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Archive for the ‘Canadian Whisky’ Category

The Rum Howler’s #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Gooderham and Worts

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2015

Gooderham and WortsCorby Spirit and Wine Limited has added yet another premium brand to its whisky line-up, Gooderham and Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky. The whisky pays homage to the former whisky giant, Gooderham and Worts which in the latter half of the 19th century was the largest spirits producer in Canada. (The company was founded in the early to mid-nineteenth century by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham.)

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Gooderham and Worts Four Grain Whisky

“… I receive firm indications of oak and grain spice. Honeyed toffee rises up as well as dank corn smells and a lightly sour fruitiness. If I was to nose this in a blind format, I might be tempted to believe I was nosing an Old Canadian Club whisky from the 70s and early 80s when the brand had a stronger overt sour fruit aroma and taste profile (at least that is how I remember it) …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

 

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Gooderham and Worts

The Rum Howler’s #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

copper-pot-heroIn a change of direction, I have decided that I have the time to do the rest of the Rum Holwer 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies Countdown properly after all:

The Copper Pot Reserve is a more ‘premium’ version of the Barrel Select. Mr. Hall chose his best grain whiskies as the base for the Copper Pot. He aged these best whiskies a little longer to bring in more flavour from the oak, and then he chose the best of these whiskies to marry together in oak once more to complete the final blend. The Copper Pot Whisky is bottled at 43 % abv (rather than the traditional 40 %) allowing this premium whisky to showcase its robust flavour.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

“…The first sip of whisky is all spice and everything nice as the spirit heats the mouth with the alluring spiciness of oak, rye and orange peel zest. Embers of cloves and cinnamon stir in the background, and it takes me a moment or two to notice the dark caramel and chocolate flavours that lie beneath. The second sip of whisky reminds me of an old-fashioned Christmas …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

#22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2015

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky is a new blend from the folks who run the Crown Royal Distillery in Gimli, Manitoba. It is a bit of a throwback in style as the whisky features a heavy dose whisky produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain in the blend (almost 90% of the spirit is produced from Canadian Winter Rye grain). Winter rye imparts a robust spiciness throughout the spirit when distilled which (in my opinion) provides a much stronger ‘Canadian Whisky’ feel for this particular Crown Royal Whisky than we find with the flagship blend Crown Royal Deluxe which is produced predominantly from corn rather than rye.

Northern Harvest RyeThis movement towards a more rye forward flavour profile seems to be a common theme within the Crown Royal family as two other recently released blends (Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, and the new Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend) have also followed that common path.

It is a path which I obviously endorse as this is the second time a new Crown Royal Release has entered into my Countdown of the best 100 spirits I have ever tasted. Here is a link to the #22 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#22 – Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, I sense a stronger underlying oakiness within the spirit as fine wood spices rise into the air and the merry little breezes above the glass are tinged with crisp spicy rye notes as well. Fresh baked bread crust, light caramel smells, hints of vanilla ice cream, and bits of nutmeg and allspice round out the aroma which continues to impress me …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #22 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Whisky

Countdown Begins: Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2015

Against my better judgement I have decided that it is time to begin my Annual Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2015. I have published a similar list the last three years in a row, and I have received many requests to continue the tradition this year.

cq5dam.web.1280.1280My time is limited more than usual as Connor McDavid Mania is raging in my memorabilia store (Cardsharks Memorabila Store) (it is after all important to keep the bills paid). As well my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown continues unabated. For those reasons, I have decided that I will reveal my top Canadian Spirits in three groups of seven spirits once per week and one last group of four during the last week before Christmas rather than as I usually do one at a time, one day at a time. In this way I can spare myself the need to do an extra post every day, especially since my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums list needs to be compiled and published as well.

So although it is not quite how I usually do things, I shall begin today with the first seven spirits that made the cut, numbers 25 through to 19.

# 25   Windsor Canadian
# 24   J.P. Wiser’s Hopped  (New Review!)
# 23   Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend  
# 22   Canadian Club 20 Yr Old Whisky 
# 21   Centennial Rye Whisky (NAS)
# 20  Pendleton 1910 (Aged 12 Years) Canadian Whisky  
# 19   Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve Whisky

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Note: You may follow the list and read more about The Year 2015 in Canadian Whisky here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Please Enjoy the weekly reveal!

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

# 25b Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2015

Wiser’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. After these mature whiskies were blended they were then finished in virgin white oak barrels for 150 days. Once the final characteristic of flavour had been achieved, the Red Letter was bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume (non chill filtered).

Red Letter SAM_1386 Two years ago, Corby once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release. As with the 150th Anniversary Edition the whisky was finished in virgin white oak casks and then bottled without chill filtering at 45 % abv..

Here is a link to the review of the second #25 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#25b – Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

“… The 2013 version has all the wonderful flavour and zest of the 2007, but (to me anyways) there seems to be an added layer of silky elegance this time around. I taste a firm presence of sharp wood spices and orange peel, however, this sharpness ( which I am sure is also due to the 90 bottling proof) is contrasted by the silky mouth feel of a luscious corn whisky. Honeycomb and maple flavours slide through the hot spiciness of the whisky, and soon the orange peel tastes more like marmalade, and the fine wood spices more like a nice spicy maple toffee …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 25b Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release

#27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 28, 2015

Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel is the first production Canadian Whisky ever to sold in the single barrel format. It drawn from a single oak cask and bottled a full 51.5 % alcohol by volume bottling proof. Now the folks at Crown Royal didn’t just go into their warehouse and start checking random casks of whisky for this expression. They chose a very particular whisky to showcase as their first Single Barrel Whisky. A whisky from a rye heavy mashbill (64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley) which was distilled upon their one of a kind Coffey Rye still which is located in their Gimli facility. This is reported to be one of the key whiskies which is found in their flagship blend, Crown Royal Deluxe.

Crown Royal Single Barrel (Davin) SAM_1633Note: Although the whiskey has no age statement, I did a little research and according to Davin’s De Kergommeax’s article in Whisky Advocate (see here), Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay, leaves the Coffey Rye spirit in virgin oak bourbon barrels for seven years.

Here is a link to the review of the #27 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#27 – Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

“… A fairly intense aroma of butterscotch rises from the glass with scents of fresh rye bread trailing just afterward. As the whisky breathes I notice an abundance of rye and wood spices, more butterscotch, some honeycomb cereal (you know that children’s breakfast cereal from POST) and fresh rye grain. By the time the glass is fully decanted I also notice an abundance of vanilla, cinnamon spice, sourdough and milk chocolate …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #27 Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

#35 Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 20, 2015

A few years ago, I had lunch with Whisky Maker, John Hall (then Owner of Forty Creek Whisky) when he was in town for the Edmonton Whisky Festival. One of the things we talked about was Mr. Hall’s penchant for saving his best whisky barrels for his own private use. You see, every once in a while when John was testing and tasting his barrels of whisky to see how they were coming along, he would hit upon a barrel that was absolutely exceptional.

Forty Creek Private Stock SAM_1882These barrels would be squirreled away and earmarked for his own private stash. John admitted to me that this had kind of gotten out of hand, and he had accumulated far more of these ‘Private Casks’ than what he would ever need, or be able to consume. It turns out John figured out what to do with these exceptional casks as in the fall of 2011 he released his new special release, John’s Private Cask No. 1 Whisky.

Here is a link to the review of the #35 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#35 – Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 Canadian Whisky

“… A bevy of oak and rye spices quickly heat things up; but, the mouth feel is eased by the softness of vanilla, maple and caramel. The flavours I taste include fresh-cut cedar planks, and a strong dollop of rye. There is also a bit of orange peel which evolves into marmalade as the glass sits, and just like on the nose,the oak and baking spices build and build in the glass …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #35 Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 Canadian Whisky

#48 Canadian Club 30 Year (150th Anniversary Whisky)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 7, 2015

Canadian Club is the elder statesman of Canadian Whisky brands being the both the oldest, and the most influential, Canadian Whisky brand in the world. Ironically, the originator of the brand was an American grocer hailing from Michigan. Legend has it, that this American, Hiram Walker, correctly foresaw the changing climate of the American attitude towards alcohol consumption and moved his distilling operations across the Detroit River to (what would become) Walkerville, Ontario. Ironically the whisky which would become the standard-bearer for Canadian Whisky, was originally (and still is) intended for the American palate.

Canadian Club Ann 30 Year SAM_1730The Canadian Club 30 Year Old Whisky was produced in 2008 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Hiram Walker’s Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario which began operations in 1858. It was produced from 89 barrels of whisky which had been set down in 1988. One of the unique aspects of Canadian Club Whisky is that it is blended before barrel aging. This process allows the whisky to fully ‘marry’ in the barrel before bottling. The Canadian Club 30-Year-Old Whisky has thus been married for thirty years in oak melding the flavours of the blended whisky with the oak barrel for three decades.

Here is a link to the review of the #48 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#48 – Canadian Club 30 Year (150th Anniversary Whisky)

“… The initial nose is one of a rich oak spices tainted with dark brown sugar and that typical dank Canadian Club aroma. As the whisky decants, the nose deepens into a deep dark rich baking spice aroma with Demerara accents of dark brown sugars, rich toffee, vanilla, wisps of cinnamon, and even a hint of maple.  Playing in the merry little breezes is a subtle smokiness with the fleeting aroma of dried fruits and cigar tobacco …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #48 Canadian Club 30 Year (150th Anniversary Whisky)

#50 Crown Royal Cask No. 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2015

Crown Royal® Canadian Whisky was originally introduced in 1939 (by Samuel Bronfman of Seagrams) as a special whisky bottling to commemorate the Royal tour of Canada by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in that year. Until 1964, the whisky was only available in Canada; however, today it is available world-wide and is in fact the number one Canadian whisky brand sold in the USA. Crown Royal is currently produced in Gimli Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery which (since the dissolution of the Seagrams portfolio in 2000) is owned by the spirits conglomerate Diageo.

Cask No. 16 SAM_1402Cask No. 16 is according to the company website,

“handcrafted from more than 50 different aged Canadian whiskies and then finished in Cognac Oak casks from the Limousin forest in France”

Although rumours persist as to the demise of this outstanding blend, I note that as of the end of 2015, it remains listed on the Crown Royal website as part of the Crown Royal Family, and is readily available in my home Province of Alberta.

Here is a link to the review of the #50 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#50 – Crown Royal Cask No. 16

“… A mellow corn whisky is up front on the palate, but rich soft butterscotch, caramel and sweet brown sugar sit under the corn flavour supporting and enhancing the experience. A nice spicy bite which has the hallmarks of pears and grapes grabs at the taste buds. Carrying all of this flavour forward is a wonderful mild oak presence that never dominates. The oak acts as it should, as a garnish which heightens the other flavours with its presence …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #50 Crown Royal Cask No. 16

# 55 Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 31, 2015

In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold to Schenley Industries of New York. Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.

Gibson's Finest 18 SAM_1743The Gibson’s Finest brand is produced from of two sources: a base grain whisky (which would be a corn-based column still whisky), and a blend of rye based flavouring whisky which contains rye and malted barley (distilled by a single column still and a pot still). Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Whisky is limited to a production of not more than 12,000 bottles per year.

Here is a link to the review of the #55 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#55 – Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old

“… The initial aroma is spicy with a firm oak presence. The breezes above the glass are filled with tobacco, rye, and (what I am going to term) clean firm oak spices. These dominant scents are accented by caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. Some dusty dry notes of freshly harvested grain, autumn cornstalks, and dry straw rise into those initial breezes as well …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on # 55 Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

 
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