When I first finished school, I spent six months working with a Whiskey expert. During that time I inevitably developed a fondness for a fine glass of whisky. Still, in all that time, I didn’t have a chance to take trip out to Nova Scotia’s own celebrated distillery, Glenora (@GlenBreton).
Glenora is North America’s first single malt distillery. Located in Inverness, Cape Breton, it is the only distillery outside of Scotland that is allowed to use ‘Glen’ in its name. Glenora distills in the traditional Scottish style. They use only three ingredients, barley, yeast and water, and distill their product in a pot still.
If you’re like me and have never been to western Cape Breton, your visit will answer any question as to why Nova Scotia is new Scotland, why many Scots settled here and why the Cape Breton Highlands are named for the Scottish Highlands. The setting where Glenora Distillery sits is very evocative of Scotland (so says my husband who has regularly visited his family in Scotland). With its hills, lush greenery and mountain stream, you really do feel like you’ve been transported.
We explored the property, then joined in for the distillery tour. While I knew a bit about the process before the tour, I was interested to hear just how eco-sensitive whisky production could be. The whiskey is aged in second hand barrels (first used for a single aging of Jack Daniels). After Glen Breton is aged in the barrel a single time, these are re-sold, mostly to local microbreweries. The discarded barley from the distillation process is distributed to local farmers. There is even a liquor by-product that is sold off to other processing plants to make other spirits.
What really stood out during the tour is the distillery’s efficiency. Each year, 240,000 litres of Glen Breton are produced, bottled, labled and corked on-site then shipped worldwide. This impressive output is achieved with only six full-time staff.
Glenora is a great place to go for a tour, a taste, and some shopping. There is also a restaurant on-site, and a small inn should you want to stay in the presence of the golden dram overnight.
13727 Route 19
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