Canadian Whisky Awards 2011


The Canadian Whisky Awards ceremony will once again be held in Victoria B.C. in January. Producers contemplating participation this year can have a look below at how things went last year.  Entries close in early November and are restricted to whisky that has been distilled in Canada.  Good luck to all entrants.

Canadian Whisky Awards 2011 Announced

(scroll down for the complete list of winners)

The winners of the Canadian Whisky Awards for 2011 were revealed tonight at a ceremony in Victoria B.C. These awards are just like the Oscars. No-one knows the winner until the envelope is opened. Scroll down to go straight to the list. Keep reading to find out why they won.Canadian Whisky of the Year went to John Hall for his Forty Creek, John’s Private Cask No. 1. Trevor Walsh accepted a gold medal for Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 year old, and Richard Zeller of Sonoma California’s 35 Maple Street was on hand to accept his gold medal for Masterson’s Rye. Gold medals were also awarded to Wiser’s Legacy and Wiser’s Small Batch.Margaret Tucker accepted an Award of Excellence for Canadian Club on behalf of Beam Inc. Brown-Forman's Ryan Cheverie took home three Awards of Excellence, one each for Collingwood, Canadian Mist, and Canadian Mist Black Diamond. Awards of Excellence were also presented for Alberta Springs 10 year old, Canada Gold, and White Owl Whisky.Glenora Distillers was recognized for twenty years of distilling single malt whisky in Canada. Congratulations to all the people who make and sell these winning whiskies.Canadian Whisky Awards FAQsHow are the winners selected?A jury of experienced whisky tasters and spirits judges samples each whisky blind and assigns a score. Awards are based on the aggregate scores.Who is on the jury?The jury for 2011 included Jason Debly, André Girard, Mark Gillespie, Kris Shoemaker, Chip Dykstra, and Lawrence Graham, with Davin de Kergommeaux as the Chairman of the Judges.What are the judges’ qualifications?The judges are all independent whisky writers including bloggers, print journalists, and one broadcaster. Each has demonstrated a particular interest in Canadian whisky through reviews and comments on the web and in print. Care was taken to ensure good representation from across the country.Why whisky writers and bloggers?One of the accomplishments of these awards is that they provide an opportunity for experienced whisky writers to taste blind a number of Canadian whiskies they might not otherwise get to taste.How are the competing whiskies chosen?The whisky makers are invited to select their very best whiskies for the competition, thus giving the judges more Canadian whisky experiences to write and talk about.Why are there only five gold medalists?One goal of the awards is to help whisky connoisseurs around the world recognize that Canadian whiskies can hold their own on the world stage. A large number of gold medals might generate short-term interest. However, to ensure the credibility of the awards the long-term strategy is to make sure that the whiskies earn their medals honestly in a rigorous competition where knowledgeable and independent judges give them long and careful scrutiny. This means that  silver and bronze medals are also marks of distinction, awarded only to worthy competitors. There are no participation awards.Normally autumn is awards season. Why are the Canadian Whisky Awards held after the Christmas rush?The goal is not to fuel the Christmas frenzy, but to steadily build a strong base of knowledge concerning the very best Canadian whiskies. Neither are these awards about improving search engine optimization to generate maximum Christmas traffic to the judges’ blogs and websites. Rather, they are intended to be a reliable source of information for people wishing to identify the best Canadian whiskies all year round. The winners will be just as flavourful next December when Christmas rolls around once more.Are these awards a public relations exercise for the Canadian Whisky Industry?No.  Operated on a not-for-profit basis the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

Canadian Whisky Awards 2011 – The Winners

(Click names of winners for more information)

Domestic Market Winners - Overall highest scoring whisky available in the Canadian market only.Connoisseur Whisky of the YearForty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1Sippin’ whisky of the YearAlberta Springs 10 year oldWhisky value of the Year Canada GoldExport Market Winners - Overall highest scoring whisky available outside Canada only.Connoisseur Whisky of the YearMasterson’s RyeSippin’ whisky of the yearCanadian Mist Black DiamondMultiple Market Winners - Overall highest scoring whisky available both in the Canadian market and outside Canada.Connoisseur Whisky of the Year Wiser’s LegacySippin’ whisky of the yearWiser’s Small BatchWhisky value of the yearCanadian MistOverall Winners and Awards of ExcellenceBest New Whisky of the Year - Overall highest scoring new release of 2011.Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1Canadian Whisky of the YearOverall highest scoring whisky of 2011.Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1Award of Excellence, Innovation The whisky that in the judges’ opinion has most broadened the appeal of Canadian whisky through innovation.White Owl WhiskyAward of Excellence, Line ExtensionThe whisky that in the judges’ opinion most successfully exemplifies a new version of an old favourite.CollingwoodAward of Excellence, Canadian Whisky ProfileThe whisky that in the judges’ opinion has most contributed to raising the profile of Canadian whisky through promotional activities and publicity.Canadian ClubDistillery of the Year A special acknowledgement of Glenora Distillery for twenty successful years making single malt whisky in Canada.Glenora Inn and DistilleryGold medalists:Wiser’s Small BatchGibson’s Finest Rare 18 year oldWiser's LegacyForty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1Masterson’s RyeSilver medalists:Forty Creek Barrel SelectCanadian Club Sherry CaskRoyal Canadian Small BatchCanadian Mist Black DiamondForty Creek Double Barrel ReserveForty Creek Confederation OakCaribou Crossing Single BarrelWiser’s 18Gibson’s Finest 12 Year OldPendleton 1910Alberta Springs 10 year oldCanadian Club ReserveBronze medalists:PendletonGibson’s Finest SterlingCollingwoodCanada GoldCentennial Limited EditionCanadian MistCanadian Club Classic 12White Owl WhiskyCanadian Whisky Awards 2010 are reported here. Whisky Awards 2012 are reported here.