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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian’

Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2017

mac-na-braiche-sam_3038The Victoria Caledonian Distillery has been on my radar for a while now. I first heard of it when founder Graeme Malconey invited me to an information seminar and whisky tasting several years ago. At that time the distillery was just in the planning stages and Graeme was touring the country raising money to build his distillery.

In the fall of 2016, word reached me that the Victoria Caledonian Brewery & Distillery had began to produce and age new make spirit. Then in January of 2017 Andrew Walls, Sales Manager and Brand Ambassador for the aforementioned distillery reached out to me asking if he could share some samples for me to review. He, in fact agreed to come all the way to my house in Edmonton and provided a private tasting for my tasting group, the Rum Chums. One of those spirits we sampled was a ‘whisky in progress’,  Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche.

Andrew left me with a sample, and although the spirit is not a whisky yet, I felt it deserved a full review on my website.

Here is a link to that review:

Review: Victoria Caledonian Mac na Braiche

“… The nose carries both the signature of both the ex red-wine cask and single malt whisky. I notice a ribbon of cherry-like turkish delight in the breezes wrapped up in fine oak spice and a malty sweetness. There are some impressions of dry raisins as well as canned pears and yellow-green apple slices. Bits of almond, vanilla, ginger spice and a light grassiness rounds out the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new spirit from the Victoria Caledonian Distillery, chimo!

Note: The Victoria Caledonian Distillery And Brewery has a very interesting custom cask program which allows interested consumers to design and order their own custom cask from a variety of cask options. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Campbell Walls at Andrew@MacaloneyDistillers.com  or download the cask offer here:

http://vcaledonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Cask-Offer.pdf.

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Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2017

northumberland-sam_3013

Northumberland Cocktail

Caldera Distilling is a new Canadian distillery located in the historical shipbuilding community of River John, in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Interestingly, on the distillery property, (inside a barn which has been standing since at least 1939) a curious handwritten notation was found on one of the old supporting beams of the structure. This notation reads, “October 18 1939 Storm”. When the official records for the area were inspected, it was discovered that this particular storm was recorded as Hurricane #5.

Apparently this Atlantic storm was so severe that someone thought to make note of it in this particular place. I am only guessing, but perhaps the barn served as a refuge of sorts for someone, or perhaps a group of people who were seeking protection from the hurricane. Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky serves as a link to this piece of history regarding the River John community and the storm known as Hurricane #5.

Here is a link to my latest Canadian Whisky Review:

Review: Caldera Hurricane 5 Canadian Whisky

“… The entry is smooth with an interesting combination of fruity rye and sweet corn. Flavours of butterscotch and vanilla mingle with fine wood spice, and soon impressions of baking spices develop as well (cinnamon and a touch of cloves and nutmeg). There is a little orange peel struggling to make the transition to marmalade, and a light winding of grassy tobacco and nutty almond flavours …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with my latest cocktail creation, the Northumberland Cocktail.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2017

rangeland-sam_2966Rangeland Rye Whisky is produced from western prairie wheat and grains. It is aged in charred American oak barrels for a minimum of three years (as per Canadian Law) before being blended and bottled at the Highwood facility in High River, Alberta.

Rangeland is what I refer to as an economy whisky. It is inexpensive compared to other whiskies in its category, and is a whisky meant for tall drinks as well as other cocktails in bars and restaurants (or on your back deck).

Highwood Distillers is the only Canadian distillery which uses wheat as its primary distilled grain. I have noticed when tasting the wheat based spirits in their portfolio that this grain seems to lend a soft gentleness to the final spirit. They use Rye is in smaller quantities, and this grain adds a flavourful spiciness. Corn may also be used, and when it is, the corn provides additional sweetness, and body to the spirit. The grains are distilled in a small batch production cycle.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

“… I discovered that this new whisky had a very traditional taste profile with an old-fashioned dry Canadian Whisky flavour complete with that soft bitterness that accompanies the rye grain. It also carries dusty grain and light tobacco flavours alongside a mild butterscotch and vanilla …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Whisky from the folks at Highwood Distillers. The review includes one of my favourite cocktail creations, the Canadian Caribou.

Chimo Everyone!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Rangeland Rye Whisky

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: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #3: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old

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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #4: J.P. Wiser’s 18 Year Old

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown #5: Wiser’s Legacy

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #19 – Gibson’s Finest 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York.

Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.

The eighteen year old expression of Gibson’s Finest is now known as Gibson’s Finest Venerable 18 Years Old Whisky. All of the whisky in the blend, is of course 18 years old or more, and it is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is my link to my newly published review:

#19: Gibson’s Finest Venerable 18 Year Old Whisky

“… Oak spice is certainly the centerpiece of the whisky. It is hot with rye spice and white pepper; but the spiciness brings along light flavours of caramel, butterscotch, maple, and canned fruit (apricot and pear) as well. Their is a sense of rye which brings me impressions of ginger and cardamom. I sense waving fields of ripened rye and barley in the foreground, and more distant fields of ripened corn in the background …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 18 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 »

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 26, 2016

Rye Splash SAM_2616Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky has undergone a bit of a face-lift recently as a new bottle and label have been rolled out. In fact the entire Wiser’s family of whiskies has undergone a bit of a re-branding as the company now refers to itself as J.P. Wiser’s rather than simply Wiser’s. This ties the whisky more directly to the founder, J.P. Wiser and perhaps signals that the whisky company is beginning to see the ties to its historical past as something to be embraced rather than ignored.

Additionally the whisky now carries the name ‘Rye’ upon the label. Thus we now refer to this particular brand as J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky. This could signal a stronger rye presence in the whisky, or just be an acknowledgement that all Canadian Whiskies which carry a rye forward flavour profile may be labeled as ‘Rye”.

J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Rye Whisky is the flagship of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand. The whisky carries no age statement and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

“… My initial impression when I take the first sip is that the whisky is very rye-forward with accents of lightly sweet butterscotch and fine wood spices. There is an appealing dry rye-like bitterness which presents itself alongside flavours of wood sap, almond and tobacco. Dry fruit, orange peel, bits of vanilla and hints of cinnamon round out the flavour profile …”

Please enjoy my review, Chimo!

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Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2016

Alberta PremiumAlberta Distillers Limited (ADL) own the oldest distillery in Western Canada. It is situated in Calgary Alberta and has been producing spirits in the same location for well over 60 years. The distillery is part of the Beam/Suntory portfolio.Alberta Premium is the flagship whisky of Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL), and according to the Beam/Suntory Brands website:

This whiskey is made by Alberta Distillers in the heart of Canada’s rye-growing country where cold barren winters give way to an abundant crop of the finest rye. Made by blending two aged whiskies, one of which is aged for flavor in used bourbon casks. Then, after blending, it is aged some more. Alberta Premium is aged for 5 years. The slow aging in cold temperatures preserves the natural rye spice.

I was recently given a bottle of Alberta Premium by a guest at one of my tasting events and I thought I would revisit my review of this 100 % Canadian Rye Whisky.

Here is a link to my new review:

Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

 ” … The breezes above the glass bring me the scents and smells of a fruit-filled rye with additional notes of vanilla. Fine oak spices and a touch of citrus zest mingle within the fruity rye smells. As I allow the whisky to breathe, some nice smells of butterscotch and maple come forward and the overt fruitiness gains momentum. I receive impressions of canned apricots and pears from the glass, and  I also sense a light touch of almond in the breeze …”

Please enjoy my review of this fine 100 % rye whisky which tastes better now than it did 6 years ago when I first reviewed it.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 26, 2013

Heart_of_Gold_bottleForty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let the consumer choose their own numbered bottle. This year, reservations for Forty Creek’s 2013 Limited Release, Heart of Gold, will open at noon (EST) on Monday, May 27th, 2013 (and end June 21st, 2013). If you live in Ontario, and can make it to the distillery to pay for and pick up your numbered bottle, then you may choose any number between 00003 and 9,000 to be your own uniquely numbered bottle. The numbers are offered on a first come, first serve, basis and no two bottles will have the same number. (Complete details and the reservation form are available at the Forty Creek Whisky website.)

This year’s special release is a whisky with an emphasis on Canadian Rye Grain. Heart of Gold is not a 100 % rye grain whisky, as the whisky blend also includes a barley whisky, which adds some nutty flavours, and a corn whisky, which adds weight and body. But make no mistake about it, the intent of John Hall in creating this whisky is to showcase the spicy, fruity and floral notes of Canadian Rye.

You may click on the link to read my pre-release review:

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

“… The initial nose reminds me strongly of rye whisky as I remember it from my youth (seventies/early eighties). The breezes above the glass are full of wood spices (cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, sawdust and white pepper), and those breezes remind me of autumns past when the ripened grain in the fields was being combined. The air all around the farm would be full of the scents and smells of the harvest, complete with the straw left behind in windrows and the separated chaff and grain dust floating in the air above the fields and granaries …”

Please enjoy this preview of John Hall’s newest Special Release Canadian Whisky!

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If you are interested, here are the links to the other Forty Creek Special Release Whiskies I have reviewed :

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

 
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