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I had the chance to visit him in April of 2016 where he took the time to spend 5 hours with me teaching me how his creative nature and microbiology background guide him in his vision of what Canadian whisky can become. I experienced my very own university 101 whisky chemistry class and given the opportunity to try my hand at blending. A "whiskylassie" blend was created as well as recipe written down. You never know, maybe someday after I pass away, there will be a Whisky Lassie whisky!? (Dream on Johanne, dream on... hehehe) Don and I went to lunch and we discussed many aspects of what is to come for Wiser's. 2017 is going to be one hell of an exciting year... albeit I am sworn to secrecy as to what will be released.
After lunch, I assumed my day was done but no...
Don says: "So do you want to go to the warehouse?" Lassie beams! We did a walk about, and then opened a few casks for sampling. Lot 40, Red Letter and the 18 - All at CS. I stood speechless (I'm sure that surprises many of you) and I said not a word for 5-10 minutes. Simply amazing straight out of the barrel, that is all. Back to the distillery and down to the archives for about an hour. I rummaged, searched and discovered pieces of Canadian history that day that simply blew me out of my boots. How sorry do I feel for people who simply think Canada makes brown vodka!? If only you knew the long history and story behind what we have here in this country.
One last surprise for the Lassie - JP Wiser's Last Barrels. I was allowed to try a sample, take a photo but again sworn to secrecy as to saying anything until it was revealed in June 2016.
My experience in full... why I love this bottle even more and why you should really get one bottle if you can.
At the Victoria Whisky Festival on January 20th, Don Livermore will reveal four new whiskies for 2017. I won't be on the west coast but I'll certainly be first in line here on the east coast to sample and buy them.
I'd like to thank Davin de Kergommeaux for introducing me to Don Livermore and of course a huge thank you to Don for being the passionate mad scientist who believes in what Canadians are capable of on the whisky scene.
Canada celebrates 150 years in 2017 and my mission and commitment to prove how proud I am - I'm going to sample, buy and write about as many Canadian whiskies as I can. Let's see how many this Lassie ends up trying!!! Place your bets now boys and girls, place those bets. Bring on the Canadian whisky adventure!