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Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated

Review: Review: Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated   (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted On October 09, 2017

In 2009, the folks at Yukon Brewing decided that it was time to expand their horizons, and so they formed a sister company called Yukon Spirits, grabbed a still and began to make whisky. My understanding is that they make three basic expressions, a Classic Single Malt Whisky, a Peated Single Malt Whisky, and what they call their Two Brewers Single Malt Whisky (Special Finishes). Each expression will apparently vary over time as their whisky barrels season and are re-used.

This is the review for the Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt – Peated Whisky. It carries no age statement and is bottled at 46 % alcohol by volume. I encountered this whisky when performing my duties as a judge for the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards. From the tasting notes and scores I generated (a blind series of tastings where I knew the sample as only a number), as well as from a final tasting session after the reveal, I cobbled this review.

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 there on the green band. Well Done!

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

My notes from the blind tasting sessions for the spirit in the glass were as follows:

Nose:  Musty with hints of organic peat.  Crème de fresh, buttermilk and further hints of chocolate with wood spice and butterscotch … 

By crème de fresh, I meant an aroma of milk just as it going sour (not sour yet) and this ties into the buttermilk impression. I remember being happy that the peat was not overdone as I could still glean a nice whisky aroma beside the peat.

In the Mouth 49.5/60

I can indeed taste that nice whisky alongside the peat. My tasting notes from my blind tasting session were as follows:

Tastes more like a lightly peated scotch malt than a Canadian Whisky. Malt flavours, light milk chocolate and bits of must. Fish oil, and bits of menthol.

I didn’t know the whisky was a Single Malt at the time; but you can see from the notes that I was certainly persuaded in that direction. When I tasted it one final time, I noticed that the fine oak spice was firm which helps to balance the influence of the peat.

In the Throat 12/15

Again here are my tasting notes from my blind judging sessions:

Smooth, and sort of like a very light Bowmore with organic peat and hints of phenols …

Tasting it later I think that those notes are just about bang on. There is some heat in the exit but not enough to cause me concern.

The Afterburn 8/10

I wrote this additional notation in my tasting notes.

Can’t help but think that the peatiness I am smelling and tasting has more to do with the complexity than the whisky itself.

I often feel this way about peated whiskies. Is the peat there to cover over a mediocre whisky, or is it there to support a good whisky?

Tasting the dram one more time without the confusion of tasting flights (I was scoring five whiskies per day as whisky judge) I feel that we are more towards the latter than the former. That is, I think that there is a good whisky under the peat. The peat flavour though is not quite melded into the whisky yet (a few more years of aging perhaps) which is why my score is not higher.

Having said that, Yukon Spirits has just began to bottle their whiskies within the past year or two. Considering the youth of the distillery, I think they are doing a fantastic job.

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

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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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