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Rupert’s Exceptional Canadian Whisky

Review: Rupert’s Exceptional Canadian Whisky  (69/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted On April 29, 2022

Eau Claire Distillery opened as Alberta’s first craft distillery in the summer of 2014. The facility is located 35 minutes southwest of downtown Calgary in the picturesque Hamlet of Turner Valley. The name ‘Eau Claire’ has historical significance in Alberta, meaning ‘clear water’, and is representative of the clear water from the nearby Rocky Mountains that is used as the water source of the distillery.

The folks at Eau Claire pride themselves in sourcing locally farmed ingredients, including grains and potatoes from neighbouring farms. Each ingredient is secured from suppliers who are known and respected in Alberta’s agriculture profession. In addition to the direct from the farm suppliers, Eau Claire has a special connection to the land through its own, unique stable of plough horses. Horse farmed grain is a part of the Eau Claire story and culture. It was founder David Farran’s weekend pursuit of traditional horse farming that led him to establish Eau Claire in the first place. A number of the distillery’s products have been made with ‘horse farmed grain’ using agricultural methods dating back to the settlement of Alberta.

In the Bottle 4/5

The presentation for Rupert’s Exceptional Canadian Whisky is shown to the left. We have a somewhat tall, somewhat squat clear bottle with a slightly bubbled long neck, and a synthetic cork closure. The front label is attractive and provides the standard information including the fact that this whisky is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.  The Back label while not as decorative does provide us with brief tasting notes, some anecdotal information regarding the brand, as well as the address of the distillery.

In The Glass 7.5/10

Colour: Pale Straw

Legs: Thin

Nose: Fine oak spices with hints of butterscotch, mild vanilla and almond.  Light baking spices in the form of ginger, nutmeg and orange peel begin to climb up, and perhaps we have a few indication of banana as well.

In The Mouth 40/60

The first sip reveals more complexity than was indicated on the nose, however the whisky’s flavour profile doesn’t make sense to me. I taste the pungent impact of nutmeg, as well as a disconcerting and metallic bitterness as if off flavours from the distillation have made it through to the final bottling.These two impressions seem to dominate the flavour ambushing the lighter flavours of vanilla, butterscotch and almond. The result is an unbalanced flavour profile which frankly, I do not like very much. I tired adding ice to the glass, but this only increased the bitterness of the whisky.  When I added ginger ale, it helped some, but I was reluctant to finish my sample especially as I had many better whiskies calling to me from my whisky shelf. I found this a hard whisky to return to.

In The Throat  10.5/15

The whisky is light bodied. The finish carries a little burn after the swallow which is alleviated by a mild butterscotch sweetness. However this is thwarted by a dank sort of bitterness in the exit which appears to stem from those that impression of overt nutmeg in the delivery.

The Afterburn  7/10

I was very disappointed with my sample bottle of Rupert’s Exceptional Canadian Whisky. The flavour profile is unbalanced towards bitterness and pungency, which neither ice nor soda fully alleviates.

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

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Suggested Serving:

Canadian Cooler

1 1/2 oz Rupert’s Exceptional Canadian Whisky
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/8 oz Lemon Juice
dash of bitters
3/8 oz Simple Syrup

Ice
Ginger Ale

Pour the whisky, the lemon juice, and the simple syrup into a metal shaker
Add a dash of bitters
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts.
Strain into an ice-filled glass.
Top with Ginger-ale
If desired garnish with a slice of lemon or lime

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!

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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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