As promised this week I am delving into a new brand to hit Canadian shelves that has garnered some decent press. The Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old is the brainchild of Beverage group Fountana. Distilled by Highwood distillers in Alberta these aged casks were chosen specially by the Fountana team to form the foundation of what will become their core brand. As a caveat I have to let readers know that I have worked for a long time with Fountana sales director Roberto Roberti in various capacities and am excited to have the opportunity to write about their first brand.
Aged in American oak casks for a minimum of 21 years the mashbill is simple – 100% corn. Slightly unusual for Canadian whisky 100% corn reacts extremely well to additional aging where the sometimes overtly sweet corn base is balanced by barrel added complexity.
Lets get stuck into the dram itself:
Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Canadian Whisky, 46% ABV no chill filtration and no added colour – Batch number 1
Tasted in the ever faithful go to Glencairn glass
Colour: Certainly light for a 21 year old whisky and I would think the majority of casks used for this first batch might have been 2nd fill. Having said that the lovely 14 carat gold polish looks inviting in my glass.
Nose: Recognizable sweet corn notes wrap around alpine meadow floral character much like the heady scents after a serious hike to the top. White chocolate dusted brandy snaps filled with vanilla infused whipping cream.
Palate: Soft and caressing sweetness that delivers all of the above. The 46% gives it weight and helps to spread it all over the palate giving a complete mouth feel. Rather than a candy apple this reminds me of what a toffee covered pear would taste like if such a thing existed. A firm ripe pair thinly dipped into fresh vanilla toffee on a stick now that would be awesome.
Finish: Long and sustained notes of ripe pair carried along on the creamy vanilla wave with accents of toffee. The weight is really impressive given the age and the mashbill.
This is a really well balanced whisky which can be harder to accomplish utilizing just corn as the base. This is really yummy and something that especially now that Summer is here will be a go to on the deck when the sun is shining.
I am looking forward to trying that because based on this 21 year old I can only think that this freshness will still be evident after another 14 years in cask but the added complexity should be amazing.
Always exciting for a company to branch out with their own brand (I know personally just how exciting) so congratulations to Fountana for taking the plunge and for being so selective in releasing such a delicious combination of casks under their Canadian Rockies label. For around $ 69 on the shelf this is well worth the investment.