Canadian Whisky (spelled without the “e”) is popular. In 2021, 19.4 million cases of Canadian Whisky were sold in the US, generating nearly $2.5 billion in revenue for distillers, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.
Since we launched RackHouse Whiskey Club, we’ve given a platform to independent craft distillers from around the US and provided an opportunity for our members to try their limited release whiskey. We figured now was a good time to take a look at our neighbors to the north to see what the fuss is all aboot.
We’re always looking for original stories, interesting people and innovative products. When Mountain Pass Distillery reached out saying they’re yet to distribute any of their products this side of the border, we were in.
Located in northern Alberta, Mountain Pass sets out to be the true taste of the Canadian north. The two founders, Nathan Flim and Vince Bruno, were inspired by the Rocky Mountains and by the Boreal Forests of their home province.
“We were fly fishing and in the backcountry in an area called Nordegg. We were standing in the water and the creative juices were flowing while surrounded by mountains and the fresh air,” Vince told us. “We were standing there saying this entire entity is just too beautiful to not connect to so as spirits drinkers, we got into the spirits game.”
They set about creating a product that represents their region.
“We’re taking what we love as Canada as a whole and what Canada brings to the world like our fresh water, our fresh air and then our love for spirits and our love for whiskey and blending them together to give somebody a new product and something that just really isn't out there right now,” Vince explained. “This is a Canadian product by Canadians.”
To get a light body feel, they bring their ABV down to 40% by using glacier meltwater from the Alpine region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to cut their whisky. It's produced from a mash bill that is 100% corn and is a blend of four- to six-year-old whisky aged in former bourbon casks.
“Our cherry on top is using fresh Canadian water,” Vince said. “This isn't just some city water, we're blending it with what creates the experience. When you look at it, you're going to think Canadian mountains and that's what we want to bring.”
After a few years experimenting with different barrel releases, Mountain Pass launched in January of 2022.
“The main focus and goal is to make Mountain Pass one of the household names when it comes down to Canadian whisky,” Vince said “We believe in the product and believe the products will speak for themselves.”
RackHouse Whiskey Club members who subscribe in May and June, 2022 will receive a bottle of their Glacier and Bonfire whiskies. Glacier is available in the US for the first time and Bonfire is the first time it’s being released anywhere.
“Everybody who is part of RackHouse Whiskey Club is extremely lucky as Bonfire is not even launched yet in Canada,” Vince explained. “You guys are the first group that we've done our samples and testing and will be first to get the bottles.”
There you are, folks. A double American exclusive. Here’s our chance to try some Mountain Pass Canadian Glacier Whisky for the very first in America and some Bonfire Whisky for the first time anywhere, ever!
What’s in the box
Mountain Pass Glacier Whisky
Mountain Pass is the whisky of the Canadian North, a taste of its beautiful land. Their whisky pays homage to the North by using glacier water sourced from the Alpine region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Age = 4 to 6 years
Casks = Ex-Bourbon
Mash Bill = 100% corn
ABV = 40% (80 proof)
Mountain Pass Bonfire Whisky
Bonfire has the same identity and mash bill as Mountain Pass Glacier except they blend it with local honey. Both are best served cold, like a Canadian winter.
Sign up to RackHouse Whiskey Club any time in May or June, 2022 to receive your box.