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Posts Tagged ‘Whisky’

Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #22 – Ninety 5 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016

Just before the massive disruption caused by flooding during the summer of 2013 in Southern Alberta, Highwood Distillers released a limited quantity of their new “Ninety” branded whiskies under their Century Distillers banner. The news of these whisky releases was unfortunately drowned out (quite literally) by the waters that engulfed Southern Alberta. If you followed the news regarding the aftermath of the flood (see story here) you will know that it took more than a few weeks for the company to bring itself back onto its feet. In fact, all of the bottled inventory in Highwood’s warehouse had to be destroyed due to potential contamination from the water that penetrated the distillery.

ninety-5-sam_0928An unfortunate victim of all this disruption was those “Ninety” branded whiskies which temporarily disappeared from liquor store shelves as Highwood had to suspend production of this new brand in order to focus on re-establishing their other major brands across Canada. Fortunately for everyone, the brand was re-established a 5 and a 20 Year Old version.

Here is a link to my review of the number 22 spirit on my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#22: Ninety 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… As the glass breathes, the wood spice and corn each seem to build with equal intensity. Although the mouth becomes heated with impressions of citrus zest, ginger and spice; the whisky remains soft and sippable with the underlying sweetness of corn and butterscotch providing a perfect complement to the spice …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues on tomorrow with the number 21 Canadian Whisky. Chimo!

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* You may follow my Canadian Whisky Countdown by bookmarking this link:

The Rum Howler – Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2016

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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: #22 – Ninety 5 Year Old

Run Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #23 – Crown Royal XO

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016Crown Royal® recently made an addition to its portfolio of Canadian Whiskies (January 16, 2014)) with the introduction of Crown Royal XO, which they have promoted as an “ultra-premium blended Canadian whisky”.  The whisky was crafted by Crown Royal Master Blender, Andrew MacKay and according to the fact sheet I was sent, it is a blend of more than 50 of Crown Royal’s finest whiskies which are finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest.

According to Mr. MacKay:

sam_2662“The ultra-premium nature of Crown Royal XO and the smoothness of the liquid can be attributed to the handcrafted approach we took while creating the unique blend. We’re looking forward to sharing this special blend with adults across the country and encourage them to incorporate it into their celebrations of extraordinary moments and events.”

Here is a link to my review of the number 23 spirit on my Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

#23: Crown Royal XO

“… As the glass sat I began to sense some of that typically punky Crown Royal sweet corn aroma along with a few slightly musty ripe corn cobs alongside some spicy grain. I searched for an indication of the Cognac Cask enhancement and found a few apple scents wandering in the air and some very light indications of dry raisins …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues  tomorrow with the number 22 Canadian Whisky. Chimo!

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* 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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Run Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #23 – Crown Royal XO

2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #24 – Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867 F)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016In 2010 Forty Creek Whisky introduced Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky. What made this whisky unique was that it had been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (The birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name Confederation Oak.

SAM_2635It has been 6 years since Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky was first released over that time the spirit has become one of the staple whiskies in the Forty Creek Whisky family. Each year a new batch is produced, and when I recently received a bottle from the newest batch (Lot 1867F), I decided to revisit the spirit to see how it has changed.

Here is a link to my review with the new scoring for this whisky:

#24 – Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867 F)

“… This time the breezes bring me more obvious scents butterscotch and maple syrup. Rye notes (and the tempered wood spices) are melded within this light sweetness. As the glass breathes, I notice a bit of a bourbon flair with indications of corn whisky, vanilla, almond, honeycomb and damp tobacco all apparent as well in the air above the glass …”

Stay tuned as the countdown continues tomorrow with the number 23 Canadian Whisky. Chimo!

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* 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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown: #24 – Forty Creek Confederation Oak (Lot 1867 F)

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016One 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:

gibsons-12-sam_2683#35  Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old

“… 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 …”

Legacy Small Batch SAM_1656#34)  Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky (Sazerac)

“… 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 …”

CC Sherry Cask#33)  Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask

“… 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 …”

sam_2652#32)  Tangle Ridge (Bourbon Casked) Canadian 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 …”

 

ccr-9yr#31)  Canadian Club Reserve (9 Year Old)

“… 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 …”

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Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 30 through 26, Chimo!

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* 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: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#35 – #31)

The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#50 – #46)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 20, 2016

rum-howler-top-50-2016

In compiling my list this year, I gathered as many of the newly bottled Canadian Whiskies as I could. This included both new brands as well as many of the whiskies which I had tasted and reviewed previously. I included all sample bottles I had received in 2015 and 2016 as well as many purchases from my private collection; however, I did not include any samples from brands which had been discontinued. I also re-scored and revised the tasting notes (and introductions when I felt the old information was no longer valid) for many of my published reviews.

This means that this year’s Top Canadian Whiskies of 2016 list and the reviews of each spirit accurately reflect how each of the various brands taste now, not how they may have scored and tasted several years ago. The list is also the most comprehensive year-end list I have ever completed for the Canadian Whisky category.

As always, I present my year-end list in reverse order. The first 25 Whiskies (#50 thru to #26) will be revealed five at a time, and then #25 thru to #1 will be revealed individually throughout the month of December. Let the Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies begin:

canadian-mist-sam_2810#50  Canadian Mist    

” …. the corn appears to have melded into the wood spice with ripe grain, orange peel and butterscotch providing a nice accent. There also a light mustiness weaving through the air which reminds me of the smell of dry con husks. As the glass breathes some more I also notice some light bourbon notes building along with a nice accent of vanilla and almond …”

canadian-club-premium-sam_2653#49  Canadian Club Premium Canadian Whisky   

“… Canadian Club as a brand, has one the most aggressive flavour profiles in the Canadian Whisky Category. There is a dank, organic, sour mash flavour which runs through the whisky. As well, the whisky is full of damp tobacco and fermenting fruit flavours. The spirit is spicy too, with oak tannins disguised as orange peel zest and rye spices heating up the mouth. Caramel flavours seep in and out as does an impression of vanilla …”

sterling-sam_2684# 48   Gibson’s Finest Sterling Whisky   

“… The whisky leads out with rye spices and ginger but underneath those spices is that same light butterscotch I noticed in the aroma. If I let the glass decant, I begin to taste a light whisper of corn and a few baking spices working their way into the flavour profile. The spices are more firm across the palate than they were on the nose especially orange peel, ginger and cardamom …”

J.P. Wiser's Double Still Rye SAM_2618#47   J.P Wiser’s Double Still Rye  

“… The scents above the glass bring me a nice menagerie of different whisky smells. Butterscotch is melded into oak spice with a light but firm impression of pot distilled rye lurking in the breezes as well. Bits of cocoa reveal themselves as do some baking spices in the form of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. There is also a light but firm astringency rising into the air warning me that the whisky may have a bit of youthful exuberance …”

Revelstoke SAM_2621#46   Revel Stoke Deluxe Canadian Whisky  

“… The flavour of the whisky leads out with a lightly sweet impression of toffee alongside both bitter and spicy rye grain. The mouthfeel is soft, however the whisky has plenty of wood spice to both heat and pucker the palate between sips.  This is a dusty dry whisky, and as I sip, impressions of ripened grain fields and dry grassy hay lands both find their way into my consciousness. There is a touch of vanilla and a hint of cinnamon in the flavour profile as well and perhaps also just a light indication of menthol …”

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Please enjoy my Countdown of the Best Canadian Whiskies of 2016. Stay Tuned for numbers 45 through 41, Chimo!

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* 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: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler 2016 Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown (#50 – #46)

Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2016

sherry-cask-lasanta-sam_2868The Glenmorangie Distillery was officially licensed to produce whisky in 1843 (how long the distillery was unofficial is unknown to me). Glenmorangie, from the beginning, established a tradition of innovation beginning with the construction of tall gin styled stills which would be used to distill their whisky rather than the traditional shorter onion shaped stills in use at the time. They were also amongst the first distilleries to use American oak for maturing their whisky, and in the early 1990’s they were at the forefront of the new style of ‘extra matured’ whiskies which are finished (or perhaps we can say flavoured) by spending time in used wine barrels. (I suggest flavoured because these used wine barrels rarely impart any oak into the whisky, and the primary result of their use is to impart some of the previously held wine’s flavour into the whisky.) The core range of Glenmorangie includes three of these unique extra matured whiskies, the Sherry cask Finish Lasanta, which is a Sherry finished whisky, the Nector D’or, which has a Sauternes wine finish, and the Quinta Ruban, which has a Ruby Port Finish.

Recently the Lasanta received a bit of a make-over from the distillery. Previously the expression was branded Glenmorangie the Lasanta, and to produce the whisky the distillery began with a spirit very similar to their Glenmorangie Original (a ten-year old spirit matured in first and second fill bourbon barrels) which was finished or extra matured in Spanish Olorosso Sherry Casks. The new Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Lasanta on the other hand carries a full 12 Year Old age statement in clear view, and this spirit is extra matured for the two final years in a combination of  Olorosso and PX Sherry Casks.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

“… The initial aroma in the breezes carries obvious scents of dry raisins and dates. It is also oak filled with assertive wood spice, and it is stained with coca and cola.Taking my time with the glass I notice a few citrus notes and building baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon) in the air as well …”

Please enjoy my review of the new Lasata expression from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Glenmorangie the Sherry Cask Finish Lasanta

Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2016

milsean-sam_2872Glenmorangie was among the first Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (sherry casks). This helped to change the taste profile of Scottish Whisky in a significant manner, and today ex bourbon barrels are use extensively alongside ex sherry casks in many Scottish distilleries. Then, in 1996, Glenmorangie introduced their wood finish range which began the distillery’s experimentation with a range of new wood finishes like port wood casks and wine barriques. Again, the industry followed suit, and now wine finishes have become common in the Single Malt industry. Once again Glenmorangie can claim credit for helping to extend the range of the Scottish whisky flavour profile.

Today Glenmorangie continues to extend the taste profile of their whisky with their annual Private Edition Range which features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. I was introduced to the newest (the seventh) of these Private Edition bottlings, Glenmorangie Milsean in an old-fashioned St. Louis Streetcar at the top of Edmonton’s High Level Bridge during a whisky tasting hosted by Glenmorangie’s global brand ambassador, Karen Fullerton.

Here is my Review:

Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

“… The initial breezes bring hints of butterscotch and maple that are quickly drowned out by oaky spice and nutty barley grain. There is a bit of leather and burlap giving the dram an earthiness which is quite pleasing.  As the glass sits, the wood and grain spices build up bringing more of that leathery earthiness forward as well as undertones of licorice root and Angelica …”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful new dram from Glenmorangie.

Chimo!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Glenmorangie Milsean Single Malt Whisky

Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2016

mt-logan-20-sam_2802The Mt. Logan whisky brand 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 of Mt. Logan Whisky 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. These whiskies are produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 kilometers south of Calgary).

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.

Here is a link to my full review of this new Canadian Whisky:

Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… 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 …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice recipe for an Old Fashioned Cocktail, Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 25, 2016

mt-logan-15-sam_2806

The Mt. Logan whisky brand 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.

The whisky itself is produced by Highwood Distillers who are located in High River, Alberta (about 40 Kilometers south of Calgary). According to the label on the back of the bottle, Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately.

When I discussed the brand with Ryan Engen, Director of Spirits, Liquor Stores N.A. Inc., he clarified for me. According to Ryan, the information from the distillery regarding the brand is that the 15 and the 20 Year Old Mt. Logan Whiskies are both 100% corn distillate aged in charred American white oak.

Here is a link to my review of this new Canadian Whisky

Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

“… it is tender corn that is the star within the breezes above the glass. Mild indications of butterscotch and vanilla join in with dusty dry oak spices building as the glass breathes. A kiss of rye spice meanders into the air and light touches of almond round out the nose which has an almost fragile quality …”

Please enjoy my review of this new Canadian Sipping Whisky.

Chimo!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Mt. Logan 15 Year Old Canadian Rye

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!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky

 
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