Whisky

Review: North of 7 Canadian Whisky (3 Grain Wheated) by Jason Hambrey

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

ABV
45%
Aging
3 Years+; Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
74% Corn, 21% Wheat, & 5% Malted Barley
Distiller North Of 7 (Ottawa, Ontario)

This is a single barrel, made from terrific ingredients - barrels from Independent Stave Company (which supplies most of the big Kentucky distilleries) and grain from Against The Grain, a local grain company specializing in heirloom grains. They use yellow corn, purple corn, wheat, rye, unmalted barley, and purple Ethiopian barley sourced from there - terrific stuff. The colourful grains often have more flavor.

This is matured in a heavily toasted, lightly charred barrel to give a rich set of toasted wood notes without being overly clean and caramel-laden.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: Cask 26

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose is quite nutty and very oaky – with wood, caramel, charred wood, vanilla, roasted nuts, corn husks, mint, radish sprouts, green pear, fresh whole wheat flatbreads, fennel seed, and clove. The palate is thick, with a great kick of nuttiness and a terrific cask character full of white oak and rich toasted notes. The oak is sweet, rich, and spicy – quite deep. It has a real richness to it, with deep oak offset by corn and light dried fruit. Very nice to drink. I’m very eager to see what this is like in a few years – it’s already quite good. The finish is slightly sour, spicy, and oaky. The more you sip at this one, the oakier it gets. Works quite nice in cocktails – manhattans with a spicy vermouth, or it works well in an old pal. Very moreish.

It is not as far along, but I like this more than the 4 grain recipe, I think. Also, it’s a bit younger than the 4 grain stuff that’s been on the shelves.

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Review: North of 7 Canadian Whisky (Mini) by Jason Hambrey

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

ABV
40%
Aging
3 Years; Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
51% Corn, 26% Wheat, 12% Rye, 12% Barley
Distiller North Of 7 (Ottawa, Ontario)

Apparently the LCBO, Ontario's sole liquor supplier, has not been carrying as many minis and it's opened up a market for more minis for hotels! So North of 7 started producing minis, available at the distillery and elsewhere. It's their same standard 4 grain whisky, but at 40% instead of the usual 45%.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The nose you expect from North of 7, grain centred but with a nice kick of oaky spice. Dried apricot, clove, plum, and a herbal quality like dried oregano. The lightest touch of cedar, too. The palate is quite spicy and dry, with a nice kick of oaky spice, caramel, leading gently to a dried fruit finish and eventually fresh pears, morphing between grain-centred flavour and spice. Not a drop in quality from their standard stuff, but it is better at the 45% standard bottling proof.

Still, I’d prefer this to many of the standard issue minis...

Value: N/A

 


Review: North of 7 Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

Image copyright by North of 7 Distillery. Used with Permission.

ABV
45%
Aging
3 Years; Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
51% Corn, 26% Wheat, 12% Rye, 12% Barley
Distiller North Of 7 (Ottawa, Ontario)

An Ottawa whisky (I am an Ottawa native, so I'm interested!) - made in a bourbon profile - largely corn, and matured in New Oak from a four grain mash bill. North of 7 was perhaps the last craft distillery to get a contract with Independent Stave Company - the renowned maker of barrels for renowned Kentucky Distillers like Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, and Heaven Hill. Because of the whisky boom, they won't take any more clients! All that to say, North of 7 has some pretty good casks...


Review (2017)

  • Batch: Cask 1

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose has a nice grainy base with lots of caramel and a grassiness reminiscent of spicy pot still Iriish whisky. Vanilla, anise, methol, sharp new oak, corn husks, butterscotch, cucumber, and lots of grain notes – wheat flour, nutty grain, polenta, and light grainy earthiness. Surprisingly wheaty – cream of wheat comes through quite clearly. The youth of the nose is present, with a bit of rawness on the otherwise pleasant and grain-forward nose. The palate is corn and oak forward, with a light caramel rumble before a spicy and grain-laden finish. The anise is present throughout, and the spicy finish is lightly creamy with butterscotch – for good effect. They emphasize their casks, from Independent Stave Company (who also supply Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, and most of the other successful distilleries in Kentucky) – and for good reason. These casks will treat this whisky well, given a few more years.

Based on the mash bill and how it is matured, you might be expecting a bourbon. It’s reminiscent of the style – but it’s not. Either it is simply not warm enough in Ottawa, or it needs more time – but that is of no matter. A thoroughly enjoyable whisky, this, and shows lots of potential as the years will add on.

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Review (2017)

  • Batch: Cask 2

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Centred on grainy notes, reminiscent of spicy mixed grain porridge, yet still with quite a bit of orchard fruit – peach and pear. Wheat really comes out. Tangy, too – the light bits of menthol, pineapple, and oak that play in nicely. Maltesers, milk chocolate, vegetal cacao, and a touch of green cardamom too. The oak and the grain are both so rich with this one – nice…

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Review (2017)

  • Batch: Cask 3

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

This now has more prominent notes suggesting wheated bourbon, which I didn’t get in the previous cask. Corn, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, grape, light floral rye, clove, pear, toasted hazlenuts, blanched almonds, green tea, and a grainy, porridge-like character. There’s a sharp yeasty note too.  It really has come on – it makes me quite interested to know what this will taste like at 6+ yrs. The palate is lightly sweet, with a toffee backdrop with the grainy notes, coconut, and ripe banana on top. The finish has prune, cacao, lots of nuts, clove, and other baking spice. Lightly earthy, too, on the finish – nice touch.

There are still a few off notes which I expect to get ironed out as it gets older – but coming along well! These also lift off as the bottle is open a bit.

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Review (2018)

  • Batch: Cask 6

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Dried tarragon! Interesting that on this pass of the North of 7 whiskies there are more dried herbs coming out.  Oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, pineapple juice, caramel, macadamia, dried mint, freshly sawn pine, hazlenuts, fennel seed, toffee, and lemon. There’s corn, too....it might sound a bit diverse but it’s integrated together well. A nice nose! Perhaps the best I’ve had yet from the distillery. There is one note which I don’t quite know what to do with – a slightly sour, almost yoghurt like quality. It’s quite savoury, and I can’t tell if I like or dislike it.

The palate is full of mixed cereal, fresh oak, and sharp spices on the herbal side like fennel. Oak is present, but isn’t at the center – it seems to contribute quite a bit of structure and tannins, though. Dried fruits too – the usual suspects – apricot, peach, pineapple. It has a light-medium creaminess. The finish is drying and tannic, with spices, dried fruit, hazlenuts, and a spicy character like the feel of cayenne.

Better than the batch above but not quite enough yet to bump it another point. Its youth still shows through, and as this mellows out more I imagine it’s not far off an upgrade...

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Review (2018)

  • Batch: Cask 8DB

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

This one’s quite a bit different – it’s the four grain recipe but it’s been matured for 6 months in new oak. If the standard north of 7 is like hazlenuts or almonds, this is like decadent pecan in terms of nutty richness. Rich oak (think oaky bourbon), pine cones, celery seed, and toasted fennel seed. The usual complexity is very much so masked by oak. North of 7 makes whisky in the bourbon style, but it doesn’t taste like bourbon – the oakiness of this is approaching bourbon, but it is still quite grain (other than corn) centric.

The palate is oaky and tannic. Mixed porridge, dried apricot, rich fresh oak, light wood smoke, pencil shavings, and a bigger oaky creaminess. The oak is a bit too much here, with the tannins and a slight astringency taking it past a point of balance, but just a bit. Drying spices taking the finish, accompanying white grape, dried apricot,

The oak is the centre, here, and no sufficient counterbalance is offered – and the rich grainy character from the distillery is lost. That being said, I like the extra oak and probably a bit less time in the second barrel would have done a trick.

I actually like to mix this one with barrel 6 to tone down some of the oak. I like a ratio of 25% barrel 8 to 75% barrel 6. I find the mix better than either on its own!

Value: Low. All their other casks are better, and this is a bit much for this unless you really like oak!


Review: North of 7 Rye Canadian Whisky (North of 7 Distillery) by Jason Hambrey

Photo provided by North of 7 Distillery.

Photo provided by North of 7 Distillery.

ABV
45%
Aging
3 Years; Virgin Charred Oak
Recipe
100% Rye (95% Unmalted, 5% Malted)
Distiller North Of 7 (Ottawa, Ontario)

North of 7 recently released their first rye whisky, matured in new oak - One of the owners, Jody, was telling me that the whisky tasted terrible a few months ago and has drastically improved (to which I attest). It is a combination of 95% unmalted rye, with 5% malted rye - matured in nice casks sourced from Independent staves. There will likely be another bottling in the summer, likely also 3 years and 4 months.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: 1 (Barrel 10)

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

This noses like a sharp rye – frankly, I’m surprised, given the age and that it's the first rye product from the distillery. Loads of sharp floral and spice notes, alongside cola, toffee, vanilla, charred wood, and grassy spice. Lilac, baking bread, fennel, mint – it is remarkable that they have managed to attain such a sharp rye character and yet such a broad grain characteristic, in the same whisky. There’s one or two off notes – but it gets better in the glass.

 The palate brings in more grain character and some milk chocolate, but still carries the sharp spices in tow. The finish is grain-driven, but also carrying fruit. Without some of the off-notes, this would creep up a bit higher.

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

Value: Average (based on $60)


Whisky is Not Wine by Jason Hambrey

Much of this website strives to be fairly objective and scientific, where possible, but it’s perhaps time for some opinion.

Wine is perhaps the benchmark for any drink to be studied, savored, and enjoyed – wine has been made since before recorded history, with roots tracing to the Phoenicians and Greeks when they colonized the Mediterranean as early as 1100 BC. Wine has resulted in a massive industry ($257.5 billion in 2012 according to Business Wire), produced in countless countries – but, morever, it has centuries of history which has lead to selection of particular varieties which thrive in certain regions - with the characteristics of both the region and the grape present together in a bottle of wine. The study of wine has lead to universities which specialize both in teaching about wine and also the study of wine: the impact of agriculture, chemistry, fermentation, and mood.  It is a massive and remarkable drink.

Whisky is not wine. Whisky’s roots trace back originally to Arabic alchemy which developed distillation -  eventually utilized, perhaps by the Irish, to first transform a grain alcohol (beer) into a spirit. Eventually this was dumped into barrels to be aged and developed immensely in Ireland, Scotland, and England and then be brought to North America and Japan, and then to the rest of the world. Compared to wine, it’s a newcomer – but, moreover, it is a different drink entirely.

There are master sommelier’s in the world, who have studied wine intensely and can nose and taste a wine and identify variety and region, and perhaps even vintage, or a particular wine. Wine is amazing – a combination of grape, winemaking process, and, importantly, terroir – a demonstration that the land in which the grapes is grown significantly influences flavour.

Whisky is not wine. It is immensely complex, presenting a myriad of flavours that expose the genetic differences in being able to smell compounds infinitesimally present in the spirit. The variation in source materials, fermentation methods, distillation methods, aging methods (length and cask selection) provides so many thousands of flavour variations available at a single distillery that even the most refined palates have trouble identifying where a whisky comes from in a blind tasting. There is no tasting school that grades students on anything more than a basic level because of this (and, inevitably, because of a lack of need). It is remarkable spirit.

Why am I even bothering to write about this? Because of two things: 1) terroir is mostly BS in whisky (let’s say 90% of the time) and 2) whisky doesn’t pair with food, 90% of the time (or more). Now, let me elaborate.

TerrOIr and Whisky

Terroir: most of the time, whisky is made from grain sourced from all over a continent, if not the world. It is rarely local, due to the mass nature of the industry and the absence on the requirements of grain sourcing in labeling (there are a few exceptions, but few). I am not asking for more intensive labeling regulations, but I am saying that context needs to be provided when terroir is ever mentioned in whisky. I clearly remember my graduate school supervisor recounting his experience visiting a distillery, and, after hearing their statements about sourcing local barley, asking the question – „from where? I didn’t see any barley anywhere near here”. Well put. We have Indian and Japanese whisky being made with Scottish malt, American bourbon being made with Belgian or Canadian Rye, Canadian whisky being made with American corn, and the Scottish whisky region flavor profiling BS (ever wondered if Bunnahabhain 18 fits within „Islay”, if Aberlour A’Bunadh or Benriach Curiositas is a „Speyside”,etc., etc.). Not to mention the non-locality of most yeast.

This is in no way to suggest that terroir does not exist – Craft distilleries, along with a handful of large distilleries (e.g. Bruichladdich) are actually sourcing grain, yeast, local oak, and sometimes even growing their own grain – demonstrating terroir. Peat has very different characteristics, depending where it is harvested. But, so little of this information is readily divulged. There is terroir in whisky, but it is a drop in the bucket given the rarity of exclusively local ingredients and the lack of information presented to the consumer. So, if you mention terroir in whisky – you had better be ready to back it up. I’m not about to endorse the „terroir” of Highland scotch whisky made with Islay peated malt.

Whisky and Food

Whisky doesn’t pair with food. I’ve never understood this. And, from the journalists I’ve talked to – it seems this is a topic because people ask (or want it), not because it is necessarily true. There is something magnificent, and perhaps etherial, when the tannins in red wine start to play with the fat in meat, or the grassiness of a sauvignon blanc start to make you itch for a contrasting and complementary vegetable like asparagus. Wine (and beer, too) pair not just well, but magnificently, and often easily, with food. Whisky does not. Wine, beer, and other drink pairings provide vehicles where both the drink and the accompanied food taste better. In other words, wine and food pairings can bring about an experience where the food actually tasted better, and is complemented, by a drink which not only is complemented but which tastes better itself.

I’ve never found that with whisky, with a few exceptions. Largely, I find whisky (neat) very hard to use for pairing. How are you going to make a magnificently complex, flavor packed whisky pair with a food that, frankly, has flavors on a very different level of both temporal and structural orientation? Whisky takes time, sometimes hours, to reveal itself fully – and it is in this slow, carefully observed process, that it is fully known. Food is, actually, similar – but few take the time to actually spend an hour observing an onion (as the brilliant Capon does). But that isn’t how food is typically consumed.

So, when people ask me (perhaps my most common question) – how to pair whisky with food, I tell them not to. Whisky is magnificent, and there are very few situations where it actually enhances food. It doesn’t need any accompaniment. Just enjoy, for few scenarios enhance both the whisky and the food (which, in my view, is the ultimate goal of pairing). However, I must list my exceptions (which are exceptional, haha) – and there have only been two so far. A smoky malt, particularly a medicinal one, pairs brilliantly with blue cheese. The sharpness and broadness of the cheese cuts into the sharp and focused nature of the malt, and, moreover, the flavors combine to more than the sum of the parts. It is magnificent. Medicinal ryes, such as those produced at Alberta (like Masterson’s), can produce a similar pairing, but sometimes extending even to creamier friuty cheeses like Lancashire. The only other exception I have had was not even with a true whisky – but is perhaps my most remarkable pairing. It was Forty Creek Cream, a complex flavoured cream whisky, with a cardamom infused white chocolate. Perfectly, it showed what both the chocolate and the whisky was missing. Believe me, you have to try it.

However, despite the exceptions, it’s hard to pair whisky with food unless you dilute it. So, please stop talking about it. The best of whiskies doesn’t need anything except a fellow human to share it and quality conversation to accompany it. This is whisky's true pairing. And the best of that lasts hours, and often a lifetime.

Best Canada 150th Anniversary Bottlings by Jason Hambrey

This, perhaps, has been the best year ever for Canadian Whisky. In additon to  the (significant) affirmation of the quality of Canadian Whisky from various world authories, let’s just take a look at the various limited edition bottlings released this year – the 150th anniversary of Canada.

There are actuallly many to list, so I want to present my favorite releases this year. Many of these represent some of the best Canadian whiskies ever released – it is no list to look down upon. Whisky has not under-represented Canada in 2017. Here are my top 12 (well 13, I picked all the very notable releases this year rather than just a top 10) limited edition offerings this year:

  1. Canadian Club 40 Year Old: Can anything else be said? The oldest whisky ever released, and, not a poor one - a whisky that in every way embodies the glory of aged whisky, with incredible subtelty and structure. Oh, what old corn whisky can accomplish in reused casks....
  2. Wiser’s 35 Year Old: It’s a shame, really, that this is not number 1 – in any „normal” year, this would be. A remarkable whisky, combining the glory and sharpness of rye with that of corn whisky. Containing all the remarkable subtlety and complexity of both extremely well-aged whisky and that of rye grain.
  3. J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation: talk about rye! This is one of the most intense, and focused, ryes I have ever tasted. Remarkably complex, too...
  4. Lot no. 40 Cask Strength: the full strength, more complex, and more developed Lot No. 40 – perhaps the epitomy of Canadian rye. 12 Years old at the cask strength of 55% – relatively low, at that, to retain all the magnificent characteristics of the grain and fermentation. Need I say more?
  5. Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished: not high powered, but evolving and complex. This year’s edition of Crown Royals’ Noble Collection took all the best from wine casks and applied it to whisky. A brilliant release.
  6. Union 52: a mix of 52 year old Scotch with mature Canadian whisky. A long overdue, and well-deserved, combination.
  7. Stalk & Barrel #Canada150 Blend: The producers of some of the best rye whisky on the planet discovered a great 5 year old corn whisky to blend around – and the result was terrific once the malt and rye whiskies were blended in. And, notably, priced at $45 – the first whisky in my database produced by a micro-distillery to crack 90+ on my value score.
  8. Two Brewers Special Finishes: though based in the yukon territory,  two brewers is producing arguably the best single malt in Canada, having started to release 8 year old single malt whisky this year. Though all of their releases have been terrific, my favourite was release four which was matured for a year in a bourbon cask (and many otherwise). Incredible, Canadian Single Malt Whisky.
  9. Gooderham & Worts 17 (and Pike Creek 21): Two of the less heralded releases from the prestigious Wiser’s Northern Border Collection – statement whiskies communicating the impact of blending and also imposing the glory of Canadian whisky on the world market, where scotch is the by-product of preparing barrels for Canadian whisky maturation!
  10. Forty Creek Heritage: A Forty Creek limited edition, which have provided some of the best whiskies ever released in Canada. This edition has been a star amidst the past two years of dissapointing releases, reclaiming the remarkable Forty Creek’s position of a leader in craft Canadian whisky with it’s rich character with the impact of blending communicated perfectly in the essense of the whisky
  11. Collingwood Town Collection Double Barreled: A very floral (roses, if I ever smelled them) and woody whisky, this 45% Collingwood product not only ups the flavor but also the quality and complexity of the usual stuff. It got a bit overlooked this year...
  12. J.P. Wiser’s One Fifty Commemorative Whisky – An easy, 16 year old whisky with a nice creamy based and spice to back it up. Each bottle was numbered to represent a particular week of Canada’s history.

And, yes, quite a year for Wiser’s, too....

Review: Glen Garioch 1965 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
43%
Aging
21 years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glen Garioch (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Here’s an old one! This was distilled in 1965, two years before Glen Garioch was closed and decommissioned. At the time, Glen Garioch was notably more peated than today where it tends to be more fruit-forward. This is from a bottle that has been open (but mostly full) for quite a few years...


Review (2017)

  • Batch: 1965, Dark Vatting

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 1986

What a nose! Smoky wood, but old smoky wood – like a burnt piece of wood that is wet. Magnificent sherry notes. Apple seeds, green apple, clove, cinnamon, peach, prunes, burning leaves, vanilla, eucalyptus – it holds heavy notes and light notes together in harmony. Quite earthy, too. The palate is magnificent – sharp, spicy smoke gives way to light orchard fruit, particularly ripe, sweet peaches, before heavy and rich sherry notes take over – dark dried fruits, spice, and bright green apple. The finish is rich, magnificent, and heavy – fruity, spicy, woody (but not overly so). Fruitcake, white pepper, sticky toffee pudding, dates (terrific), apple seeds, and mixed vegetable skin (think squash and cucumber).  Minutes after you’ve swallowed, glorious rancio makes its presence known too – but lighlty. Beautiful balance, and beautiful integration of flavor. Remarkably thick for 43%....

A touch stale, here and there...maybe it’s been in the bottle too long. Nonetheless, a glorious malt, and one of the best I’ve had.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: N/A

 


Review: Islay Mist 8 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
8 Years
Recipe
Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This is a blended scotch which includes a number of whiskies, of which the core component is Laphroaig. It can give someone a budget introduction to smoky islay whiskies, as these are often love or hate first (expensive) experiences – but this one doesn’t show the complexity, grace, and power of many of the Islay malts.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Light lemon peel, orange, apple, combined with some light smoke and vanilla, and some raw almonds. At times it’s a bit sour and slightly stale and bitter. It could use a bit more complexity, but it is light and pleasant as is with the interplay of the citrus and smoke.

Taste: A bit of the smoky peat comes in with a bit of bitterness (which is ever so slightly present throughout), and there’s an odd bit of sourness which is misplaced. The sweetness builds towards the end, but the whisky sort of collapses into the finish. It’s a bit raw, almost – but as I drink more I become more accustomed to it and notice more of the underlying richness and sweetness.

Finish: It sort of collapses on the finish, and there is a light peppery smoke which sits on the front of the tongue. There’s a bit of sweet vanilla as well, with some cinnamon, almond, a bit of earthiness, green apples, some light malt, and a touch of salt. It has decent length, but could do with a bit more flavour.

The nose is a bit intriguing but the taste doesn’t match up to the expectations. Elements of it speak clearly enough, and well, but the combination of all the elements is a bit discordant and cacophonous. Originally, I was interested to see if this one would work as a peaty mixer for a few smoky cocktails. It works ok – it still doesn’t have enough peaty kick for cocktails that demand the peaty levels of a Laphroaig or similar – but it is quite a decent peaty mixer and I can usually make do with it.

Value: Low. Some quite like this for a cheap peater, but I don’t like it enough to spend the money on it.


Review: Mt. Logan 20 Year Old Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
20 Years
Recipe
100% Corn
Distiller Alberta Distillers (Alberta)

Another classic, 20 year old, Canadian corn whisky, at a terrific price point (less than $60!). I don't know where else you can find such age at this price. It is a great flavour profile, but it is a particular profile - it's soft and elegant, not bold, high ABV, and spicy. But, given its time, it's excellent. I hear sometimes about these highwood corns that they are not great - I think that's more a comment on disliking the flavor profile rather than actual quality. These whiskies are terrific, and better than most of the Scotch grain whiskies (granted, only a few) I've tried which are often in a similar flavor camp. If you liked the Mt. Logan 15, this in my opinion is worth the extra money (as my value score reflects!). This is an exclusive offering by Liquor Depot and Wine and Beyond.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 6119

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

Much more alive and complex than the 15, with deeper, richer, flavours. Again, it is similar to the typical Highwood old corn profile except it is a bit more rubbery, and a bit more licoricy. The rubbery note doesn’t mean poor – just slightly medicinal. Rich, earthy spices, maple, beeswax, prunes, and dried corn cobs. The nose is oaky and dry, which I quite like.  The palate follows suit – waxy, sweet, dry, spicy. It has a nice long flavor development and unfolding – very pleasant. Maple is quite key to the profile. Cedar, too...nice honey spice.

Definitely the star of the Mount Logan lineup. Not as rich, complex, fruity or as big as ninety 20 which also shows quite a bit more dried fruit - but grain is a bit less central there. It really goes down easy, perhaps easier than ninety 20...the light sweetness, dry finish, and smooth-ness really make it beg sip after sip. After my review, I read the Rum Howler's, who is in agreement.

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

Value: High. A nice 20 year old whisky for quite a good price!


Review: Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Glenmorangie 10.jpg
ABV
43%
Aging
10 years; First and Second fill Bourbon Casks
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Glenmorangie (Tain, Scotland)

Glenmorangie certainly cares a lot care a lot about wood – they were the first single malt brand to use cask finishes (when a mature whisky is put into a “flavoured cask”, i.e. sherry, wine, bourbon, etc.) and even have bought an area in Missouri’s Ozark mountains to source oak, and they only use their casks twice. Glenmorangie also has the tallest stills in Scotland, which are based on design of ex-gin stills from London, installed when the distillery was founded – taller stills lend to more copper contact and only the lightest aromas getting out of the still – resulting in a light spirit. The tall elegant bottle is perhaps reminiscent of their stills.

The brand, frankly, puts out some great malts and is the 2nd best selling single malt in scotland after Glenfiddich, occupying the 5th position globally. The quality (and price) of this whisky understandably lends it to be one of the most common “everyday drams”. This particular whisky is made from 100% american oak barrels, both first-fill and aged second fill barrels.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Applesauce, filtered apple juice, fruity barley, a rich butteryness seemingly from the grain, light oak, caramel, stewed fruits, dried apricots, and creme brulee. Other dried fruits start to richly develop as it sits too. It’s very pleasant and nicely put together.

Taste: Vanilla, with a slightly sweet, nutty flavour that develops slowly for some time. It almost has a white wine-type feel to it in its fruitiness and light grape qualities. It’s no wonder that they thought to stick this in Sauternes casks…The barley, itself, shines through so wonderfully in this one.

Finish: The barley comes in on the finish too and it is quite bright and fresh, with the nuttiness still in the mix.. Quite decent length and finish. Fruity, too, with a sort of floral feel to it as well. Malty, also, and good length and flavour. One of the great finishes, particularly for a 40% standard bottling.

Pleasant and well balanced. The more I spend time with this, the more it seems to offer. Well done. At first it felt a bit flat, but not so!

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

Value: High, at $75. Especially for Scotch.