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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Whisky’

Review: J.P. Wiser’s 15 Year Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2018

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. Today Wiser’s is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario, and aged in their facilities at Pike Creek near Lakeshore Ontario. Through all of these changes the Wiser’s Brand has been recognized as a vital component of each company’s portfolio of brands.

J.P. Wiser’s 15 Year Old Canadian Whisky (bottled at 40% alcohol by volume) was recently released across Canada.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s 15 Year Old Canadian Whisky

” … Smooth and yummy with a rich toffee-like flavour of wood and grain spices melded butterscotch and maple. Canned fruit as noted above is joined by light impressions of raisins and a very light cherry-like impression similar to red licorice (Turkish Delight). The vanilla has joined with the orange peel bringing impressions of marmalade. Rich tobacco and new leather with an underpinning of almond syrup …”



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Review: Lohin McKinnon Barley & Rye (Lightly Peated)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 25, 2018

Central City Brewers + Distillers is a small craft producer of beer and spirits. They began business as a brewpub in downtown Surrey (British Columbia), where they created their Red Racer craft beer. After this initial  success they turned their attention to spirits using Canadian Barley to produce their whisky and Rocky Mountain Berries to produce their gin.

According to the company’s website:

We craft our premium spirits on 3 state-of-the-art Holstein Stills, manufactured in Germany on 3 different sizes: 2500 litre, 1250 Litre and 500 litre, to allow greater versatility. All fitted with reflux columns and one with up to 20 plates, this Stills are capable of producing up to 90% ABV and can produce almost any spirit our distiller can imagine.

I sampled Lohin McKinnon Barley & Rye (Lightly Peated) as part of my judging duties for the 2018 Canadian Whisky Awards. I kept brief notes for each of the spirits which I tasted, and after the reveal, I decided to pen a brief review based upon those tasting notes, as well as from a small tasting sample I was able to obtain afterwards.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Lohin McKinnon Barley & Rye (Lightly Peated)

“… Interestingly, The light peatiness of the dram wasn’t readily apparent in the breezes when I nosed the whisky side by side with the other spirits I was judging. Afterwards though, when I had time to assess the spirit in isolation, I was able to catch light hints of herbal peat in the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review of the new craft whisky.



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Review: J.P. Wiser’s Union 52 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 15, 2018

And now for something different ….

J.P. Wiser’s Union 52 Canadian Whisky is a blend of mature 16-year-old Canadian whiskies with an extremely old single malt whisky that was distilled in the Highlands of Scotland. (Eighteen barrels of this whisky had been stored and aged at one of the J.P. Wiser’s warehouses in Canada since 1964. Apparently, if you go poking around in the aging warehouses in Canada, you can find all manner of strange spirits lurking around.)

You are probably wondering how in the world they can call this Canadian Whisky when spirit originally distilled in Scotland is part of the blend. This has to do of course with the latitude that Canadian Whisky producers are given. In Canada up to 9% (actually 9.09%) of the volume may be other aged spirit or wine which can used to augment the whisky’s flavour.

Although the majority of Canadian Whisky is made with 100 % Canadian Spirit, the use of the use of a Scottish spirit to augment flavour is well within the Canadian guidelines for making whisky. And it is a practice which allows tremendous freedom for the master blender to experiment, as J.P. Wiser’s Master Blender obviously has.

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Union 52 Canadian Whisky

The dominant flavours of the whisky are oak, vanilla, caramel, baking spices (cloves and cinnamon) and dark fruit (dates and figs) with hints of peat. I also taste black licorice, toasted walnut, and an herbal component which brings forward green sawgrass, willow and hints of menthol.

Please enjoy the review of this unusual Canadian Whisky!


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Review: Forty Creek Heritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 1, 2018

Forty Creek Whisky has a very nice annual tradition of producing a special limited release whisky which is built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select. These annual special releases each seek to bring new character to the Forty Creek family. This year Forty Creek sought to go back to their roots with the release of Heritage.

According to the press release issued this when Forty Creek Heritage was announced, this year’s special limited edition whisky was crafted selected barrels of Forty Creek corn, rye, and barley whiskies. The blended whiskies were then married (or finished) in toasted American Oak barrels to release elegant vanilla flavours and to highlight the bold wood spices of the toasted oak. The whisky was released in the fall of 2017 just in time for the Christmas buying season.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Forty Creek Heritage

“… Oak and cedar with honeycomb maple and corn syrup. Vanilla and baking spices evolve as do impressions of canned apricots, hints of marmalade and walnut. Yumm! …”


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Review: High River Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2018

The explosion of new Canadian Whisky brands continues as every time I venture into a local liquor store I see new brands that I have never tried before. And each year when I serve as a Spirits Judge for the Annual Canadian Whisky Awards, I am introduced to new brands which I was otherwise unaware of. One of these new brands, High River Canadian is owned by Sazerac, the producers of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Master Blender Drew Mayville (Buffalo Trace), oversees the blending of the High River Canadian Whisky. According to the Sazerac website:

The best Canadian whiskies are made from rye grown in the prairies, and the most fertile soils are near local rivers which occasionally overflow during the spring thaw. High River takes its name from this phenomenon, and delivers a smooth finish which leaves a lasting impression.

Here is a link to my complete review:

Review: High River Canadian Whisky

“… There is a light impression of maple and cedar which combine with grain to give me an impression of graham wafers dipped in syrup. Oak builds with vanilla and almond making me think of marzipan. Marmalade and chocolate complete the nose which seems to be rich and full of whisky goodness …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe suggestion, the Bitter Chocolate Old Fashioned.


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