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.
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.
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.
A second Great White North adventure to the Yukon was a must after the amazing time I had last year (read the blog here). This time around the focus was Whitehorse but I’m sure we will be back up in Dawson again at some point.
In a Yukon first some high ends Rums were the order of the day with a Rums Revenge tasting at the outstanding Woodcutters Blanket Cocktail and Whisky bar. Two sittings were needed to fit everyone in and provided an intimate atmosphere to really get our collective Rum geek on. James the owner who’s folks live in Calgary had already had a chance to try some of the rum with me a few weeks prior and so with his exceptional bar tender had come up with a couple of delicious cocktails. The first called Port of Saints included Walnut Bitters, Angostura bitters, Six Saints Rum and Warre’s Late Bottled Port along with a drunken cherry and lemon zest curl and spritz. This was paired with a Cuban pulled port slider with pineapple and spice that was gone within seconds of landing on the table in front of me. The second cocktail was a Saints Flip that tasted just like rum and nog with cinnamon dusting.
So we ran through 7 rums starting with the Six Saints and then moving onto the limited edition Santeria, West Indies Rum and Cane Merchants Central America, British West Indies, Belize XO and French Overseas before finishing with the Samaroli Fiji 2001. With such a diverse range of flavors and some truly incredible Agricole expressions there was no doubt that we had many new Rum converts by the end of it all. Getting all Piratey and helping folk to get jazzed about Rum is just such a pleasure. Big Bear Donair the only place for late night fare in Whitehorse came to the rescue for the after party munchies and my Greek Donair was just the ticket.
Loved staying in Riverdale at the Vangorda Bed and Breakfast as it afforded me a decent walk along the river into Whitehorse. This is where I came across the evidence of a very busy colony of Beavers and one of the largest dams I have ever seen. Every morning there were a few more trees felled overnight and the size of the trunk was no deterrent to getting those teeth stuck in. I wish I could have sat on the bank at dusk and watched them swim back and forth but had to be content checking out the new work each morning instead.
An invitation out to his home by a small lake by Peter Turner the president of the Yukon Chamber was very special as the Cedar plank Salmon and Rum by the fire pit completed a great Yukon evening. Apparently the Northern lights were supposed to be especially vivid but alas all we had was cloud cover.
The heel auction at the end of the night included the rums from the previous events and was a load of fun. We were able to raise a good amount of extra $$$ for the Chamber and make some people very happy to be taking away a special treat.
A visit to Yukon Brewing and Two Brewers Distillery was a real bonus. Sometime in the future watch for a review on the Single Cask Barrel Aged Schnapps that if it were bottled in the US could easily be classified as a whisky. I have tried Two Brewers whiskies on a few occasions and must get one for a review sometime soon as they are all delicious.
Thanks Rachel for ferrying me around Whitehorse all week. I am really looking forward to getting back there again as it’s one of the highlight trips of the year for me.
Whisky has taken me around the world and given me experiences that I honestly hadn’t even dreamed possible. Adding in a bucket list trip to Canada’s Yukon this past September tipped the scales as the most amazing week of the year.
I was honored to be able to present some delicious whiskies and help the Yukon Whisky faithful experience some never before seen offerings. I have to say that this was just way too much fun to even remotely be considered work. Flying from Calgary to Dawson City included a brief pause in Vancouver and an awesome back to basics flight on one of Air North’s Hawker Siddeley 748’s that excels in landings on gravel and ice.
First event was at the historically restored Red Feather Saloon and I must say that I have never presented whisky in such a cool location. A trip to Dawson City is like stepping back in time complete with dirt roads and perma frost damaged buildings. Tasting through a line up of various calendar whiskies meant that companies like A.D. Rattray, Wemyss Malts, Samaroli and the Malt Whisky Company were showcased for the first time ever. Not often an Aussie in a Kilt pours whisky in Dawson so it was a somewhat bemused and eager group that ran through the 7 drams on offer.
No trip to Dawson is complete without a visit to Diamond Tooth Gerties and the after party started watching the fabulous stage show and finished at the blackjack tables which just had to be done as part of the historical experience. A big thanks to Coralee for making me feel like a returning resident rather than a wide eyed tourist. Coralee went above and beyond and organised an absolutely perfect event.
Nest stop was Whitehorse and a collaborative tasting with some delicious fresh shucked oysters from Wayfarer Oyster Bar and hand selected cheeses from Fine Cultured Cheese making it an event to remember. An energetic group if ever I saw one with loads of interesting questions and interaction right throughout the evening. I was so warmly welcomed, Whitehorse was really sparkling in fall colors and an opportunity for the most Northern Golf I have ever had the privilege of attempting was too good to pass up.
A massive thanks to Rachel who showed me the sights and sounds of Whitehorse including the Klondike Rib and Salmon, a preview of the oysters to come washed down with a terrific Whisky Sour at the Woodcutter’s Blanket and for taking me to 98 Hotel where I mostly guessed the pelts on the wall and got my official “breakfast club” pin. Rachel like Coralee was amazing in organizing the event and it is now locked in for a return visit in 2017.
I would highly recommend anyone with half an excuse to head to the Yukon. It’s an experience you will not soon forget.
So just one sleep away from getting the party started with the first of 25 straight days of whisky blogging.