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Posts Tagged ‘Canadain Whisky’

# 89 Century Reserve 21 Year Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 27, 2015

In November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries (founded by Ernie Potter in 1958). Part of this acquisition, was the purchase of all of the remaining barrel aged stocks of whisky in the Potters facility. These barrels of whisky were transferred from the Potters warehouse facilities in Kelowna, B.C. to the newly constructed warehouse facility in High River, Alberta, where they were allowed to continue to age at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies. The whisky brands which Potters had established (Century and Potters) were added to the Highwood portfolio.

Century_Reserve_21_Yr_-_shadowAccording to the information provided me when I reviewed this spirit the first time, Century Reserve 21 Year Old, is a premium a 21-year-old single grain corn whisky blended entirely from those original Potter’s stocks. This makes Century Reserve something of a rarity upon the landscape of Canadian Whisky as one of the only single grain corn whiskies available in production.

Here is a link to my review of the #89 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#89 – Century Reserve 21 Year Old Canadian Whisky

“… The breezes above the glass are luscious. Indications of roasted corn-0n-the-cob, rich oak spices, toffee, butterscotch, and tobacco all rise up to greet my nose. As the whisky breathes, those scents and smells above the glass become even richer with oak sap, stronger tobacco accents, marmalade and hints of vanilla pudding marrying themselves into the overall aroma …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rum Howler 2014 #3 Canadian Whisky – Crown Royal Cask No. 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014Crown Royal® Canadian Whisky was originally introduced in 1939 (by Samuel Bronfman of Seagrams) as a special whisky bottling to commemorate the Royal tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in that year. Until 1964, the whisky was only available in Canada; however, today it is available world-wide and is in fact the number one Canadian whisky brand sold in the USA. Crown Royal is currently produced in Gimli Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery which (since the dissolution of the Seagrams portfolio in 2000) is owned by the spirits conglomerate Diageo.

Cask No. 16 is according to the company website,

“handcrafted from more than 50 different aged Canadian whiskies and then finished in Cognac Oak casks from the Limousin forest in France”

Cask No. 16 SAM_1402Although rumours persist as to the demise of this outstanding blend, I note that as of the end of 2014, it remains listed on the Crown Royal website as part of the Crown Royal Family, and remains readily available in my home Province of Alberta.

And, I am quite happy that the Cask No. 16 is readily available, as I have placed it in the number 3 spot, in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown of 2014.

Here is my recently updated review:

#3 Canadian Whisky – Crown Royal Cask No. 16

“… The first sensation in my mouth was of an incredible softness that this whisky presents. It is almost chewy soft. A mellow corn whisky is up front on the palate, but rich soft butterscotch, caramel and sweet brown sugar sit under the corn flavour supporting and enhancing the experience. A nice spicy bite which has the hallmarks of pears and grapes grabs at the taste buds … “

For those who prefer a more subdued corn profile and a milder rye like burn, this is probably the perfect Canadian whisky. It is wonderfully luxurious and rich, yet full of character and complexity. Sip it neat, or on the rocks, and you will not be disappointed.


Note: You may follow my 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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 #3 Canadian Whisky – Crown Royal Cask No. 16

Rum Howler 2014 #4 Canadian Whisky – Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York. Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.

802621_18YRAccording to my correspondence with the media company responsible for, Gibson’s Finest Whisky, the Gibson’s Finest brand is produced from of two sources: a base grain whisky (which would be a corn-based column still whisky), and a blend of rye based flavouring whisky which contains rye and malted barley (distilled by a single column still and a pot still). When aging their whisky, Gibson’s Finest uses a variety of barrels: ex-bourbon barrels, new oak barrels, etc. The ratio of each barrel-type used can differ from batch to batch because the whisky is blended to a specific taste profile rather than to a specific barrel regimen. Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Whisky is limited to a production of not more than 12,000 bottles per year.

We have reached the number 4 spot in my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2014, and that spot belongs to Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old.

Here is a link to my most recent review:

#4 Canadian Whisky – Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old

“… The initial aroma is spicy with a firm oak presence. The breezes above the glass are filled with tobacco, rye, and (what I am going to term) clean firm oak spices. These dominant scents are accented by caramel, butterscotch and vanilla …”

There are only 3 spaces left in my 2014 Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown, and I hope that there has been a few surprises so far. The final three spirits were tasted against each other one more time just to be sure I had it right. I wonder if anyone can guess which three they are?


Note: You may follow my 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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2014 #4 Canadian Whisky – Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old

Review: Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 16, 2014

Mastersons_WheatMasterson’s Straight Wheat Whiskey is distilled and aged in Canada, for a California company located in Sonoma, called 35 Maple Street. As a straight whiskey, the spirit must be barreled and aged in new American Oak; however this Masterson’s whiskey also holds the distinction of being perhaps the only Canadian whiskey which is distilled on a copper pot still from a mash of 100 % wheat grain. It is aged for 12 years, bottled at 50% alcohol by volume, and is apparently (like the rest of the Masterson’s line-up) named for the famous frontier lawman, William “Bat” Masterson.

Rum Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

You may read my full review of the 12 Year Old Wheat spirit by clicking the following review excerpt:

Review: Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

“… Mild butterscotch and toffee aromas mingle with the wood and spices, and subtle bits of dry fruit and orange peel drifting into the breezes for those who are patient enough to notice. As I let the glass sit, the oak builds up just a little giving us some hints of bitter sap, poplar wood and dark chocolate. I also notice very light baking spices with vanilla, cinnamon and hints coarse yellow/brown sugar …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my recipe suggestion, the Old-Fashioned Cocktail!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Forty Creek Evolution!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2014

Forty Creek Evolution is the eighth of the yearly special Limited Edition Releases from Forty Creek Whisky, and there will be only 9,000 bottles produced! Of course, once again Forty Creek is offering (for a limited time) Canadian Whisky lovers an opportunity to reserve their own bottle number of Forty Creek Evolution. Customers can reserve any number between 0003 and 9000. The Reservations are being offered between May 21st and June 16th, 2014, and you can choose a number that has special significance for you. Maybe it is a special birthday, an anniversary of significance, or perhaps something whimsical like the date that your favourite hockey team last won the Stanley Cup, it is really completely up to you!

Reservations open at noon on Wednesday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. EST, and the numbers are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. More information about the Reservation process can be found using this link:

You may reserve more than one bottle. However, due to provincial and federal regulations Forty Creek cannot ship whisky bottles. They must be purchased and picked up at the distillery in Grimsby, Ontario after the whisky is released later in the fall. (The whisky release weekend is scheduled for Saturday, September, 27th and Sunday, September 28th, 2014.)

johnhallHere are some notes on Forty Creek 2014 Evolution Limited Release from John K. Hall, Whisky Maker:

“Every year I look forward to introducing a new limited edition Forty Creek taste expression. This year is no exception. I am so proud to introduce Forty Creek Evolution to you and our family of Forty Creek Whiskies.

Forty Creek Evolution is my 8th limited release. Each of my limited whiskies has a taste of its own, yet remains characteristically true to the Forty Creek family. The limited releases have provided me with a canvas to grow as a whisky maker. This year’s release is an evolution of not just the whiskies that I have made but as I have evolved as a whisky maker.

I am very excited to share Forty Creek 2014 Evolution with you as it offers a glimpse into this journey. After all, that is what whisky making and whisky tasting is all about. It is a journey of discovery and evolution.

Most of the whiskies in this bottle began their journey 12 years ago. Initially, these whiskies were aged in American White Oak for 3 years. I then selected the barrels and re-distilled the aged whiskies in my copper pot still to further concentrate their wonderful flavours. This whisky was then re-barreled into French Oak casks that had previously held my Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for an additional 9 years! Finally, I introduced some of my favourite personally held barrels to the mix for balancing.

Evolution starts with fig, dates, anise, blackberry, black currants and bell peppers and then evolves into deep forest notes, cinnamon spice flares, cloves, nutmeg, chestnut and tobacco. There are wonderful hints of vanilla, sweet clover and butter, evolving milk chocolate, soft roasted oak, peach and apricot. Then comes a comfortable earthiness to this whisky that just constantly evolves. So, I have appropriately called it Evolution.

This whisky’s journey will become very clear to you as you discover the ever evolving complexities, subtleties, aromas, tastes and flavours that Evolution has to offer. “

PS: Once I have a bottle shot, I promise I will share it with everyone!



Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

# 10 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYForty Creek Whisky (as you know if you have been following this countdown) has for the past several years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in its release by offering to let those who pre-order the whisky to choose their own numbered bottle(s). These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are actually versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in certain selected oak barrels. Last year’s special release was the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve – 2012 Whisky.

PortwoodWhat makes this whisky special is that this edition of Forty Creek Whisky has been finished in Port Wine Barrels. The whisky was produced at 45 % alcohol by volume and was limited to only 6600 bottles.

I almost decided not to include the Portwood Reserve in my Countdown, not because I felt it wasn’t worthy (it definitely is); but rather because this particular bottling is almost gone. When I checked the AGLC and LCBO listings, I discovered that the Portwood Reserve is only available in very limited quantities as this whisky is almost sold out. My suggestion to those who are fans of Forty Creek Whisky is that if you do not have this whisky or if you want to gift a bottle this Christmas, you had better act fast. The Number 10 Canadian Whisky in my Christmas Advent Countdown, the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve (2012), will be all but gone by the end of this year.

You may read my 2012 review here:

# 10 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012

“… The scents and smells rising into the breezes above the glass remind me of dark ripe BC cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Some dry fruit sensations (reminiscent of raisins and prunes) are part of the overall fruit and berry aroma. Subtle but firm impressions of cinnamon and cloves join in with a bit of sweet Demerara sugar thrown in for good measure …

Glowing embers of cinnamon and cloves seem to take hold of the whisky in the exit. Rye spices, ginger and cardamom join in with vanilla and Demerara sugar chasing them.This is a beautiful sipping whisky!


Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 10 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012


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