After three years in the making, Alberta's first Single Malt Whisky has been released.
The Eau Claire Distillery formally released the new product in a ceremony in Turner Valley Dec. 5.
David Farran, President and owner of Eau Claire Distillery, says he's hoping to put Alberta on the map as more than a rye whiskey producer.
"The history of Alberta whiskey making has really revolved around rye," he says. "But we do produce the best malted barley in the world and we ship that to Scotland so they can make scotch, but we really felt that it was time we kept some of it home and turned it into single malt here."
Farran shares the distillery wanted to encapsulate the best of Alberta in its whisky, which includes only local ingredients in the recipe.
"It's all Alberta barley and so it's truly something that is reflective of Alberta agricultural production and our beautiful blue skies. As the first single malt whisky in the province I think we've done something that people will be amazed at."
The product also has ties to High River, with a local artist designing the label.
Farran says this kept in line with the distillery's Alberta first mandate.
"We also wanted an Alberta artist to help us design the label, so we had 120 submissions of portfolios from all across the province, some incredibly talented artists sent work in. We had a panel of judges internally and everybody unanimously settled on Claire Markle who's out of High River."
Farran hopes the whisky becomes a source of pride for not just Turner Valley residents, but for everyone across the Foothills region.
"I think it's the re-birth of a new industry that is definitely all about local and being proud Albertans, I hope that we continue to grow that connection with our community. We get so many visitors now down to the distillery to see how we do it, so I think we're really becoming a part of the fabric of the community and that's certainly our goal."
Farran shares the distillery plans to enter the whiskey into competitions in the coming year.