When Glenora Distillery started production in 1990 is was the first step to Canadian single malt. There had of course already been different kinds of whiskey here but up to that point no distillery had produced in the Scottish way and used nothing but malt. This malt whisky distillery in Cape Breton had been the vision of Bruce Jardin and he had make it come real after travelling to Scotland and looking for equipment and know how.
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|Average tasting notes Tasting Notes||
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Due to cash flow problems Glenora didn’t wait until the first whisky was matured but already sold newly distilled Spirit called “Kenloch Silver”. Later a four years old bottling “Kenloch” was available in the distillery’s shop, a vatting from Glenora’s own whisky and whisky of Bowmore. The first official bottling was released in the year 2000. It was called "Glen Breton Rare" which is still today the name of Glenora’s signature brand. This whisky was eight years old, followed by 9 year old expressions in the following two years.
Since 2003 the Glen Breton Rare 10 year old is the flagship of Glenora. Matured in American oak, the aromas that can be discovered are Vanilla, pine nuts, honey, malt and green apple. The style of Glenora’s whisky often is called a Lowland-style.
A 15 year old version of the Glen Breton Rare was released in 2010 and called “Battle of the Glen”. This is a tribute to the victory over the Scottish Whisky Association SWA who fought for interdiction of using the term “Glen” in the distilleries name. This could lead to confusion because everybody took “Glen” on a whisky label as a hint to a Scottish origin. The SWA lost the law court proceedings and the distillery is still GLENora.
Glen Breton Ice 10 years old released in 2006, was the first whisky ever that was matured in ice wine casks.
A 25th anniversary release of 750 bottles was offered as “Jardin Reserve”, named after the founder Bruce Jardin who had died in 1999.
The vatting of the whisky is totally done by hands and in small batches.
Glenora and Bowmore had a strong connection from the beginning onwards and the collaboration in the first years helped the new Canadian distillery to learn and develop. Production at Glenora started very small; in the first year they only filled 20 casks. Glenora never managed to reach top level production because they always had to struggle with financial problems.
The barley that is used at Glenora is shipped to Canada from Scotland after being malted and peated. The water used here is taken from MacLellan’s Brook that flows through the distillery’s property. A lauter mash tun is used for mashing.
During 60 hours in three wooden washbacks the wash is fermented until it ends up with 8% ABV.
Two 5.600 liter pot stills had been installed by Forsyths of Rothes but they were already second handed: They formerly stood in the stillroom of Bowmore distillery on Islay. Originally a regular wash still was planned for production at Glenora but as money got tight under construction, one of the two spirit stills was taken to serve as wash still. Production could be increased to 400.000 liters with a bigger wash still. The wash backs deliver enough so that they use to do two distillation rounds at Glenora instead of one.
Distillation process, malt and style of Glenora’s whisky is Scottish and so is the style of the warehouses: They are earth floored, wooden dunnage warehouses. Slow maturation is guaranteed by the Canadian clima with temperatures going down very deep. The warehouses are not heated.
Bruce Jardin was the one to think the time for a Canadian single malt distillery had come: He travelled to Scotland to search for information and equipment to realize his plans for a distillery in Cape Breton, in the Highlands of Nova Scotia. Construction of the distillery included a warehouse and a nice pub.
Production started in 1990, but Jardin soon had to face financial problems. After reconstruction Glenora was led by Gary Widmeyer for three years, but again it changed ownership. Since 1994 the distillery is under control of Lauchie MacLean from Bedford.
The Glenora Distillery is situated in the town of Glenville, Inverness County, and is a real picturesque jewel, visited by 12.000 tourists annually. Because one focus of the distillery lies on hospitality Glenora not only has a pub, serving dishes and drinks, but also 6 chalets, built in 1997.
Guided Tours are available at Glenora from May to October and last about 25 minutes.
They leave on the hour between 9:00 am and 5:00 am daily, Sunday to Sunday