Colour: Deep Gold.
Nose: Vanilla, oak, lemon drops, sweet oak, toffee, fruit basket, and caramel.
Taste: Vanilla, caramel, dark toffee, light spices.
James Cook arrived in Tahiti.
Spain’s Charles III sends missionaries to found missions in California.
Daniel Boone starts checking out an as of yet unexplored part of his world that will eventually be called, Kentucky.
The Province of Quebec sees the creation of its first distillery.
Pressing the fast forward button to get five arrows, here we are much later as well as right now, looking forward to sampling and looking back to honour 1769 – the whisky, the year, and the distillery – past and present.
(Cue historically, dramatic and upswelling music.)
1769 prides itself on being an urban distillery located Montreal. More specifically, in the borough of Verdun.
Sidebar – Verdun also shows up in my birth records. While I’m sure this is of great interest, let’s get back to original topic at hand.
While 1769 (the current distillery and yes, the year of the first distillery) creates vodkas and gins, it also has launched a whisky, eponymously called, 1769. Apologies if I made this a bit Abbott & Costello-ish Anyway, 1769 is a small batch, handcrafted Canadian whisky made from 80% corn and 20% rye. However, this offering comes in 500 mil bottles and not in your usual 750 mil.
There’s a nice, well-worn hue of old gold in the glass. This whisky is three years old; however, it isn’t an impudent and brash spirit. 1769 is reserved and well mannered. With an abv of 42 percent, the notes don’t come in loud and boisterous like a carnival barker. Rather, the flavours come in like a librarian. Hushed tones perhaps yet still with noticeable authority. Vanilla, oak and faint hints of lemon drops along with whiffs of caramel and dark rich toffee all come along like a pieces of a puzzle put together. A second nosing and you add pieces of a fruit basket and sweet oak. It’s as is one scent carefully leads you and faces into another one.Tasting 1769 (The whisky only. The year might be a little musty.), is much of the same on how it introduced itself. There’s no cockiness or hat-on-sideways braggadocio here. It comes with a quiet confident swagger with its rich dark toffee, caramels and vanillas. It offers up some spice as if it sanded off an edge ever so slightly. 1769 lingers at the back of the throat long enough to have a brief chat, but not too long where you feel you have to charge it rent. There’s a rich, buttery feel to its departure that makes you ask 1769 to come back for a return visit.
Overall, it’s a rich and pleasant whisky that doesn’t stand there, arms akimbo. It offers you a chair and tells you to make yourself at home. Perhaps the conversation with 1769 isn’t as in depth as some older whiskies. Still though, I think you’ll enjoy what it has to tell you. Of course, if you want to find out more me being born in Verdun, well, that will call for another glass. Cheers.