This has been coming for a decade. Judging by the consumption at the wine show last week, wine and beer are out, and cocktails are in. In a very big way.
Had some great ones. A Ceasar with Bacardi Limon stood out. The 10 year old Spanish brandy from Torres, made with the grapes used in Cava is a marvelous liquor. Lighter than congac, a little more floral and acidic, this is a great buy at $30.
Crown Royal has no intention of yeilding their title as the best selling Canadian Whisky in the world. Last year they introduced Cask 16, a sauterne finished whisky that is a brilliant, light rye. This year they rolled out XR, the end of the whisky from the Waterloo distillery (burned down in ’86 I think. RIP) Stronger and spicier rye than the typical CR product, it’s an excellent whisky. Is it worth $150? To the right drinker it sure is.
I had a couple of decent Scotch, including about $100 worth of the Glenfiddich 40 year old. An exceptional drink it is $2100 a bottle. Is this worth it? well not to me. I still blink at paying $120 for Lagavullin.
But the craft distiller has come to Canada. A vernon distiller is making Aquavit and Absinthe to some accolades. A Calgary distiller (Orchi) is making fruit liquors, that are really a form of fruit vermouth sans the bitters. A nice drop but needing a little something more to my taste.
And highwoood distillers have relaunched Centennial Rye as a niche spirit. doubtless more will come in the next few years