Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 9, 2013
Canada Gold Whisky has proven to be a hard whisky to get my hands on. I first encountered it when I was one of the judges for the Canadian Whisky Awards, but all of my attempts to retrieve a bottle for review seemed thwarted as the product appears to have only a limited production in the Province of Ontario. It is produced at the Forty Creek Distillery (formerly Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits), the same distillery that produces Forty Creek Whisky, but I have noticed recently that the Forty Creek website no longer mentions this brand as a core product. My persistence finally paid of a few months ago, when a friend of mine in Ontario emailed me and said that he had found a bottle and was willing to share it with me. I received my portion of the bottle when another mutual friend was travelling and brought me 200 ml which had been drawn from the bottle.
Canada Gold is a value priced whisky produced at 40 per cent alcohol by volume (mainly for the Ontario Market).
You may click on the excerpt to tread the full review:
“… The aroma rising up out of the glass surprised me by its moderate complexity. Butterscotch and wood spice mix with dank tones of corn in the breezes above the glass. I sense some spicy tobacco and pleasant rye spice drifting into the breezes as well. Within all of this is a gentle sweep of vanilla …”
Please enjoy this review, which includes a recipe suggestion based upon the popular Cuba Libre’ Cocktail. When I mix this cocktail with Canadian Whisky instead of rum, I call it the Free Spirit.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canada Gold, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Forty Creek Distillery, Free Spirit, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 5, 2013
The Black Velvet brand has a long history in North America, originally produced at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec in the late 1940s. The whisky was initially called Black Label; but because of its perceived smoothness, the producers soon changed the name to Black Velvet. It has been a staple of the Canadian whisky scene ever since and is now produced at the Black Velvet Distillery (also called the Palliser Distillery) in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Black Velvet Deluxe is available both in Canada and in the USA (and apparently in parts of Europe). However, the bottlings for the different markets are not necessarily the same. The whisky available in Canada may actually be slightly older than the whisky available in the foreign markets. The bottle I have reviewed is the one available in my locale (in Alberta, Canada). It does not carry an age statement; but I have been told the whisky in this particular bottle is about 4 to 6 years old.
Three and a half years have passed since I first reviewed Black Velvet Deluxe. About three weeks ago, I decided that revisiting this classic Canadian whisky to see how time and experience have impacted my perceptions. You may read the resulting review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The entry into the mouth brings forward that same impression of a whisky with a strong dusty dry rye character which is lightly sweet, and lightly fruity. I taste butterscotch at the front end which is followed quickly by citrus fruit (orange peel and lemon zest) and light vanillins. Then the clean rye spices begin to assert themselves across my palate …”
Please enjoy my revisit to Black Velvet Deluxe Canadian Whisky which includes a revisit to my own Canadian Caribou Cocktail.
Have a great day everybody!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Black Velvet Distillery, Black Velvet Whisky, Canadian Caribou, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 26, 2013
Forty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let the consumer choose their own numbered bottle. This year, reservations for Forty Creek’s 2013 Limited Release, Heart of Gold, will open at noon (EST) on Monday, May 27th, 2013 (and end June 21st, 2013). If you live in Ontario, and can make it to the distillery to pay for and pick up your numbered bottle, then you may choose any number between 00003 and 9,000 to be your own uniquely numbered bottle. The numbers are offered on a first come, first serve, basis and no two bottles will have the same number. (Complete details and the reservation form are available at the Forty Creek Whisky website.)
This year’s special release is a whisky with an emphasis on Canadian Rye Grain. Heart of Gold is not a 100 % rye grain whisky, as the whisky blend also includes a barley whisky, which adds some nutty flavours, and a corn whisky, which adds weight and body. But make no mistake about it, the intent of John Hall in creating this whisky is to showcase the spicy, fruity and floral notes of Canadian Rye.
You may click on the link to read my pre-release review:
“… The initial nose reminds me strongly of rye whisky as I remember it from my youth (seventies/early eighties). The breezes above the glass are full of wood spices (cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, sawdust and white pepper), and those breezes remind me of autumns past when the ripened grain in the fields was being combined. The air all around the farm would be full of the scents and smells of the harvest, complete with the straw left behind in windrows and the separated chaff and grain dust floating in the air above the fields and granaries …”
Please enjoy this preview of John Hall’s newest Special Release Canadian Whisky!
If you are interested, here are the links to the other Forty Creek Special Release Whiskies I have reviewed :
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian, Forty Creek Whisky, Heart of Gold, John Hall, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2013
My friends Connie & Lukasz were over the other day, and even though they know my cupboard is well stocked with Canadian whisky, they always try to find something that I haven’t tasted yet. On this occasion, they brought along a bottle of Bison Ridge Special Reserve Canadian Whisky to share a few drams with me. The whisky is produced (by this I mean bottled) by the Crosby Lake Spirits Company who are located in Minnesota, USA. All Canadian whisky must (by law) be distilled and aged in Canada; however, I could not locate any information as to which Canadian Distillery was the source for this brand.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The initial nose reflects sweet butterscotch, some notes of corn mash, with wood spices rising in the background. As the glass breathes I notice an underlying ‘earthiness’ which reminds me of the scent of an old those fashioned damp cellars which were built with wooden floorboards lain directly over the black dirt …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a recipe recommendation, the Buckeroo!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bidon Ridge, Buckeroo, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Crosby Lakes Spirits, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 16, 2013
The Glenfarclas Distillery is located in the Glenfarclas valley on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch which is in the heart of Speyside. The Distillery was purchased by the Grant Family in 1865, and it has remained in the control of the Grant Family for six generations up to the present day. In fact, Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries remaining in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed. I have had the good fortune to meet George Grant (of that sixth generation of the Grant Family) right here in Edmonton at several tasting events sponsored by Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc, who are the local importer/distributor of Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt Whisky in Alberta. Based upon my tasting notes from those events and from additional samples provided by Pacific Wines, I was able to fashion this review for the Glenfarclas 15 Year Old Whisky.
You may click on the excerpt below to read the full review:
“… The nose is very rich with the scents and smells of the sherry influence upon the whisky. Dried fruit (raisins, dates, and prunes) lead out with a very noticeable accent of dark chocolate. Dark toffee smells enrich the air above the glass, and as the whisky sits, rich baking spiced build and build. I can smell rich brown Demerara sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in the breezes above the glass…”
Please enjoy the Review!
Note; Here are links my other Glenfarclas Whisky reviews:
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Glenfarclas, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2013
Forty Creek Whisky has just announced Heart of Gold as their 2013 limited release whisky.
According to the information from Forty Creek, Heart of Gold is a whisky that was inspired by both the heart of the distillation and the heart of the maker, and was created with an artist’s palette of noble grains, unusual yeast selection, copper pot stills and delicately toasted oak barrels, mixed with passion, innovation and patience. The project began almost ten years ago with a particular emphasis on Canadian rye grain.
According to Whisky Maker John Hall,
“I have always brought out the spicy, fruity notes of rye in my whisky, but this time, I wanted to perfect capturing the underlying delicate floral notes of the rye that too often get lost in the process. I decided to use a wine yeast strain for the fermentation because I felt this approach would allow the floral aromas and flavours to prevail.”
“I aged this rye whisky in lightly toasted barrels to ensure the oak did not overwhelm the subtle flavours captured in the heart of the distillation. Yes, my Heart of Gold is a rye forward whisky. But, it is not 100% rye. I believe the art of blending adds a complexity and creativity to the final whisky. The final Heart of Gold blend includes some barley whisky for nuttiness and some corn whisky for weight and body. Yet, the fruity, floral rye whisky notes are the star of this show!”
This special release will be limited to only 9000 individually numbered bottles. It will be bottled at 43% alc./vol with a retail price of $69.95. Customers in Ontario may reserve any number between 00003 and 9,000. These on-line reservations for numbered bottles will begin exactly at noon on May 27th and end June 21st. For more information follow this link
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Forty Creek Whisky, Heart of Gold, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2013
According to the Old Pulteney website, this whisky is produced at the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland, in Wick. (It was founded in 1826 by James Henderson during the time of Wick’s herring boom.) The distillery lies in the heart of ‘Pulteneytown’, which was created for the fishermen in the area, and the distillery is an integral part of the history of this coastal town. Last year Old Pulteney shocked more than a few people when their 21-year-old expression won the big award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as the world’s best whisky in 2012. This year they are making more waves with the recent release of the distillery’s oldest production release, a 40-year-old single malt whisky. (The Old Pulteney 40 Year Old is extremely limited; but it has apparently been seen in a few stores here in Alberta.)
My 375 ml sample bottle of the Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt was provided by Woodman Wines and Spirits Inc. who are the importers/distributors of this brand in the Province of Ontario. I am told that this whisky will once again be available again in Ontario as the LCBO is about to launch it’s “spring” Whisky Shop selections across the Province.
You may click on the excerpt to read my full review:
” … The initial breezes above the glass set into my mind a vision of a lowland meadow as the scents carry light aromas of almond, vanilla, honey, meadowland grasses, and wood spice. As the glass sits, I catch some scents of sea brine and it makes me think there must be an ocean nearby. The wood spices build in the glass bringing me images of orange peel, willow, and fresh tobacco …”
Cheers Everybody, and enjoy the review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Old Pulteney, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2013
My reviews of the New Zealand Whisky Collection continue with the New Zealand’s 1987 Single Malt Whisky (40 % ABV). The now closed distillery at Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand once produced both Single Malt and blended whisky. After the distillery’s closure, about 600 barrels of single malt and blended grain whisky remained and were left to mature. Two years ago (in 2011), Mr Greg Ramsey, an Australian whisky enthusiast from Tasmania, bought those barrels and set about bottling the whisky as part of a plan to revive the New Zealand whisky industry. As part of that plan, he created the New Zealand Whisky Collection.
New Zealand’s 1987 Single Malt Whisky was produced from Single Malt stocks which were distilled in 1987 at the Dunedin Distillery and then left to age for 24 years. The Whisky was bottled in two formats; 750 ml bottles were captured at Cask Strength, with the alcohol by volume varying depending upon the casks selected (anywhere from 49-60%), and smaller 150 ml flasks were bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Both formats of this whisky are currently available in Ontario, Canada through the LCBO (and may soon be available here in Alberta as well).
You may click on the excerpt to read my review:
” …I taste a light but firm herbal character running through the whisky with indications of heather, sawgrass, timothy, and willow. The whisky also carries a sweet maltiness which is persistent throughout the taste experience, and a mild fruitiness which reminds me of lightly tart green apples and ripening pears …”
Please enjoy my review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, New Zealand Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: New Zealand Whisky Collection, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2013
In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York. Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.
Of course the story continued and Shenley Distillers underwent re-organization at the end of the 20th century. As part of that reorganization, the Gibson’s Finest Whisky brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons in 2002. Some time after the acquisition, William Grant & Sons moved the production of Gibson’s Whisky from the Schenley plant in Valleyfield, Quebec to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The initial aroma is spicy with a firm oak presence. The breezes above the glass are filled with tobacco, rye, and (what I am going to term) clean firm oak spices. These dominant scents are accented by caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. Some dusty dry notes of freshly harvested grain, autumn cornstalks, and dry straw rise into those initial breezes as well …”
Please enjoy my review, and my suggested bar drink, The Old Fashioned Cocktail.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Gibson's Finest Whisky, Old Fashioned Cocktail, Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 21, 2013
Seagram’s has a rich and storied history which can be dated back to 1857 when the Granite Mills and Waterloo Distillery Company was formed. About seven years later, Joseph Seagram joined the company and by 1911 the company was known as Joseph E. Seagram & Sons. Today, over 100 years later, the Seagram name is still in use as a brand, but ownership of this whisky has been passed on to Diageo who now use the aged stocks at their Valleyfield Distillery in Quebec to produce the whisky.
Like the previously reviewed Seagram’s VO, the Seagram’s 83 is what I term, an ‘old-fashioned’ Canadian rye whisky. The emphasis is on rye flavour blended into the whisky to be enjoyed in those tall cocktails us Canadians enjoy so much all year round.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… When those whisky scents arrive they are full of rye spice which for me is always a welcome beginning. There are also indications of sandalwood, and mildly sweet tones of vanilla, honey and butterscotch. If you take some time with the glass sour fruit, and tobacco can be found as well as light corn accents and a wee bit of maple …’
Enjoy the review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Seagram's, Seagram's 83, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off