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December 9, 2022updated May 05, 2023

The Bearface Whisky Espresso Martini

Cocktail of the Week: Bearface whisky is aged in shipping containers in the Canadian wilderness.

By Kim Ayling

When it comes to whisky (or indeed whiskey) a few main countries continue to dominate. There’s Scotland, of course, but also Ireland, Japan and the US. One country that has comparatively slipped under the radar, despite its long spirit-making history, is Canada.

Having only been introduced to the US market earlier this year, Bearface is still making a name for itself in the States. However, the handfuls of awards that the brand has so far collected for its intriguing spirit make for an impressive introduction.

To make its distinctive whisky, Bearface looked to the wild Canadian landscape for help. It first carefully sources the best single-grain Canadian corn spirit before it undergoes what the brand calls Elemental Ageing, a process that involves maturing its oak casks in shipping containers that are dotted around the Canadian wilderness.

[See also: House of Hazelwood: Ultra-rare Whiskies You can Afford to Open]

The extremes differ greatly inside the steel containers, from sub-zero to soaring heat, with each dramatically impacting how the wood interacts with the whisky. This allows Bearface’s master blender to stringently select only the best casks and blend them to create a completely unique whisky.

Canadian law dictates a minimum of three aging for its whisky, but Bearface takes it to seven for a fuller, rounder finish. The result is intriguing, with oaky spice and dried fruit both at the fore.

While Bearface Triple Oak’s punchy notes make it lovely to sip neat, the whisky also lends itself perfectly to a cocktail. The brand has plenty of signatures, but we love its take on an Espresso Martini which, as you might imagine, trades the traditional vodka for whisky.

The result is a lot rounder than the classic recipe you might be more familiar with, with whisky adding a lovely depth and a hint of smoke.

[See also: Finn Thomson is Telling Whisky’s Untold Story]

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– 1oz coffee liquor 

– ½ oz simple syrup

– 1 oz coffee

– 1½ oz Bearface Triple Oak Whisky


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake thoroughly. Double strain into a glass of your choice and top with espresso beans.

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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