Proof: 84 proof / ABV: 42.0%
Age: 10 years
Distillery: Hiram Walker and Sons Distillery, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Blend: Unknown. Finished in ex-bourbon and ex-rum casks
Retail Pricing: $25-35
Availability: Depends. In Canada, easy to get. More limited in the U.S.
This is part of the standard Northern Borders Collection (not the rare one) alongside Lot 40 rye and Gooderham & Worts Four Grain. If you haven’t tried any of these, you’re really missing out. Master distiller Dr. Don Livermore is doing incredible things for Canadian whisky.
A 10-year old, high-rye Canadian whisky blended and then finished for several months in ex-rum barrels. This is a notable departure from the previous release that was finished in ex-port barrels.
Sensibles: Wow, there is no way I would have picked this one to be a Canadian whisky blind. The nose is loaded with classic rum scents of brown sugar and vanilla with just a pinch of charred oak, caramel, and maple syrup. The taste is incredibly smooth and medium-bodied…a slight corny sweetness reveals this to be a whisky but otherwise just more rum flavors of brown sugar and subtle caramel and vanilla. The finish is medium-length and really just rides the rum wave all the way down. An absolute joy to drink. It reminds me of a watered down Foursquare product (that’s a major compliment), more along the lines of Doorly’s and not the exceptional cask stuff.
Value: A 10-year old whisky, blended by the Doc and finished in casks holding my second favorite spirit?? Yes please! I’m on a monster rum kick right now and this is so up my alley. I’m tempted to send a sample of this across the pond to The Fat Rum Pirate for his opinion but I’m pretty sure he sticks strictly to rums. I wish I wish I wish that more tasty premium offerings from Canada (Hiram Walker specifically) made it to the U.S., because I would totally buy them all up.
If I’m to offer any criticism (and I’m a novice at judging both Canadian whisky and rum) it’s that this one seems to heavily rely on the rum finish to carry the weight of complexity and flavors. Without the finishing, I can’t imagine this has any real depth. I’d also like to see a bit higher proof, say 92 to 100 proof, to give it a little kick and warmth to remind you that you’re drinking whisky as this one is simply too smooth! A dessert whisky maybe?
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