnamon, and picked up the winner’s cheque.Via Allegro, a Toronto area Italian restaurant boasting one of the world’s most extensive whisky and wine collections participated with their own experience lounge where rare older whiskies were paired with local artisanal cheeses for an exquisite sensory experience.Eight masterclasses were held, all of which were attended by overflow crowds of local whisky enthusiasts.Additionally, an open distillers’ debate was held on stage live between Richard Paterson from Whyte & Makay, John Hall from Kittling Ridge, and Chris Morris from Woodford Reserve, who all engaged in a lively debate on the virtues of their respective whiskies.Canadian whiskies made their strongest showing in an international venue, and were richly rewarded with world-wide acclaim.Not to be outdone, there were Irish whiskies, bourbons and American whiskies, and a large contingent of scotch whiskies in attendance.In short, this is an event not to be missed next year when Whisky Live Toronto returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Friday 24th October 2008.