Eau Claire

Review: Ploughman's Rye Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Ploughman%27s+Rye.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
First fill ex-bourbon and sherry hogsheads; 3-4 years old
Recipe
100% Alberta Malted Barley
Distiller Eau Claire (Turner Valley, Alberta)

Eau Claire recently released a very nice single malt whisky - one of my favourites in Canada - so (of course) I was curious how the rye would turn out. This is horse farmed, notably - a distillery that really has done seed to glass. Neat. A limited edition.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: 01

  • Bottling Date: 2019

  • Bottling Code: N/A

Off the bat, I’m reminded how much I do really like rye, and off the bat this has nods similar to Eau Claire’s very nice single malt. Quite fruity – cherries, plums, dried cherries, dried blueberries – but also nice spice notes – fennel, clove, nutmeg, star anise – and spruce tips, fresh spinach, vanilla, oak. The palate is oaky, with loads of almond. We also have steel cut oats, toasted grain, and a really nice set of orchard fruit and stewed stone fruit. The finish is nicely spicy, with oak, mixed baking spices, toasted clove, mixed grain oatmeal, apricot crumble, cacao, and pear.

It does taste young, but this is very good as is. I’m really looking forward to future releases. I’m quite excited about what Eau Claire is doing.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average.


Review: Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Eau+Claire+Whisky+1.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
First fill ex-bourbon and sherry hogsheads; 3-4 years old
Recipe
100% Alberta Malted Barley
Distiller Eau Claire (Turner Valley, Alberta)

This whisky is the first release from Eau Claire, a distillery in Alberta which opened in 2014 and focuses hugely on Alberta Grain, specifically very local grains produced within 100 miles of the distillery. Moreover, the distillery itself has a stable of plough horses with a focus on the production of house-grown grain.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: 02

  • Bottling Date: 2019

  • Bottling Code: N/A

The nose is quite rich and grainy – pepper jelly, currants, roasted malts, white pepper, and mixed nuts all jump out of the glass. The spirit isn’t very heavy, and carries with it a very nice balance of fruit, spice, and grain. The palate has a rich set of caramels, milk chocolate, lightly roasted malt, toasted macadamias, spicy dry oak tannins, and clove. The finish is still full of dried fruit, toasted grain, and a touch of baking sweetbread. There is a real richness here, yet the spirit is quite clean and balanced. Very well done for a young single malt!

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). This is a very pleasant surprise. I haven’t seen many young single malts that have been so refined in Canada. It actually reminds me a touch of Westland’s single malt – which is much oakier, nuttier, and deeper – but they share some similarities.

Value: Average. Toward the low end of my “average” category, but it isn’t “low” value even at $102, and certainly not in the context of craft single malt - which shows the quality of this stuff.