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Archive for the ‘Canadian Whisky’ Category

Review: Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 10, 2019

Yesterday, Sazerac unveiled Mister Sam which pays homage to Sam Bronfman, who is considered to be the pioneer who founded of the modern-day distilled spirits industry. Bronfman immigrated to Canada from Imperial Russia in the late 1800s, and went on to propel Seagram’s into the largest and most successful distilled spirits company in the world at that time. Sam was apparently focused on making and blending the finest whiskies possible, and maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry. “Mister Sam” as he was affectionately known created some of the world’s most iconic spirit brands while at the helm of the Seagram’s empire until his death in 1971. As a tribute to Sam Bronfman and the vast contribution he made to the spirits industry, the Sazerac Company has developed a highly limited blended whiskey expression made with some of Sazerac’s finest American and Canadian Whiskeys.

The “Mister Sam” blend was created by Sazerac’s Master Blender Drew Mayville whose career included a 22 year stint at Seagram’s where he was the fourth and last Master Blender under the Seagram dynasty. Mayville had the vast array of Sazerac’s American and Canadian Whiskey stocks at his disposal while developing the final blend.

According to Drew Mayville:

“I was thrilled to be able to work on the blend for this exciting tribute whiskey.  Mister Sam was known to say ‘Distilling is a science; Blending is an art,’ and he’s right.  Creating the elusive perfect blend is every bit about experimentation and precision.  We’re very proud of the whiskey we’ve created.”

Yesterday I gave everyone a teaser and promised that today I would publish my full review of the Tribute Whiskey. Here is a link to that full-page review:

Review: Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey

“… Upon the palate, Mister Sam arrives with the brute force of a sledge-hammer threatening to knock your tonsils down your throat with unabashed whiskey fury. The resulting belt to the mouth leaves you wondering what just happened, but at the same time hoping it will happen again. The whiskey might have rattled my taste buds, but the rich robust flavour is undeniable …”

I hope everyone enjoys the review as much I enjoyed the whiskey!

Chimo!

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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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Forty Creek Rye (aged 22 Years) Named CWA 2019 Whisky of the Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 21, 2019

This year I was once again honoured to be part of the judging panel for The Annual Canadian Whisky Awards and the results are in. The Canadian Whisky Awards – Whisky of the Year is an all-rye whisky, distilled 22 years ago at Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario.

After blind tastings of well over 100 whiskies, 10 independent whisky experts have declared Forty Creek 22 Year Old Rye as Canadian Whisky of the Year in the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards.

Held each January at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC, as part of the Victoria Whisky Festival, the Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best whiskies produced in Canada.

Awards founder, Davin de Kergommeaux described Forty Creek 22 year-old Rye as:

“A huge, yet elegant rye whisky, just bursting with complex flavours.”

Other top accolades went to whiskies from JP Wiser’s, Canadian Club, Crown Royal, and Gooderham and Worts.

Forty Creek founder, John K. Hall was announced as the first member of the Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame, while Dr. Don Livermore was named Blender of the Year.

According to de Kergommeaux:

“Every year the whiskies are just that much better than the year before. Top whiskies from five or six years ago might earn a silver medal today.  The competition is that intense.”

As the Canada’s pre-eminent Canadian whisky competition, the independent judging panel, served up some surprise honours to relative newcomers such as Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Distillery which took home top spot as Micro-Distillery of the Year.

If this year’s record setting submissions are an indication, Canadian whisky fans have an extremely exciting 2019 to look forward to.

Note: 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.

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Forty Creek Unity

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 23, 2018

Forty Creek Whisky has an annual tradition of producing a special limited release whisky which is built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select. These annual special releases each seek to bring new character to the Forty Creek family. This year, the distillery had a contest of sorts where five fans of Forty Creek Whisky representing different areas of Canada were asked to help create the 2018 Forty Creek Special Release. Because the group could not agree on which of the three special blends was the best, a fourth blend was created by Mr. Ashburn which ultimately became the chosen favourite of the entire group.

The special blend was called, “Unity“. One of the features of this Unity blend special is that it includes a subset of 4-year-old Forty Creek whiskies within its construct. These young whiskies were blended together and then aged for a further time using high mocha wood staves added to the barrels. Completing the blend is a 10-year-old corn whisky as well as a small amount of 15-year-old Portuguese-style Starboard wine aged in used Forty Creek barrels.

Here is a link to my full review for the 2018 Limited Edition Release, Forty Creek Unity.

Review: Forty Creek Unity 

“… The whisky brings firm indications of oak and vanilla which are melded into a menagerie both rye and baking spices (cloves and cinnamon), hints of almond, and light indications of dark fruit and red licorice.  I really like how the scents and smells seem to act in harmony without any wayward notes clashing with the unity of the overall aroma …”

Please enjoy my review and my serving suggestion, the Old Fashioned Cocktail with Chocolate Bitters.

Chimo!

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