Fils Du Roy distillery

Last weekend I had a chance to visit the Fils Du Roy distillery in Paquetville, New Brunswick. This family owned and run distillery started in 2012 with plans to bring some quality local products to the market, so far so good. I got a tour and had a chance to purchase a few of their offerings. To date I have tried their Cranberry liqueur, Gin, Vodka, Grain spirit, absinthe, “rum” and L’eau D’Aout and 4 of their beers. All of these products tasted absolutely fantastic.

They have three different types of stills pictured below and they triple distill their spirits.

Column Still
Column Still

This is the first still used, it is a column still and they use it to get the spirits to close to 35% alcohol if I understood properly. That is very high for a first distillation as most Scotches go to around 10%-20% with the “Low Wines”.

20160910_111908

20160910_111902

Copper stills used for the other two distillations, not sure if they are both used as distillation number 2 and 3 or they are both used to produce different spirits. (the tour was in French and I understood most of it but not all). Also visible are the worm tube tanks used to cool and condense the spirit back into liquid form.

20160910_111944

Me standing next to my cask! (I wish) These are all ex-bourbon cask, not sure from where, I asked but she did not know.

20160910_111835

Some more cask sitting and aging.

20160910_112115

Wish I could have put this in my truck and taken it home…lol

This is what I did take home.

20160910_155348

They seem to have a nice little operation going up there and I can’t wait until August 2019 when the Whisky will be ready. If you get a chance to visit you really should they are very friendly and completely open with the their process. Also don’t be afraid to purchase and try their products, top notch stuff and local to boot.

 

Hype, Hoax, or Hope.

Something has been bothering me lately, and it is whether or not all the “innovation” in the whisky world is Hype, Hoax, or Hope. I see the same thing happening in the Beer industry, actually it has been happening for years now but is getting even bigger and it is called “craft”. Do we really need to have 800 different styles of whisky that are all just slight plays on a dozen or so traditional types that have stood the test of time for over 200 years? I understand that we are a fickle animal that gets easily bored but as the new and old distillers or blenders strive to make the next big thing is it hurting or helping the industry as a whole? I also understand that not all the new products are bad or unwanted. My concern is about price and availability for me and you, the drinker not the collector. If all the companies decide to start to make 50 bottlings each year with weird and wonderful “themes” or “special” releases what is going to happen to the stocks that create the traditional and time tested bottles we have grown to love?

I think they are creating an industry that thrives on making collectible products in smaller batches and releasing them is smaller areas. This is driving the price and competition up with the collectors, braggers and creating the overall whisky snobbery we see online everyday. I can’t go online without seeing the “Look what rare whisky I got” or check out my review of this $1000 bottle of this 1975 single malt from a closed distillery.

Is this new whisky actually living up to the hype? Some are, I have had a few at whisky shows that were great, like Compass Box, who in turn are helping to dispel the Hoax by fighting for true transparency, which I guess adds to their Hype. I see other offerings from some of the big distilleries trying to compete with the new upstarts by removing age statements and releasing their own “special” bottles which I think may be part of the Hoax issue that I fear. Are they really trying to innovate or just re-branding the same stuff as new and upping the price.

I do see some Hope with some of the new products and happy to see some of the old ones for the most part staying true to their core products like Glenfarclas or Glenmorangie. We have some great new products here in Canada as well with big guys aging longer and focusing on quality over quantity and the new distillers making great, affordable whisky.

I just want to be able to have a decent variety of good whisky at an affordable price to buy for a long time. Maybe that is why I have been buying more Canadian and American whisky lately, I haven’t bought a bottle of scotch in over 4 months.

Another Whisky season has come to an end

Well folks it is that very short time of the year, summer. The nice weather calls us to make other commitments to some of our other interest and since we have a somewhat short summer here I choose to not host any official tastings during July and August. Most of us have family and vacation time along with perhaps some travel, cottage or even boat time so it would make it difficult to get a good sized group together.

Pro-Guide-V-175-Combo_img153801_700

We will be back in September ready to go, in the mean time get out and enjoy the weather, drink some beer, wine and cold cocktails, broaden your palette and enjoy some cool drinks maybe even some of those weird clear and pretty spirits like Vodka and Gin 😉

541090-the-top-10-girly-drinks-list-is-here-again

I may offer up a “bring your own whisky and cigar” social meeting and will be looking for a willing host and I will offer up my place a time or two.

02778cb7.png.505x650_q85

 

See you all again in the fall, have an amazing summer and make the most of it!

Gaelic fun!

 

I saw a new video released on Youtube today with an American and Scottish gentleman going through a list of distilleries and trying to pronounce them correctly or at least get close. This got me thinking about some other videos and and websites that try to help us sound like we know what we are doing when ordering or talking to others about Scotch.

Check out the following links and a few videos for some fun and maybe learn a new tongue twister.

http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/pronounc.html

http://www.lexilogos.com/english/gaelic_scottish_dictionary.htm

 

 

There are a bunch of videos in this series, one distillery at a time.

 

 

 

It doesn’t just apply to Whisky, don’t use it to name your daughter as well.

 

 

Go ahead and look for some more…lol

May 18th Bourbon Tasting.

It will be hard to beat our last meeting but I am more than willing to give it a try. This month we will be tasting 5 bourbons pictured below. The meeting will take place at 7pm at our usual meeting place, 197 Buckingham Ave in the Buckingham apartment building, park near the back and use main entrance on the side facing the Gas bar not the end. Cost is $25 payable at the door.

May 18th, 2016
May 18th, 2016

The five Bourbons we will be tasting are Mitchters Small Batch, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut and Knob Creek Small Batch which are available in New Brunskwick most of the time. The other two Tin Cup and Wigle which are considered by some to be “craft” whiskies and not available here yet or may never be.

Hope to see you there, please let me know you will be attending either by email at riverviewwhisky@gmail.com or on our face book page, linked on the side.

 

Thanks, Ken

Looked in my Backyard and found great whisky

Over the past few years Canadian whisky has been talked about a lot more than normal and it is picking up steam. To be honest I have been drinking whisky for a while now but only just casually up until the last three years and it had been almost exclusively Scotch, blends and single malts. I had it in my head that Canadian whisky wasn’t good and it wasn’t cool to drink. I started off slowly about 3 years ago into the realm of Canadian whisky with Forty Creek and it tweaked my interest and maybe turned on a dim light in the tunnel I had formed with my self induced vision of what good whisky is.

The next step in my Canadain whisky exploration was with Davin de Kergommeaux’s book Canadian Whisky – the Portable Expert. This is the best book out there when it comes to Canadian whisky producers and the rich history of who, what, where, and when of our whisky heritage. Davin is the top Canadian whisky expert in the world and is actually a really down to earth, great guy.  I also got the chance to meet John Hall, owner and Master Blender at Forty Creek Distillery and attend one of his master classes and simply fell in love with the whisky and his philosophy on how great whisky is made. To date Forty Creek is the only distillery I have visited but I hope to get a few more in soon.

I have been following the Canadian whisky awards for the past three years and this along with talking to other Canadian whisky fans has helped me choose a few whiskies to add to my shelves. Since then I have added the following bottles, Lot 40, Alberta Premium Dark Horse, Canadian Club 100% rye, Still Waters, Collingwood 7 and 21, JP Wiser’s Hopped, Crown Royal Northern Harvest, Crown Royal Reserve and every bottle that Forty Creek has made since I have discovered it. I still have 12 bottles on my list of Canadian whiskies to find.

This month I picked up a couple magazines that I like to read from time to time and was really surprised with the Canadian content in these heavily Scotch and Bourbon favored publications. Look at the spread that Crown Royal has inside the front cover of the Whisky Advocate, that must have cost a few dollars.

With so many asthma inhalers to choose from, a person with asthma might ask which asthma inhaler brands are right for their treatment? Knowing which asthma inhaler brands are being prescribed the most will give an asthma sufferer a hand in their treatment.

20160316_231515

 

In this issues, that is about the Whisky awards, Bourbon and Japan there is still 3 large full page ads and 3 articles about Canadian whisky. I also picked up the current issue of Whisky magazine and in that one there is the yearly list of the top Icons of whisky around the world in various categories. This year Canada can boast of two Canadians that won or got honorable mention and they are; Beth Havers of William Grant & Sons for the Scotch Whisky Brand ambassador of the year and Matt Jones who got honorable mention (2nd place) for two categories, World Whisky Brand Ambassador and American Whisky Brand Ambassador. I have had the pleasure of spending some quality time (eating and drinking) with both of these awesome people and look forward to spending more time with them in the future.

20160305_164105[1]

Well I guess what I am trying to say is that I am really starting to become a Canadian whisky fanatic because of all the great things happening in Canada right now. We have many great, small, I hate to use the word craft so artisan whisky makers popping up and some of them are doing amazing things, while some others not so great. I got a chance to try four Nova Scotia whiskies a few weeks ago and I must say that 1 was really good, Caldara Hurricane 5, one from Cape Breton was ok( never been a fan of their stuff), the novelty whisky Dirty Old Canadian Trailer Park boys whisky was fun and not all that bad and another was just not my cup of tea. I am excited to see what will become of northern NB’s Fils du Roy distillery’s whisky in a few years and others like Still Waters and whisky made in Yukon.

I almost got through this post without mentioning “He who shall not be mentioned”, Jim Murray. Whether I like him or not or disagree with his book’s choices, he did do Canadian whisky a solid, even if it was just to create enough controversy to sell his book.

P.S. Northern harvest Rye is a great whisky just no where near the best ever 😉

 

My first blind whisky tasting

A  few months ago I was invited to take part in a Canada wide blind whisky tasting that would be organized, discussed and have the results posted all via Twitter. The whole thing was organised by @whiskylassie and used the hashtag #C2CC.

My team was call the NB Newbies as it was the first time any of us tried a blind tasting challenge. My team mates were @ggcyqm and @scottvwfergie. We received out 3 sample bottles in early March and met mid March to sit down with the questions sheet and whisky to try to decipher what was in our glass.

DSCN0492

My first impression was something sherried not 40% or cask strength and speyside. I quickly narrowed it down to 3 distilleries as I hoped it would not be something rare or exotic but something available in New Brunswick or at least Canada. My three picks were Balvnie, Glendronach and Glenfarcas. After some careful consideration and reading I dropped the Balvenie, was that my first mistake? I must mention that this was discussed as a group and we bounced back and forth with a few suggestions but I was really stuck on Glenfarclas due to the amount of sherry I was tasting along with some other notes that fit the bill. Once we decided on Glenfarclas 12 year old, we made the rest of our answers match, it was all or nothing, we will get 100% or nothing. We did taste it next to the Glendronach 12 year old and knew it was different.

Now I am off to Twitter to get the results, queue the Jeopardy final answer music…..

Well I am back to report after hearing the results and I am not even mad. I feel good knowing that we were what I would consider close, all things considered it is difficult to pick out all the right things from a glass of whisky when you don’t have any clue and have tried maybe 25% of the popular whiskies out there. I will list our answers below first and then the actual answers next to it.

Glendfarclas 12 year old and actual was Glendronach 15 year old Revival

GFCOB.12YOV11 img_15year_lrg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABV: 43% vs 46%

Age :12 vs 15

Ex-sherry matured was right

No finish was right

Our nosing and tasting notes seem close

Non Chill filtered was wrong but would have been right if we choose right…lol

We should have the official bottling question right but we sort of said it was independent due to Glenfarclas being an independent company but I explained it to Johanne  as we know they bottled it officially.

We said speyside for the Glenfarclas but I just opened up two different whisky books and one has Glendronach as highland and the other as speyside…lol

 

Over all it was fun and would love to do it again, hint hint! Thanks Johanne, AKA @whiskylassie

 

 

It’s not all about the numbers is it?

Numbers, they are used so often in everything we do and for many people numbers are the thing that allows them to show who they are or how they rank. It is also used to show importance or ranking of many things from whisky to milk. I understand that numbers are needed in many cases but sometimes we get caught up in their importance.

Some examples of how numbers are important:

  • Age – at bars or seniors discounts
  • Bank accounts – need enough to pay bills
  • License plates (along with letters) – so my son gets in the right car
  • Address – where to get dropped off by the taxi
  • Prison uniform – so you don’t wear bubba’s by mistake
  • Bra size – no comment
  • Anniversary – could be life or death if you forget
  • Alcohol content – know your limit

Some examples of where numbers are used but not so important:

  • Wife’s age – what ever she says
  • Geocaches found – it isn’t golf, you don’t get better at it with more time
  • Sexual partners – quality over quantity here
  • Pairs of shoes – can only wear one pair at a time.
  • length 😉 – it’s how you use it, right?
  • Fat content in milk – thicker the better, right?
  • Whisky’s age – Dare I say it?

I realize that we all have different personalities and views, that we all measure ourselves and others with different tools. To some people, the ability to place a number on something is important to them, either to show how good they or something is because it is the only way for them to do it. Not everything is about the numbers, even if they are important or necessary.

This post is my opinion and thoughts on some of the numbers used in the world of whisky.

gordon-macphails-glenlivet-70-year-old-whisky-003

Age, is important but not the end all be all when it comes to quality. I personally like to see the age of the whisky on the bottle and feel it shows the amount of effort and quality put forth by the distillery or blender. It means that they cared enough about their product to hold onto it until it was ready to be what they want it to be. It does speak to the expectations we should have about what we are spending a lot of money on for the most part. Does it mean a 10 year old is not as good as a 30 year old, no way. It does however help us separate the offerings from a specific whisky distillery. I also feel that since the age of a whisky greatly affects the product, it should be placed on the bottle, every bottle of single malt that is. Blends are a different beast to me, they are made to produce a specific flavor profile so they need the leeway to use various ages to get the desired affect and taste. I spend more time reading the tasting notes than looking at the age, I want a certain profile and it can come from a 5 year old sometimes depending on the whisky and my mood. Like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I still feel strongly that a distillery with nothing to hide or no ulterior motives will proudly state the age of what is in the bottle. Let the whisky sell itself with it’s quality but be honest about it at the same time.

laphroaig-cask

Now I will give my opinion on alcohol content. I am not the type to puff up my chest and say it should all be cask strength because that is how a real man drinks it, look at me and how macho I am. Now I like many others appreciate the fact that the distillery is offering us whisky as it comes out of the cask and leave it up to us to decide if we want it lowered with water or not. I almost always add water to my whisky at some point if it is above 43%, that is how I like it. My first sip will be at full strength but after that I usually like to tame it a bit so that it is enjoyable and it last longer. Also cask strength bottles should cost more as it requires more whisky to fill a bottle. With this in mind if I was to dilute my whisky down to 35-40% ABV then I am adding about 20% more to the lifetime of the bottle and justifies the higher price for me. For those who don’t want to add water, they justify the higher price with more ABV enjoyment.

whiskey-inside-600x420

The last whisky number I will discuss is how many whiskies you own or have tried. I know that I have about 80 bottles on hand, including some that are only 375ml and some that are less expensive so it isn’t a fantastic collection  but it is nice all the same. I know that I would have more if I could afford it but I also know that with the exception of a few autographed bottles, they are all going to be opened and consumed, hopefully shared with friends as well. There are only a handful of bottles that I have purchased twice and that was for a specific reason, like not having to open a signed bottle from John Hall. I want to try different stuff even if I really like a bottle, I still would prefer to get something new if possible. Thankfully there is a decent selection around and I have friends willing to “mule” whisky back to me from far away places every once and a while. I also don’t keep tasting notes on what I have tried because I don’t feel the need to do it as I would probably not look back at them. If I am trying something that I have tasted before I don’t care what it tasted like five years ago, I care about what it taste like today. Do I care if it changed, nope doesn’t matter to me, live in the now. Even if I remember it and maybe wasn’t fond of it I still want a dram today, there are very few out there that I will turn down but I may not ask for another dram. When I do my tastings I provide everyone with a sheet for tasting notes, I may add a few notes from the company but the main thing is for those who want to take notes can. Some of the members have a book that they keep all their notes in which is great for them, I don’t. Well maybe I do but they are blank and only used so I can remember what we had so I don’t repeat myself too soon.

macallansothebys

That is enough for now and I didn’t even talk about the price tag.

 

My small patch of the #Whiskyfabric

In our fast paced, globally connected world we live in, the internet word “Hashtag” and it’s increasing use is the new word used for the old marketing term “Buzzword”. It is being used more and more these days and is getting more and more powerful as well. Some times people make them up for fun and other times they are used to help connect like minded people or used in a way to make everyone part of the discussion.

One word I have been using for my whisky related Tweets is #whiskyfabric which in itself is sort of self describing and almost a definition of it’s purpose and intent. I started to use this hashtag because of my new friend Whisky Lassie who started the use of the term, check out her blog here. The Whisky part is pretty simple to figure out but fabric brings in a few variations on the term. To me the Fabric part can mean a thing made by weaving or knitting things together to make it whole or it could mean a framework or structure to build upon. I think it means both, the actual hashtag is the framework and the stories and information shared is all weaved together on that framework. I think that is the purpose that Whisky Lassie had in mind.

I have had some things happen because of the whisky fabric over the past couple years with the Riverview Whisky Society which has made our group improve and grow. Be it advice, bottle recommendations or arranging to have guest speaker come in to our tasting, it has all helped. Up until this point I feel that I have been doing things along the edge of the “Fabric”, that is until this weekend.

Yesterday I was the connection to have two separate whisky circles I run in get together for a group outing and tasting. It started with my group in Riverview and finding out that one of the members owned an Inn and I asked if we could host a whisky tasting there during the off season. He said he would love to do it and came up with an plan and we put it out to our members first. We had room for 9 couples and when it looked like we only had a handful that could go from our group we reached out to some of the members of the group I host at the Masonic lodge. This was the beginning of my two whisky worlds colliding and weaving together. Seven of the nine were members of the Riverview Group, two were part of the Masonic group and four were members of both groups. Now we’re are all members of the Little Shemogue Inn whisky weekend group which will be getting together again someday.

10452896_10152634539966631_3811271878002340227_o

It didn’t take long for people to warm to each other over whisky and great conversation. The facility was a fantastic venue for this type of thing it has two buildings that had 4 beautiful rooms and the main meeting room and the other building that had 5 rooms and the dinning hall, you even had to walk over a short bridge over the water to get between the two buildings. Check out the fantastic Little Shemogue Inn here.

You can’t directly buy Bitcoins using PayPal, because it is risky for the seller, and therefore few sellers will offer this.

Here are a few pictures of some of the Whiskies we enjoyed.

DSCN0359 DSCN0361 DSCN0363 DSCN0364 DSCN0368 DSCN0370

Whisky – A drink worth sharing

When most people think about alcoholic drinks they think that they either want to drink to get tipsy or drunk or they just want to have a social drink with friends or family. There is nothing wrong with either I guess, although I do not like the feeling of being tipsy or drunk and I could never hold in my alcohol after about 6 drinks I was either going to be sick that night or keep it down and be sick for about 12 hours the next day. I have learned to hydrate and if I know that I may have more than my usual limit of 3 or 4 then a couple bottles of Gatorade through out the night are my best friends.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am a social drinker that enjoys a few drams with good company. I love socializing and I love whisky so many times I try to do both at the same time. I think that whisky above all other spirits is the most suited for sharing and sipping with others.  It is a very rare thing to see someone asking at a bar what type of rum or vodka they have, they just order one with their favorite mix. Not so with whisky, many whisky drinkers will ask for the whisky menu and then decide what they are in the mood for and then they savor it for a long time. Seeing as how you may be sitting with friends you want something that will last to extend that social interaction.

I am the same when at home hosting friends or family and I bring them to my whisky collection and tell them that everything that is open is fair game (I have a few bottles that I probably won’t open for a long time, if ever). Many people do the same with beer, I find real beer connoisseurs are very similar and love the chance to talk about and share some other precious supply. Most times people who are fairly new to the whisky world ask me to pick for them, so I ask a few questions and try pick something that hopefully will suit their taste. If they are really interested and not everyone is, I take the time to explain what they have and give a bit of history on it as well.

This brings me to the real reason I decided to write this post today. I walked into my whisky/Jets room to see what I was going to drink this afternoon and spied 7 of the 10 sample bottles I still have left for a visit to Graham and Johanne’s place this summer. Krista and I went down to visit them and my cousin Boyd and Richard and stayed at their place overnight. While there I was brought down to view their whisky collection (which is fairly impressive) and was offered a glass or 4  of anything open as they have some that are for special occasions as well. While there for the visit I has 5 different drams and before we left the next day 10 sample bottle were produced and I was told to go pick out 10 bottles to fill them. I still remember the first sample bottle I ever received (Stalk and Barrel Cask 1 I believe) was from Johanne, before we even met we were talking on line as I was getting some advice from her on setting up the Riverview Whisky Society. After tasting it with 3 other whisky friends I quickly filled it back up with the only thing I had that she hadn’t tried yet as it was a travel exclusive and sent it back. This is when I realized that sharing of whisky is the way to go and since then I have probably shared close to 30 sample with friends, coworkers, and my dad.

Compare the best antifungal creams of 2017, based on analayzed 258,094 consumer reviews by Amazon. Choose the top-rated antifungal creams at today’s lowest prices.

samples

 

So if you are reading this and want to try something I have or swap samples let me know, I am in. I am also in the works of organizing a big swap meet up this spring where everyone will bring a bottle and then go home with 15-20 samples from each other, stay tuned for more info.