Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Canadian Ménage à Trois... Which would you choose?

I love Canadian whiskies, no doubt about that. I bring them with me when I travel, I share them with friends, I talk about them at every opportunity and it's because I really feel like they are such a unique category all to themselves (but then again you could say every whisky is that...) Something else to consider is I own them. Over one third of my whisky collection is Canadian Whisky and I couldn't be prouder. 

Shut the ffffffront door!!!!
I don't like the fact that some bloggers will write about whiskies being the do/be/end all but ask them if they actually own a bottle and you find out quickly that they received free samples and that's pretty much the only reason they wrote the blog. Oh well to each his/her own I guess, who are we to judge?

Dan, Johanne and Maryse?
So why up on the soapbox now Lassie? Well simply put I was on twitter having another conversation about a few Canadian whiskies arriving at the liquor store which prompted conversations and the next thing I knew us stooges were doing a ménage à trois with some 21 year olds...  :) Dan posted his first at: 

Then Maryse guest posted on mine: 

Then comes mine (with an added silly twist I assure you): Three Canadian whiskies all 21 years old and all at 40% ABV, this should be a good head to head comparison!

I started with the Century Reserve 21 year old made by Highwood Distillery:

It's 100% corn which is a bit of a rarity in Canada. Unlike bourbons or other "corn forward" whiskies this is not at all aggressive on the nose and it's so mellow you really have to pay attention to get the aromas/flavors. At first sniff the clover honey is so subtle you really have to work at it to get it. It's elegant, soft and whimsical. Inhale too much and it's like you took it all away, honestly. There's a bit of fresh cut hay in the background and softer spices. I bet this one surprises Dan and Maryse!

On the palate she comes alive! Lemon creaminess (reminds me of lemon squares with graham wafers), then comes the spicy pepper and the finish is short buttery and sweet like toffee slide. I wanted to pour a second!!!  The nose was intriguing and pleasant, the palate sort of bitch slaps you at the end with the pepper!? 

Oh behave!!!   Century 21 Year Old 
Glad I started there, I think I'll call her "The Librarian"   Soft, seductive and a bit surprising once you drink her in! She's complex but you would never know it at first. I could see myself reaching for this one when I want something to savor, ponder and enjoy. I like it, she's a good start to this menage à trois... NEXT! 

Whisky #2 poured and introduced: Collingwood 21 out of Ontario:

This is a limited release from the distillery and so I made sure to buy a few bottles. This one is a 100% malted rye! The nose is right there in your face and pulls you into the glass, especially after the librarian, this one is almost a bit of a brute!? Rich rye bread (I may have detected smoked meat?!) There's quite a bit of dried raising and hints of chocolate in the background too. On the palate, more rye notes: Peppery, full bodied, oily. Some anise seed as well?!

Fluffy sweetness: Collingwood 21
After a few more sips, it's becoming sweet & syrupy... hmmm a bit too sweet for me right now. Almost hard candy (Christmas barley toys). I couldn't spend too much time with this one, I think I would get bored quite quickly. I like it, but like the bottle it comes in, it is pretty and one dimensional!? It might be the type of whisky I wouldn't mind drinking every once and awhile but I wouldn't sit and enjoy several of them. It's a bit of a one night stand so I think I'll call this one "Bunny"...

And last but not least Danfield's 21. Sorry no website but it's made by Black Velvet for William & Churchill. This is a blended Canadian whisky only sold in Canada (like many of them) and is not released on a regular basis. Those of us who like it, stock up when it does come out and the shelves are usually emptied quite quickly. 

Nose: Quite oaky, reminds my of fresh cedar shakes! Luscious red fruit - cherries, plums perhaps. Some floral notes at the back (like geraniums?) Quite pleasant really, well balanced.  On the palate, lovely oily and slippery. Cinnamon heart candies or maybe more like some candied ginger pieces?! Oh yes.. hot and sweet. The finish lingers, again hot, spicy, sweet. Leaves quite a lovely flavor behind. 

HOT & SWEET = Danfield's 21
Now this, I could drink several of, oh yes... This is the one I could drink every night I think. Quite a lovely dram and very satisfying. I think, in Maryse's honor I'll call this one the sweaty firemen!? It's hot, oily, spicy sweetness that you hope never ends and that you keep coming back for...  (Man it's warm in here all of a sudden??) 

So there you go, every whisky has it's style and time. I love all three of these and they all have a purpose in my collection. Thanks to Dan and Maryse for having fun with this. It's nice to see how we, like the whiskies, are different and unique. I like that!

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go set the shed on fire, pour myself a Danfield's and wait for the firemen and Maryse to arrive....   JUST KIDDING, I assure you...  no really...


1 comment:

  1. Lassie, excellent tasting notes! The Danfield's 21 will hard to come by but I love the Century Reserve 21 and Collingwood 21. There are a few of us south of the boarder who appreciate what our Canadian brethren are up to. . . .