VICTORIA — The 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards were held in January at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria as part of the Victoria Whisky Festival.
After blind tastings of more than 100 varieties, the competition’s 10 independent whisky experts declared Forty Creek 22-year-old Rye as Canadian Whisky of the Year.
For the second consecutive year, the competition named Windsor, Ont.-based Hiram Walker and Sons Ltd. Distillery of the Year. Whiskies produced at the distillery also earned 30 awards and medals and Hiram Walker’s master blender, Dr. Don Livermore, was bestowed the inaugural Blender of the Year award.
The awards’ judging panel also served up a few surprise honours to relative newcomers, such as Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Distillery, which was recognized as Microdistillery of the Year.
“Every year the whiskies are just that much better than the year before,” says awards founder, Davin de Kergommeaux. “Top whiskies from five or six years ago might earn a silver medal today. The competition is that intense.”
Additional award winners include:
- Lifetime Achievement — John K. Hall
- Flavoured Whisky Export — Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
- Flavoured Whisky Multi-market — Crown Royal Salted Caramel
- Whisky Value Domestic — Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask
- Whisky Value Export — Pendleton
- Whisky Value Multi-market — Crown Royal Blender’s Mash
- Sippin’ Whisky Domestic — Canadian Rockies 21yo
- Sippin’ Whisky Export — Rich and Rare Reserve
- Sippin’ Whisky Multi-market — Pike Creek Rum Barrel
- Award of Excellence – Innovation — Shelter Point Montfort DL
- Award of Excellence – Line Extension — Corby NHL Alumni Series
- Best Whisky Spirit — Ancient Grains
- Flavoured Whisky Domestic — Forty Creek Cream
- Connoisseur Whisky Domestic — Canadian Club 41yo
- Connoisseur Whisky Export — Crown Royal Blender’s Mash 13
- Connoisseur Whisky Multi-market — JP Wiser’s 35yo
- Best New Whisky — Bearface
- Best Single Malt Whisky — Two Brewers Release 9
- Best All-Rye Whisky — Forty Creek 22yo Rye
- Best Blended Whisky — Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls
A complete list of 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards winners is available at canadianwhisky.org.