So a year or so has passed since I began spottily updating this blog, and and a lot of changes have happened since then, both in my life and the Ontario bourbon market. The LCBO has learned quite a bit since I first moved here, when there was really only 7 or 8 bourbons on the shelves, from two major companies. The Vintages program did a great job of introducing various brands to the Ontario market, and several of them have, happily, gained enough traction to remain more-or-less constantly on the shelves (I'm sipping on a glass of the dependable and tasty Four Roses as I type this).
Additionally, I have been working as a bartender, so I have gotten a slightly better feel for what the average drinker knows and wants to know about bourbon. With the start of my public bourbon tastings (another one taking place at 3030 at the end of the year) and sitting in on some rep talks for various spirit brands, I have a pretty reasonable idea of what information and misinformation is out there.
So, what does this mean?
Well, first, my reviews will become simpler. I plan on revising all my old reviews and replacing them with more capsule-style reviews. More and more, I am convinced that rating systems are bunk, so while I plan on tasting, taking notes, and evaluating whiskies in the same way, my ratings will become even less granular and more generally descriptive (I plan on still including a rating, for easy reference, but it will be rounded to be out of five rather than ten), and a seperate value rating for the whiskey. This latter element I believe to be pretty important here in Ontario, as we get a lot of whiskies brought in as “super premium” finds, due to their previous unavailability here, despite the whiskies themselves being niche experimental bourbons or, more often, barely a step above a value brand.
So, here we go!