Fiddich Review Centre


EDMONTON, AB, Dec. 1, 2022 /CNW/ – Born in the raging blaze of the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, The Beast Wildfire Whisky rises from the ashes on December 3rd, 2022. The Beast is a singular expression of the resilience and rebirth of the Fort McMurray community and remembrance of the dedicated effort of local fire fighters. To date, it has raised over $100,000 for the Fort McMurray Fire Fighters Charities Association.

Known to fire fighters as “The Beast”, the 2016 wildfire was the costliest disaster in Canadian history and extinguished thousands of buildings and livelihoods. However, thanks to the tireless work of fire fighters many buildings and businesses were saved, including Wood Buffalo Brewing, a small craft brewery and distillery. Outside the distillery, exposed to smoke from the nearby smoldering forest, sat a pallet of peated malt, destined to become a fine Canadian whisky. Distillers Bryce Parsons and Spike Baker salvaged the grain, and curiosity led them to send samples to Canada Malting Co., who concluded the malt had absorbed the smokiness of the wildfire and inherited unique flavour characteristics as a result.

Wood Buffalo Brewing, working with the Fort McMurray Fire Fighters Association, auctioned future bottles of whisky and raised over $100,000 for charity. The highest bid bottle went for $10,000, making it the most expensive Canadian whisky ever sold. Just three bottles will be available for public auction in-person at the launch event in Fort McMurray on December 3rd.

“This was an opportunity to create something positive after a massive tragedy. We wanted to celebrate the Fort McMurray spirit when everyone came together as a community, and to thank the fire fighters for their incredible efforts,” says Distiller, Spike Baker.

After aging for six years in oak barrels, the resulting whisky has been bottled and released by The Maligne Distillery. A dual smoke flavour from the peated malt carries through in the mature whisky. The aroma is approachable with a sweet and mint-like note and follows with a dynamic flavour profile, lending characteristics of cherry, tobacco, and burnt honey.

“The Beast captures the spirit of the Fort McMurray community in a timeless product. People, especially the community and bottle holders, can go back to and enjoy this whisky over time while reflecting on that part of their life, or even pass it onto another generation. We’ve felt that time heals through doing that,” says Master Distiller, Bryce Parsons.

About the Maligne Distillery:

The Maligne Distillery is a Canadian craft whisky maker established in Alberta in 2022. Its parent company, Bearhill, owns a portfolio of brands that includes Jasper Brewing Co., Banff Ave Brewing Co., Last Best Brewing & Distilling, and Campio Brewing Co. The Maligne Distillery will begin releasing whisky products in late 2023, coinciding with the opening of a whisky-themed experience centre in Jasper, Alberta.

SOURCE Bearhill

For further information: Meghan McMaster, Marketing & Communications Manager for Bearhill, [email protected], 403-969-0911,, Bryce Parsons and Spike Baker will be available for interviews.

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