King’s Lock Craft Distillery is a small, family owned and operated distillery in Prescott, Ontario – a town rich with historical significance to Canada and the Canadian whisky industry. Owners Rob, Laura and Joey are proud of that history, and have weaved it into the fabric of their operations and products. Their entire line-up is 100% organic, and they
The small town on the St. Lawrence was the site of the now demolished J.P. Wiser’s distillery, which at one point was the 3rd largest distillery in Canada by volume, and whose portfolio is now produced at Hiram Walker in Windsor and owned by Corby Spirit & Wine. The team at King’s Lock proudly display this distilling history in their showroom, including artifacts pulled from the the river and found in the area.
Their purpose-built building houses both a brewery and the distillery, and their equipment was custom built for the variety of spirits they produce. They use enzymes rather than malt currently, and their cuts yield about 70% off their pot stills. There are plans to launch a single malt eventually, along with blended Canadian whisky. They age everything on-site, primarily using 53gal ex-bourbon barrels.
Each of their products celebrates the region and its history:
- Prescott white rye is a 100% organic unaged spirit, which celebrates their town and its history.
- Their WhiskyJack is the Prescott rye, aged for a short time in oak.
- The Lighthouse Shine references the lighthouse across the road from the distillery, which was the site of the Battle of the Windmill in the war of 1812.
- 1000 Islands Moonshine is a rum-like aged spirit that celebrates the gorgeous St. Lawrence region and its many islands.
- When that moonshine hits 1 year of age, it becomes the Smuggler’s Gold Rum, celebrating the history of rum-running out of Prescott during Prohibition.
- Conestoga Gin is named for the steam freighter that sank in the area in 1922.
The rye spirits I tried were clean and grain forward, and the 8 month old WhiskyJack also had some great caramel and spicy notes from the oak. There were no off notes and given enough time in the barrel, I have no doubt they’ll make a very nice whisky line-up eventually!
So next time you’re heading down the 401 to Ottawa or Montreal, make a quick pit stop in Prescott to visit King’s Lock Craft Distillery, where you’ll no doubt receive the same warm welcome and warming spirit as I did!