Canada Honours its Best Whiskies

VICTORIA, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - A Canadian whisky sold only in the U.S. has joined an esteemed group of Canada's top whiskies. A newcomer from California, Masterson's Rye, joined perennial favourites: Gibson's Finest Rare 18 year old, Wiser's Legacy, Wiser's Small Batch, and Forty Creek - John's Private Cask No. 1, in garnering gold medals at the second annual Canadian Whisky Awards, presented this evening in Victoria, B.C.

John's Private Cask was a three-time winner, earning Whisky of the Year, Best New Whisky, and Connoisseur Whisky of the Year. In announcing the awards, Chairman of the Judges, Davin de Kergommeaux, dubbed it "a real spice monster."

John Hall, recipient of the three awards was delighted. "Forty Creek fans expect innovation and excitement. I try not to disappoint."

Awards of Excellence also went to Highwood Distillers of High River, Alberta, for White Owl Whisky, Brown-Forman Corporation for Collingwood whisky, and Beam Inc. for Canadian Club.

Glenora Distillery was named Distillery of the Year, saluting twenty years making Canadian single malt.

The surprise gold medalist, Masterson's Rye, was released in the U.S. last summer. Masterson's is produced in Calgary by Alberta Distillers Limited for the Sonoma, California firm, 35 Maple Street. Masterson's will be available in Canada within the year, the company confirms.

"Canadian whisky is one of Canada's greatest ambassadors," said de Kergommeaux while introducing the winners. "Every year, millions of whisky lovers around the globe buy more than half a billion dollars-worth of Canadian whisky." But, as de Kergommeaux explains, "We never stop to recognize the excellent quality of these whiskies." All of that now changes with these important awards.

A complete list of the winners is available at

Note to editors:

About the Canadian Whisky Awards

Each year the Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest standards for making whisky. To be eligible to compete, whiskies must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky writers, bloggers, and journalists selects the winners after blind tasting each whisky. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

Image with caption: "Canadian Whisky of the Year, Forty Creek John's Private Cask is flanked by other top winners at the second annual Canadian Whisky Awards. Gold medalists include Masterson's Rye, Gibson's Finest, Wiser's Small Batch and Wiser's Legacy. Canadian Club, White Owl Whisky, Collingwood, and Glenora each earned prestigious Awards of Excellence. (CNW Group/Canadian Whisky Awards)". Image available at:

SOURCE Canadian Whisky Awards

For further information:

Davin de Kergommeaux (613) 563-0254

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