Monday, January 16, 2012
I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, or rather, I only make ones that are fun, such as: have friends over for dinner more often. This year, I thought I'd dedicate more effort to supporting the rye whiskey industry, specifically, Canadian rye whiskey. For reasons as yet unknown to me, the Société des alcools du Québec, or the SAQ as it's known, hasn't made much effort in this regard. Sure, you can expect to find your usual CC or Crown Royal, and the more well-stocked SAQs may even carry a Glen Breton (too rich for me at over 80 bucks a bottle. Ouch!), but a Wiser's or any of the Alberta ryes? Good luck. This of course is also reflected in the wine selection, which typically goes overseas or south of the border much more than directions west of here. Dommage. What might explain this? According to this Wikipedia article, Quebec ranks 1st in the country overall for wine consumption (at 21.4 liters per person annually), but it ranks a measly 12th (that's last, y'all) on the consumption of the hard stuff. So, in other words, not a priority for the SAQ. Très dommage. So when traveling outside the province, I try to pick up a bottle of Canadian rye. In November I went to my teeny-tiny hometown liquor store, Le Bon Ami (which also doubles as an insurance agent. Am I the only one who finds that funny?) and picked up a bottle of made-in-Ontario Wiser's, which didn't disappoint.
But speaking of south of the border, this fine tipple named Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, produced by Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner, NY, made its way to my kitchen table recently. Its only drawback is that it comes in a rather wee little bottle, so the joy of it is all over before you can say 'easy on the ice'. I won't embarrass myself by trying to describe its other virtues, suffice to say that next time I'm in NY, picking up another bottle will be on my list of things to do.