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Photo courtesy of Twelve Barrels Whisky

Foodie Friday: Gift guide to local whisky

By Mary Huang on December 8, 2017

We’re not saying scotch and bourbon are bad gifts. No, not at all. However if you’re trying to support local with your holiday shopping, Apt613 want you to know about a pair of whiskies made by Ottawa distillers.

Tasting notes are provided by Davin de Kergommeaux, head judge for the Canadian Whisky Awards.


Twelve Barrels

The only Ottawa winner in the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards (Value Whisky of the Year) is Twelve Barrels, a startup by Cole Miller. Miller is a Carleton University student who travelled to apprentice at The Lakes Distillery in England in 2015. He’s on track to graduate from Carleton University with a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science (specializing in neuroscience) and a minor in entrepreneurship.

With the need for Canadian Whisky to be aged three years, Miller bought some excess capacity from several distilleries and blends his own whisky to create Twelve Barrels Canadian Whisky from 70% corn, 28% rye and 2% barley.

Twelve Barrels is available online for $35.20 and at LCBO locations.

Tasting notes

  • Strong caramel notes on the first nose.
  • Hints of citrus, like grapefruit peel.
  • The palate shows vanilla, butterscotch, peppery rye.

North of 7

The only craft distillery in Ottawa is North of 7 Distillery, started in 2013 by Greg Lipin and Jody Miall near their existing business, Coyote Rock Gym on St. Laurent Boulevard. While climbing in Kentucky and Tennessee, they got to appreciate bourbon and visited a number of craft distilleries.

Lipin and Miall source their grains from area farms, including Against the Grain Farms in Winchester, to make North of 7’s whisky. They have distilled five variations of four-grain whiskies, all aging in the same toasted and charred oak barrels from Stave Company (same as the ones used by Jim Beam).

North of 7 Whisky is available for $60 online and from the distillery store at 1733 St. Laurent Boulevard.

Tasting notes

  • Sweet and sour on the nose.
  • Cinnamon, red cedar, mashed grain, apricots, fresh sage, and hints of peppermint.
  • The palate begins very sweet with butterscotch and brown sugar, tannic oak, hot spices and loads of clean dry grain, then segues into lavender and lilacs.