Archive for the ‘Canadian Whisky’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 11, 2015
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When I visited their facilities a few years ago I could not help but notice how they make their spirits one batch at a time in a friendly, family style atmosphere. I was impressed and I have been a fan of Highwood ever since.
Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky (Dark Chocolate). The spirit represents a melding of their Centennial Rye Whisky with the a small dollop of Dark Chocolate flavour. The flavoured whisky is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
Orange Chocolate Martini
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The Dark Chocolate Whisky has a pale mahogany colour which seems at odds with the rich dark chocolate scents which seem to ooze out of the rye and wood spices drifting in the breezes above the glass. The impact of the chocolate seems to be softened by an impression of fresh dairy cream within the make-up of its aroma …”
This spirit plays well with caramel, cola, coffee, and even (if you check out my recipe below) orange liqueurs. Those are some of my favourite flavours, so I think you can safely assume that my recommendation for the Centennial Dark Chocolate is quite enthusiastic.
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice dessert martini recipe which have I dubbed the Orange Chocolate Martini.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial Rye Whisky, Cocktail, Dark Chocolate, Flavoured Whisky, Highwood Distillers, Orange Chocolate Martini, Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2015
Last year, (January 16, 2014) Crown Royal® made an addition to its portfolio of Canadian Whiskies (in the USA) with the introduction of Crown Royal XO, which they have promoted as an “ultra-premium blended Canadian whisky”. The whisky was crafted by Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay and according to the fact sheet I was sent, it is a blend of more than 50 of Crown Royal’s finest whiskies which are finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest.
According to Mr. MacKay:
“The ultra-premium nature of Crown Royal XO and the smoothness of the liquid can be attributed to the handcrafted approach we took while creating the unique blend. We’re looking forward to sharing this special blend with adults across the country and encourage them to incorporate it into their celebrations of extraordinary moments and events.”
For those of you familiar with the family of Crown Royal whiskies available in Canada, Crown Royal XO, sounds remarkably similar to the Crown Royal Cask No. 16 (click on the link for my previous review) which according to the Crown Royal (Canadian) website, is also a blend of more than 50 different aged Canadian whiskies which are finished in Cognac casks from the Limousin forest in France.
Here is a link to my full review which includes information regarding how these two blends differ as well as how they compare:
“… The initial aroma from the glass revealed sweet butterscotch and maple rising into the air with a combination of light but firm rye accents and fine wood spices. As the glass sat I began to sense some of that typically punky Crown Royal sweet corn aroma along with a few slightly musty ripe corn cobs alongside some spicy grain. I searched for an indication of the Cognac Cask enhancement and found a few apple scents wandering in the air and some very light indications of dry raisins …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a new cocktail suggestion, Crowning Glory.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Crown Royal, Crown Royal XO, Crowning Glory, Diageo, Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 10, 2015
Forty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle. As well you can have your bottle signed by their own Master Distiller and Whisky Maker, John Hall, when you arrive to pick up your pre-ordered bottles. These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are basically versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in selected oak barrels.
Forty Creek Evolution is the eighth annual special Limited Edition Release from Forty Creek Whisky. Most of the whiskies in this blended Canadian Whisky began their journey 12 years ago. These whiskies were aged in American White Oak for 3 years, then selected barrels were re-distilled in Forty Creek’s copper pot still to further concentrate their flavour. The resulting whisky was then re-barreled in French Oak casks that had previously held Kittling Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, and then aged for an additional 9 years. As a final step John Hall selected some of his personally held barrels to blend into the final product.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… I received a mild indication of sweet caramel and butterscotch which were playing with rye spices and a touch of menthol. When I gave the glass a little time to develop I began to notice some dry scents of freshly baled straw and the chaff reminiscent of the scents and smells of a fresh fall harvest when the newly harvested grain has still left its imprint in the air above the straw windrows …”
Please enjoy my review and enjoy the coming weekend which is shaping up to be a good one!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky Re, Evolution, Forty Creek, Whisky | 7 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 24, 2015
In 2014, Crown Royal® Master Blender, Andrew MacKay created a limited edition whisky to commemorate the brand’s 75 year anniversary. According to Mr. MacKay:
“Crown Royal was originally created for royalty, crafted over time and the fact that the whisky is still being enjoyed 75 years later is really special to all of us at Crown Royal. We’re excited to share this special limited edition blend with consumers and look forward to celebrating many more years of unmatched whisky.”
Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend is perhaps a little more rye-forward in its approach than previous Crown Royal whiskies. This is because the Monarch is produced from a blend of whiskies which include rye whisky from the distillery’s Coffey rye still. As you will see from the review, the rye from this historic still makes a real impression upon the flavour profile of the Monarch Whisky.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The Crown Royal Monarch is an excellent whisky which features a nice melding of sweet maple and butterscotch flavours within a firm oaky character. Although the whisky features more rye than other Crown Royal Whiskies, the influence I taste is of an earthier stye of rye (almost like sourdough rye bread) which combines very well with the traditional punky corn forward flavour profile of Crown Royal …”
The added rye makes this Crown Royal Whisky a perfect candidate for the traditional tall Canadian Whisky cocktail, Rye and Ginger. which is also known by its more obscure name, a Horse’s Neck.
Please enjoy my review and my suggested cocktail recipe.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Crown Royal, Diageo, Horse's Neck, Monarch, Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 21, 2015
A few years ago Wiser’s introduced Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) to the Canadian market. My understanding is that this new spiced whisky brand was very successful, and as a result, the company decided to further develop their spiced whisky portfolio. As part of this redevelopment, Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) was re-branded as JP Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla), and another flavoured/spiced whisky brand was introduced, JP Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 9 (Scorched Toffee).
I recently received bottles both new flavoured whiskies, and have decided to review each here on my website.
Here is a link to the review the review for JP Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 9 (Torched Toffee).
“… Butterscotch, maple and vanilla led out as the Torched Toffee whisky certainly rides on the sweeter side of the palate. There is a bit of bitter treacle riding along which I guess must be the torched toffee. There is a bit of spicy heat as well which reminds me of ginger and cinnamon …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe, Torched Toffee Lemon Sour.
Enjoy Springtime folks, even it did not come in like a lamb this year. Cheers!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Flavoured Whisky, J.P. Wiser's, Lemon Sour, No. 9, Review, Spiced Whisky, Torched Toffee, Whisky | Comments Off on Review: JP Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 9 (Torched Toffee)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2015
Crown Royal’s new Regal Apple Flavored Whisky beverage is (according to their website) a blend of hand-selected smooth Crown Royal whiskies infused with natural apple flavors. The apples flavour apparently is derived from natural Regal Gala apples which are a red and green varietal with a mildly sweet flavour profile. According to Wikipedia (which is usually more accurate than it is given credit for) the Gala apple was ranked as the number 2 most favoured variety on the US Apple Association’s list of most popular apples in 2006.
Regal Apple Tonic
The new apple flavoured spirit from Crown Royal is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume. The Crown Royal Regal Apple was launched on November 6, 2014, and will slowly be making its way across Canada and of course throughout the USA during 2015.
You may read my full review of this new flavoured spirit here:
“… The air above the glass as I expected carried a distinctive tart green apple scent but this was tainted with menthol and sugar which to me gave the initial aroma a striking resemblance to candied apple cough drops. As I let the glass sit, I noticed some of the whisky scents breaking through the tart apple …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice tall recipe of mine, Regal Apple Tonic, which I found quite nice with the Crown Royal Regal Apple Whisky.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Cocktails, Crown Royal, Flavored Whisky, Regal Apple, Regal Apple Tonic, Review, Whisky | Comments Off on Review: Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2015
A few years ago J.P. Wiser’s introduced Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) to the Canadian market. My understanding is that this new spiced whisky brand was very successful, and as a result, the company decided to further develop their spiced whisky portfolio. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) was re-branded (perhaps also re-developed) as J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla), and another flavoured/spiced whisky brand was introduced, J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 9 (Scorched Toffee).
I checked the Corby Brands website which has this to say about their new spiced whisky:
” The newest member to the J.P. Wiser’s family shares the unique sweet-soft whisky characteristic with an enhanced vanilla spice flavour. Perfect for mixing with cola or ginger ale!”
Spiced Northern Julep
Please enjoy my full review of J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla) which can be found by clicking on the following review excerpt:
“… The air above the glass is mildly sweet with firm butterscotch scents accompanied by vanilla, and gentle rye & wood spices. As was the case two years ago when I reviewed this whisky’s predecessor, the vanilla spiced whisky seems rather pleasant and laid …”
As you can see by the photograph to the right, my review includes a nice Julep recipe which works very well with the new J.P. Wiser’s Whisky. I call it, the Spiced Northern Julep.
Cheers Everyone, and let us hope that Spring is just around the corner!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, J.P. Wiser's, No. 5, Spiced Northern Julep, Spiced Whisky, Vanilla, Whisky | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2015
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the spirits conglomerate, Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian Whisky brand. Several years ago Crown Royal Limited was introduced as an addition to the Crown Royal family of whiskies. This Crown Royal is apparently blended from a selected group of batch distilled whiskies and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume to provide a more premium alternative to the flagship brand Crown Royal Deluxe.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… As the glass sat the rye spices seemed to build up filling the air with scents of ginger and coriander as well as some dusty dry scents of fresh grain and chaff. A bit of sweet punky corn began to assert itself making it known that this was indeed a Crown Royal brand, although I should add that these punky corn scents were quite muted as compared to the original CR Whisky …”
My review concludes with a new cocktail loosely based upon the 1878 Brandy Crusta as formulated by Leo Engels. My recipe is a more modern version and is of course designed for Canadian Whisky rather than Brandy. I call my recipe, the Resplendent Iced Cocktail.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Crown Royal, Limited Edition, Resplendent Iced Cocktail, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Crown Royal Limited Canadian Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2015
Recently there have been some changes in the Canadian Club family. One of the brands which has undergone a revamping is the Canadian Club Sherry Cask which has been replaced by the Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask. The newer version of the whisky has a new bottle and the two words, “Small Batch” have been added to the label. My understanding is the whisky is made from the familiar Canadian Club “blended at birth“ recipe of corn, rye, rye malt and barley spirits. The spirits from these grains are blended before entering the white oak barrel, and then set down for six to eight years to age. The matured whisky is then recasked for an additional finishing period in Sherry Casks from Jerez Spain.
The second maturation allows the whisky to acquire some of the characteristics of the sherry (similar to sherry cask matured scotches); but this second maturation is of a much shorter time period which ensures that the core Canadian Club spirit remains the centerpiece of the whisky. When the Canadian Club Sherry Cask is bottled, it is done so at 41.3% alcohol by volume, just a hair over the regular 40 % strength of the rest of their line-up.
You may click on the following link to read my full review:
“… The initial aroma brings dark fruit (raisins and dates) and red licorice (Turkish delight) with fine wood spices running alongside which feature a smattering of ginger, white pepper and cardamom. As the glass sits, some rich tobacco builds up as does hints of orange marmalade, and rich baking spices (vanilla, dark brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of cloves) …”
Please enjoy the review and if you happen to have your own bottle already, do try my cocktail suggestion, the Sherry Cask Port Manhattan.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Manhattan, Port Manhattan, Sherry Cask, Small Batch, Spiced Whisky Review, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2014
Wiser’s Red Letter was re-introduced to Canadians in 2007 to pay homage to the 150th anniversary of John Philip Wiser’s distillery in Prescott, Ontario 1857 – 2007), as well as to the original Red Letter Whisky which Wiser’s produced in the late 1800s. In 2009, when I reviewed the inaugural 150th Adversary Edition (see review here), I was told by my contacts within Corby, that the spirit contained various blends of whisky which (although they ranged in age) were all ten years old or more. After these mature whiskies were blended they were then finished in virgin white oak barrels for 150 days. Once the final characteristic of flavour had been achieved, the Red Letter was bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume (non chill filtered). In developing the spirit, the folks at Wiser’s apparently researched the original J.P Wiser’s Red Letter 19th century recipe using it as a guideline to construct their celebratory whisky.
Last year Corby once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky (2013 Release). As with the 150th Anniversary edition the whisky was finished in virgin white oak casks and then bottled without chill filtering at 45 % abv..
Although it took me a full year to acquire my sample bottle, I am glad that I was persistent, as this year Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky is without a doubt the finest Canadian Whisky I have sampled all year, and well deserving of the accolade, Rum Howler 2014 Canadian Whisky of the Year!
Here is my review for Wiser’s Red Letter (2013 Release):
“… I taste a firm presence of sharp wood spices and orange peel, however, this sharpness ( which I am sure is also due to the 90 bottling proof) is contrasted by the silky mouth feel of a luscious corn whisky. Honeycomb and maple flavours slide through the hot spiciness of the whisky, and soon the orange peel tastes more like marmalade, and the fine wood spices more like a nice spicy maple toffee. Underpinning everything is a impression of lovely chocolate flavours which seem to ooze from the whisky as it is swallowed …”
Every year I seem to encounter a whisky gem which knocks me for a loop. The 2013 Red Letter Whisky is full of spice and attitude, yet it has its silky softer side which makes it all the more engaging. A wonderful whisky, one of Canada’s very best ever!
Note: You may find my full Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here: The Rum Howler – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014
Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Top 25 Canadian Whisky, Whisky, Whisky of the Year, Whisky Review, Wiser's Red Letter, Wiser's Whisky | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 – Canadian Whisky of the Year: Wiser’s Red Letter (2013 Release)