Lot No. 40 and the Canadian whisky Twitter event #DavintTT (Part I)

Canadian-FlagBefore I start one quick question to you all : Did you know that Canadian distilleries are forbidden by US regulations to let visitors inside ,and take a tour of the distilling process? I bet you did not know that. But as it seems the US forbids any food and drink company  that ships to the US via land transportation to let anybody come in contact with their manufacturing facilities, due to some silly 9/11 security regulations. Amazing, and so sad. This is why even if you wanted you could not see the stills, and distillation process in any Canadian distillery (some have visitor centres, but those are separated from the actual stills etc. Now, back to what i was planning on writing :

A few weeks ago Fellow Canadian blogger and whisky fabric weaver Johanne came up with a terrific idea to conduct a few sessions of Canadian whisky twitter meetings with the #1 Canadian whisky expert (and author of this amazing book, I’ve reviewed in the past), no other than Davin D.K. A few samples of Canadian whiskies (all blind, and numbered 1..4) were dispatched to a few whisky lovers and bloggers, and we were given a reading list for each of the online meetings. Last Sunday was meeting #1, and we were to discuss chapters 10-13 in Davin’s book. As this is an international event with members from a few time zones (and Israel being 7 hours ahead of Canada) we decided to do it at 3 PM Canadian time which is not too late in EU and Israeli time (9/10 PM respectively) as to be able to all take part. Since chapters 10-13 do discuss Corby distillery, we started with some general Q&A  by Davin, where each could ask a question to be addressed by him. I was interested in Canadian distilleries visitor centres and was very surprised and disappointed by Davin’s answer.

Some other members asked very interesting questions about Canadian whisky making, but i wont get into that (if you read the book. you may learn a whole lot about that, i am sure, so check this book out).

After the Q&A session was over, we were to sample dram #1 which was rather interesting, and turned out to be Lot No. 40 Rye, I bet you’re keen to know how it was so here we go. This one is produced by Corby at Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario It’s mostly 7 – 8 years old whisky  It is made in a 12,000 litre copper pot and is aged in  a mixed type of barrels both new and used.

Lot No. 40 43%, 2012 Editionlot-no-40_whisky

Nose: Rather sharp on entry, with a lot of pine wood, and when i say a lot i mean the entire forest, blimey! it’s that piny. I really think this whiskey benefits from water, and when you add some the harshness is rather gone, making way to some floral notes, as well as very unique aromas that some guys called “buttered popcorn” , and really are on the money. I could not quite put my finger on what it was, but it’s really that. It’s also quite spicy, and flinty. It’s Rye big time, and it doesn’t take a whisky expert to notice that. big Rye.

Palate: spiced, with a lot of rye goodness, with pepper, some sweetness, and a bit of damp wood, and a lot of pine needles as the nose suggested, interlaced with vanilla and some liquorice.

Finish : Medium, spicy,and peppery.

This is a 100% Rye whisky (10% is malted, and 905 non malted) , and this is evident. Without water it’s too harsh for me, but with water it’s really a nice sipper,although quite spicy and feisty. Lovely to get to know this one too.

Score: 78/100

Join us tonight at the same time (20:00 GMT) for session #2 with Davin and the gang.

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8 thoughts on “Lot No. 40 and the Canadian whisky Twitter event #DavintTT (Part I)

    1. With due respect to Davin I’m not sure I believe the story the distillers – gave him for not allowing tours. Forty Creek – whose whiskies are available in the USA – not only allows tours of the facilities they promote them!!!

      IMO, the reason other Canadian distilleries don’t promote tours is because they are INDUSTRIAL facilities with boring column stills and have as much charm as a slaughterhouse. If they had quaint pot stills and old stone warehouses you can bet they would welcome visitors.


      1. If they are willing to spend endless hours at the border getting their trucks cleared they can allow visitors, OR if they do not ship bulk whisky they can allow visitors. BUT if they allow visitors they must go through time-consuming and expensive screening each time they cross the border. That is not my opinion. I did the research before i spoke.

        1. Davin,

          I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that your research was faulty or that you have a hidden agenda.

          I’m suggesting the distilleries have no real interest in pursuing visitors, therefore, they use the cross-border issues as easy justification for not doing it. The cross-border issues are obviously not much a burden for John Hall (maybe the difficulties are higher for bulk shippers which FC does not do – do they?).

          Anyway, I still think that if Canadian distilleries were as quaint as those in Scotland – or even Kentucky – and not industrial complexes with column stills, they would put up with the hassles of the extra paperwork. Being in such a regulated industry they’re already well accustomed to paperwork!


          1. Davin,
            I should add that I’m grateful for your wonderful book and all you’ve done to promote quality Canadian Whisky. The book is well written and I have learned a lot from reading it and from all the discussions I’ve had with you.

            My hope is that the discussions will lead to the improvement of the product and industry practices. I too would like to see Canadian Whisky rise from the bottom shelf and be taken as seriously as Scotch, Bourbon, Japanese, etc.


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