Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 28, 2016
Today I feature the last of the 5 whisky groupings in my 2016 countdown. Beginning on November 30th, I slow the pace and reveal each Canadian Whisky individually one per day until Christmas Even when the best Canadian Whisky of 2016 will be revealed. If you are interested in how the Countdown has progressed so far, here is a link to the growing list:
The five whiskies revealed today feature none which are priced over $40.00, and in fact two of these spirits, Windsor Canadian, and Alberta Premium, can be found for under $25.00 here in Alberta while the Mt. Logan 5 Year Old (a new whisky brand) and the Centennial brands each check in just under the $30.00 mark. All of this reinforces one of the major reasons why I love Canadian Whisky so much; the spirit offers outstanding quality at prices which are much more affordable than other whisky styles. Perhaps this is why the spirit is seeing such a resurgence in sales across Canada and indeed throughout North America.
Here are the next five spirits in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#30 – #26):
“… The initial nose is very typically ‘Canadian’ with firm butterscotch scents lying alongside a fruit-filled spicy rye. As I let the glass sit, some dusty ripened grain notes develop along with accompanying scents of straw and the chaff. There is a bit of dry grassiness reminiscent of timothy and foxtail and some zesty notes of orange and lemon peel. Rounding out the nose are a few bits of cinnamon and dark brown sugar …”
“… 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 breezes …”
“… Fine oak spices and rye grain drift upwards with a light aroma of butterscotch and vanilla. The breezes above the glass also carry hints of baking spice (ginger and cinnamon), some light tobacco smells, and aromas of dusty grain fields ripe and ready to be swathed. Perhaps there is a touch of corn in the breezes which could be a remnant from the charred American white oak barrels …”
“… I let the glass sit for a while, and noticed that the rye grain was joined by wood spices and these spicy accents seem to grow in the breezes. I also notice a light almost bitter astringency in the air which seems to be related to the building rye spice. As the glass continues to decant, some dry grassy tobacco comes to the fore and a light fruitiness is evolving from the rye which is also filling the air with light scents of ginger …”
“… Caramel, butterscotch and maple are melded with flavours of oak spice and cedar. Canned fruit (in particular apricots) is obvious and dark fruit (dates and the skin of black cherries) seems to be hinted at. There is a bit of clove, a touch of cinnamon and dash of spicy wood sap. Finally under everything else is a certain dry tannic bitterness that puckers my mouth, but which seems to be just the right foil …”
Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay tuned as the countdown continues on November 30 with the number 25 Canadian Whisky, Chimo!
Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: 2016 Rum Howler Canadian Whisky Countdown, 2016 Rum Howler Top 50, 5 Year Old, Alberta Premium, Canadian Whisky, Centennial Rye Whisky, Crown Royal Black, Mt. Logan, Review, Windsor Canadian | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#30 – #26)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2015
Against my better judgement I have decided that it is time to begin my Annual Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2015. I have published a similar list the last three years in a row, and I have received many requests to continue the tradition this year.
My time is limited more than usual as Connor McDavid Mania is raging in my memorabilia store (Cardsharks Memorabila Store) (it is after all important to keep the bills paid). As well my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown continues unabated. For those reasons, I have decided that I will reveal my top Canadian Spirits in three groups of seven spirits once per week and one last group of four during the last week before Christmas rather than as I usually do one at a time, one day at a time. In this way I can spare myself the need to do an extra post every day, especially since my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums list needs to be compiled and published as well.
So although it is not quite how I usually do things, I shall begin today with the first seven spirits that made the cut, numbers 25 through to 19.
# 25 Windsor Canadian
# 24 J.P. Wiser’s Hopped (New Review!)
# 23 Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Blend
# 22 Canadian Club 20 Yr Old Whisky
# 21 Centennial Rye Whisky (NAS)
# 20 Pendleton 1910 (Aged 12 Years) Canadian Whisky
# 19 Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve Whisky
Note: You may follow the list and read more about The Year 2015 in Canadian Whisky here:
Please Enjoy the weekly reveal!
Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies, Canadian Club, Centennial Rye Whisky, Copper Pot Reserve, Crown Royal, Forty Creek, Hopped, J.P. Wiser's, Monarch, Pendleton 1910, Review, Rum Howler Awards, Windsor | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 11, 2015
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When I visited their facilities a few years ago I could not help but notice how they make their spirits one batch at a time in a friendly, family style atmosphere. I was impressed and I have been a fan of Highwood ever since.
Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky (Dark Chocolate). The spirit represents a melding of their Centennial Rye Whisky with the a small dollop of Dark Chocolate flavour. The flavoured whisky is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
Orange Chocolate Martini
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The Dark Chocolate Whisky has a pale mahogany colour which seems at odds with the rich dark chocolate scents which seem to ooze out of the rye and wood spices drifting in the breezes above the glass. The impact of the chocolate seems to be softened by an impression of fresh dairy cream within the make-up of its aroma …”
This spirit plays well with caramel, cola, coffee, and even (if you check out my recipe below) orange liqueurs. Those are some of my favourite flavours, so I think you can safely assume that my recommendation for the Centennial Dark Chocolate is quite enthusiastic.
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice dessert martini recipe which have I dubbed the Orange Chocolate Martini.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial Rye Whisky, Cocktail, Dark Chocolate, Flavoured Whisky, Highwood Distillers, Orange Chocolate Martini, Review | Comments Off on Review: Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky Dark Chocolate
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2013
For those who are not familiar with our Canadian Whisky; it is, for the most part, distilled from three grains: corn, barley and rye. However, one distillery in Western Canada, Highwood Distillers, has been doing things a bit differently. Highwood uses local Canadian prairie wheat as the distillation base for all of their Highwood branded whisky. According to the folks at the distillery, wheat alcohol rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy non-digestible components which makes for an extremely smooth easy to drink whisky. The brand which sits at the top of the ladder as Highwood’s premier wheat based whisky is their Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky.
When I first encountered this spirit in early winter of 2009 I was quite smitten the whisky’s smooth character and lovely flavour nuances. I was pleased, when after I wrote my review, that almost everyone who commented upon my website seemed to echo my sentiments. This year, in the fall of 2013, my judging panel echoed those sentiments as well, and when the scores were tallied, the Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky was found to be ranked Number 8 in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown.
You may read my original review by clicking the link below:
“A clean crisp rye which fairly oozes honey and spice. This is polished and subdued, with the hard rye buffed and smoothed. The spices are light and enjoyable, and I find the balance to be superb. A purist of Canadian rye may complain that the rye flavour sits too far backward in the taste profile, but I disagree. The entire presentation is smooth and mellow. No awkward heavy notes spoil the parade …”
The entire experience of this rye whisky is completely enjoyable. The only possible flaw would be that I would consider the spirit to be a mood whisky. The mood is mellow and smooth almost to the point of suave. It is possible that the consumer may occasionally want a little harder kick in the throat when he (or she) chooses rye whisky to drink. But for a more sublime rye experience, this is one of the best!
Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here: The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies
Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial Rye Whisky, Highwood Distillers, Wheat Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on #8 Canadian Whisky – Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky