J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye Canadian Release
Rye — Windsor, Ontario, CanadaTastedI don't know what's going on with this distillery. Lot 40 and Triple Barrel now have this sour note on the nose, and palate that is very off putting for me. Luckily I have a half full bottle of Wisers double still rye to compare and there isn't much to compare. It's totally different. Why did I compare it to that bottle? Because wisers triple barrel was more or less a rebranding of double still rye on it's first release. When I tasted them side by side years ago, it was the same stuff in the glass. This is not enjoyable neat anymore. It has a weird sour note that reminds me of cheap brandy just like lot 40. Not a fan at the moment.
Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye
Canadian — CanadaTastedJust cracked a bottle I've been sitting on for a few months. This is NOT lot 40. It tastes like cheap brandy. Has none of the floral/menthol notes I've come to expect. perhaps a bad batch. I did purchase on sale at the LCBO. It is my hope that this is an off batch, and not a new version of the classic. I will buy again, but it better be the Lot 40 I'm expecting.
Timorous Beastie 10 Year
Blended Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted4/5 for excellelent value! If you live in Ontario and enjoy Glencadam 10 but don't feel like forking out nearly $100 for it, this is a great alternative. This is a very spirit driven malt with notes of vanilla fudge, yeast, lemon and barley malt on the nose with a very honeyed, Graham cracker palate almost as if it were a 10 year old version of old pulteney! Love the natural light straw appearance and the 46% avb. The finish is short, but for a $60 10 year old blended malt it's acceptable. Not exactly smoothe on the way down, also a bit tannic and bitter on the finish, but the pleasant sweet flavors more than make up for it. it's not Glencadam 10 (which I love in this style), however given the value and slightly better nose, I will buy again!
Highland Park Magnus
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedI'll give this a 4/5 for value. In the $50 Canadian range you get Deanston virgin oak, Tomatin Lagacy, Compass box artists blend and that's about it. After going through 2 bottles and now on my 3rd I can say this is probably the best bang for buck you will find. It has a lot of the same character of the 10 and the 12 but for less money. Even though the intensity is dialed down, it's still a satisfying malt. On the nose is sulphuric sherry, classic hp campfire peat, brown sugar, bit of a waxy note like old school pioneer candles wax, slight vanilla and mild menthol. on the palate you can expect more of the same... However that classic Highland park peat is the first note I pick up followed by the sherry, a good amount of maturity for an NAS, but a bit bitter on the finish. Maybe a little thin but for 40% it's quite acceptable. For the price there isn't much to complain about...A very good entry level malt from Highland Park.
Laphroaig 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedAs far as I'm concerned, this is one of the best Scotches available. Well worth the $80 Canadian for such an experience. Admittedly side by side against some more premium Islays it falls slightly short, however on it's own it really doesn't matter at all. Never leaves me wanting more or wishing I was drinking something "better".... It's really in the perfect zone of enough ppm to satisfy without really overdoing it. It's got the kind of peat note that makes you seek more peat out of other Islay whiskys that may even have a better underlying spirit. And even though it doesn't taste well matured it never leaves me feeling that it's noticeably young and metallic or grain like. I would go into detail about all the notes and flavors but I don't think I'm even qualified for this one...too many. So so good...80.0 CAD per Bottle
Stalk & Barrel Rye Cask #17
Rye — Ontario, CanadaTastedAwfully close to their red blend however it has a chalky, dusty, leathery thing going on that the red blend doesn't. They both share the same extreme sweet peppery note, and the vanilla but the 100% rye is more intense, more floral, dryer and definitely less sweet. Red blend is also much creamier and sweeter on the nose more like an Irish whiskey. At the extreme end S&B rye tastes almost like a dusty rye infused almond extract...Ya theres definitely more rye spice here. A very interesting one, and like the red blend it's so different I barely know how to score it...Considering the price I suggest trying out the red blend first and if you like the distinctly vanilla/peppery rye, you'll really enjoy this.
J.P. Wiser's 18 Year
Canadian — CanadaTasted3.7/5 - I'm glad I didn't give up on this bottle. My first impression was thorough disappointment. I could not believe I was tasting a whisky matured in wood barrels for 18 years because it was just as light and bland to me as any standard canadian blend. I was expecting deep rich flavors and something that was distinctly different from the other young whiskys on the shelf. However I have to say I now feel differently...Maybe it's just my mood but there's a particular oaky sweetness that I'm really enjoying tonight. The vanilla, nutmeg and creamy custardy orange citrus are really working their magic. Theres also maple, taffy and a hint of coffee on the nose. There is an alcoholic nip on the nose but it does go away after letting it sit for around 20 min...Then the real sweetness presents itself. I decided to compare to Wisers deluxe side by side and the difference was quite clear. So much more refined without any of the young grainy off notes...Notes I typically don't even notice when drinking wisers deluxe on it's own. It is extremely light for an 18 year old whisky, with no finish, but that kinda works here...If you come in expecting an 18 year old scotch or a well aged bourbon you'll probably be very disappointed. This is just a smooth, mild but well refined and delicious corn whisky aged in presumably spent barrels.
Knob Creek Small Batch Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted2.5/5 - Good but not very interesting or intense in the rye flavor department. Much closer to a bourbon. Has that familiar Jim Beam nuttiness with a higher abv and mild rye spices. Barely any dill, floral or menthol notes to speak of...I much prefer Bulleit Rye to this. Who knows, maybe it will grow on me, but initial impressions are not that good. I expected more based on other reviews. Mostly just clove, vanilla and slightly menthol with an over arching jim beam peanut brittle nuttiness.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedOn my 2nd bottle of Bunnahabhain 12...This one thankfully is exactly the same as the last (Although it was purchased a while ago). Probably shouldn't be reviewing on first pour but i'm in the mood to review, and I am enjoying this dram immensely. A very distinct profile from anything else i've tried is the Bunnahabhain 12. I've been trying to figure out for the last two years what i'm smelling and tasting. Is it cardboard? Is it Oreo cookie? Charred marshmallow? All of the above? Nose: Sherry, vanilla wafer, prune juice, nutmeg. A bit of alcohol burn in the nostrils but not too much.. Palate (where it's at!): Perfectly sweet, perfectly salty, velvety mouth feel, Oreo cookie (Just the cookie), charred marshmallow, ... cardboard?, nutmeg, very mild clove, very (very) mild smoked salmon on the finish (sounds gross but not gross), wax juice sticks (google it, you'll remember!), plum. Was $80 CAD, now it's $89...Still worth it. Absolutely delicious and fairly unique flavour wise... Glad I bought another bottle! I suppose the 18 is next... Some more brackets in case you felt I didn't use enough for this review; (brackets) in brackets.89.0 CAD per Bottle
GlenDronach Original 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedOn to my second bottle of GlenDronach 12. Tasting side by side with my first bottle it seems to have changed a bit. Getting a deeper tropical fruit flavour on the palate in the older bottle, almost like a jackfruit...Non existent in the new bottle. Interesting. Also the clove/red liquorice flavour is stronger as well. Could it be oxidization? Just under a 1/3 of a bottle left. Maybe...But I think it's a bit older. I purchased it around 2 years ago so it has been opened for a while. Hopefully that's all it is... But it is certainly more well put together with deeper aromas and flavours at the moment. Anyways... Here in Ontario, we have a problem with insanely overpriced single malt scotch. A good example is something like Tomatin 18 retailing at between $45-$50 USD, and about $150 CAD! Absurd. However, here we have a rare example of a bargain. I purchased this on sale for about $75 CAD which works out to around $50 USD (I think)...I have seen people pay upwards of $60 USD so it is one of the very few good deals in Ontario...And to sweeten the deal even more, it's excellent. Nose: Dark chocolate, leather, vanilla, red lollipop, pears, butter cookies, raisins Palate: Slightly tart, sweet, mild burn on the tongue, red rope liquorice is dominant, clove, nutmeg, hay like oloroso sherry finish, mild lemon, granny smith apple. Finish is not very long..The taste lingers a bit, but tartness and sweetness disappear quickly. I've actually never had the pleasure of trying out the standard exclusively sherry matured Macallan 12, but I hear this is better. I can see why...It's very flavourful, and easy to sip plus it won't break the bank. Kinda rare to find decently priced single malt scotch with an age statement, fully matured in ex sherry casks and with no chill filtration. I'm going to assume the casks are American oak based on the price and the fact that generally sherry is aged in American oak, but it's got a dark enough profile that it's hard to tell which type of wood it is. Might not be quite as good as my last bottle, but It's not too drastic. As long as they keep it where it is right now, i'll keep buying it...80.0 CAD per Bottle