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Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky

Review: Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky (89/100)
a Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on October 3, 2019

Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky is a product of Bearface Spirits (owned by Mark Anthony Wine and Spirits).

The company does not have its own distillery for making whisky so to make their Bearface brand they begin by sourcing a mature 7-year-old Canadian single grain whisky which was aged in in ex-bourbon American oak casks. The mature whisky was then transported 4000 miles across Canada to Mission Hill British Columbia to placed in red wine soaked French oak casks for a first period of finishing. The whisky was then finished for a second time in virgin Hungarian Oak.

Bearface is bottled at 42.5 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Bearface is sold in the medium-tall somewhat stout whisky bottle shown to the left. The closure is corked which elevates the look of the spirit on the whisky shelf as does the bear claw scratch pattern on the face (which serves the duel purpose of making the bottle easier to grab and hold.

I like that the neck is mid-length which make sthe spirit easy to pour. Too many of these stubby bottles have a short stubby neck which cause the whisky to tumble out earlier than you expect and often results is s little spillage.

Labeling is kept simple, which is a great idea as this helps to accentuate the bear claw scratch pattern which actually encroaches on the white label.

In the Glass 9/10

The whisky has a nice copper colour in the glass which is probably more of a reflection of the red wine enhancement, than it is of seven years of oak aging. When tilted and twirled the whisky shows us slender legs falling back to the bottom of the glass.

The initial aroma is rich with  maple and butterscotch scents accompanied by fruity rye, canned fruit vanilla and baking spice. As the glass sits oak spice builds melding into the aroma which creates the impression of a yummy whisky elixir within the glass.

After the tasting session was over I nosed the empty glass. Dusty rye notes poured out accompanied by wisps of red licorice.  The red wine enhancement is not obvious, it is more of a light accent which elevates the spirit while allowing the classic Canadian Whisky profile to shine through.

In The Mouth 53.5/60

The whisky enters the mouth with that signature push of rye and wood spice Canadian Whisky enthusiasts have come to love. The flavour was well represented by the nose as I taste a light sweetness of maple and butterscotch combined with fruity rye and canned fruit (peaches and apricots). Vanilla and bits of baking spice (cinnamon and clove) are present and together with the wood spice they serve to liven the mouth feel.

As I sip I begin to notice hints of chocolate, and perhaps a few wisps of red licorice. The impact of the oak has increased and perhaps I taste a touch of marzipan developing as well. Franky this is easy to sip and very enjoyable especially with a touch of ice which brings more of that chocolate into focus.

In The Throat: 13/15

The whisky is medium bodied which gives it a little length in the finish. I taste chocolate and oak spice as I swallow the Bearface with baking spice and chocolate lingering afterwards.

The Afterburn 9/10

I taste this whisky blind about a year ago when I was judging over 100 spirits as part of my duties as juror for the 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards. I earmarked the sample as one I wanted to return to. It tasted to me like a classic Canadian Whisky with just something a little extra which made it perhaps more complex and engaging. I learned later that this was the impact of the double finish the spirit received in red wine soaked barrels and virgin Hungarian Oak.  I think what I like best is that the producers of the whisky did not try to overdo things. The enhancement is subtle which as I stated earlier elevates rather than diminishes the classic Canadian Whisky profile of the underlying 7 year old spirit.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipe

SAM_0777 Rye SplashCanadian Whisky Splash

2 oz Bearface Triple Oak
2 or 3 Large Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale
Slice of Lemon

Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the Whisky over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale
Garnish with a lemon slice

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)



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