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 | Comments Off
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
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 15, 2013
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky brand. In 1992, a premium version of Crown Royal was introduced as Crown Royal Special Reserve. This whisky was produced from specially selected casks which were tasted and monitored closely by the Crown Royal Master Blender. These ‘premium casks’ represented whiskies with special character, and they were allowed to age longer with the aim of producing a more premium whisky.
In the fall of 2008, this more premium Crown Royal Special Reserve was relaunched as Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky. I reviewed this whisky back in January of 2010, and I began to suspect something was amiss when I tasted the whisky for a second time in a blind format in the fall of 2011, almost two years later. I was on the jury for the Canadian Whisky Awards, and although my blind scores were for the most part reasonably close to my review scores; this particular whisky was one which stood out as an anomaly. When exactly the same thing occurred in the fall of 2012, I decided I had better revisit the whisky and re-score it. (I am not above admitting I might have gotten something wrong.)
You may click on the following excerpt to read my new review!
“… I smell distinct impressions of ginger and wood spices. As the whisky breathes some baking spices begin to rise with vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves. These are accented by a touch of maple and some spicy tobacco spice. Some tart apples make their way into the breezes as well as some impressions of sour fruit and canned peaches …”
Please enjoy the review and the two recipes included at the end, the Royal Bang, and the Evening Salute.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Crown Royal Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 9, 2013
The Glen Garioch Distillery (pronounced ‘Glen Geery’) is located in the town of Oldmeldrum, approximately 20 minutes from Aberdeen. It is the Eastern-most distillery in Scotland, in the Valley of Garioch, which is apparently one of the best barley growing regions of Scotland. The distillery was established in 1797.
The Glen Garioch 1797 Founder’s Reserve is the distillery’s signature Highland malt. The whisky is blended to achieve a specific taste profile which features the Glen Garioch characteristic taste profile of honey sweetness with hints of heather and just a touch of spice. This whisky does not have an age statement specifically because it is blended to have that signature profile rather than to be of any specific age.
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
“… The initial scents remind me of a grassy meadow surrounded by willow thicket with clumps of heather here and there. Light butterscotch and vanilla scents waft through the meadow giving the scene a relaxed atmosphere. Soon some spicier scents drift in over the willow thickets, light oak spices with hints of cinnamon and faint puffs of clean white pepper …”
Enjoy the review which includes a recipe for the traditional Polly’s Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Glen Garioch, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 1, 2013
My reviews of the New Zealand Whisky Collection continue with the South Island Single Malt 18 Year Old Whisky. The now closed distillery at Dunedin on the South Island once produced both Single Malt and blended whisky. After the closure, about 600 barrels of single malt and blended grain whisky remained at the distillery and were left to mature. Two years ago, Mr Greg Ramsey, a young 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.
The South Island Single Malt 18 Year Old Whisky was produced from Single Malt stocks which were aged in American-Oak (ex-bourbon barrels) for 18 years, and then bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. It is currently available in Ontario, Canada through the LCBO, and may soon be available here in Alberta as well.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… Smells of sweet lowland grasses (sawgrass and timothy), clumps of heather, willow thicket, and freshly harvested grain wander upwards out of the glass. I notice the some butterscotch and fresh honey, gooseberries, and light dabbles of vanilla in the breezes as well. As the glass sits I notice the herbal aroma seems to build in the breezes …”
Please enjoy my second review from the New Zealand Whisky Collection.
Posted in New Zealand Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Dunedin Distillery, New Zealand Whisky, New Zealand Whisky Collection, Single Malt Whisky, South Island, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off