Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 3, 2013
I consider the Highwood Distillery to be a rather unique whisky producer making a style of Canadian Whisky unlike anything else on the Canadian Whisky landscape. What is so original about the Highwood Whisky is the grain from which it is distilled. Highwood is the only distillery which uses local Canadian prairie wheat for the distillation base of all of their Highwood branded whisky. They do this because wheat alcohol, rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy, non-digestible components which makes for an extremely easy drinking spirit. As well, rather than distilling their grain upon a large column still (as most Canadian Whisky is produced) they make all of their whisky upon a pot still one batch at a time.
I have been a rather vocal proponent of their style of whisky ever since I first tasted it. Highwood Whisky is suave, mellow and full of delicious, delicate flavour nuances. What a pleasant surprise it was to find that my Rum Chums liked the distillery’s flagship whisky more than I did. The result of all of this love, is that Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky landed at the number 23 spot on my Canadian Whisky Countdown.
Here is a link to my recent September review:
“… The first thing I noticed about the Highwood Whisky as I sipped it was that it is a smooth, gentle, and mellow whisky which has the soft sensation in the mouth of a much older whisky. Honeycomb, ginger, wood spice, and a light dab of vanilla all support a wonderfully clean, dusty rye flavour. There is polish in evidence here, but a little rough and tumble too, as the wood spices liven the mouth-feel and take me back in time to when rye was the King of Canadian Spirits …”
For those who are value conscious, I should make the point that this whisky is probably the most affordable spirit in the entire countdown, a hidden gem in the foothills of the Rockies!
Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here: The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies
Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Highwood Distillery, Highwood Whisky, Rum Howler Awards, Rye Whisky, Top 25 Canadian Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2013
Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky was first released in the 1990′s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. Alas, timing is everything, and the whisky never really caught on, as apparently the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky back then. However, with the new surge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the Wiser’s Brand), is optimistic that the time for this whisky has finally arrived.
Lot No. 40 is, make no mistake about it, a new style of Canadian Whisky. It is made with locally grown rye which has been distilled upon a single 12,000-litre copper pot still. The final whisky is aged in new oak barrels to showcase the creamy caramelized flavours which new freshly charred oak barrels bring.
Dr. Livermore, the current Master Blender at the Hiram Walker Distillery, elaborated on the whisky for me:
“Without getting into specific recipes, Lot 40 is comprised of 100% of our (Hiram Walker) rye whisky. This whisky was made via pot distillation and subsequently aged in new casks. There is a proprietary proportion of distillers malt(s) used in the brewing process that allows for conversion of the rye grains into fermentable sugars. The brewing process is made in small batches according to the traditional recipes dating back to the early 1900s.”
You may read my review of this new Canadian Whisky by clicking the following excerpt from the review:
“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of honeycomb, freshly harvested rye, and freshly cut oak and cedar planks which are still seeping bits of sap from the wood grain. Caramel toffee and green tobacco, and even more fresh rye climbs up out of the glass into the breezes …”
Please enjoy my review of this exceptional Whisky!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Corby, Hiram Walker, Lot 40, Rye Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review, Wiser's Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2012
Alberta Premium is the flagship whisky of Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL). The whisky is one of the few 100 % rye grain whiskies in the world. In fact, according to Davin de Kergommeaux, of Canadian Whisky, ADL produces more 100% rye whisky than every other distillery in North America combined! This makes the people at ADL, perhaps the world’s most renowned experts on rye whisky.
This also means that Alberta Premium, the flagship whisky from the distillery renowned for its rye whisky, must be pretty good. And in fact, Jim Murray, one of the world’s most renowned whisky critics, not only thinks this whisky is good, he thinks it is great! For years he has extolled the virtues of the Alberta Premium in his Whisky Bible even naming it the best Canadian Whisky in 2006, 2007, and 2009. (The year that is missing, 2008 was the year that Alberta Premium 25 Year Old won the award.)
Of course this is my website, and although I respect the opinions of others, it is my opinion that is presented. And for my opinion, you must follow the link to my review:
Here is an excerpt:
“…The initial nose from the glass is of a fruit-filled rye with very obvious notes of vanilla. There is a presence of oak and a touch of citrus zest in the background. As the whisky decants the fruit gains momentum as does the oak, and I also begin to sense a light touch of almond in the breezes….”
The full review my be read here:
Please enjoy the review, and remember that the aim of my website is to help you choose better spirits, not to help you drink more spirits!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Alberta Premium Whisky, Canadian Whisky, Rye Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 12, 2011
I began to hear the whispers of a rumour about six months ago. Persons close to Alberta Distillers would casually mention, ” Alberta Premium 30 Year Old”, and then they would clam up and tell me they were speaking off the record.
Well, it’s not a rumour anymore, the Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition Rye Whisky has been released in Alberta, and it is literally flying off the shelves. (I know because I had to scramble to find a couple of bottles.) The rye whisky was produced in Calgary, Alberta by Alberta Distillers Limited (ADL) who is one of the few remaining producers of 1oo % Rye Grain Whisky in North America (if not the world). Distilled from carefully selected Canadian rye grain over thirty years ago, and then aged in charred white oak barrels this whisky is possibly the oldest production 100 % rye grain whisky ever produced in Canada.
If you have read my past reviews of Canadian Whisky, you know that Alberta Premium 25 Year Old Limited Edition Rye Whisky, is one of the best whiskies I have ever tasted. In fact I believe that the Alberta Premium 25-year-old is one of the purest expressions of Canadian Rye Whisky ever produced. Sadly that 25-year-old expression is long gone from the store shelves….
But happily, it’s older brother has arrived!
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…When I took my first sip my initial reaction was … wow! I was greeted with a wonderful mellow rye accented by caramel oak syrup! I have tasted so many aged spirits where the oak turns to bitter sap and smothers the other flavours, but not here. Instead the oak has melted into the rye creating a subdued, sweet and spicy elixir that has my mouth begging for another sip….”
You may read the full review here:
Please enjoy my review, cheers!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Alberta Premium Whisky, Canadian Whisky, Rye Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »