so a while ago I promised to have a bunch of the Toronto Whisky Society guys down for a few drams and finally followed through on that promise. This was our first meet-up as a group aside from when we hit up Feather’s Pub a few months back. We had 6 guys out including me and a buddy of mine from Hamilton, jolarbear devoz kinohead and tomodera. Everyone brought some stuff and we all shared and drank and nerded out. We opened with the Century Reserve 15/25 that I reviewed a while ago. needless to say it didn’t go over well. Here are the others I tried that night:
next we decided to go with a bottle that’s been hyped heavily in advertising here in Canada Wiser’s Hopped. yeah… let that sink in before moving on to the review.
Wiser’s Hopped – 40% ABV
- Appearance: standard e150 but the bottle is tinted so at first I thought they had actually made it look like a dark ale.
- Nose: smells like an IPA. Very weird. Very hoppy and with an earthy guinness note too.
- Taste: tastes exactly like Granville Island Lions Winter Ale, which I’ve had straight from the taps at the brewery. Chocolatey, hoppy, cinnamon, cloves. Tastes like a liquer with a slight bitter note.
- Finish: chocolatey, cinnamon hearts.
- Score: 67/100
- tastes better than I expected. Nose is like beer and it’s like a liqueur. If it wasn’t being marketed as a whisky I’d think it’s a pretty neat drink.
next we moved on to the WHISKY OF THE YEAR 2015!!!!!!!!!!! WHOA BEST WHISKY EVER!!! I will say this, the fact that they released this at 45% is a step up for Crown Royal. Let’s see how it compares to Jim Murray’s assessment.
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye – 45% ABV
- Appearance: light orange gold
- Nose: sweet, sugary, some rye spice
- Taste: lots of rye, spices, very sweet. Peaches, some citrus. Candies. Way more flavour than a regular CR and not as spirity.
- Finish: short and sweet
- Score: 78/100
- better than I expected to be honest. Not the best in the world, not the best in Canada, not the best in Canada at that price point, but still, not the worst whisky I’ve had
then we moved on to one that I was actually looking forward to trying. Gooderham and Worts 4 grain uses corn, barley, wheat and rye and is put out by the people who own the mothballed G&W distillery in the Toronto distillery district, supposedly based on an old recipe. should be interesting
Gooderham & Worts Four Grain – 44.4% ABV
- Appearance: light orange.
- Nose: light. Corn. Malty
- Taste: you can really taste the wheatiness. Young and somewhat brash. Sweet with lots of grain. Some spiciness. Not your typical Canadian whisky
- Finish: moderate length and grainy
- Score: 80/100
- quite nice. Never had a wheated Canadian before. For the price you can get a better Canadian whisky, but I’d consider stocking a bottle.
first Scotch up is the Glendronach 15 Tawny Port Finish. /u/jolarbear brought it and said he didn’t like it very much. since i’m a sucker for a port finish and am currently working on a port series (of which this technically is a part), i was excited to try it
Glendronach 15 Tawny Port Finish – 46% ABV
- Appearance: copper orange. Great legs
- Nose: dark dried fruit, raisins, chocolate
- Taste: tons of dark fruit, prunes, berries, typical tobacco I get from port, tannic, winey, dry.
- Finish: long, chocolatey and fruity.
- Score: 89/100
- I like this a lot, but I’m not surprised as I love port finishes so call me biased. Great way to finish glendronach spirit.
next up was a bottle brought by /u/kinohead, Craigellachie 13. I’ve been curious about this one at the LCBO but never pulled the trigger. Glad I get to try it.
Craigellachie 13 – 46% ABV
- Appearance: yellow gold
- Nose: standard speyside. Grainy
- Taste: rotten grass, rotten bananas, astringent, salty
- Finish: sharp, gross, too long.
- Score: 58/100
- nose was ok, palate was really bad. This is either an off bottle or I really dislike this spirit. Will not be buying
and next was the Deanston Virgin Oak, another that has me curious given its low price point at the LCBO. graciously provided by /u/kinohead
Deanston Virgin Oak – 46.3% ABV
- Appearance: very light, like yellow apple juice
- Nose: sweet, fruity, grainy
- Taste: grain, oak, bitter, weird. Doesn’t really taste very scotch-like, but I’m quite a few drams in so my palate is messed up.
- Finish: forgot finish notes
- Score: 69/100
- strange. Hardly scotch-like. It had some interesting notes but I wouldn’t buy it.
finally, /u/tomodera continued to delight with some sample bottles he had brought along. The ballentines regular is not very good, but I wondered if age did anything for the blend. Bear in mind this was my second last review of the night, so I wasn’tt very perceptive at this point
Ballentines 21 – 43% ABV
- Appearance: orange gold
- Nose: blendy, grainy
- Taste: grain, corn, spirity ew.
- Finish: short thankfully
- Score: 55/100
- gross. Spirity… how is this 21 years old? I can’t read my hand written notes, but what I can interpret is “what kind of rchery eastesw lew” yeah.. Not sure I should still have been drinking 😛
but thanks boys for coming over! It was a ton of fun!
bonus review! Someone also brought scotch chocolates!
Teacher’s Liqueur chocolates% ABV
- Appearance: brown
- Nose: chocolate
- Taste: chocolate, alcohol
- Finish: chocolate
- Score: n/a/100
- I love chocolate. Could benefit from a higher ABV.