A jury of 10 independent whisky experts has named Pike Creek Oloroso-finished 21-Year-Old Canada’s best whisky at the tenth annual Canadian Whisky Awards gala, held on Thursday, January 16 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, BC.
Chair of the judging panel, Davin de Kergommeaux , described Pike Creek 21-year-old as “Toasted cereal tones bursting from a complex, spicy bushel of red fruits.”
Distilled at Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario, the whisky is named for the nearby community of Pike Creek where it matured for twenty-one years.
Each year for a special limited-edition Pike Creek release, master blender, Dr. Don Livermore pours mature whisky in exotic barrels for a short time to develop new flavours. The Oloroso sherry barrels he used this year imparted fruity flavours and a pinkish hue to the already complex whisky.
Dr. Livermore also accepted an award as Blender of the Year.
Accolades for Whisky of the Decade were accorded to Forty Creek Confederation Oak. Forty Creek Distillery, in Grimsby, Ontario, has won Whisky of the Year three times in the past decade. Over that time, Confederation Oak has consistently scored well in the blind tastings that determine the annual award winners.
Retired whisky maker, John K. Hall was named Whisky Maker of the Decade, having founded the relatively new Forty Creek distillery, where he created a number of international bestselling whiskies.
Other big winners at the 2020 Awards include Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye, Canadian Club 42-Year-Old and Crown Royal Black. Honours for Artisanal Distillery of the Year went to North of 7 Distillery in Ottawa, while The Crown Royal Blending Team accepted a lifetime achievement award.