Alberta gold: Great Plains wins best new whisky

Great Plains Craft Spirits won a Gold Medal and Award of Excellence for Best New Whisky at the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards. They won for their debut product, a western Canadian 18-year-old whisky that was finished for more than 12 months in Jerez Brandy casks, bottled at cask strength, non-chill filtered, with no colouring.   

Great Plains acquired several batches of 17-year-old 100 per cent corn whisky originally from the old Potter’s distillery in Kelowna B.C. One batch was then transferred from the original bourbon barrels to 22 freshly emptied vintage Brandy de Jerez casks. Then, after more than 12 months of finishing, it was blended and bottled at high proof (54.5 per cent ABV) without colouring or chill filtering producing a taste and character unlike anything else on the market. 

Calgary whisky specialists, Kensington Wine Market, carry the product and say it’s silky at 54.5 per cent, is a unique twist on Canadian whisky, and is distinctly Canadian with a spicy-dark fruit flourish.

“As a new company, we are extremely grateful for the recognition of our debut product,” said Victor Mah, vice president of Great Plains.

“It’s a culmination of over three years of passion and hard work.”

Great Plains Craft Spirits 18 Year Old Jerez Brandy Finished Whisky won Gold and Award of Excellence for Best New Whisky at the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards (Great Plains)

Mah added, however, that they are even more excited about their other unique products in development.

“We have another batch of 17-year-old whisky from the same distillery that is in the process of a 24-month long finish in vintage Cognac barrels that were re-coopered to a small size.

“We also have a very special and rare 34-year-old whisky that’s currently finishing in Armagnac barrels. Our goal is to produce limited runs of interesting whiskies that appeal to enthusiasts who can appreciate the uniqueness of our products. Our limited-run whiskies are custom crafted with expressions that simply aren’t available from the large producers.”

About Great Plains Craft Spirits

Great Plains Craft Spirits started in 2016 in Calgary. They source and finish small lots of well-aged Canadian whiskies in select barrels from European regions like Jerez, Cognac and Armagnac. 

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