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The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#45 – #41)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 22, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown continues today with five more tasty Canadian spirits, two of which (Forty Creek Harmony, and Gibson’s Finest Bold) were released within the past two years, two of the spirits, Crown Royal De Luxe, and J.P Wiser’s De Luxe are considered flagships for their brands, and Pike Creek 10 Year Old is an experimental whisky which saw part of its maturation take place in vintage Port barrels.

I should point out the re-branding of the entire Wiser’s family of whiskies which now pay homage to the company’s founder by adding his initials J.P. to the brand name. The flagship whisky of the J.P. Wiser’s brand, J.P. Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Rye Whisky makes a respectable showing in my countdown locking down the number 41 spot.

Here are the next five spirits in my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

forty-creek-harmony-sam_2633#45  Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

“… The initial nose is rich with butterscotch and toffee and moderately spicy oak and tree sap.  As the glass sits two notes capture my attention, one which appeals to me strongly, a rich spicy rye note full of ginger and fresh grain, and one note which seems discordant, a sour dank fruit-filled note of fermented apricot and sour mash. I decided to allow the glass to breath for a full ten minutes to see if the two notes could come together, but in the end I remained unconvinced of the harmony. Although the triumvirate of  toffee, rye and oak spice is very appealing …”

crown-royal-sam_2753#44  Crown Royal Whisky

“… In the past this blend was very corn forward, it seems that this year (2016) more rye is apparent as breezes above the glass reveal a mixture of both corn and obvious rye grain. There is a nice mixture of lightly sweet caramel and oak sap melding into those corn and rye scents with some dusty dry wood and grain spices following …”

Gibson Bold SAM_2610#43  Gibson’s Finest Bold

“… When I bring my nose to the glass, a caramel note is quite obvious and sits out in front of the oak spice and whisky grain. I allowed the glass to breathe and soon noticed a building fruitiness of canned pears and baked apples. As time passes vanilla with a touch of cinnamon emerges and melds into the caramel note which now resembles the smell of baking cinnamon buns …”

pike-creek-sam_2805#42   Pike Creek 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky

“… When I tasted this whisky in a blind format a few years ago, I remarked upon the fruitiness of the spirit with all those sherry-like flavours of ripe cherries, black berries and dry fruit. Knowing as I do now that the whisky was finished in Vintage Port barrels my formerly blind observations make sense to me. It is the fruitiness of the Port barrels leaving their mark upon the whisky. These lovely berry flavours are offset by oak spice, ginger and some scattered white pepper …”

J.P. Wiser's deluxe SAM_2268#41   J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The breezes above the glass now are tainted with maple and butterscotch scents however the dry wood and rye spices continue to pour out. There is a bit of orange peel mixed into that spiciness as well as impressions of fresh grain and light impressions of baking spice (mostly speckles of vanilla and cinnamon). As one who loves Canadian Whisky, I am pleased by the aroma although I must be fair and note that a light touch of astringency accompanies the rye and wood spice …”


Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 40 through 35, Chimo!


* You may follow my Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

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