Port Ellen 28yo vs OMC Port Ellen 27 yo

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Is it really fair to compare one Port Ellen bottling to another?
Especially when one is 2 years younger than the other?
When one is an independent bottling?
When one is Cask Strength at 55.3% and the other is at 50% abv?
Fair or not…here we go.
First of all, unless you are a die hard Cask Strength Fan , the 29yo PE is going to hit you right between the eyes. Not a bad thing, really, but something to be considered.
There was only one guy involved in this tasting…and he’s someone who knows his whisky. He diluted this PE 4:1 with water. Of course, I thought this was sacrilege, but when I tasted the 27yo OMC PE, I kind of understood.
The Old Malt Cask Port Ellen 27yo is really quite delightful to drink. None of the extra abv on the nose to distract. There’s some Peat, but more chocolate and the greatest ash I’ve ever smelled on a Scotch.
The palate matches the nose perfectly.
Not only that, but hours later, while enjoying the best pizza on the prairies, the Peat came through as though I’d just tasted it.
It’ll be interesting to see what my other whisky friends think… but I gotta admit that dropping the abv down was what separates the Douglas Laing bottling  making it unique.  
http://www.douglaslaing.co

St. Ambroise Stout Imperial Russe 2014

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Nose: Coffee. Black liqourice
Palate: Vanilla. Toasted Coconut. Charcoal … no, wait – it’s like ash, on the back palate.
Finish: Blackstrap Molasses, at 1/2 the sweetness, lingering…and there’s some tobacco… is that green apple? I can’t be sure.
…and that’s the whole thing about this stout. It’s chameleon-like; changing with every sip.

This is a Canadian treasure. St-Ambroise Beers are world class. They’ve been around since 1989 by McAuslan Brewery.

Poured into the glass it’s opaque, expresso color…which reminds me-pour it into a big bowl wine glass or at least some sort of snifter cuz this stout has aromas that you will enjoy through the entire tasting experience.

9.2% abv makes this a big-boy-beer. But no matter how hard you try, you’ll never find the alcohol dominating. St-Ambroise is perfectly balanced, made from a blend of Cascade, Goldings & Willamette hops.
Bourbon wood-aging brings a complexity that is unparalleled.

Buy a case of every St-Ambroise Imperial Stout you can find.
Drink a few… but always age a few so at some point in the future you can host a tasting and have vertical fun with your friends.

http://www.mcauslan.com

Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky

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Nose: Citrus Fruit. Marshmallow. Dried Fruit. Cashew. Sweet Vanilla

Palate: Creamy entry gives way to a spritz which I could only accredit to the 43.4% abc…but it was distracting. Butterscotch flavors were sidelined by the overwhelming butterscotch aroma lifting like a cloud.
Honey and a cranberry fruitiness preceded burnt toffee.
There’s a heavy corn influence at the end.

Finish: Medium to short. The alcohol and tannin remain on the gums.

Overall, I’d say Wisers Small Batch Canadian Whisky makes a better mixer than sipper.

The corn is very pronounced at the end, lingering in the throat likes it’s waiting for something to wash it down.

I’m a big fan of the Wiser’s 18 to pair with cigars.
Wiser’s Legacy is one of my favourite sipping whisky’s.
So Small Batch fills that niche of one of the Wiser’s for mixing.
http://www.wisers.ca

Ardbeg SuperNova TT 141214

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A lovely sample of Ardbeg Supernova nestled beneath its Glencairn, waiting to be tasted.

One of the things about whisky is the great community all around it. One of the most loved members is Johanne McInnis, aka http://whiskylassie.blogspot.ca
Johanne is tireless in her whisky endeavors. She does superb seminars, hosts tastings and organizes Twitter Tastings for enthusiasts across Canada and around the world.
Sunday Dec 14.14 had almost 20 participants involved in SuperNova2014, a cross-country tasting where we all participate in assessing the sample we received courtesy of Johanne and Ardbeg Ambassador Ruaraidh (rhymes with brewery) MacIntyre.
It’s a super-fun time with everyone showing their whisky set-ups. Some people have Ardbeg branded glasses, while other partipants get technical doing comparisons with another Supernova they have in their whisky collection.

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I use The Glencairn Glass for all my whisky assessments. That is, unless, I’m in a “testing room” rather than a “tasting room”. In a testing room, where I will be marked on my assessment of a whisky, I prefer to use an ISO Standard tasting glass.
But today we are tasting for both enjoyment and assessment…so Glencairn it is.
Having poured the Ardbeg Supernova into the glass, I’d describe the color as Gold-bright as compared to Gold-Light.
Promptly at 2pm we started the #Supernova2014 Twitter Tasting!
Color: Gold. From light to bright
Nose: Smoky. Peat. Tropical Fruit; banana, Pineapple. Spicy. Pepper & cinnamon. Pine on the retro-nasal.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel. Slightly salty. Mushroom makes an appearance. With each sip I got an intriguing licorice aroma on the nose.
Finish: I found the finish a bit confusing, really. While it seemed to be a short finish, I couldn’t deny there was still something going on, it just wasn’t what I expected. Giving it time, I have to admit the cigar tobacco finish was phenomenal. Lots of dark cacao and earthy coffee.
At 55% abv, this dram is amazingly well-integrated, sip-friendly; no water needed.
Supernova2014 global distribution limited to only about 10,000 bottles with about 500 in Canada.

Duchesse De Bourgogne. Belgium Beer

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Flanders Red Ale. 6.2% abv. Brewed using traditional methods.
This beer is a relevation. The aromas sparkle with cherries and red fruit. Since aromas constitutes the majority of what we actually taste, those fruit descriptors translate perfectly on the palate.
Make no mistake, the Duchesse De Bourgogne is complex yet refined.
It’s known as “The Burgundies of Belgium” for a reason…it has a distinct wine-like influence.
Matured in oak casks for months, the result is a beer that is rich in texture with Champagne-like finesse in the carbonation.
Nose: Red & black fruit with a hint of sour cherries.
Mouthfeel: Refreshing with bubbles that seem to evaporate on contact.
Palate: Utterly refreshing. Bright cherry fruit, zesty green apple covered in thin caramel coating and a hint of vanilla from the oak Cask that carries it all in.
Finish: Long and thoroughly satisfying with the perfect impact of a light sour note that satisfies the palate.

Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye Whisky

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Winner of Whisky Advocates 2014 Canadian Whisky of the Year, this Rye proved itself worthy of distinction for a few reasons.
Nose: Light aromas of black pepper & dark berry fruit.
Mouthfeel:  Served neat, as a sipper, takes a bit of adjustment.
The 1st sip comes off a little hot. This is not due to the low 40%abv, but probably more to the balance of single grain rye through the aging process.
By the 2nd sip the tastebuds had adjusted and CC Chairman’s Select was acceptable as a sipper.
Palate: Peppery spice with a wee bit of nuttiness. 
Finish: Short with not much complexity
Mixer or Sipper: I’d say mixer, unless, like me, you enjoy a bit of a bite to your Canadian Whisky.
Mixing it with cola brings out a more pronounced sweetness. Ginger Ale gives it more butterscotch on the nose and almost a stone fruit retro.
Water is the best mixer, in my opinion, revealing a distant lemon aroma on the nose and an unexpected milk chocolate taste at the sides of the palate.
At under $30, CC Chairman’s Select is a great choice.