Sounds weird for sure but an Aussie now converted into an Ausadian or Cantralian and I can tell you that with the receipt of my Canadian passport and going through the citizenship ceremony I see myself as 100% both (well maybe slightly always a little more Aussie).
So for this coming Canada day I have saved something new and awesome.
For those that have been following along and thanks by the way, You will have read a little about the trials and tribulations of Still Waters distillery in Ontario
Having been involved almost from the beginning in working with Barry and Barry to sell whatever it was that they were working on I have slogged side by side with them for over half a decade. It is really exciting for me now to be still working with them as they are starting to receive some accolades after releasing some excellent whisky.
Today’s blog is all about Canadian whisky and getting small and crafty with it. “Rye” is what most Canadians call Canadian whisky by default. Quite often it is a misnomer because the bulk of “Canadian” whisky has little to no rye at all.
Here we have an example of 100% locally grown Ontario Rye being distilled by 2 guys that have had a passion for excellence and have done the really hard yards in the face of massive obstacles to become craft distillers in the hugely government controlled province of Ontario. Before I even taste, there is a massive amount of kudos and hat dipping to both of them for sheer perseverance and love for whisky which I also share.
So on to the whisky – Stalk and Barrel Rye bottled at 46% and aged in 1st fill ex bourbon casks with medium to heavy charring. Cask No. 24 (they number their casks combined so this is the 24th cask of any kind of whisky that they have bottled) Bottle number 138.
Tasted in a Glencairn – I know I don’t use this glass often for reviews but I have had this whisky before and wanted to really have the nose accentuated for me. At 46% I also didn’t think that the singular delivery to the palate would be detrimental.
Nose: Sweet soft recognizable rye, almost cotton candy (fairy floss in Australian) very little spicy character that you would normally associate with American rye. Hints of butterscotch and toffee apple. Wow this nose absolutely shines in a Glencairn this is seductively sexy whisky and is very very pretty. Floral wildflower essence but not at all perfume like. A touch of Bourbon background and all stirred together with a Madagascar vanilla bean.
Palate: Amazingly easy on the palate for a whisky of only just over 3 years aging. The signature rye spice is there but is so soft and playful it literally caresses the buds, imparting palate coating mouth feel and complexity that belies its age. I am in agreement with Davin de Kergommeaux from canadianwhisky.org. The Barry’s hit this one out of the park for their first Rye outing.
I will drink this regularly and often. You might remember in Blog #70 that I used this in a hot toddy when I was under the weather. Well right about now I am thinking what the heck was I doing throwing whisky such as this into a hot toddy mix. In my defence though better cocktails and or toddy’s require better base spirits and this is one of them.
Finish: Continues on the way it started with enveloping soft spice with the tiniest zip on the tongue that lets you know it is 100% rye at heart. Takes a really long time to dissipate and is a gorgeous sipper. I will be tipping this bottle a lot this Summer.
Please remember that as owner of Secret Spirits I represent this whisky. I wish I could tell you that I am just bias and trying to flog you a bottle of whisky that I will benefit from the sale thereof, but that would be a load of crap. This is really, really good whisky and fully deserves the recent award as “best new Canadian Whisky” at this years Canadian Whisky Awards.
Prove me wrong and grab a bottle. I would love to hear from anyone with a craft Canadian whisky experience as there are more and more small distilleries popping up to take on the big guys.
Happy Canada Day eh!