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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Whisky’

Davin De Kergommeaux: The Rock Star of Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 20, 2017

Davin De Kergommeaux

Last night I attended a special Whisky Tasting presented by Canada’s very own, Davin De Kergommeaux, whom I affectionately name The Rock Star of Canadian Whisky. Davin might be a little (or maybe a lot) embarrassed by the title I have given him, but t is hard to argue the influence he has had upon the landscape of Canadian Whisky.

Davin is a certified Malt Maniac and trained sommelier who has been analyzing, writing, and talking about whisky, as an independent commentator, for nearly two decades. I encountered Davin soon after I began writing about and reviewing spirits in 2009. Davin reached out to me because of a common bond, a love for Canadian Whisky. He recognized from my reviews and commentary that we both believed our National Spirit deserved to be placed on an equal footing with the wonderful Single Malts from Scotland and American Bourbons.

Davin not only believed this, he intended to do something about it. This began with Canadian Whisky, his website dedicated to not only reviews, but also news and well-aimed commentary regarding the industry in Canada and its failure to promote its spirit worldwide as a world-class whisky. He also created the independent Canadian Whisky Awards carefully choosing a wide cross-section of whisky judges from differing backgrounds and from different regions of Canada to help him as jurors and to promote the Awards not only in Canada, but across North America. His Canadian Whisky Awards have become the most prominent signal bearers of excellence in the Canadian Whisky industry.

Davin’s next step was perhaps his boldest. Armed with his extensive knowledge of the raw materials from which whisky is made (he spent six years in university studying the grains from which whisky is made, barley, wheat, rye and corn) as well as with his notes from his personal experiences visiting whisky distilleries across Canada, De Kergommeaux (in 2012) published his award-winning book, Canadian Whisky: the portable expert.

The impact of his book has been huge as Davin lampoons the critics of Canadian Whisky by undermining the myths that permeate their arguments. Not only did his critics take notice; but the entire Whisky Industry took notice as well. It is now not unusual for Davin to be invited to the largest distilleries in North America to discuss the production of Whisky with the World’s best distillers and Master Blenders. Crown Royal even asked Davin to select one of the first barrels for their 2015 release of Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel, one of the first single barrel releases in the history of Canadian Whisky.

And all of this finally brings me to the point of my essay and the reason that Davin is touring the country like a rock star. That book that Davin wrote that is revolutionizing the way that Canadian Whisky is being viewed on the world stage; it has just been revised and updated, and once again Davin has knocked it out of the park.

Canadian Whisky The New Portable Expert – Second Edition is once again the most complete story of Canadian Whisky ever written and it includes very important new information regarding the new micro-distilling revolution that is taking place across North America. As a reference book alone, Davin’s book will be invaluable to any student of whisky, Canadian or otherwise as within its pages is a treasure trove of information about the production and history of spirit we call whisky. However, much more importantly, Davin has remembered that the story of Canadian Whisky is just that,  a story. And that story is fascinating. Frankly, once you pick it up, The New Portable Expert is hard to put down.

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Canadian Whisky The New Portable Expert – Second Edition is available in bookstores across Canada. It can also be ordered online (here).

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Posted in Books, Extras | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100Canadian Whisky of 2017: #66 Stalk and Barrel Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2017

Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein own and run the Still Water Distillery, Ontario’s first micro-distillery which they founded in 2009.

According to the their website Stalk and Barrel Rye is made 100 % from locally grown Ontario rye grain distilled by hand in small batches in the distillery’s small copper pot still. The whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks for a minimum of three years. Each barrel is bottled individually as a single cask offering in individually numbered bottles, offered at either cask strength or at 46% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my review of the Number 66 Canadian Whisky of 2017:

Review: Stalk and Barrel Rye

“… dusty grain and wood spice & rye. Fine wood spices build with light butterscotch and grassy tobacco. Chaff and straw, grain stubble …”

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky. Alternatively you can view the  list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky of 2017: #73 Fils du Roy – L’Eau d’Août

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 12, 2017

Fils du Roy – L’Eau d’Août is an experimental whisky produced in New Brunswick by Sebastien Roy at Distillerie Fils Du Roy. When Sebastien began making his whisky, he started with a blend of 75% Single Malt Whisky and 25% Corn Whisky. The spirit he created was intended as R&D project where Sebastien was trying to darken his whisky without using artificial caramel colourant. Instead he used local maple syrup harvested at the end of the season which is very dark and woody. The intention of course is not for the whisky to taste maple syrup; but rather to substitute the artificial colourants sometimes use in the industry with a natural colouring agent. This whisky (which is the subject of this review) is his rarest product (only 363 bottles) and the entire whisky is aged a full 3 years.

According to Sebastien, L’Eau d’Août means “Water of August” in French. It also has a connotation of sweet water “Eau doux”. The name was chosen because the whisky is released only once per year on the first of August. There were only 363 bottles this year, and the entire production was sold out by August 4th.

Review: Fils du Roy – L’Eau d’Août

“… Sweet and sour note of dank corn and fruit, butterscotch, light underlying mustiness with burlap and dry wood spice which comes through later. …”

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky. Alternatively you can view the  list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

 

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky – #81: 8 Seconds Blended Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2017

8 Seconds is a Canadian Whisky from Frank-Lin Distillers, Products Ltd. who have been a bottler and producer of distilled spirits since Frank Maestri founded the company in 1966. (Frank-Lin currently operates out of their new facility in Fairfield California with annual capacity of over 10 million cases of wines and spirits.)

The whisky is a pretty straight forward offering, distilled in Canada and aged in oak. It is (I assume) shipped in bulk from Canada to Frank-Lin’s facility in Fairfield, California for bottling. The whisky has no age statement; but I note that the more premium 8 Seconds Black carries a statement of 8 years. I presume that the less premium 8 Seconds Blended Canadian Whisky would be somewhat younger than that.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: 8 Seconds Blended Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky translates well from nose to mouth with flavours of vanilla and caramel leading out and a peppery wood and grain spice not very far behind. There is a little honeycomb present and some nice impressions of tobacco, dark fruit and chocolate …”

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky. Alternatively you can view the  list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky – #82 Twelve Barrels

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 3, 2017

Twelve Barrels Canadian Whisky is the creation of Cole Miller of Napanee, Ontario. Although the whisky is produced by a third-party distillery, Cole apparently based his recipe upon the whisky produced by a local whisky making legend, John Meagher who began making wheat whisky on the shores of the Napanee River in 1853. Soon thereafter he began he learned of the robust flavour of Canadian rye and added that grain to the mix. (The recipe also contains corn.)

The moniker for the whisky (Twelve Barrels) is apparently derived from another Napanee legend, George ‘the Jumper’ Meagher, (son of Whisky Maker, John Meagher) who was a locally renowned hockey player and the 1896 World Figure Skating Champion. Besides being a World Champion, George’s other great claim to fame was that he, while skating, was able to leap over an amazing twelve whisky barrels.

Here is a link to the # 83 Canadian Whisky of 2017:

Review: Twelve Barrels Canadian Whisky

“… The initial nose brings a combination butterscotch and almond with vanilla and hints of burlap. As I let the glass sit dusty rye and wood spice notes develop with hints of orange peel zest … “

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky. Alternatively you can view the  list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky – #88 J.P. Wiser’s 35 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 28, 2017

John Philip (J.P.) Wiser, purchased a distillery in Prescott Ontario in 1857, and began to produce Wiser’s Whisky.  In fact, it may have been J.P. Wiser who first used the term “Canadian Whiskey” on a whisky label when he introduced his spirit to the World at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. From the beginning J.P. Wiser established his brand as a quality whisky with high standards of production.

Recently, J.P. Wiser’s released their oldest production Canadian Whisky, J.P. Wiser’s 35 Year Old. The whisky is part of their new Northern Border Collection and is constructed from a mix of well aged corn and rye grain whiskies (predominantly corn). The spirit was released with remarkably little fanfare across the country just before the Christmas gift giving season.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s 35 Year Old Whisky

“… Then some lovely deep smells of maple began to build with vanilla and lush baking spices (cinnamon, brown sugar, with hints of both nutmeg and cloves.) Nutty almond impressions began to give way to marzipan and alongside were fruity smells of canned apricots and marmalade. As the glass sits the rich aroma continues to deepen …”

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter) using the hashtag #Top100CanadianWhisky. Alternatively you can view the  list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

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

#100: Kicking Things off with Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2017

The Rum Howler Top 100 Canadian Whisky Countdown kicks off with a brand new whisky from Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein own and run the Still Water Distillery.

#100 Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend

“… The nose is rye and corn forward with hints of anise and a few touches of sour fruit. Dusty sandalwood spices follow with clear impressions of vanilla and almond. I noticed some hints of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) and a building sweetness …”

Of course you can follow the countdown on Twitter  (#Top100CanadianWhisky) or check in on my Reveal Page which will be updated about once per week.

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

Enjoy the Countdown: Chimo!

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Note: As indicated yesterday, I will not be posting every whisky in my countdown here on the website, but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously. (Rum Howler on Twitter)

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

Oh My: The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2017

Tomorrow, I will begin to reveal my largest ever round-up of Canadian Whisky, The Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017.

That’s right, the best 100 Canadian Whiskies in the nation!

When I published my first such list for Canadian Whisky in 2013, I was only able to include 25 spirits. Even then, I remember one person commenting on my website that they didn’t even know that there were 25 different Canadian Whiskies. Things have really changed. Most major distilleries in Canada have broadened their whisky portfolios by added new whisky brands. We may have lost some brands (for example Highwood Distillers have recently discontinued their Century 21 Reserve and Lot1525 Reserve); but many more brands have been added. In addition to the new brands available from Canada’s major distillers, we have had a sudden influx of new Micro-distillers (some like Shelter Point in British Columbia are not so micro) across the Country who in the last few years have began to market and sell their whisky regionally and across Canada.

As well as being the largest such list I have ever compiled, this list is also current. All of the Whiskies on this list are available in Canada at this time. I have also tasted and reviewed all of these whiskies within the past three years. Most of the reviews were based upon full bottle samples provided to me by industry; however, in order to include many of the new regional whiskies, and the new spirits from our young Micro-distilling industry, I also have included whiskies which I tasted and reviewed based upon the samples and tasting notes I generated as a juror for the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards. (Davin De Kergommeaux does a great job with these awards, and last year in particular he did a fantastic job in discovering new Canadian Whiskies for the judges to rank and score.)

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Unlike other years, I am not planning to reveal every whisky with a front page posting (I will be revealing each whisky one at a time on Twitter instead.) However, I will be providing a front page post whenever the countdown reaches a whisky which I have either not reviewed before or a whisky whose character has changed such that a new review is needed. Additionally, when I reach the final 25 to Canadian Whiskies in early December, (just before Christmas), I will reveal those best spirits in a daily countdown as I have in years past.

This means that to follow the entire list on a daily basis, you should follow me on twitter (Rum Howler on Twitter). And then in December follow my postings here of the Rum Howler Blog.

Another easy way to follow the countdown is to view the list as it grows by viewing my Reveal Page:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

This is my largest Canadian Whisky Countdown ever, I hope you all enjoy it!
( PS: use the hashtags  #Rumhowler  #Top100CanadianWhisky)

 

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 18, 2017

Some of my favourite mixed drinks are what I call ‘deck drinks’. I have written about this serving style before; they are libations which we can easily mix with no cocktail shakers, no fancy garnishes, and most importantly of all, no fuss! The best deck drinks have only three ingredients, a base spirit, a mixer (soda or juice) and ice. Rum and Coke, and Gin and Seven are good examples of the deck drink craft. Sometimes, rather than soda, I will use fresh citrus juice. Vodka and Orange Juice (a Screwdriver) is a good example of a citrus based deck drink.

Although I like short cocktails (shaken or stirred), the truth is that when I am on my back deck with friends, I sometimes do not want to take the time to measure ingredients into my cocktail shaker or mixing glass let alone taking even more time to shake and double strain the final serving into a fancy glass. And in fact, it is not unusual for me to have a variety of juice and sodas with ice in my back yard cooler so everyone who has joined me can mix their own servings with whichever spirit they happen to have brought over that day.

Recently, the good folks at Glazer’s sent me a bottle of Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky  which is a product of the Phillips Distilling Company. The spirit is named for the town of Revelstoke, located in the mountains of British Columbia. The whisky itself is not produced in British Columbia; instead it is distilled on the other side of those mountains at an undisclosed Canadian Distillery. According to the producer’s website, the whisky is produced by blending a young 3-year-old whisky (the youngest allowed by Canadian Law) with a more mature 8-year-old whisky. The final blend is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, and during our recent spate of hot weather I found it to be an ideal spirit to enjoy in the Deck Drink format. The Whisky Splash made with Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky is the third mixed drink in my Summer Cocktail round-up.

The Whisky Splash

2 oz Revel Stoke Canadian Whisky
2 Large Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale (1 -3 oz depending upon your preference)

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Revel Stoke over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale (to taste)
Garnish with a lime slice
Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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BTW: Here is a link to my previously published review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky:

Review: Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky

“… The flavour of the whisky leads out with a lightly sweet impression of toffee alongside both bitter and spicy rye grain. The mouthfeel is soft, however the whisky has plenty of wood spice to both heat and pucker the palate between sips.  This is a dusty dry whisky, and as I sip, impressions of ripened grain fields and dry grassy hay lands both find their way into my consciousness …”

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Cocktail #3: The Whisky Splash

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2017

The Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. It is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Colin and Meredith Schmidt. After Colin left his hockey career with the Edmonton Oilers behind, he and his wife, Meredith began to look for business opportunities in Saskatchewan, and the idea of starting up their own micro-distillery still appealed strongly to both of them. To make a long story short, in August of 2010, the ambitions and hard work of Colin and Meredith paid off when they opened Saskatchewan’s first micro-distillery, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, called the Last Mountain Distillery.

According to the distillery website,  Last Mountain’s Private Reserve Whisky is a blend of 4 to 5-year-old wheat whisky which has been aged in a combination of used bourbon barrels and then finished in new 10 gallon oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

“… The rich nose does not disappoint in terms of flavour across the palate. I taste yummy butterscotch and maple melding with oakspice, leather and tobacco. There is a very appealing rye-like flavour and bitterness as well as a dusty dry spiciness which features both grain and wood spice combining with orange pith and touches of cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Canadian Whisky from Saskatchewan’s First Micro Distillery.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Last Mountain Private Reserve Wheat Whisky

 
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