Smoky Whisky Captures Flavour Of Fort McMurray Wildfires

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A Fort McMurray brewery has, somewhat accidentally, found a way to bottle the smoky flavour of the spring's wildfires.

The Wood Buffalo Brewing Co. is preparing to distill a batch of double-smoked whisky, crafted using a pallet of grain left behind on the patio after a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the city.

The grain — while smoky in its original flavour — took on a distinct campfire flavour after being abandoned in the haze, head brewer Spike Baker told The Huffington Post Alberta.

The whisky will be named "The Beast" as an homage to the nickname that firefighters gave the blaze last summer.

wildfire whiskySpike Baker, head brewer for The Wood Buffalo Brewing Co., is working on his signature batch of whisky, aptly named "The Beast." (Photo: Spike Baker)

People will have a chance to bid on one of 10 bottles at a distilling party this Friday, with some of the proceeds going to the Friends of Fort McMurray Firefighters Charities Fund.

"We've been making beer specific to this community, so it means a lot to be able to give back in this way," said Baker.

"We just want to make it a memento of the one good things that came out of (the wildfire.)"

"It'll be a once-in-a-lifetime flavour; one we'll never reproduce."

Auction winners will have to wait a while for something to sip on, however. The whisky needs to age for approximately five years, said Baker, so winners will go home with an empty bottle and a certificate to claim their spirits when the time comes.

The wait will be worth it, however.

"It'll be a once-in-a-lifetime flavour; one we'll never reproduce," he promised, adding that the batch of whisky will only make about 200 bottles.

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