Review: Cirka Premiere Whisky 93/07 / by Jason Hambrey

3 years; virgin oak, ex-bourbon, ex-sherry
93% rye, 7% chocolate malted rye
Distiller Cirka (Montreal, Quebec)

Cirka is an impressive operation in Montreal - this, their first whisky - made from 100% rye, 7% of which is malted rye sourced from Germany. The whisky goes through three casks over its three-year aging process, with nearly 2 years in virgin oak before being transferred to an ex-bourbon cask and then a 30 year old sherry cask.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

Oddly enough, when I first tasted this blind I immediately thought it was Sivo – another Quebec distillery. Some common styles developing in Quebec!

Tons of raisins here , and a big wood character with lots of roasted grains and fruit. A very moreish quality to it – a bit quirky, as it joins fruitiness to oak to roasted grain notes and nuttiness in a unique way - but it works and I like it. Lots of cask character, and a nice flourish of roasted grain on the end. I like the toasted grain finish and the slight wine-like sourness at the end.

At the end of my “tasting notes” I have very few descriptors! So here are some: roasted macadamias, baking multigrain bread, sauternes wine, peach, toasted oak, raisins, roasted fennel, unripe pear, vanilla, marmalade, plum jam, burnt pie pastry, and dried cranberry….and there’s lots more!

Recommended (82% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).
Value: N/A (850 bottles)