Twelve Barrels Canadian Whisky July 2016

Twelve Barrels 40%

July 19, 2016


Butterscotch, tempered vanilla, brisk balanced spicy peppery, rye spices, hints of orange peels with a pulling pithiness like grapefruit peel. Warming but not hot. ★★★★

The frigid winters go by more quickly in Napanee, Ontario if you have something to keep you busy. One young man by the name of John, chose barrel jumping as his distraction. He found that if he skated quickly enough he could jump right over a whisky barrel and keep on going. As soon as he had mastered that feat, he added another barrel, then another, and another, until he had twelve of them lined up in a row. They still talk about Twelve Barrel John in Napanee.

More recently, another young Napanee resident chose a different approach to winter entertainment. Although he was still a high school student and a lot younger than legal drinking age, Cole Miller took up the indoor sport of making wine from grape juice and bakers’ yeast. And, since he was just 16 at the time, he kept his fermenting brew hidden under his bed.

Then he had the winemakers nightmare – a stuck fermentation. His wine normally came out at 19% but this batch just wouldn’t ferment beyond 7% alcohol. He wasn’t going to pour 70 litres of half-fermented wine down the sink, so he convinced a storeowner he was an engineering student and needed a still for a “science project.”

Mom and Dad soon caught on but they were good sports about it and allowed Miller to move his brewing operation out of the house. A batch of beer that followed that summer was another dismal failure so he ran it through the still too. In Miller’s own words, “Crappy beer becomes crappy moonshine.”

Twelve Barrels is not crappy moonshine. It is a new, custom-blended Canadian whisky sourced from a reputable distiller, and it is good stuff. Miller is launching his new whisky through restaurants across Ontario before expanding into liquor stores, so your only hope to taste it, for now, is to ask for it when you dine out.

Strong caramel notes on the first nose develop hints of sweet citrus peel. The palate shows vanilla, butterscotch, peppery rye and a lovely pithiness like grapefruit peel. It stays warm, but not hot on the tongue. Twelve Barrels is a pleasing session sipper and mixes well with ginger ale and with Coke. Not overly complex but with enough going on to make it enjoyable neat. Ends with a refreshing a peppery, bitterness.

Highly recommended. ★★★★



53 Responses to “Twelve Barrels 40%”

  1. Shawn hyndman:

    Andrew Miller with whom I work told me about this and I would like to know where/when I can purchase this.

    • Davin:

      It is trickling out to Ontario bars and restaurants now. Not in LCBO or liquor stores though.

    • Cole Miller:

      I will be sure to get Andrew a sample. I see him August long weekend, so it will soon be in your hands!

  2. Angela:

    I would like to buy a bottle for a Christmas present .. where can I do this ?

    • Davin:

      LCBO on-line, I think.

    • Hey Angela,

      We were actually scheduled to launch on tomorrow, but things weren’t able to work out. However we have received good news in regards to store shelves for 2017. Where about’s are you located? I would be happy to send you a small sample. Email me at

  3. Fern MacDonald:

    I watched you on Dragons Den tonite. I live in Cape Breton Nova Scotia

    Is there anywhere here I can buy this?

    • Cole Miller:

      Hey Fern, I was just in Halifax last week meeting with the buyers of NSLC. Hopefully with due time we will start selling in Nova Scotia.

  4. Kevin:

    Just saw the episode on Dragons Den. Great job. Can’t wait to try it. Is this available in Southern Ontario LCBOs yet? If not… where can we buy it?

    • Cole Miller:

      hey Kevin, The LCBO process is still ongoing. Here’s to hoping it comes through soon.

  5. Paul:

    Just watched the episode on dragons den…..I am very interested to try your brand….what l.c.b.o. Stores are selling it.

    • Cole Miller:

      Hey Paul,LCBO process is underway. Let’s hope it comes through soon!


    Just saw your Dragons Den show. Great job! I am a real Canadian whiskey lover and would love to try iy.
    Can you send me a sample?
    John Burke
    26 Garrison Sq.
    Georgetown, ON L7G 0B9

    Good Luck!

    • Cole Miller:

      John, Watch out for a mail delivery!

  7. Rebecca Atkinson:

    Cole, just watched the rerun episode on Dragon’s Den. Being a fan of Forty Creek and his success story, I would love to sample your whiskey. Where can I buy it or are any restaurants in Guelph serving it?


    • Cole Miller:

      Rebecca, LCBO process is still ongoing. Until then I cannot sell in Ontario, even to bars. Stay tuned and let’s hope that changes soon!

  8. Chuck Soulliere:

    I watched your presentation on the Dragons Den WOW.I am a whiskey and scotch taster and would love to get a bottle of your product so maybe you could let me know when it is ready for the retail world.My wife and I entertain a fair bit as we are owners of 2 Mcdonalds outlets in the southwestern Ontario region and it is always great to share a Canadian dream as we call our company A.D.C.T which stands for a dream come true.Good luck and go 4 it Chuck&Sandi Soulliere

    • Cole Miller:

      Chuck, Thanks for the kind words. Twelve Barrels and Big Macs are great for pairing!!!! We will be in retail sooner rather then later if all works out. Feel free to email me to keep in touch,

  9. John:

    Just saw your presentation on Dragon’s Den! When are you going to be in Saskatchewan? I would like to sample it- is it available any where here? Good luck with your company by the way!

    • Cole Miller:

      Thanks John, We just had retailers express interest in Sask. last week actually. Early stages of talks but lets hope they work out so we can get you a bottle.

  10. Christie:

    Saw you on Dragons Den tonight. Great job. Product sounds delicious. I live on Vancouver Island BC. Is 12 Barrels available anywhere here? Can’t wait to try it. Sounds delicious!

    • Cole Miller:

      Christie, Working on getting in with the privates currently and looking to get with BCLDB after that. Not available yet but let’s hope that changes!

  11. Chris:

    Just saw the Dragon’s Den segment. I’m with the Whiskey Club in Victoria, B.C. Will your whiskey be sold Canada wide in the near future?

    • Cole Miller:

      Chris, Not quite Canada wide but hopefully by the fall we will have provinces across the country carrying us. Email me at I would be happy to arrange getting a sample for your whisky club.

  12. Lou D'Ascenzo:

    Saw the Dragons Den and was wondering where I could purchase a bottle…does it come in smaller bottles..Looking to give one to my Brogher-in-law for his birthday in March.
    I live in Ottawa Ontario

  13. Nathalie V:

    Hi there,
    I live in Montreal, Quebec. Will Twelve Barrels be sold in SAQ stored here anytime soon? If not, would I be able to buy a bottle online?
    Thank you

    • Cole Miller:

      Can only buy through the SAQ. We are working on it!

  14. Tim Claughton:

    Can we buy in Calgary? If yes, where? Funny we drive by Minhas brewery every day going to work!

    • Cole Miller:

      We are working with some of the bigger retailers right now. Should be on shelves sooner then later.

  15. Clayton Hattlmann:

    Saw you on Dragons’ Den – great pitch and congrats on the deal. Hopefully you can work with Jim to get into Boston Pizza, I’d love to see a great Canadian brand across Canada.
    I was bummed when I couldn’t find you on the LCBO, I was going to pick up a bottle for a whisky night my friend is hosting. Is there anywhere else I could pick up a bottle, or any idea when you’ll be rolling out at LCBO?
    Best of luck!

    • Cole Miller:

      Clayton, LCBO is ongoing and should be on shelves sooner then later, if all goes well. The deal did not actually work out with Jim and Wek.

  16. ron nolan:

    Great job on Dragon’s Den and congrates on getting two dragons.
    My wife and went to the LCBO to purchase a bottle, however we were told they do not have yet. I was really looking forward to trying your Twelve Barrels. Good luck with the LCBO, we will keep watching for your brand so we can purchase and try.
    All the Best.

    • Cole Miller:

      Ron, Thanks for the kind words. Not on LCBO yet, but soon. Hopefully.

  17. Kevin:

    I just saw the presentation on Dragons Den and was impressed by the reviews. Looking forward to seeing the product on LCBO shelves. Is there a potential date when things will be worked out? I live in London Ontario and would love to be able to purchase. Are there any locations or establishments that serve your product?

    • Cole Miller:

      Kevin, unless I am on LCBO store shelves, it is more less impossible to get into bars. It’s coming, slowly but surely.

  18. Jack Achilles:

    Wondering if you currently have any distribution out in Australia?

    • Cole Miller:


      Not yet! We are exploring possible markets internationally but will get a good footing here first. Thanks for reaching out!

  19. Jerry:

    Where can I sample this? Can I get a sample sent to me?


    • Cole Miller:

      Jerry, I am more less not allowed to send samples. Unlike beer and wine which can be sold direct, we have to go through the LCBO.

  20. Gary Dyck:

    I’m in Port Moody British Columbia just outside of Vancouver. Any chance of getting a few bottles shipped out to me?? No problem paying for it. Looks very interesting and have been trying to track it down with no luck.

    • Cole Miller:

      Unfortunately if I did that the LCBO and BCLDB would have a hay day. We are working with the private retailers currently in BC and should be there over the coming months.

  21. Kane Burg:

    Hi Cole,
    Loved the Dragon’s Den episode. Too bad things didn’t work out with you and Jim and Wek. I am a whiskey/bourbon lover. I understand that it may be a short while for your Twelve Barrel whiskey to hit the shelves in Ontario. Is there any way I may procure a bottle of your spirit privately? In Aurora, Ontario. Love to place a new taste of Canadian whiskey across the lips. Keep hustling!

    • Cole Miller:

      Kane, Unfortunately not. All spirits have to go through the LCBO and I can’t go direct to customer. If we end up on shelves, we will have sales targets in the LCBO, every bottle counts!!! Thanks for the interest and hopefully we get you a bottle soon

      • Kane Burg:

        Hi Cole,
        My daughter is Montreal. Are you in stores in Quebec?

  22. Barb:

    Hi, can’t find your product. Would love to try it. Do you sell samples? Would love one.
    Thanks, Barb.

    • Cole Miller:

      Hey Barb, where are you located?

  23. Ryan:

    Good day Cole

    Just caught your dragons den episode. Eagerly anticipating your family getting this onto Ontario store shelves!
    We were in Scotland last summer and also did some tours and sampling. Of course it was scotch straight from the casks but it’s always fun running different scotch & whiskey flavours past the nose and into the palate.

    Wondering if you still sold samples? Would you ship to Bolton, Ontario?

    Either way… congrats and good luck mainstreaming it. The sooner, the better!


    • Cole Miller:

      Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately I cannot ship or sell samples. I am in Toronto often enough that we could meet up if you are dying for a taste! Thanks for reaching out.

  24. AJ:

    Hey just seen the dragons den show and would love to try a sample of your 12 barrels whisky if you can send me one. Look forward to seeing your product on shelf good luck

    3136 Falconbridge Hwy
    Garson, Ontario
    P3L 1J2

    • Cole Miller:


      Thanks for reaching out but I cannot send samples. Hopefully we get it on shelves for you soon!

  25. Toronto Tim:

    Finally listed on LCBO with picture, for about 35$CAD; stocks must be here soon – july 24th 2017 …

  26. Barry Nacci:

    Just wondering if it will be available in Manitoba

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