September 2013 Archives

Laphroaig 18 Years Old

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LRGOB_18YO.jpgAs the leaves start to turn colour and the days get shorter, I find myself pushing past the sweet stuff on the shelf in favour of something peated.  On this occasion, I'm quite content to warm my soul on this 18 year old prize from Laphroaig.  As always, the bottle sports the distillery's not in the least bit humble tagline, "The most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies."  And like the best Laphroaigs, this one has both smoke and fire, clocking in at 48% abv.


Nose:  As inviting as any nose for someone of the peat persuasion, crackling with fumes of salt and ripe citrus fruits.  An undercurrent trails with vanilla, fresh sourdough bread and of course, smoke.


Palate:  The fiery high-proof liquid delivers a jolt before its oily non-chill filtered character develops.  Viscous sweetness evokes thoughts of breakfast syrup slathered on charred wood, later enveloped by Laphroaig's signature deep peat smoke.



Forty Creek Heart of Gold

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FC HoG.jpgIt happened unexpectedly and was over before I could fully comprehend what had occurred. In the waning afterglow of Spirit of Toronto 2013, Canada's premier whisky maker John Hall handed me a small sample of a yet-to-be-released whisky. "It won't be available until September, but I'm calling it Heart of Gold" he said, going on to describe it as "rye forward" and something he had been working on for years. Following the show I set it aside, save for one quick nosing during the pre-order period that has since closed, waiting for the day before the release to take you inside the glass.

This weekend it becomes available for pick-up, to those smart enough to order their bottles in advance, at Forty Creek's Whisky Weekend in Grimsby, Ontario. Soon after, it will see a limited release of 9,000 bottles across Canada, with the exception of Quebec, and the United States, but only in Texas. 

The product of a whisky maker drawing upon a lifetime of experience and a passion for innovation, Heart of Gold was made using a wine yeast strain during fermentation to elevate the floral elements and narrower cut points to hold up the rye characteristics. The final result is yet another winner from the vanguard of Canadian whisky.

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