Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2016
One of my favourite Canadian Whisky brands seems to have taken a tumble recently as my scores this year as both Gibson’s Finest Sterling and Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old have seen their rankings fall dramatically. Without their own distillery and aging facilities, the Gibson’s brand is perhaps suffering as the other major Canadian distilleries may be much more interested in maintaining their own brands than in maintaining the quality of a whisky brand they do not own. I am guessing of course; but this guess is based upon my recent tasting notes for both whiskies.
Canadian Club on the other hand has maintained its quality, and across the board, I have seen little change in their products over the past two years. Sazerac, despite not owning a Canadian Whisky distillery has also seen its quality maintained, and for one of its brands in particular (which we will encounter later in the countdown) a huge improvement has been discovered. With this in mind I am revealing the next five spirits in my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown.
Here are the links to my next five whiskies in my countdown, #s 35 thru 31:
“… The initial nose from the glass is of honey and fruit filled rye spices and some light butterscotch alongside firm dusty wood spices. As the glass breathes, ripened fields of prairie grain and corn rise up out of the glass. I sense both musty cornstalks and rows of freshly swathed grain. Sawdust, chaff, and then bits of orange peel add to the dry spiciness …”
“… The breezes above the glass were scented with aromas of peppery rye spice and butterscotch. As the glass was allowed to breathe, I noticed some corn-like accents, and some developing baking spices and which turned the butterscotch to toffee. Impressions are fleeting, but perhaps a little milk chocolate has made its way into my consciousness along with a stronger impression of wood spices …”
“… The whisky is soft in the mouth carrying impressions of fine wood spice and bits of red licorice, dark fruit (raisins and dates) and red cherry wood. Oak and cedar flavours grow from the wood spice. A flavour of Port wine and impressions of sweet cigar tobacco are hinted at. Caramel toffee, baking spices, and sticky red jelly all seem to find a place in the complex flavour profile of the Sherry Cask whisky …”
“… The whisky carries a strong bourbon flair with corn and honeycomb combining with flavours of brown sugar and butterscotch steeped in peppery wood-spice and cinnamon. Just as it was on the nose, the whisky flavour evolves in the glass if we allow it time to settle. Vanilla melds into the flavours of butterscotch and cinnamon, and a rich fruit-filled rye begins to assert itself …”
“… The initial nose is rich with butterscotch, oak, cedar, and a growing impression of maple. As the glass breathes some dank corn notes rise into the breezes along with some spicy tobacco, oak vanillans, sticky orange marmalade, and a dusting of rye spice. If you wait long enough, some nice chocolate notes and dabs of bourbon-like honeycomb begin to reveal themselves as well …”
Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 30 through 26, Chimo!
* You may follow my 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: 12 Year Old, 2016 Rum Howler Canadian Whisky Countdown, 2016 Rum Howler Top 50, Canadian Club Reserve, Canadian Club Sherry cask, Canadian Whisky, Gibson's Finest, Legacy Small Batch, Rum howler, Sazerac, Tangle Ridge, Whisky | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2016
When it comes to Canadian Whisky, price is not a good determinant of quality. The next five entrants in the Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown, features two of the lowest priced whiskies in Canada, Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky, and Potter’s Special Old. Both of these whiskies score in the mid eighties, despite their economy price.
Another interesting entrant on my top 50 list is Century Distillers (Highwood) White Owl Whisky, an aged whisky which has been filtered clear to provide a smooth crisp mixing spirit for the cocktail revolution. White Owl’s high standing on the list is a testament to how successful this spirit has been at fulfilling its destiny. Sazerac’s Rich and Rare Reserve, and Collingwood Handcrafted Whisky are not as well-known to Canadian consumers, but each are well deserving of their respective standing on the list.
“… I smell corn, butterscotch and a sweet sticky marmalade when I bring my nose to the glass. As that glass breathes, scents of oak and cedar rise as well and some spicy rye and citrus zest. There is a little vanilla and almond in the breezes too, and a nice touch of maple seems to weave in and out. The whisky has a gentle complexity that is pleasant and engaging …”
“… Butterscotch and honey, rye and wood spices, and a light dab of vanilla all meld together and with a simple ice-cube added the whisky is delicious. There is polish in evidence here, but a little rough and tumble too, as the wood spices liven the mouth-feel and take me back in time to when rye was the King of Canadian Spirits. Touches of almond and orange marmalade complete the flavour profile …”
“… As I take the first sip, the first impression I have is of a softly sweet vanilla and honey flavour accented by grain spice and light butterscotch. The astringency I noted on the nose has not manifested itself across the palate. I taste similar whispers of oak flavour and rye flavours which beguiled me six years ago. Although the whisky is very vodka-like, it does have a light whisky character.
“… The spirit begins its traverse through the mouth with initial flavours of butterscotch toffee and sour fermented fruit. There is a nice spicy rye flavour rolling through which is chased across the palate by flavours of corn and dark spicy tobacco. Some fresh oak and cedar (more oak than cedar) appears carried forward with a dabble of sweetish honeycomb ..”
“… A clean spicy rye is out in front carried by light oak and the combination delivers a wonderful mouth-feel full of what I can only term as old-time traditional Canadian Whisky flavour. In fact this might just be the closest that I have come to recapturing the Canadian Whisky flavour that I remember from my younger days. The rye livens the mouth with a light spice, and a nice soft punch of vanilla with a light accent of corn completes this nicely …”
Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 35 through 31, Chimo!
* You may follow my 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: 2016 Rum Howler Top 50, Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky Countdown, Collingwood, Highwood Whisky, Potter's Special Old, Reserve, Rich & Rare, Rum howler, Rye, Sazerac, White Owl Whisky | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#40 – #36)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2014
A Brass Bonanza served with Blanton’s Gold Edition
Blanton’s is a bourbon whiskey brand created by Sazerac and launched in 1984. The brand is named for Albert B. Blanton who worked at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for more than 50 years, and who apparently spent much of his time at the distillery promoting the traditions of handcrafted bourbon. Blanton’s claims to be the first modern whiskey designed and sold as a single barrel bourbon, and indeed the original brand name for the brand was “Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon”.
Blanton’s Gold Edition is produced from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley which is distilled to 140 proof and barreled at 125 proof. Each bottle of Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled from a single barrel (brought to 103 proof) after the whiskey has been chill filtered. Because even barrels which lie side by side in an aging warehouse (even though they may have exactly the same batch of distillate) will almost certainly age differently, there will be much potential for flavour variation between particular bottles of this Blanton’s bourbon. However, the general character of the whiskey should remain the same between bottlings as the master blender is selecting only those barrels which meet the particular flavour profile he is aiming for.
You may read my full review by clicking the following link excerpt:
“… The nose is very nice with honey, sap and wood spice rising into the breezes alongside subtle notes of Christmas cake (chocolate, raisins, dates and walnuts). There is a bit of an alcohol push along with a few grassy notes and some youthful astringency. As I let the glass sit I notice baking spices building (vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) in the air along with some baked apples and canned pears. There are also some nice sweet and spicy notes of pipe tobacco …”
Included in the review is a nice bar drink which mixed the Blanton’s Gold Edition with a few drops of bitters and a splash of ginger-ale. I called the resulting cocktail, the Brass Bonanza.
Please enjoy the review and the provided mixed drink recipe!
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Blanton's Gold Edition, Bourbon, Brass Bonanza, Cocktails, Review, Sazerac, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2014
According to the Sazerac website, their company is a direct result of the famous cocktail which bears the same name. It began in 1938 when Antoine Peychaud created a special drink for his guests to enjoy in the evenings at his apothecary in the French Quarter’s Royal Street. He would mix brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters for his guests. This special drink became quite popular and began to appear in the various coffee house’ establishments in New Orleans. One such establishment, the Sazerac Coffee House became so popular serving their version of the drink (made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils Brandy) that it became known as the Sazerac Cocktail.
The Sazerac website also tells me that their Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky is distilled in Canada and then aged patiently in hand-picked oak barrels. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. This brand is not available (as far as I know) in Canada, rather it is a brand produced exclusively for the American market.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… The Rich & Rare Reserve is lightly oily and/or creamy in the mouth with flavours of butterscotch, corn, and vanilla leading out on the palate. Some nice zesty spices ars present in the form of citrus zest, rye spice and hints of wood sap. Bits of tobacco and honeycomb are suggested as is a nice touch of maple syrup …
Included at the end of the review is a nice cocktail suitable for the Rich & Rare which I call the Iced Ruby Manhattan.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktail, Iced Ruby Manhattan, Rich & Rare, Sazerac, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 22, 2012
McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky was recently purchased by Sazerac Company, Inc. as part of a strategic investment in the Canadian Whisky marketplace. This brand has been around for a while now, although I believe that it was originally introduced as McGuiness Gold Tassel in the late 1960′s or perhaps the early 70′s. I remember the brand being quite popular in my youth. Young aficionados of the brand would collect the gold tassels that decorated the bottle and hang them like trophies from the rear view mirrors of their pick-up trucks (as you can tell, growing up in rural Alberta was a hoot).
The brand was changed to Silk Tassel many years ago, although there may have been a brief period when both a Silk Tassel and a Gold Tassel Whisky were available. (Just think of the decorating possibilities for those rear view mirrors.)
I was provided with a bottle of the Silk Tassel recently by the local distributor, Charton Hobbes, for the purpose of a review upon this website.
Here is an excerpt from that review:
“… The initial nose from the glass resembles a fruit-filled rye spice with some hints of almond and vanilla. There is a light presence of oak and citrus zest in the background and even a bit of dusty wooden granary and freshly baled straw… “
You may read the full review here:
And for these hot days we have been experiencing lately I have a new cocktail I call the Icy Breeze!
Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, McGuinness Silk Tassel, Sazerac, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: McGuinness Silk Tassel Canadian Whisky