November 2017 Archives

Ninety 20 Year Old Canadian Rye

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Ninety 20 Year Old Canadian Rye is the "ultra premium" offering from Highwood Distillers' "Ninety" whisky product line. While Highwood Distillers may not be an immediately recognizable name on LCBO shelves, fans of Canadian whisky may be more familiar with the Alberta distillery's other brands: Centennial, Century Reserve, Potters, or maybe even White Owl? 

Using the term Canadian Rye in the "traditional" sense, Ninety is a blend of mostly, if not all, corn whiskies aged for 20 years in charred oak barrels and is bottled at 45% ABV.

Nose: Quite sharp on the nose, especially for a whisky of this age and ABV, then a blast of wood shavings with custard and damp cardboard lingering behind. 

Palate: Medium-bodied and showing a slightly sweet mix of thinned honey and gingerbread studded with candied fruit on entry. But it's not long before this gentle sweetness is overtaken by woody spice that's both fiery and bitter with cloves, ginger and nutmeg. 

Finish: After the thunderous spice hit, the finish resonates with bitter heat before flattening out with muted toasted oak and vanilla tones. A splash of water certainly improves the flavour here by dampening the heat yet it does nothing for the bitterness and doesn't substantially change the finish. 

J.P. Wiser's 15 Years Old

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New to the Wiser's core range, J.P. Wiser's 15 years old is billed as "a complex whisky with a hint of rye spice," meant to be sipped and savoured. Bottled at the standard 40% ABV and, like many of Wiser's whiskies, this expression made from a blend of separately distilled and matured grain whiskies combined by Master Blender Dr. Don Livermore at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario.

Nose: Inviting aromas of toasted oak and spice atop a strong toffee note with a hint of green apple.

Palate: Full-bodied and smooth; like liquid dessert. Mouth-coating caramel, buttery toffee, and dried fruit notes are complemented by a hit of mint and clove-laden spice that keeps things from getting overly sweet.

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Recent Comments

  • Ryan commented on Johnnie Walker Green Label:

    Pleased to know I could be of service :) As for the gift guide, stay tuned!

  • 1000songs commented on Johnnie Walker Green Label:

    Thank you - didn't know this was back in stock.

    Q. What about a 2017 Xmas Gift Guide??

  • Ryan commented on Benromach Peat Smoke:

    Sampled this a few weeks back at our club meeting and over the years the peat smoke has become much more pronounced. The bottling we got from the LCBO (http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/benromach-peat-smoke-speyside/492157) has the same 46% ABV but the peat smoke is now at 67ppm, almost double from 5 years ago.

    Nose: Grassy and vanilla notes are more upfront but the general aroma profile remains similar as before with beeswax, cereal tones and a subtle smoke.

    Palate: Campfire smoke and vanilla with juicy apricot and mandarin orange flavours.

    Finish: Stewed fruit dusted with cocoa powder and a long, deliciously smokey fade out.

    This Speysider has gotten smokier but still shows plenty of fruitiness. It's perhaps more "in-your-face" than the 2012 but without being gimmicky about the whole thing.

    A quality dram here.

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