Review: Sortilège Caramel 73/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 09, 2015
Sortilège is a Canadian Whisky based liqueur produced by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits in Montreal, Canada. It is produced by combining real Canadian Maple Syrup with Canadian Whisky. Mondia has taken this one step further with their new liqueur, Sortilège Caramel which is described as a Caramel liqueur with Canadian Maple Whisky. In other words a product produced by combining a caramel liqueur with their own Sortilège Maple Whisky. This new liqueur is bottled at 23 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
Sortilège Caramel arrives in the medium tall bottle shown to the left. The labeling in simple; however the gold foil over the top of the bottle does add a touch of class to the presentation.
In the Glass 7.5/10
The spirit has a light amber colour in the glass and the thickened appearance of a spirit sweetened with sugar (in this case maple syrup and caramel). The initial scents from the glass are very much like butterscotch candies, although if we wait a little while a few wood spices and whisky-like scents also present themselves. The whisky-like scents appeal to me, although I wonder to myself if the whisky will have enough punch against the building butterscotch sweetness.
In the Mouth 44/60
The sweet liqueur is akin to butterscotch candy drops in liquid form. I am in fact strongly reminded of the butterscotch lifesavers (candies) which I used to enjoy as a young child. However, I am not so young anymore, and the intense sweetness seems to be more cloying than enjoyable. Along with the intense butterscotch flavour are lighter flavours of maple and vanilla.
In the Throat 10.5/15
The exit reinforces the notion that this spirit is sweet and cloying. I tried to dampen the intensity of the sweetness with an ice-cube; however my efforts were met with only limited success.
The Afterburn 7/10
In case you are interested, I really enjoyed Sortilège when I reviewed it a few years ago. And I have continued to award it scores in the mid 80s when I encounter it in the various tasting competitions in which I serve a a judge from time to time. However, I feel that the new Sortilège Caramel has traveled too far down that path of sweetness. The Canadian Whisky notes are smothered within the taste of butterscotch candies. If you have a sweet tooth this may be just up your alley. For myself, I think I will take a turn and follow a different boulevard.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)