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Posts Tagged ‘Single Malt Whisky’

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic Releases

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 29, 2020

In 2009, the folks at Yukon Brewing decided that it was time to expand their horizons, and so they grabbed a still, formed the Yukon Spirits Company, and began to make whisky. When I first learned about this several years ago I was a little surprised. The Yukon is quite a ways north and it is not a place where you would naturally think of folks making beer, let alone whisky. Then again it just might have been the perfect place for both the start-up beer and spirits companies. You see up in the North, they like to support one another, and it wasn’t long before Yukon Brewing and Yukon Spirits were doing a nice business supplying northern communities.

A few years ago I reviewed  Yukon Brewers Classic Single Malt Release No. 1 (here),  Today I am revisiting their Classic Releases by taking a look at their recent Classic Releases No. 13 and No. 16. I tasted both Single Malts recently and found that my scores were very similar between the two drams. So rather than writing two reviews, I felt one review covering both releases was sufficient. The tasting notes included here are for Release No. 13, but the scores for Release No. 16 would be similar.

Here is my review:

Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic Releases:

“… The initial nose is honeyed with obvious aromas of vanilla, almond and malt barley. Some oak spices begin to build (I believe both releases of the whisky are about 4 years old) with fine spices and impressions of dusty straw and chaff …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a cocktail suggestion for you enjoyment, Norther Aurora.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic Releases

Glenlivet 12 vs Centennial Canadian Rye vs Maker’s Mark

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2020

Yesterday I shared the results of my New Year’s Eve – Rum Tasting which I hosted for several of my friends on the eve of the new decade. After the Rum Tasting, and just after the turn of the decade I followed up with a whisky tasting. The three spirits I chose to share were The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Single Malt, Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky from Highwood Distillers, and Maker’s Mark, a bourbon from Beam-Suntory.

My second Spirit Tasting on New Year’s Eve featured 3 different whisky styles from 3 different countries.

Just as I had done with my previous rum tasting, the Whisky Tasting was planned to feature three different styles of whisky not with the aim of demonstrating one style was better than the other, but with the purpose of helping my friends discover which style they might appreciate the most.

The Glenlivet Distillery is located near Ballindalloch in Moray, Scotland. The distillery was founded in 1824. It remained open during the first World War as well as and through the Great Depression with its only closure during World War II. The Glenlivet brand is owned by the French conglomerate Pernod Ricard, and has grown to be largest selling single malt whisky in North America and the second largest selling single malt whisky globally. The Glenlivet 12 Year Old is the flagship whisky in the Glenlivet core line-up.

According to the Glenlivet website:

Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky it’s distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.

All Scottish Single Malt Whiskies are distilled upon traditional Alembic Pot Stills.

The Highwood Distillery is the only large locally (Albertan) owned distillery in Canada. It is also the only privately owned major distillery in Canada. the facility sits in the heart of the High River community, producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Canadian Whisky each year.

Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky is somewhat unique in Canada, as rather than using corn as the base grain for this whisky, Centennial uses soft Canadian winter wheat and rye. This gives the Centennial brand a smooth and soft flavour profile which I have found is unlike any other Canadian whisky. In fact, using grains grown exclusively on the Canadian prairies, distilling the grain in their home Province of Alberta, and aging the spirit in the severe Western Canadian climate makes Centennial is a Whisky unlike any other in the world.

Highwood produces all of their whiskies in a batch style using their unique pot still which if you have a look at my write up (see here) you can see is a sort of Kettle Pot rather than an Alembic Pot which is more typical of the Scottish Distilleries.

Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky brand distilled in Loretto, Kentucky, and owned by Beam Global. Bill Samuels Sr. is credited with creating the first version of Maker’s Mark in 1954, and the folks at the Maker’s Mark Distillery have been producing this whiskey since 1958.

The process of producing the bourbon begins with pure limestone fed spring-water, yellow corn, red winter wheat, and natural malted barley (note the absence of rye grain which was replaced by red winter wheat in the mash bill). It continues with a unique milling, cooking, fermentation and small batch distillation process; and it ends with the spirit being aged in new oak barrels.

As you can see each whisky is quite different. One is pot distilled Single Malt (malted barley grain) from Scotland, one is a batch distilled Canadian Whisky distilled on a Kettle Pot from Wheat and Rye, and the last is a bourbon distilled predominantly from corn and bottled in small batches from less than 20 barrels each. The Glenlivet, and Centennial brands are matured in re-used American Oak Barrels and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume whereas Makers Mark is matured in new Oak Barrels and bottled at 45 % abv.

For this tasting I had only 5 participants (6 including myself), and the results were quite surprising. Four of us preferred the light style of Centennial, 2 preferred the smooth but complex Glenlivet, and although a few persons had the Maker’s Mark ranked 2nd, nobody had it ranked first. The sentiment seemed to be that the Marker’s Mark Whiskey was much harsher and not as easy to sip as the other two choices. Some felt that the ‘new barrel taste’ would take some getting used to as well.

The common refrain around the table was that the Centennial was incredibly smooth, yet carried a very appealing full flavour of Canadian Rye. A few said that it was the first Canadian Whisky that they felt they could sip easily and enjoy. It was the smoothness of The Glenlivet 12 Year Old that won over a few fans as well. Those who preferred the Centennial felt that the Canadian Whisky offered more character. “It’s kind of like the character has been blended away” one of my guests said of The Glenlivet.

An interesting note, is that (in my market anyway) the Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky ($29.95) is about half the price of The Glenlivet ($59.95), and a full 12 dollars a bottle less expensive than the Maker’s Mark ($42.95). Again (as with my New Year’s Eve – Rum Tasting) the sample size of participants was much too small to make any definitive conclusions; but it appears that one does not have to break the bank to taste good whisky in Alberta.

Chimo Everyone!

 

 

 

Posted in Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Glenlivet 12 vs Centennial Canadian Rye vs Maker’s Mark

#Top100CanadianWhisky #44: Pemberton Valley Organic Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 10, 2017

The Pemberton Distillery is located in the heart of the Coast Mountains, an area known for its massive ice caps and pure glacial streams. The Master Distiller, Tyler Schramm, studied a Masters of Science in Brewing & Distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

They distill in small batches using a hand-operated copper pot still, and the entire distillation is performed by Tyler Schramm, who is continuously testing and sampling the distillate for quality.

All that care and attention which the distillery displayed in producing their organic vodka has also been turned towards their production of Single Malt Whisky. According to the Pemberton Distillery website the spirit is:

” A true West Coast style single malt Whisky. Pot distilled in small batches from organic BC malted barley …”

Here is a link to the review of the Rum Howler #44 Canadian Whisky of 2017:

Review: Pemberton Valley Organic Single Malt Whisky

“… My first impression was of warm buttermilk porridge with firm nutty smells of barley wafting upwards. There is a leather-like impression which reminds me of burlap, and hints of sweetness which seem like graham wafers dipped in cane syrup …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding Single Malt Whisky which includes a my recipe recommendation, Provenance.

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, 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:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #Top100CanadianWhisky #44: Pemberton Valley Organic Single Malt Whisky

#77 Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 8, 2017

In 2009, the folks at Yukon Brewing decided that it was time to expand their horizons, and so they grabbed a still, formed the Yukon Spirits Company, and began to make whisky. When I fist learned about this a few years ago I was a little surprised. The Yukon is quite a ways north and it is not a place where you would naturally think of folks making beer, let alone whisky. Then again it just might have been the perfect place for both the start-up beer and spirits companies. You see up in the North, they like to support one another, and it wasn’t long before Yukon Brewing and Yukon Spirits were doing a nice business supplying northern communities.

I don’t profess to know anything about beer (I really don’t like the stuff), but once you throw the beer through a still and age it in an oak barrel, an amazing the transformation takes place. The spirit that is created, whisky, is right up my alley.

Here is my link to the #77 Canadian Whisky on my Countdown of the 100 Best of 2017:

Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic

“… There is great promise here as all that lovely complexity which was noted in the breezes above the glass comes through in spades as the whisky slides across the palate. We can sip this, with ice or a dash of cold water, and when we do nice chocolate flavours are squeezed out and they join the nutty barley, the oak spice ..”

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Note: As indicated earlier, I will not be creating a posting for every whisky in my countdown on this website; but I am going to try to highlight every Canadian spirit that I have not reviewed previously.

To follow the countdown list on a daily basis, 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:

The Rum Howler – Top 100 Canadian Whiskies of 2017

The Reveal Page will be updated at least weekly through September, October and November and then daily in December.

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Single Malt Whisky | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #77 Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic

Beyond Islay: Part 7 – Ledaig 18 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2017

ledaig-18yoIt is back to the Isle of Mull for the finale of my Beyond Islay Single Malt Whisky review series. The series of reviews has been based upon 7 different Single Malt Whiskies I taste at the Beyond Islay tasting event hosted by Ryan Engen who is the Director of Spirits, for Liquor Stores N.A. Inc. at the Edmonton Wine and Beyond McTagggert Ridge location. At the tasting,Ryan had selected Single Malt Whiskies which represented the diversity of Scotland’s Island Whiskies produced on the lesser known Scottish Islands.

As indicated, Ledaig is produced at the Tobermory Distillery upon the Isle of Mull. The peated spirit was matured for 18 years in oak casks and then finished in ex-Sherry casks.

Here is a link to my review:

Beyond Islay: Part 7 – Ledaig 18 Year Old:

“… The breezes above the glass carried a complex aroma with peat smoke entwined with sherry-like scents of cherry licorice and raisins. Baking spices came forward with rum-like dark brown sugar mixed with vanilla and bits of cinnamon and clove. The peaty scents were somewhat pungent as organic boggy smells mixed with oily phenols, licorice root and menthol …”

Please enjoy my review which ends with a short cocktail, What Rough Beast.

Chimo!

 

 

 

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Beyond Islay: Part 7 – Ledaig 18 Year Old

 
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