When I met Davin de Kergommeaux a couple of years ago when he led our Borderline Whisky Enthusiasts club through an evening of Canadian whisky, I was awed by his knowledge. Not only did he know Canadian whisky as if each were close friends, he knew and shared their similarities and differences to international examples.

His opinion that Canadian whisky is underrated was methodically dispelled in what he called a “kill-rumours-with-facts” approach. He noted, “There are plenty of myths and misunderstandings about Canadian whisky out there. I work hard to help serious whisky fans, wherever they may live, to discover one of Canada’s best-kept secrets: the hidden riches of Canadian whiskies.”

I found his book, CANADIAN WHISKY: THE NEW PORTABLE EXPERT, to be a valuable reference manual as I’ve sniffed and sipped through Canada’s fine examples ever since.

In the last decade we have witnessed a boom in quantity and quality of commercial and artisanal distilleries throughout Canada. It is hard to keep up with the latest. To the rescue, Davin with Blair Phillips, Canadian contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, have done the tasty investigative research. Together, they present THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO CANADIAN DISTILLERIES: THE PORTABLE EXPERT TO OVER 200 DISTILLERIES AND THE SPIRITS THEY MAKE.

Published in Canada by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin random House LLC, this beautifully crafted book arrived just in time to provide a spirited read through the critical “Stay at Home” phase of trying to “flatten the curve” for the Covid-19 pandemic.

With stunning photographs and informative illustrations such as the From Farm to Flask Distilling in a Nutshell that follows the Introduction, you travel with the authors on their adventures. Broken down into geographical chapters, this isn’t just a checklist. Rather in an easy and entertaining read you learn some of the region’s background, what each distillery produces and a bit about the personalities involved in the operation.

For good measure, cocktail recipes are sprinkled throughout in case you’d like some guidance on ways to enjoy the various spirits. Here and there are feature stories. Some shine the light on some individuals who have had impact. There’s an article on the “Six Breeds of Distillers” categorizing them into common characteristics. One discusses the various gins and another vodka. There’s some history lessons served in a delightful fashion. You even learn some of the names distillers call their still(s) behind the scenes and why.

It’s a guide thoroughly thought out with table of contents, checklists, glossary, bibliography, acknowledgements, credits, index of distilleries/distillers and a separate recipe index. So painstaking in detail, it could be an academic journal if it wasn’t so delightfully engaging.

Learn more about the authors and how to purchase the book at www.canadiandistilleries.com.

Follow their social media: @davindek on Twitter and Instagram at @Blair_Phillips.

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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and blog.hellobc.com. Based in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at www.rozsmallfry.com, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Facebook @roslynebuchanan


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