On a road trip to the Inverness area of Cape Breton we had to stop and tour the famed Glenora Inn and Distillery. It was a beautiful and crisp day, and the inn looked magnificent midst the bright sun and glorious colors of fall leaves. We happened to be the only two (I was with Megan, a WWOOFer from Ontario) on the tour, and although they weren’t making whiskey it was still interesting to see the copper coated tanks and wooden barrels that brought a sense of history and tradition to the place.
The process of crafting whiskey is surprisingly simple; well, after I learned there are only three ingredients to single malt whiskey–barley, yeast, and water–it’s actually not all that surprising. What was surprising was the taste, but I’ll get to that later. Fermented barley that has begun to sprout is soaked in water for 2 hours, after which the water is mixed with yeast in large wooden tub for 48 hours and the barley is sold to nearby farmers. After 48 hours the water and yeast mixture has an alcohol content of 9%, and it is transferred to a still where it is boiled, the alcoholic steam collected, and turned back to a liquid, when it is 26% alcohol. This process is repeated, after which it is 75%. Water is then added to decrease it to 65%, and after that it is put into barrels and aged for between 10 and 20 years.
At the end of the tour we got to sample the 10 year, which had an apple undertone and a slightly smokey flavor.
For all whiskey aficionados traveling around Nova Scotia, I would recommend stopping by Glenora Distillery for tour and a taste.