Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky
Review: Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky 78.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published August 08, 2015, 2013
Spicebox Whisky is based in Montreal, Quebec where they blend and bottle their Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky. The product is currently bottled at 66 proof or 33 % alcohol by volume and has been brought into the Alberta Marketplace by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits who are also based out of Montreal. According to the information which Mondia supplied to Vancouver’s Hopscotch Festival, their cinnamon blended whisky “combines the tastes of smooth, rich rye whisky with a kick to the kisser of cinnamon heat” which to me, sounds rather intriguing.
I was provided with a sample bottle of this spirit to review on my website, and I shall begin my review with a look at the bottle.
In the Bottle 4/5
As you can see from the picture on the left, the Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky is sold in a standard ‘bar room’ bottle. It is obvious that economics is the motivating factor behind the bottle selection, and for a relatively inexpensive flavoured whisky, I find myself in agreement with the choice. I am unenthusiastic regarding the label however, as I find the it rather bland and unexciting. A spirit which delivers a kick to the kisser of cinnamon heat could probably benefit from a label which drove that point home to the consumer.
In the Glass 8/10
When I pour the spirit from the bottle into my glass, I notice that the cinnamon spiced whisky has an appearance similar to the hue of light brown sugar. As I tilted my glencairn and gave it a slow twirl I noticed a moderately thick sheen on the inside of the glass. Medium sized legs formed and fell very slowly back into the glass. The aroma which jumps out of the glass is of course laced with cinnamon although I also detect a strong sweetness running alongside, with hints of woodspice. The overall effect reminds me both of cinnamon heart candies, and those cinnamon toothpicks I used to buy at the candy store as a kid. If you love cinnamon this will delight you, if cinnamon heat is not your thing, the aroma will warn you away.
In the Mouth 47.5/60
This spiced whisky is first and foremost about cinnamon! It is hot and sweet and brings you back to your childhood when you popped those hot cinnamon heart candies into your mouth and tried to eat the four or five at a time before the spicy heat forced you to take. There is a light taste of wood and oak in behind the cinnamon as well as a nice dollop of sweetness which helps to tame the heat and make the spirit enjoyable to sip.
Mixing with the Spicebox Cinnamon Whisky is also quite enjoyable as the spirit seems to play well with both cola and with ginger-ale. An ounce or two of spirit with a splash of cola and some ice is much nicer than I would have supposed (see recipes below).
In the Throat 11/15
It’s not the cinnamon heat that is knocking the score down a notch here, it is a lingering bitterness which settles in after the swallow. This bitterness seems to be hinting at a base spirit which is not necessarily as refined as I was hoping for.
The Afterburn 8/10
I have reviewed several different cinnamon whiskies over the past few years and found them remarkably similar. In fact, finding differences between them is rather difficult. Cinnamon is a strong spice and it is hard to notice anything else when a strong cinnamon spice crosses the palate and runs past the tonsils.
I find all of these cinnamon spirits enjoyable, although I admit that I have to sip cautiously. For my greatest enjoyment however, I like to mix these spicy whiskies into soda based cocktails with lots of ice. That strong cinnamon flavour works surprisingly well in tall mixed drinks especially with ginger-ale.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
The Buzz Saw Highball
1 1/2 ounce Cinnamon Whisky
1 or 2 drops Angostura Bitters
4 1/2 ginger ale
Slice of Lemon
Add Ice and Cinnamon Whisky to a tall serving glass
Put in a drop or two of bitters
Complete with Ginger-Ale
Garnish with Lemon
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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)