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Archive for the ‘Whisky Review’ Category

Review: Great Plains Brandy Cask 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2020

Great Plains Craft Spirits are located in Calgary, Alberta. They are a small company which sources special whiskies for blending and finishing. The intent is to offer to the marketplace limited edition bottlings which feature custom blending and cask finishes. These whiskies can be quite rare with batches as small as two barrels as well as larger projects (up to this point) of up to twenty-four barrels.

I was recently sent a bottle of the Great Plains Craft Spirits Brandy Cask 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky to review. I had previously encountered the spirit when I judged it in a blind format for the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards (CWA). I remember going back to this particular whisky sample after the reveal as it had made quite an impression on myself during the judging process. In fact, it made an impression on all of the judges, and was one of the award winners being named as the CWA Best New Whisky of 2020.

Here is a link to my latest review of what I have found to be an outstanding Canadian Whisky:

Review: Great Plains Brandy Cask 18 Year Old

“… The cask strength nature of the bottling is immediately apparent as the nose is full of heated fire, fine oak spices, and wonderful aromas of corn and grain. A mouth-watering combination of vanilla, butterscotch, orange peel and almond climbs into the air alongside. The impulse to steal a sip before more completely examining the nose is strong …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Great Plains Brandy Cask 18 Year Old

Review: Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Canadian Whisky 

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 4, 2020

Alberta Premium is a brand of Canadian Whisky made in Calgary, by Alberta Distillers Ltd. (owned by Beam-Suntory). The Whisky was released in the fall of 2019 along with a companion release Alberta Premium Cask Strength (reviewed here). Alberta Distillers own the oldest distillery in Western Canada. The distillery is famous for its rich 100 % rye grain whiskies which are bottled under the Alberta Premium label. They also sell bulk 100 % rye whisky to other brand owners.

As indicated Alberta Premium is famous for its 100% rye grain whisky, although it should be pointed out that the brand has also featured releases such as Dark Horse which were not made from 100% rye grain. In the case of the Alberta Premium 20 Year Old, the grain blend is not disclosed on the label. Rather than stating unequivocally that the whisky is a 100 % rye grain whisky, the label instead makes the statement that the whisky is Canadian Rye Whisky, and the display box the whisky arrives in states that it is 100 % Canadian Rye Whisky. I might be splitting hairs here, but terminology is important. All Canadian whisky which features a rye forward flavour profile can properly be called Canadian Rye Whisky whether or not rye grain is the dominant grain, and stating that a whisky is 100 % Canadian Rye Whisky is not the same thing as stating that the whisky is 100% Rye Grain Canadian Whisky.

Unless it is specifically indicated in an unequivocal manner, I think it is best to assume that Alberta Premium 20 Year Old is a blended grain whisky.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Canadian Whisky 

“… I began to notice the rye and fine oak spice building now accompanied by lots of dusty grain and straw. Sour fruit and canned apricots begin to unravel from the rye and I also notice a lightly floral or perhaps herbal flair with hints of mint, licorice, and citrus followed by punky caramel corn, leather and pungent baking spices …”

Please enjoy my review of this new whisky from Alberta Premium.

Chimo!

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Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky (Lot 271)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2020

This past December, I noticed that Forty Creek Double Barrel Canadian Whisky had undergone a change. At least the bottle had changed. It was no longer sold in the typical tall sleek bottle which Forty Creek uses for all of their Special Edition Whiskies. It was now sold in the medium tall cylindrical bottle typical of their production whiskies. The change made sense as Forty Creek Double Barrel has for quite a while now been in regular production and probably belongs in the main line-up rather than in a bottle which identifies it as a special release whisky.

There was another more significant change though, the whisky is now almost half the price that it used to be ($39.95 in the new bottle vs. $69.95 in the old bottle). The significant price change begs the question, have the contents changed as well making this a less expensive whisky to produce?

So I reached out to the Campari team here in Alberta and asked them about the changes to the bottle and price. I was told that so far as Alberta team knew the whisky was that same as always, but they had no objection to giving me a sample bottle so I could judge for myself.

Here is a link to my review of the new Double Barrel from Lot 271 with tasting notes:

Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve (Lot 271)

“… The breezes bring a nice combination of maple and fine oak spice into the air. This is accompanied by rye grain and spice and some light vanilla, almond and canned apricots. As the glass breathes grassy tobacco and baking spices join in as the almond turns to marzipan,and hints of orange liqueur can be found …”

Please enjoy the review which also includes two serving suggestions, the 1794 Cocktail and The Blinker.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated Release No. 12

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2020

In 2009, the folks at Yukon Brewing decided that it was time to expand their horizons, and so they grabbed a still, formed the Yukon Spirits Company, and began to make whisky. When I first learned about this a few years ago I was a little surprised. The Yukon is quite a ways north and it is not a place where you would naturally think of folks making beer, let alone whisky. Then again it just might have been the perfect place for both the start-up beer and spirits companies. You see up in the North, they like to support one another, and it wasn’t long before Yukon Brewing and Yukon Spirits were doing a nice business supplying northern communities.

Their whisky is made in small batches which they release one at a time. Each release is made with a variety of malted roasted grains, using different fermentation techniques and a mixes of different barrels. The goal is that no two releases are the same, so that as each expression emerges, it is layered and complex and probably never to be repeated. Having said that the releases can normally be slotted to fit into one of four specific categories: Classic, Peated, Special Finishes, and Innovative.

A few years ago I reviewed  Yukon Brewers Peated Single Malt Release No. 3 (here). Today I am revisiting their Peated Releases by taking a look at their recent Peated Release No. 12.

Here is a link to my review:

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated Release No. 12

“… The style of peat features an oily muskiness which almost reminds me of cod liver oil. A damp swamp is hinted at with boggy willow and herbal grass. It is nice that the malt whisky within the dram is able to break free and show us some of its grain spice and malt characteristics in the breezes as well …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated Release No. 12

Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2020

Alberta Premium is a brand of Canadian Whisky made in Calgary, by Alberta Distillers Ltd. (owned by Beam-Suntory). The Whisky was released in the fall of 2019 along with a companion release Alberta Premium Cask Strength. Alberta Distillers own the oldest distillery in Western Canada. The distillery is famous for its rich 100 % rye grain whiskies which are bottled under the Alberta Premium label. They also sell bulk 100 % rye whisky to other brand owners.

As indicated Alberta Premium is famous for its 100% rye grain whisky, although it should be pointed out that the brand has also featured releases such as Dark Horse which were not made from 100% rye grain. In the case of this Alberta Premium offering the whisky is not only labeled as a 100 % Rye Grain Canadian Whisky, it is also bottled at cask strength (65.1% abv.).

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky

“… the whisky began to show its strength throwing into the breezes rich smells of oak, toffee, maple, grain, leather burlap and almond. There is a healthy dollop of alcohol alongside these initial scents warning me that I had better take this dram seriously and keep my nose out of my glass …”

Please enjoy my review of this new whisky from Alberta Distillers.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky

 
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