Start marking your calendars and booking flights, because there’s never been a better time for those of us who take whisky far too seriously.
The Spirits of Kingston Whisky Festival
Kingston, February 19 – 21
Come for the dinner, stay for the whisky parings, and stay even later for the master classes and formal tastings—if you attend the Spirits of Kingston Whisky Festival, be sure to book a hotel room.
Spirit of Toronto
Toronto, May 2
Looking for over a hundred premium spirits with a focus on whisky? Look no further than Spirit of Toronto. They offer tutored tastings, live jazz, and master classes, just in case you’d like to learn something while you drink.
Vancouver, November 16 – 22
So how do you tackle the 300 spirits (and beers) available to sample at Hopscotch? Well, try taking a whole week. This massive festival sees some 6,000 people pass through its gates,
You can visit a Whisky Live in over a dozen countries around the world, but the Canadian incarnation is Toronto-specific. The boys from The Balvenie always bring their A-game (last year, master coppersmith Denis McBain walked visitors through the art of still construction), craft whiskies from Ontario get their own little corner, and you can sample scores of whiskies—start with tried-and-true whisky producers from Canada, the US, Scotland, and Japan, and then move on to lesser known whisky locales, like Corsica and South Africa.
Whisky in the Warehouse
Part of Willow Park’s whisky week (which features intimate tastings with the master distillers of some of Scotland’s most storied distilleries), Whisky in the Warehouse is easily the most significant whisky event in Canada. Travel if you must. Over fifty distilleries and independent bottlers bring over two hundred expressions, and you won’t find many of them elsewhere in Canada, like Hepburn’s Choice, Balblair, Old St. Andrew’s Clubhouse, Adelphi, and more. Oh, and all those limited edition bottles next to impossible to find in Ontario, like Ardbeg’s Supernova and Bruichladdich’s Black Art 4? They have ‘em.
If you’re willing to dodge inebriated senators (a redundant description if there ever was one), Whisky Ottawa brings drinkers over $10,000 in the brownest of the brown liquors. Not that you have to sip it neat—they love cocktails too, and they’ll teach you how to make a few new ones.