Canadian Club Chronicles Issue No. 1 Water of Windsor 41 year old, 45%
Canadian | $300
Recently, a new “oldest Canadian whisky ever,” appears every year. In 2018, the honor goes to Canadian Club. Cedar lumber, fresh apricots, hints of bonfire, and sweet applewood on the nose. On the palate it’s butter tarts with vanilla, waves of pepper, pears, peaches, bonfire notes, and hints of pipe tobacco. Crisp, clean, and slightly bigger than Canadian Club 40 year old, the 41 is woodsy, silky, and mouth filling. (2,472 bottles for U.S.)
Part of the permanent Ardbeg range since 2008, Corryvreckan is created from a blend of standard Ardbeg and Ardbeg aged in virgin French Limousin oak casks. Smoky bacon and seaweed, plus dark berries, prickly spices, walnuts, lemon, and sweet peat on the nose. Sweet and savory on the palate, with more lively spice, woodsmoke, phenols, and licorice. The finish is lengthy, with peat, sea salt, pepper, and black coffee. Editors’ Choice
Fresh spring floral bouquets, white peach, and nectarine tumble with sweet caramel, dried cherry, white chocolate, fresh linen notes, and vanilla cake batter. Silky smooth with fresh summer fruits, the strong peppery spices push to the fore, but this is nimble, graceful, and displays a real lightness. Compelling, captivating blending for the Flask Collection by Sandy Hyslop, this has a fragrance you could enjoy all night.
Crown Royal Noble Collection 13 year old Blenders’ Mash, 45%
Canadian | $60
If Canada made bourbon (it doesn’t), it would taste like this massive dram. The mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley is identical to that used for Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Coffey rye. Beer still distillation and virgin oak barrels yield huge vanillas, rye spices, barrel tones, cherries, dark fruits, soaring floral esters, and gingery, peppery spices. Strong woodiness, slightly pulling tannins, and something almost chocolaty.
Launched in 2003, Uigeadail remains one of Ardbeg’s core offerings. Matured in a mix of sherry and bourbon barrels and bottled at cask strength. Peppery peat, warm tar, coffee grounds, machine oil, and black pepper on the nose. The palate is complex and rich, offering orange segments sprinkled with sea salt, dark chocolate, malt, and ever-present sweet peat. Nicely balanced. Lengthy in the finish, with smoky caramel.
Aromatic with smoke, this lays down thick chocolate ganache, toffee banana, and salted caramel. It bowls you over with chocolate-dipped sultanas, soft melon, and ripe berries ahead of a spicy middle section replete with pepper, coriander, cinnamon, fig rolls, baking chocolate, and a dry finish of cocoa and peppery spices. As blended Islay malts go, pretty special.
Like a delicious bowl of breakfast cereal, this has pecan, cinnamon, and Quaker oats, all wonderfully balanced with oak, barley, vanilla, dry spices, and drizzled runny honey. Savoring this rare aged Irish whiskey laid down by the legendary Frank McHardy delivers sweet butterscotch, vanilla, honey, toasted cinnamon, fresh orange, and barley, all thickly spread at this strength so it really hits home. What a way to start the day! (1,200 bottles)
Fifteen years ago, Forty Creek used starboard (port-style wine) barrels to finish their legendary Portwood Reserve. The wine was emptied into fresh Forty Creek whisky barrels. Now, master blender Bill Ashburn has added back some of that original starboard to Forty Creek Unity. This lush, mouth-filling, butterscotch-sweet whisky bursts with red fruits, raisin tarts, hints of burnt toffee, and a restrained peppery glow.
Typical of Booker’s this bourbon shows lots of concentration and muscle, oozing with caramel and maple syrup, with hints of lavender and bouquet garni. Flavors explode on the palate, with more herbal complexity, root beer barrel candy, green almond, black cherry, and a big rush of dark, bitter-sweet burnt sugar and caramel. Lovely baking spices and lots of toasty oak linger on the long finish. The youngest barrel in the blend is just over 6 years, 2 months of age. Editors’ Choice
Dripping with caramel and tingling with spice, this is a blockbuster whiskey that delivers across a spectrum of flavors. Maple syrup, sugar in the raw, and caramel-drizzled flan highlight the aroma, while the palate turns fruity and tropical with the sweet drive of peach nectar, grilled fruits, and pineapple upside-down cake. At the same time, it’s lemony bright, warmly spiced, tremendously rich, and oh-so-good! Pour on the water and enjoy the ride!
Initially aged in bourbon barrels before being transferred into quarter casks, and ultimately oloroso sherry butts. The sherry influence adds an additional dimension to the quarter-cask style, hence an oily nose of dates, vanilla, tropical fruits, and bonfire smoke. The palate is drier than might be expected, with Laphroaig iodine, barbecued meats, muted sherry, and peat smoke. The finish comprises dried fruits and lots of oak.
Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 010), 58%
Single Malt Scotch | $70
A turbocharged version of the formidable standard 10 year old, Cask Strength varies in ABV from batch to batch. Tar and antiseptic hit the nose immediately, along with peat smoke, malt, newsprint, and new leather. There’s also lemon, vanilla, and brine. The sinewy palate mirrors the nose, adding charcuterie and cocoa powder. Predictably medicinal and phenolic in the very long finish, with balancing sweet malt.
Initially matured in bourbon barrels, then transferred to two Graham’s port colheita pipes from 1961 and 1963. Finally, it was married in first-fill bourbon casks. Wood resin, canola oil, sultanas, and red currants on the nose. Medium-bodied, with sweet resin, honey, and sherry on the palate, turning to treacle and raisins. The finish is very long, with dark chocolate and spicy oak tannins. (500 bottles)
A distillery exclusive until now, Ninety Nine Proof is finally in distribution across the U.S. One hundred days finishing in Gretzky’s own cabernet sauvignon barrels put wagonloads of ripe fruit on the nose, with some dry hardwood, peanut brittle, and a slight tickle too. This is powerful whisky, quite fruity, with long, fading dry pepper and an inviting hint of spent gunpowder leading to a dry, slightly woody finish.
Subtle and rounded smoke on the nose, balanced by lemon, grilled pineapple, and chocolate-chip cookie dough. A big, tannic, and chewy palate, chocolaty and extremely fruity—hints of Meyer lemon, grilled plums, walnut paste, and five-alarm chili wrapped in a thick, spicy smoke. A fiery finish benefits from water. Their first peated release and it’s a showstopper. (531 bottles; distillery only)
The second release from Glenmorangie’s Bond House No. 1 Collection, this 27 year old includes whisky from a parcel of casks that received a period of secondary maturation in Côte-Rôtie red wine casks. Honey and nectarines on the nose, plus ginger, icing sugar, and damp heather. A silky palate delivery of peaches in cream, apple crumble, nutmeg, and white pepper. The finish is lengthy, with lingering spicy orange notes.
Orange, banana, and nutmeg lead on the nose, along with a subtle note of cigar box. A smooth, chocolaty palate melds with maple syrup, caramel, allspice, and more tobacco. Water brings out heat and more spiciness, with orange and chocolate notes reprising on a long finish. The ABV here is lower than most barrel-proof whiskeys, but make no mistake: this one can stand up to the best of them.
Seashells, brine, warm toffee, peat smoke, chocolate bars, sun-crisped seaweed, and dry aromatic spices, with augmented smoky notes if you leave your glass for ten minutes. Sweet honey, spun sugar, lemon, Edinburgh rock, and shimmering spices; a hard-core Islay at this strength and a terrific offering of fruit, peat smoke, citrus sweetness, and warming chocolate. Mouth saturating finish with juicy citrus and spices on the tongue. A rhapsody on peat.