The influx seen in the amount of Québec's artisanal distilleries in the past five years is something truly remarkable. Five years ago we were counting only a handful of micro-distilleries in the province, now we are counting in at about 30. And it's not finished!
Being lucky enough to live in Montreal, where there are many festivals where we can taste many local products, here is Whisky Femme's top 3:
Located in the Charlevoix region, you will find the Menaud distillery. Currently, you can purchase their gin and vodka but a whisky is said to be in the works as well. (yay!) Subtle vegetative, slightly salty, Boreal forest flavours - really a true representation of Québec's magical raw materials that are transformed from grain to bottle.
2. Les Subversifs
With their products named after historic Québecois(es), Les Subversifs distillery is located in Sorel-Tracy, about 45 minutes outside of Montreal. I know them mainly because of their parsnip gin, Piger Henricus, which I discovered maybe about 5 years ago (back when I drank martinis as an appetizer.) They now produce the Marie-Victorin gin (also made with parsnips) along with the vodka d'Irma, the Crème de menthe d'Isabelle, the Réduit de Léo and a honey amaretto.
3. Shefford Distillery
The first distillery to come out with Québec's own appellation, Acerum, which in essence is an eau-de-vie made from maple sap. Like Cognac or Scotch, Acerum is a legally defined and protected geographical indication. Shefford Distillery is located in the Estrie region at the foot of Mount Shefford with two small batch products available for purchase, the White Acerum, which is unaged, and the Brown Acerum, which in my humble opinion, is perfect. With flavours of baking spices, orchard fruit and the distinctly Canadian favourite, maple.