Sortilège (Canadian Whisky and Maple Liqueur)
Review: Sortilège (Canadian Whisky and Maple Liqueur) 86/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on May 03, 2012
In Canada we are lucky. Maple is practically a national flavour. Even as far away from Maple Syrup Country as the Canadian Rockies (where certainly no maple trees grow) you will find bottles of real Canadian Maple Syrup for sale in all of the souvenir shops. We have another passion. We also love our Canadian Whisky. So it is not surprising that we have several brands of flavoured spirits which are based upon Canadian Whisky and Maple Syrup. Sortilège is one of these brands, and it has recently entered my marketplace here in Alberta.
This is a Canadian Whisky based liqueur produced by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits in Montreal, Canada. It is, of course, produced from Maple Syrup and Canadian Whisky. The product arrives in either a 375 ml or a 750 ml bottle and is sold at 30 % alcohol by volume. The bottle I am reviewing is the smaller 375 ml configuration, and it was given to me by the local rep for Mondia Alliance for the specific purpose of a review here on my website.
In the Bottle 4/5
To the left is pictured the tall bottle the Sortilège Maple Liqueur arrives in. I have seen these super slender bottles used for Canadian Icewines, and the look is very appealing. The labeling continues the theme of elegance, and my first impression is that something special must be inside the bottle.
(I admit that these very slender bottles have a downside. They tip over rather easily on the counter, and they require special higher than normal shelves to be inserted into my liquor cabinet. But once the adjustments are made, the look is great.)
In the Glass 8.5/10
The liquid is somewhat ‘thickened’ in my glass with that nice golden colour of maple syrup. As the glass sits the maple seems to weave in and out of the breezes dancing merrily with sandalwood and oak, always with the spicy smells of Canadian Rye Whisky bubbling through. The spiciness appeals to me as it reveals tantalizing glimpses of cinnamon, ginger and fruity rye spice.
In the Mouth 51.5/60
The Sortilège Maple Liqueur displays a bit of syrupy thickness on the tongue, and is very much on the sweet side of the fence which was what I was expecting. My hand written tasting notes contained descriptors like ‘sweet maple and butterscotch’, ‘light rye spices’, ‘cinnamon and ginger’, ‘sandalwood and cedar’, and the ‘weaving flavour of vanilla’.
Of course it is the maple flavours which come through most strongly on the palate. However, there is a light spiciness of rye and a gentle touch of oak which lie alongside that maple flavour making this an interesting liqueur to sip. I found the unexpectedly firm but gentle ‘oakiness’ gave the spirit more character than I was expecting to find. As an after dinner treat I think the Sortilège is top-notch, although I found I had to limit myself to just one small glass each night as the sweetness can become cloying if you over indulge.
In the Throat 13/15
As one would expect the finish is long as the syrupy consistency of the maple liqueur coats the palate and the throat. I like the lingering warmth of spices which serves to compliment the sweetness of the maple syrup in a very nice way.
The Afterburn 9/10
Sortilège is really very nice. I particularly liked how I could sense the firm imprint of Canadian Rye Whisky as well as a gentle oakiness in both the aroma and the flavour of the liqueur. Although the Sortilège can be enjoyed as an aperitif , I found I enjoyed it best when I sipped it neat as a dessert style drink after dinner.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Maple Leaf Smoothie
2 oz Sortilège
1 large scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
1/4 cup Cold Milk
Add everything into a blender.
Blend until smooth
My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit. 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 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)