The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

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Page 78 of 132

UNDER THE RADAR Northern Exposure CANADIAN WHISKY IS A TREND WAITING TO HAPPEN story and photos by Fred Minnick A lthough Canadian Mist wasn’t around during Prohibition, it’s hard to look at the distillery’s tall smoke stacks, trailing the blue Ontario skies, without thinking about how Canadian whisky kept Prohibition- era America well lubricated. During those dreadful years, the United States’ friends to the north found ways to keep good drink in our hands while the IRS busted up U.S. distilleries. Master Blender Steve Hughes noses his Canadian Mist Black Diamond. Among other things, this constant supply of Canadian whisky resulted in a strong category loyalty that stills stands today. In fact, there’s such an American appreciation of the category that perhaps the most American of Americans—rodeo cowboys—drink more Canadian whisky than any other spirit. That’s probably why Pendleton has recently become the official spirit of ProRodeo (the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) and why Crown Royal spon- sors its own team, the Crown Royal Riders. But Canadian whisky is no longer the only brown spirit in the speakeasy, and consumers want more out of it than just a highball on the rocks or spike for Coca-Cola. Today, the likes of Brown-Forman’s Collingwood and Canadian Mist, Diageo’s Crown Royal and Beam Global’s Canadian Club as well as smaller Pendleton and WhistlePig have reenergized this once rocks- and Coke-only category with strong enthusiasm. Whisky cocktails are on the rise as consumers demand more than just Canadian and Coke. 78 / the tasting panel / june 201 1

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