Review: Canadian Rockies 17 Year Old Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Fountana Beverage Corp.

Image courtesy of Fountana Beverage Corp.

17 yrs
Producer Highwood (High River, Alberta)

A cracking new release, sitting right in between the 10 and 21 years old - but this one is at 50%. Available in Alberta but sadly not in Ontario…

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The nose has sharp, spicy oak (lots of clove), coconut, blueberry, beeswax, sugarcane (the actual smell, not „sweet”), white grape. Herbaceous and spicy too…nice. Great old age notes…it would be quite boring at half the age, I would expect. The palate continues – rich corn and nice spice notes. Very nice. The finish is slightly tannic and spicy, with light fruit – like grape and blueberry. If you have a full dram (which you should) the spiciness continues to build with a peppery hot spiciness. I love the battle between the simple distillate and the simple oak – both deep. Excellent.

50% packs quite a punch, and I’m frankly surprised – I’ve had cask strength Highwoods which have clocked at over 80% ABV which were shockingly un-punchy. It’s not too much, but it’s big, and I’m thrilled. It’s similar, not as complex, as the magnificent 21 year old – but it packs a bigger punch and still carries a ton of old age complexity. This one, I’d drink faster than the 21 year old. And very chew-able.

I’m thrilled. This fits so nicely into the lineup – similar, but a different take, with the 50% showcasing another side of the spirit. Well done.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. A very nice bottle, par for the course at $70.