Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye
Canadian — CanadaTastedOn Canada Day eve (can't that be its own holiday?), I thought it appropriate to break open a newer Canadian rye in the collection: Lot 40 Rye Whisky. It has a maple nose that makes me feel downright patriotic. This rye has an initial oak flavour which morphs into a general spicy burn. It's not terribly nuanced, but is a decent basic rye on your bar over ice or for within a cocktail. I find myself missing its previous iterations which had a bit more character and intrigue. Until then, O' Canada. 6.5/10
Glen Garioch Founder's Reserve
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandTastedGlen Garioch Founder's Reserve (since 1797) has had a lot of time to refine their process. This bottle was a gifted favourite from a friend of mine who looks to this as their go-to dram. With its pear and honey nose, it's easy to understand why. It's beautifully comforting. That said, while neat, the heat-filled first sips will jolt you awake with its caramel spicy tones and an oak-y herbal finish. Enjoyable on a weeknight. 7.5/10
Collingwood Blended Canadian Whisky
Canadian — Ontario, CanadaTastedCanada has a growing amount of what I like to think of as "dessert" whiskies. Not because they are cloying sweet, but because they have treat-like notes and they're far to easy to enjoy (and likely overindulge on). Luckily, this one won't increase your waistline too quickly! Collingwood Toasted Maplewood Stave Finished blended whisky has a polite Canadian maple syrup nose with a smooth wood, spice and vanilla flavour. Straightforward short finish, which makes it easy to drink quickly. Flexible for cocktails and refreshing with ice. I also admire their unique and elegant bottle. 7/10.
Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedSome days just call for a really good freakin' bourbon. One of the first summer nights on my patio oasis makes it worth its amber glory. Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch Bottled In Bond has a comforting vanilla oak-y nose that I'd happily light as a scented candle. A sip brings a 1-2 punch of spicy heat with notes of corn/leather that gracefully melts like boozy ice cream cone. Drinking with a large ice cube smooths out the heat, but keeps an umami-like tanginess that makes this a fabulous sipper. 8.75/10
Madison Park Breakfast Gin
Flavored Gin — CanadaTastedHave you ever had gin for breakfast? Ok, sure. If you *were* to consider it, this would be the perfect one! I happened to pick up this bottle of Madison Park Breakfast Gin (lot #4!) by 1769 Distillery in a tiny liquor store in Montreal. I had yet to try a bergamot infused gin, but I'm glad I took a chance because I'm a huge fan. It has a pleasant orange blossom and earl grey tea aroma with a juniper, spice and well-steeped tea flavor. I'd imagine this creating a unique French 75 or perfect as is with a lemon wheel. Very easy to drink, especially for tea lovers. This gin is truly a unique cuppa you can enjoy on ice. 8/10
Aberlour 12 Year Double Cask Matured
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThe Aberlour 12 double cask matured was one the earliest bottles in my collection, so it's a nostalgic favourite. While it's not particularly complex, its smoothness and familiarity is like a solid friendship that you don't have to overthink. The nose features a confident sherry with citrus notes. Your first sip opens a rush of spices and honey with a warming mouthfeel (+ tongue tingle!) that transitions into a dry oak and apple finish. Enjoyable without ice. 8/10.
Mount Gay XO Extra Old Rum
Aged Rum — BarbadosTastedSometimes I like to pull out my rums from Barbados to transport me back to beautiful beaches, warm smiles and hospitality. Mount Gay Rum is a point of pride for most Bajans. Their distillery has been operating for over 3 centuries, so they know a thing or two about rum. The Mount Gay XO has a cola-meets-oak spiced nose with a pretty short, dry, clove and black pepper taste. My favorite part is its long, bourbon-like warm finish that makes this spirit better while you continue to drink it. Best on ice. 7.5/10.
Courvoisier VS Cognac
Cognac — Cognac, FranceTastedIt has been fun discovering/finishing fun bottles on my bar (this is proof that I drink more than whisky - I promise!). Courvoisier may seem like a hip hop video special, but cognac is great for deeper spirit lovers/whisky or rum drinkers too. The V.S. is fairly pedestrian, but the dried fruit/raisin taste and honey-caramel finish is pretty enjoyable. It's much better on ice since this one brings some heat. It doesn't have depth or complexity, but sometimes simplicity is all you need. 5.5/10
Basil Hayden's Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedBasil Hayden's is a mild easy go-to drink with a dry herbal, spice and mint flavour profile with a short finish. This may be a considered as a "hipster classic" but it is an approachable bourbon, especially for new or non bourbon drinkers. I have soft spot for their charming packaging too. 7/10
Kinsip Juniper Wit
Modern Gin — Prince Edward County , CanadaTastedKinsip's Wit gin stuck in my mind after a spirit tasting this winter. So much so, that I absolutely needed a bottle of my own to adorn my bar (their design forward label doesn't hurt aesthetically either!). Aside from a steady in and outbound wave of balanced botanicals, what I love most about this gin is the lavender notes that transport you to a beautiful field of flowers on a summer day. This is well crafted enough to drink by itself, but suits cocktails very well. If you're mixology inclined, this will inspire some warm weather bevvies. 8/10.