Review: Highwood 25 Year Old Calgary Stampede 100th Anniversary Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

25 years
100% Corn
Producer Highwood (High River, Alberta)

This whisky was one of the original old, premium releases from Highwood distillery from sourced corn whisky that has been in their stocks for some time. This was their oldest release at the time, now eclipsed by a 35 year old Taiwanese exclusive (which, by the way, has a cask strength version at a whopping 79.9%!). This whisky was a limited edition, no longer available - though there are some similar (and better) old Highwood whiskies out there, notably the Ninety 20 Year Old. The whisky was distilled around 1986.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2012

Oak, dry spice, and that classic Highwood corn. A bit dry on the nose, oily, and oaky, but not over-oaky. Opens up quite a bit with time. The oak is beautiful, and wonderfully dry. A bit of that daisy/hay-like floral character and roasted black pepper - lots of spice here, with compelling dry-ness. The style, perhaps, can be a bit simple…but I quite like it. The palate is a bit restrained at first before some sweet vanilla comes in. A bit of maple, milk chocolate with peanuts, and some white-rum type molasses kick to it as well. Lots of prunes, but also plums and fresh apricot. This one builds slowly, then just keeps going, with lots of maple on the finish – alongside candied orange and creamy oak. Fades to dry tannin. Not the elegant, maple-y delight of Canadian Rockies 21, but it’s still quite brilliant. However, if bottled at 46% it might compete on the same level…

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

Value: High. Great whisky for the price.