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Issue 67 - A brave new world

Whisky Magazine Issue 67
November 2007


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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A brave new world

Using his knowledge and passion for wine,whisky maker John Hall is creating one of the most iconic Canadian brands, Rob Allanson went to find out why.

Nestled between the southern shore of Lake Ontario and the majestic backdrop of the Niagara Escarpment, in the town of Grimsby lies the compact and bijoux Kittling Ridge distillery.

When you take a tour with John, it's a little like stepping into Doctor Who's Tardis – small on the outside and seemingly so much bigger on the inside. In fact some rooms are packed to the gunnels with equipment, spare fermenters and pipes, it's quite an impressive place to see.

Given that most Canadian whisky is blended, master distillery John Hall takes a completely different approach to making whisky than the other players.

Most distillers traditionally blend a variety of grains together, ferment, distil and age. Instead, John treats each grain separately, as though it were a varietal wine.

He believes that being a first generation wine and whisky maker gives him the freedom to be innovative and explore.

He says:“Sometimes, when you have generations behind you, that can hinder you from trying new things, or taking chances.Doing things this way lets me put my fingerprints on the whisky and is not as restrictive.My ultimate goal is to provide customers with a memorable taste experience and quality products they can't find anywhere else.” Forty Creek whiskies are distilled using two small copper pot stills.

Each of the pot stills has its own personality and provides a particular character to the whiskies.

The smaller still is a 600 litre pot and the larger still is a 6,000 litre pot. ...

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