The craft spirits industry is growing in Ontario. When Last Straw Distillery started up in 2011 there were a handful of craft or small distilleries in Ontario. Don of Last Straw Distillery expects that number to be over a hundred in the next few years.
For Don it all started as he watched a friend of his open a micro brewery. What Don quickly realized is that you could throw a rock and hit a micro brewery. So he thought, why not a distillery? Well I am sure he thought more than just that, but he didn’t give away all his secrets.
Don put together a team to get this project going and brought Mike Hook on for his love of whiskey and to help deal with all the red tape they new would be a part of this. If you want to have a better idea of what it takes to open a distillery here in Ontario you should read Mike’s blog.
The wife and I need to run some errands and are finishing up some of the details before we go for a week vacation in Barbados. She needed a swimsuit and I need to tryout some local spirits. The plan was to go shopping and then swing by for a tasting and very likely purchase some spirits.
Last Straw Distillery has a small footprint and is part of a larger commercial small business complex. Walking in we were greeted pleasantly by Ana who went to get Don. I didn’t know what to expect for a spirits tasting here at home. My only previous experience was at wineries and Mount Gay in Barbados. When travelling to Barbados the Mount Gay tour is a must. I also highly suggest trying the Basil Lemonade cocktail while you are relaxing in tropical paradise.
The team here at Last Straw has created quite a variety of spirits. Some interesting whiskey’s, gins, rum, vodka’s, and of course some moonshine. Speaking of which, I was lucky enough to try an earlier bottling of a Moonshine they made at a 50% ABV. I was hesitant to try this as moonshine can be harsh, especially at higher ABV’s. I took my sip and was blown away by how smooth it was. The slight sweet taste made it all that more enjoyable, even the wifey gave it a go.
There are some great spirits being made in Vaughan, everyone should make their way to Last Straw Distillery for a taste and a few bottles, located at 40 Pippin Rd Unit #9, Concord, ON L4K 4M6. If you can’t make it out there they are in the LCBO and online.
-Time flies when you’re having RUM.