For many, a “whisky” trip is in bucket (or should I say: “barrel”) list item.  Perhaps it’s being we-kilted and be-tammed while making your way Scotland’s Distillery Regions. Ambling along, walking stick in hand through Ireland’s counties. Or, driving with the top down along Kentucky’s fabled “Bourbon Trail”.  Now, put Canada in your barrel list.


Wait a minute.  Canada is the second largest country in the world.  Oh, and aren’t there really just eight big distilleries?


First off, pack those two thoughts under the stairs where the stuff you still haven’t unpacked from the last move is gathering dust. Then, reach for The Definitive Guide To Canadian Distilleries, the new book by Davin De Kergommeaux and Blair Phillips.  Just how detailed is this book?  Consider it your Google Whisky Maps but in book form.

There’s so much to take in with this book:

  • The history of distilling from region to region.
  • Over 200 distillers’ profiles including their range of products.
  • A tasting flight of over 125 spirits.
  • Cocktail recipes.

You’d think that’s a lot to take in and it is.

“Have had anything to read tonight?”

“Just one book officer.”

The way the book is laid out is that you can start anywhere and, since this isn’t a Dan Brown type book, there aren’t any cliffhanger-type chapters.  The content is broken down by region/province, then by distillery. Delicious, dram-size snippets to enjoy. And if that wasn’t enough, each distillery profiled has notes telling you its closest distillery neighbours are, and you may even see some familiar Canadian Distilleries listed!

By all means, visit the big distilleries – the ones that helped, and still are helping to build Canada’s whisky legacy.  Canada is third overall in whisky production.  You should also visit, the myriad of newer and small whisky distilleries that are now adding more chapters to Canada’s whisky story.  But the tastiest part of this book, for me, is that it also highlights all the other types of spirits that are being crafted, maybe literally right around the corner or down the road from where you live.

Whether you’re putting on foot on the gas, putting your seat back or both feet up on your ottoman, The Definitive Guide To Canadian Distilleries will take you on an amazing and spirited journey.  Besides, think of all the Travel Rewards Points you’ll be accumulating.  Cheers.

Note: Remember to read responsibly. Don’t peruse and drive.