Whisky

The Yukon Culinary Festival Tells a Story of the Yukon, Through Food

The Yukon is filled with culinary hidden gems, according to Eric Pateman. A culinary expert, Pateman had no idea how rich the Yukon food scene was until Debra Ryan, manager of strategic planning for Air North, finally persuaded him to visit.  Now he is a main organizer of the Yukon Culinary Festival, running from August …

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Whisky and Cake

It’s 6 a.m. on a rainy morning just before Canada Day. In six hours I need to be ready to drive to Mayo, with three canoes on the roof and six days of breakfasts, dinners and desserts packed and labelled for the communal kitchen, and 17 days of lunches for me and my companion. Tomorrow …

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Sake!

Yukon Spirits launched two whiskies while I was skiing in Japan. I have not tried either yet (one of them is sold out, I hear) and in Japan, where whisky has been winning international awards since 2001, I drank whisky only once, from a 200 ml bottle of 12-year-old single malt purchased at 7-11 for …

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Bottoms Up!

Feeling thirsty this Saint Patrick’s Day? Your librations need not come from far away this weekend. Home-grown beer and spirit producer Yukon Brewing has recently released something new into their line up; a Yukon-made whisky, Two Brewers Single Malt. February 13th marked the much anticipated release of their first batch, of which approximately 700 bottles …

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Coffee and Flowers

Deep in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua grows a tobacco that has an elegant yet bold taste. Combine the tobacco from the Jalapa region with other tobaccos from different areas of Nicaragua and you get a lovely cigar called Casa Magna Colorado. Created by Manuel Quesada Jr., whose family been making cigars for a century, …

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Valentine’s Events for the Discerning Singleton

Sometimes I think we could skip February. I mean, January has got the cold and dark covered, and the wonderful triad of snow, sun and skiing find their fullest expression in March. Weird warm winters aside, February seems like a little more of something I’ve had enough of, and not enough of something I’m eagerly …

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Giving Churchill’s Brand a Try

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was known for being an avid cigar smoker. Among his favourite brands were Romeo and Juliet, and Camacho. In fact, six years ago, a Camacho cigar that belonged to Churchill was estimated to be worth between $1,500- $,2200 by the auction company Christie’s. The company Camacho Cigars was founded in …

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The Darker Side

Yes, TV and movies in colour are enjoyable and entertaining, but there is something about black-and-white film that sparks intrigue – especially the genre known as film noir. In my opinion, the acting in these films was perfect. You didn’t have to endure a team of B-list actors, cheesy plots, or special effects gone wrong. …

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Royal for Royal

Let’s talk Gurkha. No, it’s not a new language, but given all the variations it has, it very well could be. Gurkha is a brand that’s been making cigars since 1887. “Gurkha” refers to soldiers from Nepal. During British colonial occupation, the soldiers would make cigars when they weren’t engaged in battle. In recent years …

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Bourbon and Words to Live By

On a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago I joined 70 other curious souls at a bourbon tasting and barbecue cohosted by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce and the Yukon Liquor Corporation. Seventeen different fine and rare bourbons were set up at three tasting stations in Waterfront Station, while a long table of crispy chicken …

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Cherries for the Delayed Win

Last holiday season I cajoled members of my family into forming teams and entering a contest, invented by me, entitled, “The First Annual Shake-off, Stiroff Cocktail Competition,” to be held on Christmas day just prior to dinner. My 85-year-old mother agreed to be the judge. There were many things wrong with this idea. First of …

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Perfect End to the Evening

It’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. After finishing a delicious lamb dinner, the perfect end to the evening is found in the billiards room. So down into the basement I go, past the laundry room, sewing room, workshop, and into my richly decorated destination. To the left is the bar. Glasses made of Austrian …

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Honouring the Bounty of Scotland

Up on the Alaska Highway, in the bright boîte called Tonimoes, attached to the SKKY Hotel, a quiet ritual takes place every Tuesday. Informally known as Scotch night, the weekly event “honour[s] the bounty of Scotland with the frugality of a Scot,” according to the Tonimoes website. In other words, you can get a really …

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Authenticity on Fire

The Overland Trail was a transportation corridor between Whitehorse and Dawson City constructed by the White Pass and Yukon Route at the turn-of-the-century. Spanning 530 kilometres, it took five days to navigate by horsedrawn sleigh or carriage — if the weather co-operated, that is. If not, the journey could double, or even triple in length. …

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A Father’s Day Guide to Whisky

Whisk(e)y is an acquired taste. As a child I would sneak small sips out of my grandfather’s glass of Crown Royal when but it wasn’t until I moved to the Yukon and spent a long winter in Dawson City though that I came to appreciate what a fine drink it is. Here’s an introduction to …

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Wait a Second, That’s Not Beer

I like beer —anything heavier and I can easily overdo it. I just don’t have the pacing right. So when I was asked to check out the Whitehorse Fine Malt Society, I didn’t respond with my usual enthusiasm. After all, I still had some foggy residual effects from a rabid Robbie Burns scotch night a …

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