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Mark Bylok
Lives in Toronto, ON, Canada
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Mark Bylok

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In almost every legal definition of whisky, there are two factors—the first is a strict control on what one can and can’t do to the whisky from fermentation to bottling. Secondly, there’s the soul of what makes whisky: the law simply states “it must taste like the attributes generally associated with whisky.”
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Most media outlets got it wrong. The Internet, in its outrage, got it right. Jim Murray named Crown Royal North Harvest Rye as the best whisky he’s tasted in 2015. Everyone went: What?
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I sat down with Shane Bahng, the COO of Norlan Glass, the newly funded Kickstarter project. Their glass was developed using 3D printers and a select group of Scotland’s whisky industry experts that offered feedback on the 90 or so design choices they started with. The design selected is intended to be a beautiful tumbler-style glass that offers a better nosing experience.
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"We found that comet Lovejoy was releasing as much alcohol as in at least 500 bottles of wine every second during its peak activity," said Nicolas Biver, of Paris. If a scientist from Scotland or Kentucky had made this discovery, it would have been quoted in whisky. That’s probably about 125 bottles of spirit every second.
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In an interview with Jane Conner, the director of Maker’s Mark Private Select program, whsky.buzz learned additional information around the recently announced program. Maker’s Mark is getting ready to roll out a program where whisky lovers can, literally, choose their own adventure. In this case, there will be a total of 1,001 unique outcomes, and program members will have a preview of some of these different taste profiles.
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The biggest flavour change in the whisky world in the last ten years has been a move away from smooth whisky, and a move toward whisky with character.
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In 1900, Gooderham & Worts was the largest distillery in the world. It was located in what is now Toronto’s historic Distillery District. The company was started by James Worts, a Englishman that opened up a prominent windmill in Canada. He went into business with his brother-in-law, William Gooderham.
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Sazerac 18 rye, one of the five Buffalo Trace Antique Collection releases this year, failed LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) lab testing. The rumour is the levels of ethyl carbamate were above the LCBO’s limit. This was the probable reason given to me, and others, when calling the helloLCBO number. However, an LCBO spokesperson told me that the results are proprietary and would not confirm the reason behind the failed results.
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With murder, theft, and bribery highjacking the whisky news, this year’s headlines have read like they were ripped straight out of the latest Netflix crime drama. Just last week, there was a fatal stabbing over a box of bourbon. Earlier in this year trucks carrying Pappy Van Winkle were stalked as they left wholesalers with drivers being offered bribes for cases of whisky.
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Faintly reminiscent of a time in my youth spent customizing and dressing a virtual Barbie on Mattels interactive website - the adult whisky-drinker in me is thrilled about Buffalo Trace’s new educational, interactive website “Craft Your Perfect Bourbon”.
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Your home bar. A sanctuary tucked away in the corner of your living room, or your kitchen or your bedroom (just me?) where you can perfect the art of cocktails and entertain like a boss. Everyone is cooler when they can mix a mean cocktail.
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Buffalo Trace announced this year’s release of the Van Winkle lines of bourbon. Unfortunately, the yields are less then in previous years. Marketing director Kris Comstock noted “… several of the older Van Winkle barrels did not meet those standards.” The result is less 15 year-old Pappy, and “far less” of the 20 and 23 year-old releases. Kris suggested the allotment is half as much as last year.
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Toronto, ON, Canada