June 2012 Archives

On Saturday June 23rd, 2012 ScotchBlog.ca hosted a whisky tasting featuring Glenfiddich's Cask of Dreams, its Canadian debut, at Allen's on the Danforth.

Guests were treated to five expressions of Glenfiddich including the 15 year-old Distiller's Edition as well as the Cask of Dreams bottling, drawn directly from the cask in Scotland not two weeks before. The whiskies were paired with smoked salmon, lamb, beef, grilled cheese, and lobster. The tasting was guided by Beth Havers of William Grant and Sons.

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On Saturday, June 23rd at 3pm we will be hosting an exclusive event with the world's most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, on the patio of one of Canada's finest whisky-focused restaurants. 

A few months ago some of you may have had a chance to roll the Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams through your respective city. Some may have even had the opportunity to write a dream or a goal on that cask, but nobody had the opportunity to taste a Cask of Dreams bottling in Canada.

Until now.

40 very lucky people will have the opportunity to be the first in Canada to taste this limited edition bottling months before it hits the shelves. But why stop at one limited edition whisky? 

The tasting will also include the Glenfiddich 15 year old Distillery Edition, which will not be available in Ontario until autumn. In fact, the event will feature 5 whiskies from Glenfiddich, paired with 5 carefully crafted selections from the fantastic kitchen at Allen's Restaurant for just $35 all-in. 

How do you secure your seat? Well, to your right you will see the email address to contact us. You will need to send an email to that address stating your desire to attend. 

Please note that this will fill up very fast, and seats are only available on a first-emailed, first-confirmed basis. I will personally email you with a confirmation of whether you responded in time, or are on the waiting list.

On behalf of everyone at ScotchBlog.ca, Glenfiddich, and Allen's, we look forward to spending this very special afternoon with you.



Whether for a birthday, a holiday, or any other special day, getting the perfect gift always results in a smug feeling of accomplishment. Father's Day is one of those opportunities to impress "dear old dad", and if he's a whisky lover then the right bottle can do just that. But how do you pick the "right" bottle? The first tip is to examine his existing collection to figure out what he already has. The second? To read on! 

As always, I have made every attempt to ensure that all whiskies listed herein are available in the LCBO at the time of publication. For those with more limited stocks I've provided a direct link to the current inventory listings and locations. With all of the whiskies listed, the title links to the full write up of the bottle, so if you need a little more detail please click away. 

For those that are not residents of Ontario, you may have different whiskies available to you, and quite likely via a larger selection. So if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out with those questions via Twitter, directly through email using the link to the upper-right, or by carefully deducing my email address. Anyway, enough qualifying, pandering, and coordinating. 

This is your 2012 Father's Day edition of the Gift Buyer's Guide.


Auchentoshan Valinch

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Auchy Val 1.jpgAfter visiting the Auchentoshan Distillery in April, I walked away with a renewed sense of its capacity to impress and a determination to find a bottle for home that reflected some of the incredible traits of their distillery-only bottle. After some digging on the LCBO's website, I found that the cask strength Valinch was available in limited quantities and was able to get my hands on it. 

This expression was a direct response from Auchentoshan to its fans who were clamouring for a cask strength version of their Classic expression. Matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks and bottled unchillfiltered at 57.5% ABV it packs a powerful, flavourful punch that renders it easily the best Auchentoshan available in Ontario right now.

Ultimately, I bought three bottles. Read on to find out why.

Clynelish Distillers Edition

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Clynelish Distillers Edition 2010
Clynelish is a Diageo-owned distillery with a confusing history. Prior to the opening of the current distillery in 1968, what is now known as the Brora distillery was named Clynelish. So technically Clynelish distillery has been in existence since 1819, but it's not the same distillery as the Clynelish of today.  Located in the coastal far-north of the Highlands, only Old Pulteney is located further north on the mainland. This release of the Distillers Edition was distilled in 1993 and bottled in 2010.
 
Nose: Fresh vegetable matter mingles with sherry overtones. There is a salty touch not unlike an extremely lightly peated Islay, however this quickly is overpowered by beeswax, berries and white chocolate. There is a strong scent of dried hay nicely accented by a light dusting of cinnamon and a gentle vanilla woodiness. This nose took me some time to work through, so be patient with your first dram and the layers will reveal themselves slowly.

Springbank 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

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Springbank's 15 year old expression holds a special place in my heart for two reasons: my first bottle was to celebrate the kickoff of my business; the second was a gift from my fellow ScotchBlog.Ca members to mark my 30th birthday. Business is good and I survived my birthday party so the whisky must be lucky.

Nose: Bipolar with fresh and bright notes balanced with rounded depth. Light cinnamon hearts and lemon zest, a hint of smoke and oak, vanilla, leather, and sumptuous deep brown sugar and dried fruit. There's clearly a hint of the unique Springbank signature note, though I'll touch on that later. I find myself nosing this remarkable whisky more than normal, and finding different notes each time.

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Visiting the Gordon & MacPhail shop in the Speyside town of Elgin is an experience no Scotch drinker should pass up. To be there with the Joint Managing Director of Gordon and MacPhail, Michael Urquart, buying a bottle he had personally recommended for me was a rare honour indeed. I was impressed that Mr. Urquart was so well acquainted with his product line. This familiarity speaks to the philosophy of quality and consistency across the board for which Gordon & MacPhail is so well known.

This expression of Glen Keith, distilled in 1968, was aged in refill American oak hogsheads and bottled under the Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice brand in 2008 making it 40 years old. I should mention that I'm generally averse to whiskies made in the Speyside-style as I typically prefer bold flavours similar to those found in Islay-style whiskies.

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Recent Comments

  • Isabelle Gurble commented on The Famous Jubilee, Special Edition Reserve:

    This looks amazing, something my husband would love. His birth is coming up soon as well.

  • Ryan commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Hi Sherry, I think you might be outta luck on this one. Only 9000 bottles of this delicious whisky were produced and I'd wager most - if not all - purveyors have been sold out for quite some time now. If you're looking to sample it, I'd recommend visiting your local whisky bar and checking their list of Canadian whisky offerings. Your only other option would be to try and track down someone willing to give up their bottle? I've got one 2oz sample tucked away and, sorry, I'm keeping it all to myself! :) Good luck! Let us know if you find a bottle!

  • Sherry commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Do you know where I can purchase this item?

    Sherry Boutilier

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