This hidden gem is tucked away in an industrial part of Vaughn just off highway 7 is the first true Ontario Distillery. Still Waters Distillery was started just over three years ago by Barry and Barry. Despite my suggestions to call it Barry and Barry Distillery they are still producing some amazing spirits. They are both fanatical whisky drinkers and it shows, they are definitely onto something. They are the first in Ontario to make a single malt Canadian Whisky, and with outstanding quality they have already been winning medals under the radar. They are almost at the bottling stage and have had their whisky aging in three different american bourbon barrels for almost three years.
Barry and Barry love their whisky and decided to start bringing over some obscure scotch that were only available at select distilleries in Scotland. The amazing thing is that they have never been to Scotland themselves. They saw the potential in barrel aged spirits and purchased casks from Scotland. When the casks arrived they had a license to bottle single malt scotch in Canada. If you are unaware, scotch can only be classified as scotch if it is produced and bottled in scotland. They are forced to classify these “single malt scotches” as single malt whisky. If you are scotch lover like me and are looking for a “scotch” that is not available in the LCBO or outside of Scotland this is a stop for you.
The Single Malt…… Vodka?
This vodka is like nothing I have ever tasted in my life. It comes from a single grain (two row malted barley) and is suprisingly smooth. Barry and Barry definitely take pride in their spirits and it shows in this vodka, It is triple distilled and cold filtered to ensure it is crystal clear. The nose is very surprising and very grainy; the vodka has so much flavour you would be hard pressed to think you are drinking one. There is a very flavourful taste which was fantastic and the finish was no different. When drinking vodka I usually wait for the burn in the back of the throat or mouth and this has absolutely none. It is like it didn’t even touch the back of your throat leaving no burning whatsoever. You do know you drank a vodka though as it does start to warm up your belly and chest.
The best part about their whiskies is that they are all numbered and barrel aged for a minimum of three years. I suggested they age some for 10 – 18 years but I think the demand for their whisky will not allow this to happen. Each whisky that comes out of the cask will have a barrel number and bottle number. You can track the individual casks you are interested in at caskbook.com. The first single malt barrel release will happen sometime in april with a soft launch so stay tuned for details. Some bottles could potentially be available in the LCBO if they get their act together. Single Malt Canadian WhiskyIt was not quite ready when I got my first taste from Cask #4; however, it is already fantastic and I would have taken a bottle home for sure. In the next 5 or 6 months as this barrel ages it is only going to gain flavour and add a smooth, velvety and creamy texture to it. This single malt whiskey will be winning awards soon so keep an eye on them. The bottles will go fast as people are already Inquiring about buying complete casks.
The corn whisky was also a bit surprising for me, as I tend to have negative feeelings towards corn being added in whisky. They have also added a malted barley to add some natural enzymes and create some sugar. The corn whisky has a very sweet nose and will be a great easy drinking whisky when it is released.
This will actually be a true rye whisky as they are using 80 to 90 percent rye grains where some competitors use as low as 5 percent when creating a rye whisky. This rye has a definite grainy nose and will be great when it is done aging in the bourbon barrel casks.
Blended Canadian Whisky
Not having a ton of knowledge about brandy I was excited to see what this spirit had to offer. The Still Waters Brandy starts its life as a red wine from the awesome Southbrook winery in Niagara. The brandy is smooth and creamy like a dessert and has a sweetness similar to a fine caramel. This easy drinking brandy will definitely be in my nightcap glass a few nights a week. It makes me want dessert and would be a perfect digestif after a hearty meal.