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Posts Tagged ‘2016 Rum Howler Canadian Whisky Countdown’

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: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #5: Wiser’s Legacy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky (a Corby Brand) was released in early 2010 as a new entry into the fledgling “Super Premium” category of Canadian Whisky. At the time, a few other Super Premium Whiskies already existed in the market-place (Wiser’s own Red Letter, and Crown Royal’s, Cask No. 16 and Crown Royal XR); but the category hadn’t really caught the buying public’s imagination. In fact the Super Premium category had seen more failures than successes to that point (at least as far as Canadian Whisky was concerned).

wisers-legacy-sam_2656However the tipping point for the category seems to have been the year 2010, and the brand which (in my opinion) which helped the most to bring about a this change was Wiser’s Legacy.

According to David Doyle, who was at the time, Master Blender for Wiser’s“:

“I have selected only the finest new, white oak casks, which are essential to the aging process and help mellow the perfect distillate under tightly controlled conditions. It is this careful and deliberate craftsmanship that makes Wiser’s Legacy the ultimate achievement in traditional Canadian whisky distilling.”

Here is a link to the Number 5 Canadian Whisky  of 2016:

#5: Wiser’s Legacy

“… The aroma from the glass is rich in rye spice and caramel toffee, with a subtle corn and bourbon influence. The oak is very apparent as well, bring sappy notes of oak and cedar forward as well as rich damp tobacco. There are some nice indications of baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon) as well as vague impressions of baked muffins full of banana, walnuts and chocolate chips …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 4 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: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #6 Century Reserve Lot 1525 & 21 Year Old Whiskies

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. 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. These barrels of whisky were transferred from the Potters warehouse facilities in Kelowna, B.C. to the newly constructed warehouse facility in High River, Alberta, where they were allowed to continue to age at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies. The whisky brands which Potters had established (Century and Potters) were added to the Highwood portfolio.

sam_2647Highwood produces two well aged whiskies under their Century Distillers label, Century Reserve 21 Year Old & Lot 1525 ( blend of 15 to 25-year-old corn whiskies). I have noticed that the flavour profile of these two blends has began to merge in recent years to the point that this year when I did some blind tastings, I could no longer tell which whisky was which. (It could be that after tasting 70 Canadian Whiskies for this countdown, my palate was beginning to shows signs of fatigue.)  

This means that the Number 6 Whisky in my Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whisky countdown is actually two whiskies, both the Century Reserve 21 Year Old and Century Reserve Lot 1525 Rye whiskies.

Here is the link to the review for the Lot 1525:

#6 Century Reserve Lot 1525 Canadian Rye Whisky

“… Oak spices and marzipan weave in and out of the corn, the rye, and the honey, but in spite of the ages of the whisky in the blend, this never turns awkward or woody nor does the oak  swamp the mouth with bitter tannins. I find the balance to be superb!  The entire presentation is suave elegance and luxurious smoothness …”

Note: My Review for Century Reserve 21 Year Old can be found here.

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 5 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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #7 Mt. Logan 15 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016The Mt. Logan whisky brand is produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately. When I discussed the brand with Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., he clarified for me. According to Ryan, the information from the distillery regarding the brand is that the 15 and the 20 Year Old Mt. Logan Whiskies are both 100% corn distillate aged in charred American white oak.

mt-logan-15-sam_2806This is a finely nuanced whisky which delighted me as a sipper.It just oozes elegance and class and as a result, it has found itself all the way up to the Number 7 spot in my Countdown of the 50 Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016.

Here is a link to my recent review:

#7 Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The label may read rye whisky; but it is tender corn that is the star within the breezes above the glass. Mild indications of butterscotch and vanilla join in with dusty dry oak spices building as the glass breathes. A kiss of rye spice meanders into the air and light touches of almond round out the nose which has an almost fragile quality. The whisky may not be a centerpiece of complexity; but this is outweighed by the purity of the nose which displays uncommon polish and sophistication …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 6 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: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #8 Caribou Crossing

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Although Canadian whisky by volume is the best-selling whisky in the USA, the perception of this class of whisky (amongst spirits writers and whisky critics) is that the Canadian spirit is perhaps thin and uninteresting, (fortunately the millions of people who buy whisky appear to be much more impressed than the critics and writers). The landscape however, appear to be changing, especially at the premium end of the whisky market, where the Canadian spirit has seen strong growth in market share. Recognizing this trend, the Sazerac Company has recently made a push towards the premium end of the Canadian Whisky market with two new releases, Caribou Crossing and Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskies.

sam_2657Caribou Crossing is what is known as a Single Barrel Whisky. From the company’s inventory of over 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky, Sazerac’s whisky making team selects what they deem to be some of the very finest barrels. Each of these chosen barrels is bottled individually capturing its unique flavour. This means that each individual barrel offers a unique taste experience for the Canadian whisky connoisseur.

Here is a link to the newly scored review for the 8th Best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#8 Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Whisky

“… This is a whisky which grows a little in the glass as you let it breathe. The oak and the rye grain seem to gain strength as sawdust and rye husks fill the breezes above the glass with very nice accents of vanilla and baking spice. Fresh corn on the cob rises into those breezes; and impressions of butterscotch pudding and vanilla ice cream tempt me into taking my first sip …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 7 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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Lot No. 40 has received a bit of a makeover recently as the spirit which was previously branded, Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky has received a new label, and the whisky is now known simply as Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky.

Lot No. 40 is of course the Corby branded whisky which was first released in the 1990’s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. According to the Corby Website:

lot-no-40-rye-sam_2885Lot No. 40 is expertly distilled in small batches using only the finest locally sourced ingredients. By distilling in a single copper pot still, the result is a whisky that starts off earthy and woody tasting and then becomes full bodied and complex with a velvety vanilla oak finish.

Those locally sourced ingredients must include rye grain as the new label tells us:

Lot. No. 40 is crafted in small batches using rye grain in a single copper pot still aged in virgin oak barrels.

Here is a link to the 9th best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#9 Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of milk chocolate and bread crust alongside fresh rye grain and strong oak and cedar scents. Caramel toffee, baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and more fresh rye pour out of the glass into the breezes. As the glass breathes, the smells of oak and cedar strengthen with firm undertones of leather and burlap revealing themselves. After about 10 minutes, some dusty grain notes begin to climb out of the glass as well …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 8 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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #10 Canadian Club Chairman’s Select

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Canadian Club Whisky is now the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world.  It is found in over 150 countries, with sales in Canada that are unmatched by any other premium whisky brand. In 2014, Canadian Club (owned by Beam Suntory) launched a new 100% rye grain whisky, Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye. 

sam_2659It is of course produced exclusively from rye grain, distilled (and almost certainly aged) in Calgary by Alberta Distillers Ltd (who are also owned by Beam Suntory). The Chairman’s Select is aged in American Oak (bourbon barrels), cut to bottling strength (40 % abv) and then bottled in Walkerville Ontario, the home of Canadian Club.

Here is a link to the 10th best Canadian Whisky of 2016:

#10 Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye

“… I am delighted by the impressions I receive in the air above the glass. As it should be, the Chairman’s Select 100 % Rye whisky is very rye forward with lots of fine peppery wood spice dancing with that rye in the breezes. Melded into the spicy rye is a lovely light sweetness of butterscotch with a gentle sweep of vanilla and a few bits of almond. I also receive strong impressions of freshly harvested grain fields with dusty chaff blowing in the wind and lots of fresh straw lying in the windrows …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the Number 9 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: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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