Review: Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

It is an odd experience for a Canadian to travel to the United States and find Canadian Whisky in liquor stores which cannot be purchased in Canada. It’s not solely a Canadian experience, as there are some export and duty free bottlings not available elsewhere (like Four Roses, which produces 2 offerings only available in Japan). However, there are quite a few labels I could not find in Canada. I picked up a bottle of Rich & Rare Reserve to taste (at a cheap clip! I don’t think you’d find this in Ontario for 13$…). Rich & Rare Reserve is distilled and aged in Canada, and then shipped to the States for bottling. It’s another Canadian whisky owned by Sazerac.


Review (2013)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2013

Nose:  The rye off the nose in this whisky certainly takes the fruity road, particularly with berry notes – raspberries in particular. There is also maple, a bit of sappy oak, and butterscotch. It lacks a bit of depth which I was looking and hoping for. There’s also a sour rye-corn aroma which I don’t love, but I didn’t notice it the first time I nosed the glass. It seemed quite a different nosing experience the second time – this time the spice of the rye dominated over the fruit, which I found interesting.

Taste: Soft, mellow, and watery corn to start before the rye kicks in and takes command. There are stronger notes of caramel at the end of the taste, and more sweetness alongside the ginger and white pepper which gradually dries out over the palate. A clean, unobtrusive, and mellow whisky which would likely be a good rye for beginners, or those not used to whisky. There is not much I can find in the palate which I don’t particularly like, but it does lack depth and intrigue.

Finish: A pretty strong finish which certainly does develop. Initially spicy with some ginger, and then the rye takes over and remains with a touch of caramel and a bit of raspberry.

Score: 76/100

Value: 78/100 (based on $12)


Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Rich grain leads with some oak, white pepper, red apple, maple, musty oak, and marzipan carrying through from nose to palate until the almond finish. Clean, and lightly creamy.

Score: 77/100

Value: 78/100 (based on $12)


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2017

Dry, oaky spice. Juniper, and loads of terrific grain notes with light caramel and clove on the finish. The palate is lightly sweet and bitter showcasing dried fruits and a drying finish full of spices.

Score: 79/100

Value: 73/100 (based on $26)