Tucked away in a small corner of a industrial unit of a strip mall in Toronto (well technically in Vaughan) sits a small distiller. It looks like this:
That little guy is able to produce a huge variety of unique products from moonshine to one of my favourite gins in the city. The proud owner is one Don DiMonte, who is the founder of the company and also the treasurer of the Ontario Craft Distilling Association.
Don started the company way back in 2013 when his wife said starting it would be the “Last Straw” which formed the name: Last Straw Distillery. It took him 3 years to fight through the licensing red tape and he finally opened in August of this year with 3 products on offer: Dark Side of the Moonshine, Gin 21 and Blackstrap Rum. Each drink is unique in their own way and you can find our thoughts on the Gin here.
Don’t think he was just pushing paper for those 3 years, Don has been working with all the local distillers. Helping them where he can and in turn getting help and advice from them.
There are new products already on the way, with a “Darker Side of the Moonshine” launch coming up in early December.
Don gave us a great run down of his distillery and the process. He also showed us a few barrels he’s aging. Can’t wait to see how these come out:
Last Straw is willing to throw away the book on what makes a good spirit and is already experimenting with flavours and ideas. One of the reasons I love the renaissance in craft distilling we are seeing in Toronto is the distillers willingness to try new things.
Currently the only way to purchase the product is direct from the distillery itself, located at 40 Pippin Road unit 9 in Vaughan. It’s not easy to find, but worth the adventure out there.
I just realized that every photo I’ve included of Don has his head cut off, so here is one without that little issue!