The release of the highly anticipated Northern Border Collection (read my writeup) is coming out in a trickle within the LCBO here in Ontario. If you want your hands on Lot No 40 Cask Strength and the other great whiskies as part of this collection, here are things to consider:
- Checking LCBO.com inventories is not the answer. In this instance, LCBO website stock information is not accurate. Stores have been getting a trickle of these whiskies without LCBO.com inventory being updated. Advice: Keep calling. To the credit of LCBO employees (the ones I’ve talked to), they’re happy to take your calls.
- The LCBOPopup at 600 King St West Toronto is your best bet. Expect the Northern Border collection to be available at these times:
- October 18th, 12pm/noon (or later)
- October 19th and 20th at 5pm
- For the pop-up, get there early. In previous days, the collection sold out in 15 minutes. For the 19th and 20th, Hiram-Walker’s Master Blender, Dr. Don Livermore, will be there from 5pm to 8pm. Those are likely to be the bigger releases.
- If you live in Ontario, but outside of Toronto, keep calling your LCBO location. Lot No 40 Cask Strength has been seen in Windsor and in Niagara Falls. I expect more stores receive inventory. Make friends with the person that orders alcohol for the store. Store managers vary in friendliness and awareness of whisky, but they’re your best bet.
- Whatever doesn't sell this week, will become available next week at LCBO locations in a more traditional distribution.
Lot No 40 12 Year Old Cask Strength ($69.95) and Gooderham & Worts Little Trinity ($79.95) are the two more affordable of the group. Pike Creek 21 Year Old ($89.95) is old Canadian Whisky finished in Speyside barrels. J.P. Wiser’s 35 Year Old tops the price list at $164.95. All a great value considering the quality of the whisky.
I’ve been asked in what priority one should buy these. If you love Canadian Whisky, you’ll especially love the two older releases. If you’re a bourbon and rye lover, you’ll love Lot No 40 Cask Strength and Gooderham & Worts Little Trinity (Lot No 40 is oaky, heavy rye, and Little Trinity is an intense rye peppery note that you'll love). If you’re a scotch drinker, Pike Creek 21 Year Old is more likely to be your jam.
In Alberta, the Northern Border Collection is available through various outlets already. If you live in Europe, the Norther Border Collection is expected to be available for purchase through The Whisky Exchange later this year. I don’t have confirmation on distribution in the US, beyond that efforts are being made to make it available. In all cases, quantities are expected to be limited.