Review: Sortilège Prestige 82/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on October 13, 2013
Sortilège Prestige is a Canadian Whisky based liqueur produced by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits in Montreal, Canada. According to the Sortilège website the product is handcrafted in small batches by combining Canada #1 – Extra Clear Maple Syrup (only available at the first thaw) with a 7 Year Old – 100 % Rye Grain Canadian Whisky. The final product is bottled at 40.9% alcohol by volume and is considered by the producer to be a more premium version of their Sortilège Original.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
To the left is pictured the squat bottle the Sortilège Prestige arrives in. The bottle and the labeling are attractive and the overall look projects a welcome masculine presence on my whisky shelf.
In the Glass 8/10
The flavoured whisky is somewhat ‘thickened’ in my glass displaying a rich brown mahogany/copper colour that actually reminds me of dark maple syrup. The aroma from the glass is very reminiscent of the previously reviewed Sortilège Original, although there is perhaps a stronger push of maple into the breezes above the glass due to the higher alcohol content (40.9% vs 30 %) of the Prestige.
Initially, the maple impressions seem to drown out the sandalwood and oak spices typical of Canadian Rye Grain Whisky. Given a little time in the glass however, the spicy character of Canadian Rye whisky begins to push through the maple and assert itself into the air above the glass.
In the Mouth 49/60
The Sortilège Maple Liqueur displays a hint of syrupy thickness on the tongue, and is very much on the sweet side of the fence just as was its sibling, the Sortilège Original. Again, it is the maple flavours which come through most strongly on the palate. There is only a very light spiciness of rye and hints of oak apparent with an undefinable ‘roughness’ traversing across the palate in their stead.
Tasting the Original, side by side with the Prestige, I am finding myself liking the younger sibling just a little better as it is smoother and easier to sip. The Prestige seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. The rye flavours of the base 7 Year Old Canadian Whisky are to an extent bludgeoned into submission by the maple, and this seems to lead to that undefined roughness I identified earlier. Within that roughness, it is hard to find the flavour and character of the rye and oak spice.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The finish is long as the syrupy consistency of the maple liqueur coats the palate and the throat. That undefined roughness seems to push through to the end of the taste experience. Happily, I notice a touch of ginger spice appearing within the lingering maple flavour.
The Afterburn 8/10
Sortilège Prestige turned out to be a minor disappointment for me. I believe this is more an opinion based upon style than upon substance; but I found I was expecting more than what I received while I was tasting the Prestige. It lacks the suave smoothness of its younger sibling. I found I preferred the younger sibling (Sortilège Original) which seems to be a more rounded whisky liqueur that provided me a more enjoyable sipping experience.
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (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)