Leaders in the field

Black Fox Farm & Distillery

The couple behind Black Fox Farm & Distillery in Saskatoon, Canada mastermind every stage of production – down to growing their own grain

Craftsmanship, whether in fine cars or fine whisky, is evident in the details. True craftsmen seek to draw others into their world, sharing how each masterpiece is created. In the world of whisky, where the ingredients are grain, water and wood, the key factors are the variety of grain, the environment where it is grown, the speed and duration of fermentation, the choice of barrel, and the resting location. The aim of Black Fox Farm and Distillery is to artfully weave together the nuances of tradition, innovation and terroir.

“We deeply believe in the experience that we are creating – the connection to land, to self and to others,” says Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote, CEO. “Our attention to every process, from seed to sip, encompasses our passion for the land and for people. Black Fox spirits are crafted for special friends and special moments.”

Barb and her husband John Cote, Black Fox’s co-founders, are pioneering the movement to recognise terroir – a concept historically reserved for wine – in spirits. Operating one of Canada’s most acclaimed on-farm distilleries, the couple understand the ways in which soil, climate and topography influence the ingredients they transform into whisky and gin. In addition to being fifth-generation farmers, Barb and John are Nuffield Scholars, a prestigious global network of leaders in the field of agriculture. For them, Black Fox is an opportunity to combine excellence in agriculture and distilling, crafting an experience of exceptional flavour, evoking a sense of place. Nowhere is this more evident than through Black Fox’s SE Eleven Canadian whisky, one of the only whiskies in the world to mature outdoors, rested under prairie skies through warm summers and northern winters. As the wood expands and contracts, the spirit adopts an inimitable depth of flavour.

Since opening in 2015, the distillery has gained a global reputation for quality, flavour and sustainability. Black Fox Oaked Gin earned the title of World’s Best Cask Gin at the 2017 World Gin Awards, and in 2020 SE Eleven whisky won Gold at the World Whisky Masters. “We are motivated by mastery,” says John, who is both Chief Operating Officer and Head Distiller. “Perfection is a pursuit, not a destination. Black Fox is our opportunity to invite others on our journey.”