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Canada’s Bearface Whisky Launches New ‘Wilderness Series’

Canada’s Bearface Whisky drew inspiration from the wilderness of the Great White North for its new “Wilderness Series,” launching this spring with the expression “Matsutake Release 01.”

Bearface Master Blender Andres Faustinell said in a prepared statement the Bearface Wilderness Series is “another example of how we connect with nature and the elements to create whiskies that are wilder and more adventurous.”

The Wilderness Series infuses what’s described as premium single grain whisky with rare ingredients foraged in the Monashee Mountains of Canada.

Bearface Wilderness Series: Matsutake Release
Bearface Wilderness Series: Matsutake Release (image via Bearface Spirits)

The first release of this series is the Matsutake edition, infused with a scarce and sought-after mushroom species that grows wild in British Columbia. The Matsutake mushroom is known to be difficult to cultivate and can be harvested only once a year, which is why it commands top dollar worldwide, especially in Japan.

This whisky is aged in three different styles of sherry casks. As part of what’s described as Bearface’s elemental aging process, the casks are matured in repurposed shipping containers and exposed to extreme temperature variations throughout the seasons in the Canadian wilderness.

The distiller’s notes show that the resulting whisky is complex and layered with nutmeg, cinnamon and rounded nuttiness, followed by a leafy earthiness and an umami finish.

“Umami” is a word that identifies the “fifth taste” in foods and beverages (besides sweet, sour, salty and bitter), and that lends a savory depth to food and drinks. The Matsutake mushroom flavor profile provides a deep, savory flavor finish to the whisky.

“In recent years, many of the world’s most acclaimed mixologists have been embracing the potential of umami-rich fungi as an inventive cocktail ingredient,” said Bram Bolwijn, Sommelier Forager at Bearface. “The Wilderness Series: Matsutake Release is an exciting next step in our ongoing quest to create premium whiskies that are unlike any other in the world.”

The Bearface story is rooted in the wilderness of British Columbia. The whisky maker has earned multiple international awards for its innovative whiskies, most recently a Double Gold Medal at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Bearface Wilderness Series: Matsutake Release has a suggested retail price of CAD$49.95, and clocks in at 42.5% ABV. It’s available across Canada (except Quebec) this spring. Other releases in the Wilderness Series will follow.

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