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Temiscouata Distillery: Maple sap and the Quebec terroir

Interviews

Temiscouata Distillery: Maple sap and the Quebec terroir

The Temiscouata Distillery, located in Auclair in the Lower Saint Lawrence region, is made up of some 40 maple syrup producers who decided to innovate, stimulate the economy and take charge of their industry by producing Acerum, a maple syrup-based spirit!

Published on February 26, 2024

Once I arrived in Rivière-du-Loup, I left the riverside and hit the open road, driving through wide, rolling landscapes before reaching a lake of epic proportions: the Témiscouata. 

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The road to Auclair—the quaint little town in the Lower Saint Lawrence region that’s home to the distillery—is lined with maple trees. I visited in the fall, my favourite season, and you can imagine the splendid views: the vibrant reds, golden yellows and bright oranges creating a sharp contrast with the dark asphalt. I later learned that maple is emblematic of the region, and the distillery uses it to make a surprising local product called Acérum

I was greeted at the entrance by a tall man with dark hair and a wide grin: “Hello, welcome!”

Opening a distillery in the tiny village of Auclair—with a population of 500, if that—not only takes guts, it also takes vision. Driven by a passion for entrepreneurship, the terroir and regional development, Michael Fortin chose to start his business here rather than in his hometown of Saguenay.

“I fell in love with the place. It’s a rich natural environment that offers plenty of opportunities. You can do so much here. The local businesspeople and producers share a common goal, which is to create a dynamic environment that’s a great place to live.”

 

- Michael Fortin, general manager Distillerie Témiscouata

His distillery collaborates with many maple syrup producers in the Lower Saint Lawrence region to create one-of-a-kind products and stimulate the area’s economy. That’s the story behind Acerum, a spirit unique to Quebec. What better alcoholic beverage to represent our province on the world stage than one made from maple sap

This product is a pure distillation of our Quebec roots, our love of colourful forests, and the know-how of local maple syrup producers. 

Auclair is a pioneer in the production of maple syrup. Speaking of which, the Temiscouata Distillery doesn’t operate in just any old building—its facilities used to house one of the first maple syrup co-ops in the province. 

“The Scottish have scotch, the French have cognac, Mexicans have mezcal, and Americans have bourbon. Now, Quebecers have Acerum.”

The premium product that is Acerum is, in fact, a maple eau-de-vie that’s made by distilling alcohol produced from maple sap. The name Acerum is now exclusive to spirits that meet strict industry standards. The Temiscouata Distillery produces brown and white Acerums. 

Its Brown Acerum is aged in oak casks, which gives it a rich, elegant flavour with notes of vanilla and caramel. Its White Acerum, on the other hand, is much more delicate, with notes of fruit, honey and flowers, and has won awards in competitions in England, Germany and the US. 

Next time you’re in the area, venture beyond the riverside, explore the maple trees by the Temiscouata Distillery, and say hello to its friendly and passionate owner, Michael. 

Until then, add the distillery’s unique products to your shopping list to serve to your dinner guests or gifts to loved ones! 

distillerietemiscouata.com

557 Des Pionniers
Auclair QC  G0L 1A0

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