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Archive for the ‘Canadian Whisky’ Category

Forty Creek Heritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 26, 2017

Forty Creek Founder John Hall with some of his award winning Whiskies!

It’s that time of year again as each year in May or June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Heritage, and it is an homage to their first ever, and most sought after release, Forth Creek Three Grain.

Once again the Forty Creek Distillery has invited the public to participate in this special release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.

According to the press release I received yesterday, this special whisky was crafted from specially selected barrels of corn, rye, and barley whiskies.  The blended whiskies were finished in toasted American Oak barrels (as opposed to more traditionally used charred American Oak) to release more elegant vanilla flavours and to highlight the bold wood spices of the toasted oak. Less than 16,500 bottles will be released across both Canada and the United States at a retail price of $74.95.

This year the process to reserve you own special bottle is a little different from before:

How to Reserve Your Bottle:

  1. Visit www.fortycreekwhisky.com 
  2. Choose the ‘Whisky Weekend’ option from the top menu, then select the ‘Bottle Reservations’ option from the sub-menu.
  3. You will be prompted to either ‘Login’, or ‘Create an account’.  If it is your first time visiting, select the ‘Create an Account’ option and fill in the appropriate information.
  4. As part of the registration process, Forty Creek asks that you provide a mobile phone number.  This will help us to better fulfill your order on Whisky Weekend – we will be able to message you know when your bottle is ready for pickup! (I do not use a mobile phone nor do I ever disclose a phone number just to make a retail purchase so for me this may be problematic.)
  5. Once your account has been created, you will be prompted to select a number.  If your number has already been chosen by someone else, you will receive an error message and be asked to try another number.
  6. This year, you must pay a $20, non-refundable deposit to reserve your bottle.  This is to ensure that more numbers are available to be reserved by true Forty Creek fans. The $20.00 amount will be deducted from the total purchase price of your bottle of Forty Creek Heritage when you pick it up from our retail store.

THE RESERVATION WINDOW WILL BE OPEN FOR ONE WEEK, BEGINNING MONDAY JUNE 26th.

Numbers will be reserved on a first come, first served basis.  Due to provincial and federal regulations, the bottle reservation offer is only available in Ontario, Canada as unfortunately, Forty Creek cannot ship bottles, and they must be purchased and picked up at the Forty Creek distillery in Grimsby, Ontario. (I usually have a friend pick up my bottles for me.)

Normally when I get these press releases from Forty Creek, some tasting notes and a little more information about the whisky is available (such as the bottling proof) to assist the consumer in making their purchase decision. Hopefully I will soon receive little more information as well as a bottle shot to add to this posting.

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Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2017

The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

According to the distillery website,  Last Mountain’s Private Reserve Whisky is a blend of 4 to 5-year-old wheat whisky which has been aged in a combination of used bourbon barrels and then finished in new 10 gallon oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

“… The rich nose does not disappoint in terms of flavour across the palate. I taste yummy butterscotch and maple melding with oakspice, leather and tobacco. There is a very appealing rye-like flavour and bitterness as well as a dusty dry spiciness which features both grain and wood spice combining with orange pith and touches of cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky from Saskatchewan’s First Micro Distillery.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Hansen Distillery

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 19, 2017

Head Distiller Kris Sustrik

On January 26, 2017, I attended the VIP Launch Event for the Hansen Distillery, a brand new Craft Distiller situated here in Edmonton. The small distillery is located in Edmonton’s West End (17412 111 Ave NW), and the launch included a small tour of the distillery as well as an evening of cocktails made from Hansen’s craft spirit.

The Hansen Distillery has an unlikely history that began in the midst of the Great Depression when Carl and Amanda Hansen began to make moonshine in Southern Alberta. As I learned at the VIP event, this wasn’t about running ‘shine across the border to make tons of money off Prohibition, this was about keeping their farm and feeding a growing family by providing a little hooch for local socials and dances. Apparently Amanda made the moonshine, and Carl made it available to the local community. When World War II ended, the Depression was over as well, and Carl and Amanda left moonshining behind to go back to farming full-time. Of course they continued to distill the odd batch here and there for family occasions, and the recipe Amanda created was handed down to her children, and then to her grand children, and finally all the way to great-grandchildren, Kris and Shayna Sustrik. Kris and Shyna have decided to relaunch that family tradition and together they built the new Hansen Distillery here in Edmonton Alberta.

Border Crossing Rye Spirit

For more complete information about the Hansen Distillery you can follow this link to read about the launch event and my subsequent my tour of the facility.

The Hansen Distillery Tour

and if you are interested in how their spirit tastes, here is a link to my review of their Border Crossing Rye Spirit (a 100% locally Alberta-grown, un-aged white rye).

Review: Hansen Border Crossing Rye Spirit

“… The nose is very interesting with scents of mushy banana and plantain rising alongside zesty citrus notes and fresh spicy rye grain. Grilled zucchini and pineapple are hinted at as well …”

Please enjoy both the distillery tour and my Border Crossing Rye review which incidentally includes a great signature cocktail designed especially for the rye spirit called the Green Card.

Chimo!

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Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2017

northumberland-sam_3013

Northumberland Cocktail

Caldera Distilling is a new Canadian distillery located in the historical shipbuilding community of River John, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Interestingly, on the distillery property, (inside a barn which has been standing since at least 1939) a curious handwritten notation was found on one of the old supporting beams of the structure. This notation reads, “October 18 1939 Storm”. When the official records for the area were inspected, it was discovered that this particular storm was recorded as Hurricane #5.

Apparently this Atlantic storm was so severe that someone thought to make note of it in this particular place. I am only guessing, but perhaps the barn served as a refuge of sorts for someone, or perhaps a group of people who were seeking protection from the hurricane. Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky serves as a link to this piece of history regarding the River John community and the storm known as Hurricane #5.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky Review:

Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

“… The entry is smooth with an interesting combination of fruity rye and sweet corn. Flavours of butterscotch and vanilla mingle with fine wood spice, and soon impressions of baking spices develop as well (cinnamon and a touch of cloves and nutmeg). There is a little orange peel struggling to make the transition to marmalade, and a light winding of grassy tobacco and nutty almond flavours …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest cocktail creation, the Northumberland Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Last Mountain Single Cask 100 % Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2017

last-mountain-wheat-sam_2952The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

Last Mountain’s Single Cask Wheat Whisky is Saskatchewan’s first Single Cask Wheat Whisky, and it is produced from wheat grown at the Brewster Farm in Earl Grey, SK. The whisky is drawn from a single cask once used bourbon barrel, non blended and non chill filtered. It is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review of this wonderful craft whisky:

Review: Last Mountain Single Cask 100 % Wheat Whisky

“… The initial nose is enticing with woodspice, butterscotch, honeycomb and vanilla as well as yummy accents which remind me of graham wafers dipped in corn syrup. I also notice very light baking spices with cinnamon and hints coarse yellow/brown sugar. For a young whisky, this dram is surprisingly complex. …”

Please enjoy my review of Saskatchewan’s first Single Cask Whisky which include my cocktail suggestion, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate.

Chimo!

 

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

Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2017

rangeland-sam_2966Rangeland Rye Whisky is produced from western prairie wheat and grains. It is aged in charred American oak barrels for a minimum of three years (as per Canadian Law) before being blended and bottled at the Highwood facility in High River, Alberta.

Rangeland is what I refer to as an economy whisky. It is inexpensive compared to other whiskies in its category, and is a whisky meant for tall drinks as well as other cocktails in bars and restaurants (or on your back deck).

Highwood Distillers is the only Canadian distillery which uses wheat as its primary distilled grain. I have noticed when tasting the wheat based spirits in their portfolio that this grain seems to lend a soft gentleness to the final spirit. They use Rye is in smaller quantities, and this grain adds a flavourful spiciness. Corn may also be used, and when it is, the corn provides additional sweetness, and body to the spirit. The grains are distilled in a small batch production cycle.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

“… I discovered that this new whisky had a very traditional taste profile with an old-fashioned dry Canadian Whisky flavour complete with that soft bitterness that accompanies the rye grain. It also carries dusty grain and light tobacco flavours alongside a mild butterscotch and vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Whisky from the folks at Highwood Distillers. The review includes one of my favourite cocktail creations, the Canadian Caribou.

Chimo Everyone!

 

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Rum Howler 2016 Top Canadian Whisky: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Wiser’s Red Letter was re-introduced to Canadians in 2007 to pay homage to the 150th anniversary of John Philip Wiser’s distillery in Prescott, Ontario 1857 – 2007), as well as to the original Red Letter Whisky which Wiser’s produced in the late 1800s. In 2009, when I reviewed the inaugural 150th Adversary Edition (see review here), I was told by my contacts within Corby, that the spirit contained various blends of whisky which (although they ranged in age) were all ten years old or more.

j-p-wisers-red-letter-sam_2661In 2013 Corby, once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser, released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release. The whisky was re-branded J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky in 2015, and just like the previous editions of the brand, the spirit is comprised of whiskies aged for at least 10 years in American bourbon barrels which are then further mellowed by finishing in virgin white oak casks. Of course it is still bottle at 45 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to what I believe is the Best Whisky currently made in Canada, and incidentally, one of the very best in the World:

#1: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

The 2015 version of the Red Letter Whisky seems to hearken back to the original 2007 version as the whisky pushes a bevy of spicy goodness across the palate giving the taste buds a treat and the tonsils a wallop as it goes down. Lush corn and bittersweet rye meld with the oak spices allowing flavours of rich chocolate, maple and vanilla to ride along with the oak spice and alcohol heat. This is lovely stuff.

Thank you all for following my Countdown all the way to the Number 1 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may find my complete 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown list here:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

 

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

Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #2: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In November of 2005, Highwood Distillers 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. The whisky brands which Potters Distilleries had established (Century and Potters) were added to Highwood’s portfolio of spirits where they have not only been maintained but also expanded upon. Part of that expansion was the 2013 addition of the ‘Ninety’ branded whiskies to the Century Distillers line-up.

sam_2646Highwood Distillers chose the brand name ‘Ninety’ for their new corn grain whiskies because these whiskies are bottled at 90 proof (or 45 % alcohol by volume) rather than the usual 80 proof (40 % alcohol by volume). The higher bottling strength means that the final whisky will retain a character closer to the original cask strength whiskies from which they were blended. In the case of the Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky, the bulk of blend almost certainly has been drawn from Highwood’s treasured reserves of remaining Potters whisky stocks which are rumoured to contain barrels of whisky as old as 33 years.

Here is a link to the number 2 ranked whisky in my 2016 Rum Howler Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#2: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

“… The different aspects of the aroma (the wood and rye spiciness and the corn and butterscotch sweetness) are melded together beautifully creating a very enticing aroma in the air above the glass. As I enjoy those breezes, I also notice impressions of creamy vanilla pudding, hints of almond turning to sweeter marzipan, zesty orange peel turning to sticky marmalade, and lightly sweetened cereal grain …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 1 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016I began hearing about Mt. Logan Whisky just this past summer as a few of my regular readers sent me requests for a review. When I researched the brand, I discovered it was a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada. Apparently, Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., worked closely with Highwood Distillers to produce a new Canadian WHisky range for their family of Liquor Stores.

mt-logan-old-fashioned-sam_2860According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced in a batch style distillation with the spirit was matured in charred American white oak. According to Ryan, the spirit is a 100 % corn whisky blend making this a true Single Grain Whisky.

Here is a link to the 3rd Best Canadian Whisky in the World, the Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Whisky.

#3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

“… The initial breezes above that glass are rich with vanilla, dusty dry oak spice, butterscotch and canned creamed corn. The strength and purity of the corn scent surprises and delights me. As the whisky breathes, the fine oak spices gain momentum. Orange peel begins to turn to marmalade as the butterscotch melds into the spice; dark tobacco wells up; and a firm sense of marzipan begins to unravel into the breezes …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 2 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In the past, Wiser’s 18 Year Old advertised itself as a Limited Release bottling totaling only 3500 bottles for each batch produced. Last year I noticed that the whisky had undergone a subtle brand change as well, and it is now listed as J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky. As part of the brand re-identification the bottle no longer contains any information on the label with respect to the batch size.

j-p-wisers-18-sam_2902Whether any real substantive change in the whisky inside the bottle has occurred is unknown to me; but since we know that we can expect the whisky to change from batch to batch at a minimum, I usually look at this brand each year and write a new review if I notice any substantive change. (It turns out, there was very little change from last year to this year.)

Here is a link to the Number 5 Canadian Whisky in my Rum Howler Countdown of the World’s Best!

#4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky

“… The initial breezes are full of fine oak spices with hints of butterscotch and clean grain. As the glass breathes the spiciness within the breezes above the glass continues unabated. Meandering within the spice are rich smells of butterscotch and maple with a few hints of sharp orange peel and dusty grain. Some baking spices begin to form after about five minutes with vanilla and  brown sugar spice, bits of cinnamon white pepper and cloves …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 3 Canadian Whisky.

Chimo!

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* You may follow my 2016 Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old

 
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