We seem to be thinking about whisky a bit this time around. Perhaps it’s because of Robbie Burns Day on January 25th, and what better way to celebrate the bard? Or perhaps it’s because it’s a wonderful spirit to enjoy when the wind is howling and blowing, and one is nestled up, all snug-like with a dram…
This month, we have a few highly enjoyable whiskies from a wide range of places, but also some Scottish gin, and for those après ski moments (or après shovelling ones) an espresso martini to get your chill on.
Koval “Bottled in Bond” Single Barrel Rye Whiskey, United States
First off – you’ve been warned, this Single Barrel Rye is bottled at 100 proof, so you might want to have a bit of water handy before you start. Completely alive with bright spicy characters and yet with some orange peel, apple, and a slightly floral note on the nose. After some water, the heat still remains on the palate, but all these spices and slightly leathery characters still bring finer complex flavours. Delicious – but have that water nearby!
CSPC 868436 $110-120
On the Rocks Effen Espresso Martini
Exactly the right sort of balance in a ready to drink espresso martini. Rich, robust coffee flavours evoking a cold pressed barista level coffee - finely balanced against a very smooth, vodka spirit base from Effen Vodka. Weighing in at 20 percent ABV, its perhaps a little easier to finish the glass than expected, but it’s a marvellously smooth journey if you need that little après work pick-me-up.
CSPC 875217 $20-$25
Lind & Lime Gin
Lind & Lime suggest adding fresh lime juice and simple syrup to make your gimlet, but honestly… after the juniper, this delicious gin leads with aromas of lime and pink peppercorns such that we’d be very happy to sip it neat with a lime wheel garnish for a ‘gimartini’! The beautiful bottle is green, but not only in colour: it contains 100 percent organic ingredients, it’s distilled with 100 percent green electricity, and the packaging is 100 percent plastic-free.
CSPC 875968 $54-57
Penderyn Icons of Wales #
I feel quite sure many people in Alberta can identify with ‘Hiraeth’ – Welsh for ‘longing for your heritage or homeland’. Please don’t buy this whisky just for the absolutely gorgeous packaging – the beautiful black and gold tin and stunning gold metal-coated bottle – the whisky inside is a 46 percent ABV, single malt from their pot stills which, with a drop of water, opens up to be a smooth and rounded, sippable, honeyed dram, that also donates to people with mental illness and homeless youth and women.
CSPC + 867162 $100-110
Suntory World Whisky Ao
There can’t be many distillers that can produce a whisky from their own distilleries across five different countries, but Beam Suntory can – and have! Ao, Japanese for ‘blue’, represents the seven seas that tie Canada, America, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, and their whiskies, together. It’s golden and rich, well-balanced, with notes of baking spices, vanilla, and apple pie - and one for whisky enthusiasts to treasure!
CSPC 880859 $105-120
Single Malt Whisky, Batch 006
Eau Claire Distillery, Alberta
We’re excited for – to us, the best whisky yet from locals, Eau Claire Distillery. Batch 006 is their first six-year old release – and it shows, with a depth of flavour from aging in three types of barrels: new Hungarian oak, ex-sherry French oak, and ex-bourbon American oak, before being blended together to produce a game-changing, complex whisky with butterscotch flavours of Werther’s Originals, with raspberries and cream. Alberta locavore whisky fans - go for it if you can get it!
CSPC 880474 around $109 on the shelf