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Month: February 2018

Singlemalting # 193 – It’s fun to say Schnapps

Welcome back to the as promised review of something very interesting from the Yukon. While there last September I received a bottle of Concept 7 from Yukon Spirits and have been waiting till the deep of Winter to crack it open.

Yukon Spirits has been in operation since 2009 when a still was added to the Yukon Brewing facility that had been making outstanding beer since 1997. Their first whisky was launched under the Two Brewers label as a classic Single Malt.

Yukon Schnapps

The Concept 7 began as the Lead Dog Ale that is a rich malty beer that I have downed with vigor on my trips to the Yukon. Deciding to distill the Lead Dog and then age it in fresh oak barrels they came up with Concept 7. Classified as Schnapps here in Canada they could if they had been distilling in the US called this a whiskey as it is 42%.

Yukon Spirits Concept 7 Barrel Aged Schnapps – 42% and bottle 40 of 525 – tasted in a good old shot glass as most Schnapps is

Nose:  One could be forgiven if tasting this blind that they had a light rye whiskey in their glass. Some nutty spice and sweetness with treacle toffee notes.

Palate:   Warming spice (Winter special this one) that makes me wish I was on the hill skiing with this in my hip flask. Brief thought of rye whiskey does not follow through here with the spice taking a much sweeter turn. A real freshness about this that throws some lively stewed apple note complete with a sprinkling of fresh ground cinnamon.

Finish:   Surprisingly long and warming right to my core. The malty Ale really hits on the finish doffing it’s cap to the Lead Dog origins and I wish I had one here right now so I could do a cleansing chaser.

Delicious stuff this and was I surprised? Not even a little. When you start with good ingredients and keep that attention to detail then the result is bound to be awesome.

Everyone say Schnapps

I’ll be heading out and grabbing a 6 pack of Lead Dog and trying the chaser theory very soon.

Thank guys for sharing a rare bottle of this delicious dram with me. Looking forward to checking out whats happening at Yukon Spirits later this year on my next trip up North.

Concept 7 is not available in Alberta but I’m sure that Yukon Spirits would be happy to ship you a bottle if you dropped them a line.

For my next rant I’ll be off to Scotland for the annual pick the whisky tour. This time it’s culminating in a very prestigious honor that I have worked and waited a long time for.

Until then when all will be revealed have a good one and dram on.




Singlemalting # 192 – Big Brand Jazz

G’day everyone and welcome back to a brand New Year. After spending Christmas in Ontario I was back at another wonderful whisky festival week in Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria. You can read about how amazing these festivals are in one of my previous blogs. As promised today I am sharing a rareish bottle of whisky from the largest producing brand of Single Malt in the world.

Shadow oversees the blog writing

Glenfiddich is mopst likely extremely well known to everyone reading this blog. As an imbiber of all things independent bottling it is a scarcity for me to reach out and grab a big brand bottle. I literally stared at this particular packaging for almost the entire month of December while promoting our Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar at Costco in San Francisco. As a branding and packaging piece, the team at Glenfiddich did an amazing job. Everything from the box to the bottle is full of little details that make it exceptionally well thought out.

Seems like I might have had a wee dram or two

This is the Glenfiddich 21 year old Reserva Rum Cask Finish. The rich orange colouring of the box with the double opening doors allows for light to play on the whisky bottle and to say that it beckoned me to open the bottle is an understatement. Like most everyone I am also swayed by beautiful packaging and well thought out design. After tucking it under my arm and transporting it back to Canada I could hardly wait to see if what was inside the bottle would live up to the eye candy.

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish – Bottled at 40%. With the Rum cask no doubt giving it a rouch of extra colour I would hope that it does not have any caramel added but I expect with the worldwide distribution and number of bottles that it is. Also sadly chill filtered.

Nose:   Tropical fruit influence taking me to ripe banana split with vanilla bean ice cream and hot caramel fudge drizzled all over it.

Palate:   Light delivery that leaves me needing another sip as it was all gone rather quickly. There are some light sweet spices… a touch of ginger, vanilla, and a hint of the tropics like the smell of the fruit bowl when its across the other side of your resort hotel room.

Finish:  Drying and trying to hang on but fading quickly. There is some citrus poking through at the death but little else.

Was really hoping for a lot more and if it had been 46% and non-chill filtered I know that I would have been rewarded handsomly. However the bottle yield would have been much less and alas that is not the way Glenfiddich plays.

I went in search of some reviews to compare and found a few lucky souls that had received barrel samples of this whisky and lets just say that their experience was much improved over the final version.

So this bottle was selling for around $ 180 US. For a packaging analysis and big brand experience blog experience I would do it again. If I were a consumer I might be a touch dissapointed that the whisky could have delivered so much more. Why dress the whisky up in the finest of formal evening wear only to strip it of all the nuance and complexity that would have made it shine.

Great experiment and fun to do. Would be nice to really see the big boys let it be all about the whisky sometimes even allowing for spectacular packaging. My suggestion would be to save your $$$’s for something a little more epic but by all means grab it off the shelf and check out the packaging.

Next blog as promised quite a while ago I am going to be tasting a small batch bottle of something crazy from the boys at Two Brewers in the Yukon. Stay tuned.