Vernon

Review: Okanagan Spirits Rye Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Okanagan Rye 1.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
3 yrs; ex-Jack Daniels barrels
Recipe
51% Rye, 49% Malted Barley
Distiller Okanagan Spirits (Kelowna, British Columbia)

Okanagan spirits is huge – one of the largest and oldest micro distilleries in Canada. Much of their produce is focused on fruity brandies, etc. – after all the okanagan valley is full of fruit. However, beyond their Laird of Fintray single malt you can also find their bourbon style (although not really that bourbon-style, more like a corn mashbill whisky) and their rye whisky.  It is suspiciously dark for whisky aged in ex-bourbon barrels.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L331 15 10:51

  • Bottling Date: ~2017

Rather interesting on the nose. Despite claiming to be ex-bourbon for three years, this seems a bit too oak-heavy to not have new oak in it. However, maybe they added colouring and have a really clean distillate.

Lots of rye on the nose, and lots of roasted grain notes. The barley malt comes through, quite beautifully. Rye bread, apples, light floral notes (fruit blossoms), some clove, pine, mint, hay, caramel and brown sugar. At first I didn’t enjoy the whisky as much, but it does well in the bottle and the nose and palate improved. The palate has brown sugar, confectioners sugar, sharp rye spice (clove), a light floral note (lilac), and finishing with some green wood. The grains taste almost as if they are roasted, and we are still grain heavy here (which is nice). However, it’s quite sharp – not like a creamy porridge and more like a multigrain bread. Light orchard fruit, too. The finish is light with a touch of molasses, clove, crystal malt, and more green wood. I’ve enjoyed it more as I’ve sipped more of it.

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

Value: Low at $90.

 


Review: McLoughlin & Steele Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
"A minimum of three years"
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Okanagan Spirits (Kelowna, British Columbia)

This whisky is named after John McLoughlin and James Steele, men who were instrumental to establishing the cattle industry in Canada in the 1800s. The whisky doesn't contain colouring, and used to be produced by Okanagan Spirits - the largest of Canada's micro distillers - on contract for United Distributors. As far as I know, it is still being made, but Okanagan doesn't produce it anymore. However, this reviewed product is from the Okanagan days.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Classically Canadian in style, with a dry, spicy style and some bourbon on the nose. It's dry, lightly sweet, and lightly spicy with some grape, dried berry, and heavy cereal notes. It leaves you witha bit of bean sprout-like rye influence, and rich vanilla. Compellingly dry - one of the best whiskies I've tasted from the Canadian craft scene - I also respect that they've honoured Canadian style with a great whisky.

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

Value: High at $28.