Lohin McKinnon Canadian single malt whisky

Lohin McKinnon 43%

February 20, 2017

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Sweet malts, mild wildflower honey, hints of ripe tree fruits, a gentle spiciness with a creamy mouthfeel. Dig in the background for darker fruits, hotter peppers, cereals and floral notes. ★★★☆

Lohin McKinnon single malt, named aptly for the two men who craft it, brings the brewing skills of Central City brew master, Gary Lohin together with distiller, Stuart McKinnon’s well-honed talent in converting promising wort into even more promising spirit. Add three years in bourbon barrels and it turns out Lohin & McKinnon are a dream team.

Lohin’s carefully managed fermentations maximize congeners that will contribute the desired flavour profile to the whisky, while McKinnon’s distillations shape these into the robust spirit needed for bourbon-barrel maturation. The resulting single malt whisky is quaffable at three years of age, while pointing to richnesses and complexities to come.

It can be tough starting a new distillery, even in British Columbia where a favourable tax climate encourages microdistillers. For distillers who have their eye on whisky it can be an especially rough few years generating income while waiting for their whisky to mature.

Smart distillers find an alternative revenue source. Some start out making vodka or gin and this is a good thing which has incidentally led to some pretty fantastic new Canadian gins. Another way to stay solvent in the early years, is to operate a brewery. This works particularly well if the brewery is a going concern before the stills go in.

This is how Central City Brewing and Distilling, in Surry (a suburb of Vancouver) BC got into the whisky game. Founder, Darryll Frost, made his name originally with his Red Racer Beer, a cult classic developed by none other than Gary Lohin.

Once Central City was firmly established as a brewery, Frost brought on Scottish distiller, Stuart McKinnon to get a distillery up and running. Using Lohin’s beer mash (without the hops), McKinnon has crafted a range of spirits.

Look for more whiskies to come in the near future, including a peated special edition for Canada150.

Recommended. ★★★☆

$69.00 at Legacy Liquor Store

With Stuart McKinnon (left) and Gary Lohin (right) of Central City brewers & Distillers.


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