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Davin De Kergommeaux: The Rock Star of Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2017

Davin De Kergommeaux

Last night I attended a special Whisky Tasting presented by Canada’s very own, Davin De Kergommeaux, whom I affectionately name The Rock Star of Canadian Whisky. Davin might be a little (or maybe a lot) embarrassed by the title I have given him, but t is hard to argue the influence he has had upon the landscape of Canadian Whisky.

Davin is a certified Malt Maniac and trained sommelier who has been analyzing, writing, and talking about whisky, as an independent commentator, for nearly two decades. I encountered Davin soon after I began writing about and reviewing spirits in 2009. Davin reached out to me because of a common bond, a love for Canadian Whisky. He recognized from my reviews and commentary that we both believed our National Spirit deserved to be placed on an equal footing with the wonderful Single Malts from Scotland and American Bourbons.

Davin not only believed this, he intended to do something about it. This began with Canadian Whisky, his website dedicated to not only reviews, but also news and well-aimed commentary regarding the industry in Canada and its failure to promote its spirit worldwide as a world-class whisky. He also created the independent Canadian Whisky Awards carefully choosing a wide cross-section of whisky judges from differing backgrounds and from different regions of Canada to help him as jurors and to promote the Awards not only in Canada, but across North America. His Canadian Whisky Awards have become the most prominent signal bearers of excellence in the Canadian Whisky industry.

Davin’s next step was perhaps his boldest. Armed with his extensive knowledge of the raw materials from which whisky is made (he spent six years in university studying the grains from which whisky is made, barley, wheat, rye and corn) as well as with his notes from his personal experiences visiting whisky distilleries across Canada, De Kergommeaux (in 2012) published his award-winning book, Canadian Whisky: the portable expert.

The impact of his book has been huge as Davin lampoons the critics of Canadian Whisky by undermining the myths that permeate their arguments. Not only did his critics take notice; but the entire Whisky Industry took notice as well. It is now not unusual for Davin to be invited to the largest distilleries in North America to discuss the production of Whisky with the World’s best distillers and Master Blenders. Crown Royal even asked Davin to select one of the first barrels for their 2015 release of Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, one of the first single barrel releases in the history of Canadian Whisky.

And all of this finally brings me to the point of my essay and the reason that Davin is touring the country like a rock star. That book that Davin wrote that is revolutionizing the way that Canadian Whisky is being viewed on the world stage; it has just been revised and updated, and once again Davin has knocked it out of the park.

Canadian Whisky The New Portable Expert – Second Edition is once again the most complete story of Canadian Whisky ever written and it includes very important new information regarding the new micro-distilling revolution that is taking place across North America. As a reference book alone, Davin’s book will be invaluable to any student of whisky, Canadian or otherwise as within its pages is a treasure trove of information about the production and history of spirit we call whisky. However, much more importantly, Davin has remembered that the story of Canadian Whisky is just that,  a story. And that story is fascinating. Frankly, once you pick it up, The New Portable Expert is hard to put down.

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Canadian Whisky The New Portable Expert – Second Edition is available in bookstores across Canada. It can also be ordered online (here).

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