First Alberta-made single malt whisky launched
Turner Valley: Eau Claire Distillery marks milestone moment
Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 10:28 am
Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery marked an Alberta first with much fanfare last week.
With a mini-parade of horse-drawn wagons and a bagpiper leading the way, the distillery unveiled the first-ever single malt whisky produced in Alberta on Friday.
He said it’s the re-creation of an industry and it’s a natural industry for Alberta.
“We had a dream to build an industry in a place that is a perfect place for distilleries,” said Farran. “We in Alberta are the greatest producers of both malt and rye in the world. We ship that barley to Scotland so that they can make Scotch. It’s time that we made some of those products here at home.”
“I love it, obviously I’m biased, but I’m really proud of it,” he said. “I think we have achieved something at three years that would be equivalent to a much older appellation.”
He plans to release a special edition rye whisky next year that was produced entirely using horsepower.
In its three short years, Eau Claire has won top international awards against some of the biggest names in the industry.
Eau Claire products are available across Alberta, as well as in several locations in the U.S. in New York, Chicago and Florida.
“We hope to continue to grow those markets,” said Farran.
He said the distillery uses a farm-to-glass process. Eau Claire has become a certified farm distillery, something he said is akin to being an estate winery.
“It distinguishes itself in that it truly is farm-to-glass,” said Farran.
“It means that we are linked directly to the farm community, we know the grain that it’s coming from and we can follow that terroir all the through.”
Terroir is a combined effect that factors like soil, geography and climate can have on agricultural products, such as in wine and coffee.
Farran said he believes he was able to capture the terroir of Alberta’s unique growing conditions and climate in the product.
“Every year will be slightly different because the climate will be different, the crop will be different and we won’t be aiming for uniformity, we’ll be aiming for taste and flavour,” he said.