Bourbon is a whiskey with a long history of tradition and craftsmanship. Very few spirits, let alone other whiskies, have bourbons well defined production specifications. The laws, on bourbon production, create a very flavourful spirit, but with such well defined specifications some companies loose interest in creativity. Not Woodford Reserve, and their Master Distiller Chris Morris. For the past few
One of my favorite bourbons is Maker’s Mark, plain and simple. This whisky is big, bold and surprisingly smooth. The main thing I like about it is the moderation of the corn aromas in the nose. Being a bourbon it is obviously going to have some corn characteristics, but unlike some cheaper bourbons, Makers Mark has created a wonderful balance.
There are very few independent Canadian whisky distillers left, but Forty Creek is one of them, and a good one at that. The Forty Creek distillery is located between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is operated by John Hall who has been a wine producer for over 20 years, and to scratch an itch, he began making whisky in
The Seagram’s brand has a long history in the whisky market. Seagram’s VO is a very common whisky in North America and many bartenders use it on their rails, since it is the whisky included in the “Diageo rail” (Captain Morgan white rum, Tanqueray gin, Smirnoff vodka). It seems every bar I work at uses the same products, Diageo must
Most people’s impression of Canadian whisky is that it is a rather uninteresting spirit with little depth. I think the reason for this is that of the four major whisky groups, Canadian whisky is the friendly, easy going one. Not surprisingly, many people see Canadians the same way. There is the casual side to Canadian whisky, with its light flavour,
It seems people are finding lots of old bottles of whisky that are still sealed and are wondering whether they are still good and what the value of the bottle would be. For the most part, any bottle of unsealed high proof spirit should be safe as we’ve seen by the sales of very old scotch whiskies. As for the
To start my Canadian whisky review I figure I should start with the royalty of Canadian whisky, Crown Royal, and one of the standards by which I’ll judge other Canadian whiskies. Almost everyone who drinks whisky has heard, tasted or observed Crown Royal sitting on the back bar. Crown Royal was one of the first super premium spirits when it
The house of Johnnie Walker has been a mainstay in the scotch market for many years. For good or bad, they have created whisky branding that is easy for the average consumer to identify and define the quality of the spirit in the bottle. Obviously I’m talking about the Red, Black, Green, Gold and Blue labels. But there is more
This is the first article, in a series, that will be intermingled with the other posts over the next few months. Basically, I’ve been looking at some scientific research on alcohol, beer, wine and bitterness published over the past few decades. Basically, these are studies that are conducted in a scientific fashion and have been published in peer review journals.
After the last two post (Malt vs. Blend and Whisky vs Cognac) I think it would be good to tie up some loose ends and discuss some of the good comments that were posted. The one thing that these two simple research papers show is that tasting spirits, at least whisky and brandy, is more difficult than we generally think.