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Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert by Davin D.K

15 October 2012 Written by:

canadian1A few very interesting and well written books have been published and released in the past months and I am about to review a couple of such books, The first of which is an excellent book dealing with Canadian whisky, named simply “Canadian Whisky” and written by a true Canadian whisky lover, and perhaps the man who knows the most about Canadian whisky in the whisky blogo-geeko sphere : Davin De Kergommeaux . Now,whisky geeks and aficionados not living in Canada, if you ask yourself “What do I really know about Canadian whisky?” I think most would answer: pretty much nothing. Although the whisky is big in Canada and quite a few distilleries operates over there, Canadian whisky is often overlooked and since most of it is sold and drunk inside Canada, if you do not take special interest in that whisky, odds you will not get to taste or know or appreciate the many whisky types and genres distilled in Canada. I was asking myself the same question, and came to acknowledge I knew very little about Canadian whisky, and Since I wanted to change that, This book was a great tool.

The book itself looks very professional and Davin’s writing is really welcoming and professional at the same time which makes the book interesting and very educational too, which is not always an east task for a writer.


The book is divided into 5 sections : The first deals with the basic ingredients which make Canadian whisky (and every whisky) : Grains, Water and Wood. The Second section describes how Canadian whisky is made , the process, the Enzymes and the yeast, Distillation and Blending. We then continue to Section three where actual whisky is discussed : Flavor,taste, Aroma and texture, and then continues with Tasting techniques, and is very educational if you are a whisky newbie, or new to tasting whisky in a more professional way.

After we get the idea how whisky is made, distilled, aged, blended and tasted, Section four details the History of Canadian whisky, with its first distilleries, The Molson family, Henry Corby, and others including Seagram, Hiram walker and J.P Wiser, a lovely reading to get you in the mood for Canadian whisky.

The last section of the book details the nine operating Canadian distilleries starting with Alberta distillers through Black velvet, Canadian Mist, Gimli , Glenora, Highwood, Hiram Walker , Kittling Ridge and concluding with Valleyfield.

A few cool things that make this book so nicer are  : tasting notes that appear throughout the entire book, lovely photos , current and historic, and the language which is clear, at eye level and really fun to read.

I feel I’ve learned a lot about the Canadian whisky industry, and enjoyed this book immensely. it’s not everyday that I get to learn so many fun facts and entire histories of whisky industries I knew almost nothing about. I really feel the book will be great for all sort of whisky lovers, be it the beginner who reads how whisky is made or the first time (grains, and yeast, distilling, etc.) and the expert who know how Scotch is made by heart, and will have an interesting read to see how Canadian whisky making differs , but is basically also very similar to making Scotch whisky.

A great read, thought. Do yourself a favor and buy this one. Canadian whisky is not what you think it is, It’s much more than that. And this book is all about that.

Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert [Hardcover] , $15


  • Joshua Feldman said:

    Amen, Brother. This book really opened my eyes (and palate) to Canadian whisky. I recommend having a dram of Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve while reading. Of all the many Canadians to pass my lips in the past few months, that’s the one that really does it for me. I’m also quite partial to the flavoring ryes sold solo in the US by Masterson’s and Whistlepig.

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

    Indeed. Now that I’ve read all bout those lovely places and distilleries, i need to try more of that liquid. unfortunately most are hard to get over here, but i do have a family in Canada, so i think i need to visit ASAP (Quebec). If i do, maybe meet Davin? 😉

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

    Indeed. Now that I’ve read all bout those lovely places and distilleries, i need to try more of that liquid. unfortunately most are hard to get over here, but i do have a family in Canada, so i think i need to visit ASAP (Quebec). If i do, maybe meet Davin? 😉

  • Rob Gard said:

    I should have read this before I chatted with the Crown Royal Whisky Ambassador tonight at Whisky Live LA. Boy, I pissed her off, lol. I just mentioned that I struggled to find Canadian whiskies that were good and asked what she could do to change my mind. I was honestly talking about the whiskies she had to offer. Maybe she thought I was talking about her skirt, but she was as cold as a January night in northern Alberta after I said that.

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:


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