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Canadian whisky conjures a certain set of biases among whiskey drinkers. It typically uses a mix of corn, rye, wheat, and barley that are all distilled and aged separately and blended after the fact, and has a reputation for being on the lighter end. Bearface Whisky upends those preconceptions by being a single grain spirit made with Canadian corn. Still, it’s solidly Canadian through and through by leaning into what the country is known for: extremely cold winters and bright, hot summers.
Even if you think you know Canadian whisky, or just think you’ve seen it all when it comes to ways that brands try and stand out on the shelf, Bearface adds something new to the conversation.
ABV: 42.5 (85 proof)
Where it’s available: Across the United States and Canada found using the brand’s locator
How Bearface Whisky Is Made
Every whiskey first starts with a grain. Bearface almost entirely uses Canadian corn. This puts the mashbill closer to bourbons (in fact, that’s way more corn than even most corn-defined bourbons use), but the brand says the distillate is “just our blank canvas.”
Instead, the focus is on how that distillate interacts with wood and the elements—“elemental aging,” in Bearface terms. The whiskey gets seven years in American oak barrels that used to hold bourbon, and then is finished with French oak and Hungarian oak casks. The casks are matured in shipping steel containers that are exposed to temperatures that swing from 0°F to 100°F over a season. Finally, the casks are blended to make a cohesive spirit.
Outdoorsy whiskey branding isn’t new, but I haven’t seen anything else quite as actually outdoorsy. While even the most well constructed rickhouses can see some variance in humidity, temperature, and other conditions, a shipping container out in Canada sees it all in a magnified way.
What Bearface Whisky Tastes Like
It’s no surprise that oak flavors lead the way here. Vanilla and sweet baking spice hits first and foremost, similar to a bourbon. An additional buttery brown sugar note is clear from the first sip. Somehow, master blender Andres Faustinelli tamed the oak enough that it doesn’t drink like you’re downing straight wood. Instead, it’s on the sweeter end like a good corn whiskey should be. It doesn’t have a high alcohol percentage, but it maintains a pleasing lasting warmth for being under 90 proof.
Bearface is easy (almost too easy?) to sip neat or with a single large ice cube.
Why You Should Add Bearface Whisky To Your Bar Cart
At this price point and with how easy it is to drink, Bearface is a solid everyday whiskey. More than that, it’s a fun one to bring out and compare and contrast to other corn-dominated spirits from the Americas, like Balcones Texas Blue Corn or Abasolo Mexican whiskey.