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Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Review: Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky  86/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published October 15, 2016

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, and is exclusive to Liquor Depot and Wine & Beyond stores in Western Canada.

The whisky itself is distilled and blended 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 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie rye and wheat grain in a batch style distillation with each grains distilled and aged separately. The whiskies are aged for at least five years in charred American white oak barrels (without the addition of additives) and when they are mature, they are blended to produce that distinctive Canadian ‘rye’ flavour profile consistent with our Canadian Whisky.

The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

mt-logan-5-sam_2807In the Bottle  5/5

Mt. Logan 5 Year old Canadian Rye Whisky arrives in a squat jug-like whisky bottle with a medium long neck and solid cork topper. I like these slightly heavy squat bottles as they seem to imply substance when they sit on my bar shelf. They do not tip easily, and they also follow the bartenders creed being easy to hold, easy to pour and easy to store.

I also appreciate that the brand owner has decided to pay homage to a great Canadian landmark. For those who do not know, Mt. Logan (the highest Mountain in Canada) was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, the Canadian founder of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). Rather than being part of the Rocky Mountain Range, it is located within Kluane National Park and Reserve in southwestern Yukon. Drawing attention to this majestic Canadian landmark is a very positive aspect of the whisky presentation.

In the Glass  8.5/10

Once poured into the glass, I see a light oily sheen on the sides of my glass after I swirl it. Moderately fat legs are released which trickle back into the whisky. This is an indication of an oily texture which should provide a nice mouth feel and a long finish.

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 which perhaps still carried bourbon flavours within their fibers. Hints of almond round out the nose which to me is very appealing. The whisky is not a master of complexity, but it appears to be well-balanced and pleasant to nose.

In the Mouth 51/60

Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is surprisingly smooth for a five-year old spirit. Butterscotch and honey, rye and wood spices, and a light dab of vanilla all meld together across the palate accompanied by an appealing spiciness. There is an underlying almond-like flavour, hints of orange peel, and light impressions of grassy tobacco. Touches of corn add a light sweetness which completes the flavour profile.

The Whisky is smooth enough to sip without ice; however I found a well place cube brought forward some lovely milk chocolate flavours which were absent before. Although sipping is very nice, the whisky is obviously meant to be mixed, and in fact, it takes to ginger-ale in a very big way (see recipe below). But we need not stop there, the whisky is also suitable for classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. (See my recipe for a Whisky Sour down below)

In the Throat 13/15

The whisky has a short, crisp finish with flavours rye grain and wood spice. Although the whisky itself is smooth, the kick of spice felt across my tonsils reminds us that we are drinking rye whisky which is meant to carry just a little heat. Ebbing vanilla and butterscotch flavours compliment the spice beautifully.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky is a very nice addition to the Canadian Whisky landscape.  The relative smoothness provided by the wheat grain underpins the Highwood style, and I enjoyed the polish that this whisky demonstrated.

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


Suggested Recipes

mt-logan-splashHere is a cocktail which works well with any good Canadian Rye Whisky.

Canadian Rye Splash

2 oz Mt. Logan 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky
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
Enjoy Responsibly!


whisky-sour-sam_2823Here is another great suggestion, the Whisky Sour:

The Whisky Sour

2 oz Mt. Logan % Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 Ratio)
dash Soda Water (optional)
Lemon Peel

Add the first three ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a small rocks glass.
If you wish to lengthen the serving add a splash of soda water
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

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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