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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Whisky’

#Top100CanadianWhisky #1: Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 23, 2017

Five years ago, I encountered Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Whisky as a random sample in the group of 45 such samples which I was assessing as part of my duties when I served on the jury for the 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards. Whenever I participate as a spirits judge I always make note of any of the samples which strike me as being particularly good, and the small sample bottle which contained the Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Whisky was one which I had earmarked as a superior whisky. So, when the Awards Competition was complete, it was to my dismay that I learned this particular whisky (Random Sample number 7 by the way) was a brand destined not for Canada; but instead for Taiwan.

Fortunately Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old is now a standard bottling available in Canadian markets as well. According to the information provided me, the spirit is (as it was before) distilled and aged by Highwood Distillers. It is a 100% corn whisky bottled at 46% alcohol by volume.

In a year which saw the best field of Canadian Whiskies ever produced, Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old stood out as the best. Here is a link to the Rum Howler #1 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old

“… This is a full-bodied whisky (rare for a Canadian) with a long satisfying finish. Sweet butterscotch and corn flavours are chased down by oak and cedar spices which leave a lightly bitter echo in the throat. The palate is left glowing with little bursts of cinnamon and orange peel, and then a soothing almost menthol-like sweetness appears leaving me little choice but to pour another dram …”

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We have reached the best whisky in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s top 100. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

You can view the entire list by viewing my Reveal Page here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

I hope everyone enjoyed the Countdown!

Merry Christmas!

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Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #3: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2017

JP Wiser’s Last Barrels is an interesting new Canadian whisky which was produced from the last batches of whisky barreled under the direction of former J.P. Wiser’s Distiller Jim Stanski.

According to the media reports, in early 2001, Stanski decided to go rogue by making some whisky in more of a bourbon style. He began by blending the grains (80% corn grist, 11% rye and 9% barley malt) prior to mashing them. Then he let milk go sour in the J.P. Wiser’s lab and harvested the resulting bacteria (Lactobacillus) to use a starter culture for his bourbon-style mash so as to have a fermentation process similar to the sour mash process south of the border.

The whisky was set down in barrels later that year and are said to be the last barrels of Jim Stanski Whisky produced, hence the name Last Barrels. (Don’t worry, Jim didn’t get fired as a result of this experiment, he just moved up the ranks into management.) Incidentally, the mashbill of grains used was chosen by Stanski to replicate one used by the original J.P. Wiser in 1869.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #3 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels

“… The breezes above the glass indicate to me that the Last Barrels is indeed very much like bourbon with aromas of rough oak and cedar, honeycomb, roasted corn, and baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon). Rich brown sugars are evident as is maple toffee, bittersweet chocolate, pipe tobacco and walnuts …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #4: Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2017

Corby Spirit and Wine Limited has added yet another premium brand to its Gooderham and Worts whisky line-up, Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity (Three Grain) Canadian Whisky. The whisky pays homage to the former whisky giant, Gooderham and Worts which in the latter half of the 19th century was the largest spirits producer in Canada. (The company was founded in the early to mid-nineteenth century by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham.)

Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity is named for the oldest surviving Toronto area church (Little Trinity Church) established by William Gooderham in 1842. The church was established for his mill and distillery workers who could not afford the high pew fees in the nearby  local churches. In keeping with the theme of the Holy Trinity, the whisky is produced from three grains, corn, wheat and rye (I’ll leave it to you to decide which is the Father, which is the Son, and which is the Holy Spirit).

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #4 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Gooderham and Worts Little Trinity

“… The breezes above the glass bring merry notes of rye spice and oak sap complimented by maple and toffee. Vanilla wafts into the air along with some lightly sweet corn syrup. Then I notice damp straw, some fresh leather and tobacco. There is also some almond-like nuttiness which soon melds with the vanilla and the corn-like sweetness to bring me an impression of marzipan …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

 

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #5: Canadian Club 40 Year Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 19, 2017

This holiday season, a new Canadian whisky is on the wish lists of Canadian Club fans. After 40 years of resting in American oak barrels in Windsor, Ontario, Canadian Club released Canadian Club 40 Year Old, its oldest age expression released to date, and possibly the oldest in Canadian whisky history.

According to Rob Tucker, Senior Brand Manager, Canadian & American Whiskies at Beam Suntory:

“With 160 years of great whisky making, Canadian Club’s numerous gold medal awards won in recent spirit competitions, and with our storied past as the preeminent club whisky in speakeasies which were known for stylish, stirring times, and a little mischief in mixed company, it only makes sense that a historic brand like Canadian Club gets to treat Canadians with such a delicious one-of-a-kind whisky like Canadian Club 40 Year Old,”

 

According to my sources, Canadian Club 40 Year Old was produced from a selection of American Oak barrels which contained 100% corn whisky. These barrels had been consolidated many times over the course of 40 years to minimize the oxidation of the spirit during its lengthy maturation period. The whisky has been released in part to commemorate Canada’s 150 Anniversary, and was available with full distribution across Canada as of mid November in limited quantities.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #5 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Canadian Club 40 Year Canadian Whisky

“… The aroma in the breezes above the glass offers no disappointment. My immediate reaction was Yumm! The breezes brought forth a combination of butterscotch, oak and vanilla which was melded into a luscious toffee. After a few minutes I began to notice a welling up of fresh corn underlain with firm impressions of tobacco and hints of burlap …”

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We have reached the top 5 whiskies in my 2017 countdown of Canada’s best. Just to make sure I got it right, I re-tasted each of the top 5 spirits side by side to determine my final scores and rankings.

Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #6: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2017

Wiser’s Red Letter was 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 John Phillip 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. After these mature whiskies were blended they were then finished in virgin white oak barrels for 150 days. Once the final characteristic of flavour had been achieved, the Red Letter was bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume (non chill filtered). In developing the spirit, the folks at Wiser’s apparently researched the original J.P Wiser’s Red Letter 19th century recipe using it as a guideline to construct their celebratory whisky.

In 2013 Corby, once again in a tribute to their founder J.P Wiser released Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky 2013 Release. As with the 150th Anniversary Edition, the whisky was finished in virgin white oak casks and then bottled without chill filtering at 45 % alcohol by volume. In 2015 Corby began a re-branding of the entire Wiser’s lineup adding the initials of John Philip Wiser to the brand name across the portfolio.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #6 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter

“… nose is full of both dusty rye and lush corn with yummy vanilla, maple, toffee and baking spices revealing themselves alongside. Corby’s Canadian Whisky Ambassador shared with me that the spirit is predominantly a corn whisky, and the corn smells continue to grow verifying his claim. As the glass sits the tobacco and oak seem to both well from the glass dusty grain spices, zesty orange peel …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

 

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #7: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 17, 2017

In 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. 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 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. Like the other whiskies in the Century portfolio, the Ninety branded spirits are corn-based rather than wheat-based blends. (Highwood Distillers uses the Highwood brand for all of its wheat based whiskies.)

Highwood chose the brand name ‘Ninety’ because these new 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 Rum Howler #7 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old

“… Tasting notes do not adequately reflect how good this whisky actually is. The words which I wrote down a year ago to describe the flavour are correct: oak, cedar, corn, butterscotch, vanilla, orange peel, marmalade, almond and tobacco, but they do not adequately convey how rich and flavourful this whisky is …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #9: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2017

Mt. Logan Whisky has been turning up in the local Liquor Depot chain of stores in my locale. It is in fact a ‘destination’ brand exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond (Liquor Stores N.A. Inc.) stores in Western Canada. Three expressions are available, a 5 Year Old spirit produced from prairie grain (wheat and rye) and a 15 Year Old and a 20 Year Old Spirit each produced from 100% corn grain.

According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced in a batch style distillation. The spirit was matured in charred American white oak. (These whiskies are produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 kilometers south of Calgary).)

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #9 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… 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 …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #16: Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2017

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. Alas, timing is everything, and according to Don Livermore (Master Blender for Corby and J.P. Wiser’s branded whiskies), the whisky never really caught on as the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky.

However, with the new upsurge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand), relaunched the whisky in 2012.

According to the bottle label:

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 Rum Howler #16 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: 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 …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#Top100CanadianWhisky #17: Crown Royal Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2017

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky brand. In 1992, a premium version of Crown Royal was introduced as Crown Royal Special Reserve. This whisky was produced from specially selected casks which were tasted and monitored closely by the Crown Royal Master Blender. These ‘premium casks’ represented whiskies with special character, and they were allowed to age longer with the aim of producing a more premium whisky. In the fall of 2008, this more premium Crown Royal Special Reserve was relaunched as Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #17 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky is lightly oaky with wood spices leading out as orange peel and pepper. Some clear rye spices (ginger in particular) jump in, and this spicy montage of flavour is accented by sweet flavours of caramel and maple. There is of course that typical punky corn/bourbon presence winding through the whisky that seems to be the signature flavour of Crown Royal …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

#Top100CanadianWhisky #19: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 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. In 2015, Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky underwent a brand change whereby the whisky was re-identified as J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky. It was also no longer advertised as a Limited Edition Release. The spirit inside the bottle however, is still aged a minimum of 18 years in used bourbon barrels.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #19 Canadian Whisky in my list of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old

“… The entry into the mouth is a double whammy of wood and grain spice combined with vanilla, light baking spices and sweet butterscotch and maple. The wood and grain spices are definitely the hallmark of the dram, and if fine oak spices are your thing the J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old will have you enthralled …”

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Note: To follow the countdown list of the Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017, 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 here on this website:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at as frequently as possible throughout the month of December.

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

 
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