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Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic

Review: Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Classic   (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted 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. And whisky from Canada is my favourite kind. So I was looking forward for a chance to taste the spirits from the north.

I got my chance when I was acting as a judge for the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards. Although I tasted the samples in a blind format, I wrote brief tasting notes on most of them over the course of the four weeks when I did my tasting sessions. After the judging was over, and the awards had been presented, Davin De Kergommeaux (The Organizer and Head Judge) revealed which whiskies were represented by which sample numbers. According to my score sheet, the spirits from the North were quite tasty.

So this review is cobbled together from my scoring notes and from one last tasting session I completed using the small amount of whisky that was left from my small whisky sample.

This is the Two Brewers Classic Single Malt Whisky from Yukon Spirits.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

As you can see from the bottle shot to the left, the folks at Yukon Spirits do a fine job with their whisky presentation, A corked bottle with a mid-length neck (for easy pouring) and a fine-looking stubby bottle. The labeling looks smart and attractive, and rudimentary tasting notes are right on the orange band to guide the consumer. Well Done!

(Note: Bottled at 46 % abv.)

In the Glass 8/10

When poured into my glencairn, the whisky displays itself as an amber coloured spirit. When I tilt and twirl my glass I see a slightly thickened liquid sheen on the inside which slowly releases a multitude of leglets which turn to slender legs which run back down to the whisky at the bottom of the glass.

The breezes above the glass are full of dusty woodspice, oak, burlap, nutty barley (almond and hazelnut), with bits of  baking  spice and hints of sour fruit. There are some nice herbal tones which leads me to believe that still Yukon Spirits is working with is capable of producing similar flavours to that of a Copper Pot Still.

The dram shows nice complexity which I appreciate; however there is also a some unwanted astringency due in part to the high bottling proof (46 % abv.) and what seems to be a brash youthfulness.

In the Mouth 50/60

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. The brashness of youth and a little alcohol bite comes across as well which prevents me from bring the score up into a higher sipping range. 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. The whisky is quite fruity as well with impressions of canned apricots and a squeal of orange peel. Those herbal notes come though the palate as well as bits of heather and mint.

I wish I had enough whisky to make a cocktail, I think a julep style cocktail with fresh mint would taste lovely.

In The Throat 11/15

The whisky is perhaps just a little thin in the finish with a burst of spice followed by trailing flavours of butterscotch and touches of herb and menthol. There is a more of that unwanted burn reminding me that the whisky is young and high proof.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The score may not be in the stratosphere (the whisky is young after all), but this dram shows oodles of promise. I would be very interested in returning each year to see how the Classic Single Malt from Yukon Brewing progresses.

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

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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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