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Flights Of Japanese Whisky At False Creek’s Ancora


by Shaun Layton | A recent trip to the Peruvian seafood-focused Ancora restaurant had me gawking at the bar’s ample spirit collection. Bar Manager Matt Cooke, formerly of Homer Street Cafe, not only has a killer collection of bourbons, rums, and piscos to play with, but also one of Vancouver’s strongest selections of Japanese whisky. Though the impactful stuff isn’t necessarily what you’d want to pair with the sublimely delicate offerings of resident sushi master Yoshi Tabo, a wee after dinner dram wouldn’t be frowned upon!


Japanese whiskies have taken the spirit world by storm in the last few years, ripping many awards away from the Scots. Matt offers a particular tasting flight that I highly recommend as it highlights the whiskies of Nikka Distillery. Located on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, Nikka has been selling world class spirits since 1934 and now has distilling and bottling plants all over Japan. As is the case in Scotland, terroir plays a huge role in making every whisky distinctive. Let the soft spoken Matt guide you through the subtle differences of each malt. And as you sip, be sure to check out the wooden service boards (upon which the whiskies sit). Matt made them by hand.


For $21 you get three 1/2 oz pours of Nikka Pure Malt Black, White, and Red (or $42 for full ounces). Since Ancora isn’t really in a hood where you can easily bar hop afterwards, sit tight, enjoy the view, and order another three. If you’ve yet to check the place out, let the gallery below give you a taste…

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  • Haida Gwaii Pan Seared Halibut 2
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