Monday March 18, 2024

Your International Whisky Day Itinerary

Original blog by Tourism Windsor Essex

International Whisky Day takes place each year on March 27th and it is a celebration of all things whisky. Lucky for us, Windsor has no shortage for whisky history to explore. Keep reading for your very own International Whisky Day Itinerary.

But first, just a bit of history and some fun facts: whisky means “the water of life” in the Gaelic language and has a long and distinguished history of careful distillation, dating back more than 500 years.

  • Beer ferments into whisky: ‘wort’ is the ‘beer’ that is distilled into whisky; when it comes to brewing, the wort is made up of water, yeast and malts, just like a cold beer!
  • The angel’s share: each year, about 2% of the whisky in barrels is lost to evaporation and in some cultures this is referred to as the “angel’s share”
  • Prohibition: During Prohibition in the United States there was a loophole allowing doctors to prescribe whisky as medication.
  • Prohibition in Canada: During prohibition in Canada liquor could be legally produced in Canada but not sold there and legally exported out of Canadian ports.

Day 1:

When starting off your International Whisky Day Itinerary in Windsor Essex you’re first stop is Walkerville. This historic neighbourhood was founded by Hiram Walker and led to the creation of world-famous Canadian Club.

 

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Start your day with a Walkerville Heritage Walking Tour, almost 50 tour points are featured and users have the option to follow the suggested tour route or explore specific tour points. It’s easy to follow along on your phone or print out. Be sure to visit the Hiram Walker Statue, Willistead Manor and pop into J.P. Wiser’s Gift Shop. Check the J.P. Wiser’s website and plan ahead for special workshops and tours that may be offered on select dates.

After working up an appetite stop in to Walkerville Brewery for a tasting flight and a bite to eat. Walkerville Brewery has a Hiram Walker history all their own which you can explore in their mini-museum. Today’s Brewery operates in one of Mr. Walker’s original buildings known as β€œSurge Plant 16”. Once an overflow storage facility for the production of whisky, this re-purposed 18,000 square foot facility is now home to some of the finest beer produced in Essex County.

After lunch browse more of the Walkerville neighbourhood and stop in to shop at Jones & Company, a happy and hip gift shop and Urban Art Market featuring over 30 local artists and makers showcasing their products in a boutique gift shop.

 

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Enjoy an intimate dinner at F&B Restaurant offering delectable sharing plates and a thoughtfully curated wine list and seasonally inspired chef menu. Stick with the theme and imbibe in a classic Manhattan made with Canadian Club 12 and raise a toast to Hiram Walker! Before you head out of Walkerville pop in next door to Funky Chow Kitchen for a whisky-themed cocktail like the Harajuku Heights Highball.

End the day with a relaxing stay at Caesars Windsor with beautifully appointed accommodations peppered with outstanding services Caesars Windsor defines modern luxury in the midst of timeless elegance. Rest your head in one of the 758 guestrooms and suites overlooking the beautiful Windsor Riverfront, try you luck at table games, poker and slot machines and savour world-class restaurants and lounges.

 

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Day 2:

After a restful night’s sleep at Caesars Windsor it’s time to start a new day and explore another historic neighbourhood: Ford City. Start your morning off with breakfast at Caesars Windsor then pop in to Chance Coffee in the heart of Ford City for a freshly roasted coffee and pastry. The murals located throughout this vibrant community honour and preserve the area’s place in automotive history. Notable stops include Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry, Wolf & Rebel and try to catch a live theatrical performance at Korda Artistic Productions. Sawyer’s Craft BBQ is a Texas style BBQ restaurant serving up beef brisket, tender spareribs and house features one of Windsor’s best patios! Stop in for a bit to eat or a quick beverage.

To continue your Windsor Essex whisky tour you need to head to Wolfhead Distillery. Established in 2016 as the first premium craft Distillery in Essex County, Wolfhead handcrafts small-batch vodka and whisky flavoured spirits and serves up a full menu of tasty eats – perfect for lunch or dinner! Their retail shop is open 7 days a week and tours are offered on Fridays at 4pm and Saturdays at 1pm and 3pm. Tempt your taste buds with the flavours of their Premium Whisky, Apple Caramel Whisky, Coffee Whisky Liqueur and Cinnamon Whisky.

 

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Next up in your whisky day itinerary is a visit to the charming and historic town of Amherstburg. Stroll the streets and browse the book shelves of the River Bookshop where you’re sure to find a few pages on the history of Windsor Essex and it’s ties to whisky. Other notable stops include Evelyn’s Candy House, White Woods Home and Caffeine & Co. Strolling through King’s Navy Yard Park and Fort Malden National Historic Site are a must to round out your visit.

After this long and eventful day it’s time to head back for another invigorating night at Caesars Windsor. Plan ahead and you can catch a show in the 5,000 seat Colosseum showcasing headlining concert performers, comedy shows and variety acts.

Day 3:

For your final day, enjoy a quiet morning strolling downtown Windsor, checking out WIFF Alley, Artist Alley and Maiden Lane and the vibrant murals located throughout. Enjoy a meandering walk along Windsor Riverfront Trail through the Windsor Sculpture Park and learn more of the area’s history at Museum Windsor – Chimczuk Museum a premier museum destination that houses permanent exhibits on the history of the Windsor area. Pop in to Whiskeyjack Boutique, a locally owned boutique shop carrying a thoughtfully curated collection of 100% Canadian-made products to pick up a souvenir of your time spent here.

 

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BONUS Suggestions:

Venture out on a Windsor Premier Cruises sightseeing cruise and see the views of Windsor from the Detroit River, envisioning the early days of the whisky trade in Windsor. The ship is located at the foot of Ouellette Avenue in the heart of downtown. Many tour options are available with special themed events on Saturday evenings too!

 

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Plan ahead for a unique Rum Runners Tour with Encore Productions. The Rum Runners Tour is a five hour live-action bus tour where costumed characters tell the story of Prohibition in Windsor and Detroit during the Roaring twenties.

Download the free digital CROSSROADS Historical Guide for a self-guide exploration of the historical significance of Windsor Essex.

The most important way to celebrate international whisky day is with a bottle of locally made whisky and some friends!

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