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Posts Tagged ‘Davin de Kergommeaux’

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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Posted in Books, Extras | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

#27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 28, 2015

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is the first production Canadian Whisky ever to sold in the single barrel format. It drawn from a single oak cask and bottled a full 51.5 % alcohol by volume bottling proof. Now the folks at Crown Royal didn’t just go into their warehouse and start checking random casks of whisky for this expression. They chose a very particular whisky to showcase as their first Single Barrel Whisky. A whisky from a rye heavy mashbill (64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley) which was distilled upon their one of a kind Coffey Rye still which is located in their Gimli facility. This is reported to be one of the key whiskies which is found in their flagship blend, Crown Royal Deluxe.

Crown Royal Single Barrel (Davin) SAM_1633Note: Although the whiskey has no age statement, I did a little research and according to Davin’s De Kergommeax’s article in Whisky Advocate (see here), Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay, leaves the Coffey Rye spirit in virgin oak bourbon barrels for seven years.

Here is a link to the review of the #27 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#27 – Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

“… A fairly intense aroma of butterscotch rises from the glass with scents of fresh rye bread trailing just afterward. As the whisky breathes I notice an abundance of rye and wood spices, more butterscotch, some honeycomb cereal (you know that children’s breakfast cereal from POST) and fresh rye grain. By the time the glass is fully decanted I also notice an abundance of vanilla, cinnamon spice, sourdough and milk chocolate …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Twitter Tasting: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 6, 2015

Crown Royal Single Barrel (Davin) SAM_1633Yesterday, I received my first bottle of the brand new Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Whisky. What makes the bottle I received even more special is that this particular bottle has been drawn from a very particular barrel. The barrel that my good friend Davin De Kergommeax selected right out the Crown Royal whisky warehouse in Gimli, Manitoba.

If you do not know Davin, although I suspect many of you do, he is (like myself), is a true devotee of our great Canadian Spirit, whisky! He has created his own website (Canadian Whisky) where he publishes various articles about our mutual passion and of course his fantastic reviews. He has also been instrumental in launching the first ever fully independent Canadian Whisky Awards! These awards have highlighted not only the best tasting whiskies made in Canada, but they also award special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers in areas of innovation, brand extension, and media/advertising. And as if that was not enough, he is also the award-winning author of Canadian Whisky: the portable expert” which is probably the best guide ever published about the great Canadian Spirit.

If you haven’t heard of Crown Royal Hands Selected Barrel, it is the first production Canadian whisky ever to sold in the single barrel format, drawn from a single oak cask and brought to a full 51.5 % alcohol by volume bottling proof. Now the folks at Crown Royal didn’t just go into their warehouse and start checking random casks of whisky for this expression. They chose a very particular whisky to showcase as their first Single Barrel Whisky. A whisky from a rye heavy mashbill (64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley) which was distilled upon their one of a kind Coffey Rye still which is located in their Gimli facility.

Davin de Kergommeaux

Davin de Kergommeaux

Now, I was curious, and so I asked Davin how the selection process worked for him. He told me that he went down to the facility in Gimli in May of 2014 to taste some of the barrels. Then he went back in December (of the same year) to make his final selection. According to Davin:

“It was freezing cold so we tasted the whisky from four “finalist” barrels in the office.  They were remarkably different from each other.  I brought a sample home with me to sip on until the final product arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It really was a lot of fun from start to finish.”

And now I have one of the bottles drawn from the barrel that Davin himself chose. I find this so remarkable, that I have decided to share my first tasting of this remarkable spirit with anyone who cares to join me tomorrow at 1:30 PM (Mountain Standard) on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RumHowler). I will have my camera ready and my glencairn glass full, and if all goes according to plan publish my first thoughts and tasting notes live online on my twitter account using the hashtag ‘Rum Howler Tastes Crown Hand Selected Barrel’. I hope some of you join me, and if any of you happen to also have a bottle or sample of Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, please post your thoughts online as well.

(And if any of you have ideas as how to make this easier for everyone to follow and participate, please post your ideas, I am pretty much a rookie at Twitter Tastings, having never done one before.)

Chimo, and see you tomorrow at 1:30 PM (MST)!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Davin Turns Canadian Whisky into Gold!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 13, 2013

Davin de Kergommeaux

Davin de Kergommeaux

Davin de Kergommeaux, like myself, is a true devotee of our great Canadian Spirit, whisky!  He has created his own website (Canadian Whisky) where he publishes various articles about our mutual passion and of course his fantastic reviews of the Canadian Spirit. He has also been instrumental in launching the first ever fully independent Canadian Whisky Awards! These awards have highlighted not only the best tasting whiskies made in Canada, but they also award special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers in areas of innovation, brand extension, and media/advertising.

So when I found out that my whisky reviewing friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, had written a book devoted to Canadian Whisky; I was very eager to give it a good read, and review here on my website.

When I announced my verdict that Davin’s Book, “Canadian Whisky: the portable expert ” is the most complete story of Canadian Whisky ever written, and a wonderful read to boot; even Davin thought I was being perhaps a little generous.

But once again, the Arctic Wolf was right on track, and a couple of days ago I got the word. Canadian Whisky: the portable expert” won gold at the 2013 San Fransisco Spirits Competition as the Best Wine, Beer, or Spirits book of 2012.

Davin, you are a great friend, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations towards your success. (Success you have certainly earned by the way!) CW GOLD

And for those who are curious, here is a link to my original review:

Book Review: Canadian Whisky: the portable expert

Posted in Awards, Books, Extras | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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