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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Canadian Club 43 Year Old is Named Canada’s 2021 Best Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2021

The news was released this past Thursday, Canadian Club 43 Year Old (The Speakeasy) was named the Best Canadian Whisky of 2021 by nine independent whisky experts at the eleventh annual Canadian Whisky Awards. The majestic spirit was also named Canada’s Connoisseur Whisky of the Year.

As a bit of a history refresher about this grand spirit, for each of the past three years Canadian Club has been releasing Canada’s oldest age stated Whisky. And each year that release has been getting one year older. It started in 2017 with the Canadian Club 40 Year Old .

Canadian Club 40 Year Old was produced from a selection of American Oak barrels which contained 100% corn whisky. The whisky was released in part to commemorate Canada’s 150 Anniversary, and was available with full distribution across Canada in the fall of 2017. In 2018 we learned that Canadian Club hadn’t emptied all of those 100 % Corn Whisky Barrels, those that hadn’t been used were now one year older. In the fall of 2018, Canadian Club released what they called Canadian Club Chronicles – 41 Year Old Whisky (The Water of Windsor), again using some of those same barrels; but this time adding a small amount of cognac, rye and sherry to the final blend. Then in 2019 the cycle was repeated as Canadian Club released Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 – 42 Year Old Whisky (The Dock Man). This time to offer some distinction in the blend, the whisky was blended with a 16 Year Old Rye Whisky, a 12 Year Old Pot Distilled Rye and a small amount of Brandy.

Which brings us to 2020 and the release of Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 3 – 43 Year Old Whisky (The Speakeasy) which has apparently been freshened with a dash of 11 Year Old Rye whisky. I recently tasted the new 43 Year Old and thought I would share my thoughts.

Here is a link to my full review which was published prior to the review announcement:

Review: Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 3

“… The nose grows and grows as you let the glass breathe becoming almost breathtaking as the richness unfolds. Rum-like scents of molasses, Cognac-like aromas of raisins and dry fruit, Bourbon-like notes of corn and honeycomb seem to be all combined together with sticky marmalade and yummy nougat thrown in for good measure. And yes, that dash of rye seems to be playing a roll brightening the breezes without taking the shine from the sumptuous aroma …”

Enjoy the review!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Canadian Whisky Awards

The annual Canadian Whisky Awards, broadcast online in 2021, are normally held in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival. The awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies, and are intended to encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, each whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. 

An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. In keeping with current trends in whisky connoisseurship, the jury includes both women and men tasters, who have made significant contributions to understanding Canadian whisky.

Here is a link to the full awards listing:  Canadian Whisky Awards 2021

Chimo!

 

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Ampersand Nocino! Named Canadian Artisan Spirit Of The Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2021

Today Artisan Distillers Canada (ADC) proudly announced the 2021 results for the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition (CASC). A nationwide spirits competition which I participated in as one of the nationwide panel of CASC Judges. (CASC is Canada’s only national spirit competition reserved exclusively for artisan distilleries.)

The 2021 edition of CASC included an expanded set of categories, reflecting the growing size and diversity of spirits produced by artisan distillers across the country. Best in Class, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in 19 spirit categories. The competition also includes Terroir honours, recognizing distilleries whose use of local ingredients is reflected in the character of their spirits.

Alex Hamer (ADC’s founder) made the following statement:

“This year I am pleased to see spirits from across the country represented in our Best in Class awards, with distilleries in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia all taking Best in Class prizes.  It’s also great to see that even in the face of considerable pandemic-related business interruptions, our distillers continue to produce high quality spirits of every kind.”

Image courtesy of Artisan Distillers Canada

And this years top honour for  CANADIAN ARTISAN SPIRIT OF THE YEAR was awarded to Ampersand Distilling Company (located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island) for their Italian-style green walnut liqueur, Nochino! made with walnuts handpicked in the Cowichan Valley and sweetened with local honey.

It was apparent the Judges (including myself) loved this spirit, with the following notes cited in the judging results:

“pronounced aromas of walnut, and medium notes of orange peel, nutmeg, coffee, and burnt sugar … very complex and exceptionally balanced … with a deeply roasted flavour and a pleasing note of bitterness … [a] carefully crafted liqueur.”

In addition, the following spirits earned the top scores in their respective categories:

BEST IN CLASS – SPIRITS

  1. Absinthe: Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Courailleuse
  2. Akvavit: Confluence Distilling (AB) – Vinland Aquavit (Best in Class, 2020)
  3. Amaro or Vermouth: The Woods Spirit Co (BC) – Pacific North-West Amaro
  4. Brandy or Eau de Vie: Wynndel Craft Distilleries (BC) – Apple Brandy
  5. Flavoured or Infused Vodka: Arbutus Distillery (BC) – Espresso Vodka
  6. Aged Gin: The Liberty Distillery (BC) – Endeavour Old Tom Gin
  7. Classic Gin: Patent 5 Distillery (MB) – Navy Strength Gin
  8. Contemporary Gin: (tie) Compass Distillers (NS) – Gin Royal; The Dubh Glas Distillery (BC) – Noteworthy Gin – Navy Strength
  9. Flavoured Gin: Raging Crow Distillery (NS) – Spruce Tip Gin
  10. Liqueur: Ampersand Distilling Company (BC) – Nocino!
  11. Fruit Liqueur: La Vallée Bleue (QC) – Cassimix
  12. Alternative Rum: Merridale Cidery & Distillery (BC) – Cowichan Spiced Rhumb
  13. Traditional Rum: Last Straw Distillery (ON) – Blackstrap Rum – Double Barrelled
  14. Classic Vodka: Bandits Distilling Inc. (SK) – Northern Lights Vodka
  15. Contemporary Vodka: Ironworks Distillery (NS) – Ironworks Vodka
  16. Single Grain Whisky: Shelter Point Distillery (BC) – Double Barrel Batch 5
  17. Single Malt Whisky: Odd Society Spirits (BC) – Commodore Single Malt Whisky
  18. Young Whisky: DEVINE Distillery (BC) – Ancient Grains (Best in Class, 2019, 2020)
  19. White Spirit: Silver Fox Distillery (ON) – 4 Peppercorns

An additional category of Bitters was also included with the Best in Class – Bitters award presented to Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Fils du Roy Bitter.

Medals were awarded to distillers and bitters-makers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

If you are interested in a complete listing of all the results, they can be found on the Artisan Distillers Canada (ADC) website:

https://artisandistillers.ca/2021-results

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ARTISAN SPIRIT COMPETITION and ARTISAN DISTILLERS CANADA

Artisan Distillers Canada is a national organization focused on celebrating and highlighting artisan distilleries and spirits across Canada. The annual Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition was founded in 2017 to recognize the best of Canadian artisan distilling. Distilleries must meet our qualifications (https://artisandistillers.ca/artisan-distillery) to participate in the competition.

The first annual Artisan Distillers Canada Conference & Trade Show will be held October 19 – 20, 2021, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

For more information, visit https://artisandistillers.ca/.

CASC is grateful to their sponsors: South Peace Grain, nwPURE, & Specific Mechanical Systems

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The 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards – Pike Creek 21 Year Old Canada’s Best

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 20, 2020

Pike Creek Oloroso-finished 21 Year Old Named Canada’s Best Whisky

A jury of ten independent whisky experts has named Pike Creek Oloroso-finished 21 Year Old Canada’s best whisky at the Tenth Annual Canadian Whisky Awards gala, held on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, BC. Chair of the Judging Panel, Davin de Kergommeaux, described Pike Creek 21 Year Old as:

“Toasted cereal tones bursting from a complex, spicy bushel of red fruits.”

Distilled at Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario, the whisky is named for the nearby community of Pike Creek where it matured for twenty-one years. Each year for a special limited-edition Pike Creek release, master blender, Dr. Don Livermore pours mature whisky in exotic barrels for a short time to develop new flavours. The Oloroso sherry barrels he used this year imparted fruity flavours and a pinkish hue to the already complex whisky. Dr. Livermore also accepted the Award for Blender of the Year.

Hiram Walker master distiller, Don Livermore (centre) accepts the award for Whisky of the Year from head judge, Davin de Kergommeaux (r), and co-host Heather Leary (l). (Photo Credit: Orlando Carillo)

Accolades for Whisky of the Decade were accorded to Forty Creek Confederation Oak. Forty Creek Distillery, in Grimsby, Ontario, has won Whisky of the Year three times in the past decade. Over that time the Confederation Oak Whisky has consistently scored well in the blind tastings that determine the annual award winners.

Retired whisky maker, John K. Hall was named Whisky Maker of the Decade, having founded the relatively new Forty Creek Distillery, where he created a number of international bestselling whiskies.

Other big winners at the 2020 Awards include Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye, Canadian Club 42-Year-Old and Crown Royal Black.

Honours for Artisanal Distillery of the Year went to North of 7 Distillery in Ottawa, while The Crown Royal Blending Team accepted a lifetime achievement award.

A record number of high-quality whiskies entered by Canada’s distillers, large and small, predicts a very exciting 2020 for fans of Canadian whisky, worldwide.

About the Canadian Whisky Awards:

The Canadian Whisky Awards, held annually in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival, recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

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And the Best 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2019 Were:

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 28, 2019

Much like my Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2018 countdown was delayed due to the tribulations surrounding my move to a new residence at the end of last year, my Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown was also put on hold until the New Year. Because of the aforementioned trials with my move, I have shortened this years list to the best 50 Canadian Whiskies down from my huge list last year that included a whopping 100.

This year my list contains a few whiskies which, although I have tasted them and written out brief tasting notes and scores, I have not yet published reviews for. Reviews for these spirits will be published in the coming year (as well as many others). That is (I hope) something for all of you to look forward to.

Here is a link to my Countdown list of the best Canadian Whiskies of 2018:

The Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2018

Please everyone, enjoy the list Responsibly!

Chimo!

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The 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards – Full Awards Listing

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2019

Here is the full listing of the 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards which are held annually in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival. These awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement – John K. Hall
  • Flavoured Whisky Export – Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
  • Flavoured Whisky Multi-market – Crown Royal Salted Caramel
  • Whisky Value Domestic – Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask
  • Whisky Value Export – Pendleton
  • Whisky Value Multi-market – Crown Royal Blender’s Mash
  • Sippin’ Whisky Domestic – Canadian Rockies 21yo
  • Sippin’ Whisky Export – Rich and Rare Reserve
  • Sippin’ Whisky Multi-market – Pike Creek Rum Barrel
  • Award of Excellence – Innovation – Shelter Point Montfort DL
  • Award of Excellence – Line Extension – Corby NHL Alumni Series
  • Best Whisky Spirit – Ancient Grains
  • Artisanal Distiller of the Year – Last Mountain Distillery
  • Distillery of the Year – JP Wiser’s Distillery
  • Flavoured Whisky Domestic – Forty Creek Cream
  • Connoisseur Whisky Domestic – Canadian Club 41yo
  • Connoisseur Whisky Export – Crown Royal Blender’s Mash 13
  • Connoisseur Whisky – Multi-market – JP Wiser’s 35yo
  • Best New Whisky – Bearface
  • Best Single Malt Whisky – Two Brewers Release 10
  • Best All-Rye Whisky – Forty Creek 22yo Rye
  • Best Blended Whisky – Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls
  • Blender of the Year  – Don Livermore

And, the 2019 Canadian whisky of the year is

  • Forty Creek 22yo Rye

Gold Medals

Bearface
Canadian Club 41 YO
Canadian Club Classic Small Batch 12 yo
Canadian Rockies 21 yo
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel
Crown Royal 13 year old Blenders Mash
Crown Royal Black
Crown Royal Blenders Mash
Crown Royal XR
Forty Creek 22 yo Rye
Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls
Gooderham and Worts Four Grain
JP Wiser’s Alumni Whisky Series Wendell Clark
J P Wiser’s 35 yo
JP Wiser’s Canada 2018
Last Mountain Single Cask Wheat Whisky
Lot 40 11 yo Cask Strength
Lot No. 40
Pendleton 1910-12 year old
Pike Creek 21 yo European Finish
Pike Creek Double Barreled Canadian Whisky
Rich and Rare Reserve
Shelter Point Montfort DL
Two Brewers Release 9
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Ninety Nine Proof Whisky

Silver Medals

Black Velvet Onyx
Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
Canadian Rockies 17 yo
Crown Royal LImited Edition
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
Crown Royal Reserve
Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished
Crown Royal XO
De Vine Ancient Grains
Forty Creek Barrel Select
Forty Creek Confederation Oak
Forty Creek Cream
Forty Creek Double Barrel
Forty Creek Unity
Gibsons Finest Bold 8 YO
Gibsons Finest Rare 12 YO
Gibsons Finest Venerable 18 YO
JP Wiser’s Alumni Whisky Series Guy Lafleur
JP Wiser’s Seasoned Oak
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel Aged 10 Years
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye 43.4%
Lohin McKinnon Chocolate Malt
Lohin McKinnon Lightly Peated Single Malt
Pendleton Midnight
Pendleton Whisky
Shelter Point Classic Single Malt the Strath Edition
Shelter Point Double Barrelled
Stalk and Barrel Canadian Red Blend
Two Brewers Rel 10
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Ice Cask Whisky
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Red Cask Whisky
Wiser’s Special Blend

Bronze Medals

100 Bushels
Alberta Premium
Black Velvet
Black Velvet Reserve
Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
Canadian Club Barley Batch
Canadian Club Premium 1858
Canadian Mist
Central City Brewing Peeled Orange Liqueur
Collingwood
Collingwood Double Barreled Whisky
Crown Royal Deluxe
Crown Royal Regal Apple
Crown Royal Salted Caramel
Crown Royal Texas Mesquite
Crown Royal Vanilla
Fils du Roy Appalachia’s Canadian Rye
Fils du Roy single malt whisky homage at Congres Mondrian Acadian 2019
Fils du Roy Single Malt, Richelieu International
Forty Creek Copper Pot
Forty Creek Spike
Gibson’s Finest Sterling
Glen Saanich
Golden Stag
High River
JP Wiser’s 18 YO
JP Wiser’s 15 YO
JP Wiser’s Apple
JP Wiser’s Deluxe
JP Wiser’s Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel rye 45%
JP Wiser’s Vanilla
Last Mountain Single Cask Rye
Last Mountain Single Malt
Le Rye Sivo
Le Single Malt Sivo
Lohin McKinnon Tequila Barrel Finished
Masterson’s 10 YO Straight Rye Whiskey
NHL Alumni Series, Lanny McDonald
North of 7 4-Grain
North of 7 95% rye
Pemberton Valley Single Malty, 8 YO Single Barrel Organic
Royal Canadian Small Batch
Royal Reserve
Schenley Golden Wedding
Shelter Point Avant-Garde Barley
Shelter Point Cask Strength
Shelter Point Single Malt
Stalk and Barrel 100% Rye Cask Strength
Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend
Stalk and Barrel Single Malt Cask Strength
Two Brewers Rel 11
Two Brewers Release 8
Walkers Special Old Rye

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