Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 20, 2015
The resurgence of interest in Canadian Whisky continues unabated as it seems that every time I venture into a local liquor store I see new brands that I have never tried before. One of these new brands, Legacy Small Batch caught my eye and I decided to request a bottle for review. The new brand is owned by Sazerac, and to produce this new Canadian spirit they import mature whisky from Canada and bottle it at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
There is not much information about this particular whisky on the Sazerac website except for a statement that, Master Blender Drew Mayville (Buffalo Trace), oversees the distillation of this particular whisky. Unfortunately I find this claim hard to reconcile based upon his own statements in a 2013 interview in The Spirits Business (see interview here) regarding the anonymity of Canadian Whisky distillers and his happiness at being a blender and not a distiller. (Note that Canadian Whisky by law must be at least 3 years old and therefore would have been distilled prior to those statements.) Perhaps the marketing people at Sazerac meant that Drew Mayville oversees the blending of the Legacy Small Batch, which of course would be right up his alley.
Here is a link to my full Review:
“… I taste a very nice melding of rye-like spices with butterscotch toffee. There is a corn-like smoothness which permeates the whisky along with just enough peppery heat to pucker and dry the palate making it receptive to the next sip. There are also light bits of cinnamon, some gentle vanillans, and a touch of milk chocolate in the flavour profile and all of these flavours seem to be pulling in the same pleasant direction …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe I created called the Canadian Caribou.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisky Liqueur, Whisky Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Legacy Small BatchSazerac, Review, Whisky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2015
Canadian Club Whisky (owned by BeamSuntory) is the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world. The company has been granted numerous Royal Warrants from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II and it has been reported that Canadian Club was the whisky of choice when Al Capone smuggled thousands of Cases of Canadian Whisky into the USA during prohibition. Today Canadian Club Premium is the flagship brand for the company. In Canada, it is aged for a minimum of 6 years in white oak barrels and bottled at 40 per cent alcohol by volume.
Recently Canadian Club added to their flavoured and spiced portfolio by releasing a new maple flavoured whisky , Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple. According to the Canadian Club website:
Our master distillers have brought together the world’s finest Canadian whisky with the perfect hint of maple flavour.
Chairman’s Maple Mammy
Here is a link to my full review:
“… When I steal a sip from the glass, again it is the flavour of maple which one notices immediately (as we should). However, I was pleased to taste a firm whisky presence within the spirit as well. Despite the obvious maple taint, the flavoured whisky still retains its character as a whisky …”
Included in my review is a nice cocktail suggestion which combine the Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple with lime juice and ginger-ale, the Chairman’s Maple Mammy.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Club, Canadian Whisky, Chairman's Maple Mammy, Chairman's Select, Cocktail, Flavoured Whisky, Maple Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2015
Today I thought I would give everyone who is scrambling at the last-minute a few suggestions for Father’s Day with the same list of ten spirits which I posted on my refrigerator for my wife and kids. Every item on my list is considered by myself to be a top-notch spirit, however each is available in my local market for less than 100 bucks. That may seem a high watermark for some, but I have three kids and they can chip in together.
Any gift from his list would make any reasonable Dad happy:
1) Dictador XO Insolent Rum
2) Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
3) El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
4) Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon
5) Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt
6) Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Year Old
7) Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)
8) Botanist Islay Dry Gin
9) Corzo Reposado Tequila
10) H by Hine Fine Champagne Cognac (VSOP)
Graham’s Six Grapes
I realize that not everyone can or would want to spend 100 bucks. If you are more budget conscious, then here is a list of ten great budget priced spirits which would still make any Dad happy (including me):
1) Bacardi 8 Yr Old Rum
2) Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year
3) Diplomático Añejo
4) Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky
5) Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
6) Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky
7) Highwood Premium Vodka
8) Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin (40 %ABV)
9) Herencia de Plata (Reposado)
10) W & J Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port
The two lists are in no particular order, but I have tried to include a good range of spirit types with the emphasis on Rum of course. Hopefully this helps someone, if not for Father’s Day, then maybe for your own personal shopping.
Posted in Extras | Tagged: Bourbon, Cognac, Father's Day, Gin, Port Wine, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whisky | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 12, 2015
Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky is produced by Alberta’s own Highwood Distillers. It has quietly replaced Highwood’s former Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky (see review here) as the flagship brand of their Centennial Lineup. The Centennial brand is unique in Canada as rather than using corn as the base grain for this whisky, Centennial uses soft Canadian winter wheat and rye This gives the Centennial brand a smooth and soft flavour profile which I have found is unlike any other Canadian whisky. In fact, using grains grown exclusively on the Canadian prairies, distilling the grain in their home Province of Alberta, and aging the spirit in the severe Western Canadian climate makes Centennial is a Whisky unlike any other in the world.
Centennial Limited Edition features no age statement which makes it different from the Centennial 10 Year Old Whisky which used to carry the flag for the brand. When I asked the folks at the distillery I was told that the Centennial brand had reached a point of popularity such that Highwood could no longer meet the demand for their 10 Year Old whisky across the country. This meant that the distiller was faced with two choices. They could either raise the price to temper demand (and annoy their loyal customers), or they could create a new flagship Centennial Whisky (the Limited Edition) which they could produce in sufficient quantity to meet the new demand across Canada. They chose the second course, although they are hoping this new blend is met with the same enthusiasm as the previous blend.
Here is a link to the full review:
“… I let the glass sit for a while, and noticed that the rye grain was joined by wood spices and these spicy accents seem to grow in the breezes. I also notice a light almost bitter astringency in the air which seems to be related to the building rye spice. As the glass continues to decant, some dry grassy tobacco comes to the fore and a light fruitiness is evolving from the rye which is also filling the air with light scents of ginger …”
Please enjoy the review which concludes with a nice recipe suggestion, the Canadian Whisky Splash!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial, Highwood Distillers, Limited Edition, Review, Whisky, Whisky Splash | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2015
This is one of my favourite times of the year, as every year in early June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony, and the distillery is once again inviting the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.
Reservations for choosing your bottles open at noon on Monday, June 8th and continue until 5:00 p.m. on June 26th, 2015. Of course numbers are available on a first come basis and no two bottle numbers will be the same. (Only 9000 bottles will be produced.)
According to the folks at Forty Creek:
Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony is the 9th Limited Release from Forty Creek Whisky. This year, we decided to create a bit of music by carefully blending and harmonizing three single grains: rye, barley and corn. We began by fermenting and distilling each individual grain separately. Both the rye and the barley stocks date back to when we first began our Forty Creek Distillery. This Limited Release marks the first time these stocks have been introduced into one of our whiskies. As with many of our Signature Editions, the separate, single grain whiskies were patiently aged in toasted white oak barrels. At their peak flavour potential, they were then artfully blended to create the subtle yet complex whisky we named Three Grain Harmony.
The new special release whisky will be bottled at 43% alcohol by volume, and you can find more information here:
(Barley and Rye stocks that date back to the beginnings of the distillery sounds pretty special to me. I usually reserve a few bottles for myself, and this year will be no different.)
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Forty Creek, Special Release, Three Grain Harmony, Whisky | 4 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2015
Glenglassaugh Distillery is located just outside of the Speyside Whisky Region in Northeast Scotland. It is near the town of Portsoy, Banffshire about 50 miles from Aberdeen. The distillery was established in 1875 by Col. James Moir who managed the business (with his two nephews) until 1892, when Highland Distillers stepped in and acquired the facility. The distillery remained in production until 1986 when, due to industry consolidation, it was mothballed.
In 2008, the distillery and the Glenglassaugh brand was purchased by the Scaent Group with the intention of rebooting the facility to take advantage of the surge in interest in whisky word-wide. Part of the marketing strategy was to release some existing warehouse stocks as vintage whisky bottlings, as within the facility were barrels of whisky which had sat in limbo quietly aging since 1986.
Five years later, in 2013, due in no small part to the success of the vintage bottlings, (as well as the new whisky being produced) the BenRiach Distillery Company took over the Distillery bringing in new investment capital and corporate management to ensure the growth of the rebooted Glenglassaugh brand.
Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the iconic vintage bottlings which was produced from spirit which had been distilled in 1984, and then had sat silently in a mixture of various oak barrels including both American Oak and ex sherry barrels. This whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv) sometime in 2010 and limited to a small production of 1002 bottles.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The initial aroma is full of oaky smells along with candied toffee and fruity sherry-like aromas. As I let the glass sit there continued to be a lot of oak and cedar in the breezes; however these wood spice and woody sap-like smells seemed to be well melded into the sweet toffee and the dark fruit which gave the nose good balance …”
Please enjoy my review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: 26 Year Old, Glengassaugh, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky 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)