KWM Whisky Advent Calendar 2017: Day 4

4 12 2017

Man, this 2017 calendar just continues its emphatic strides towards difference and individuality and I just keep loving its uniqueness.  We get two new Whisky Advent firsts today (at least in my four years of following along):  (1) first ever CANADIAN whisky, and (2) first ever plastic bottle embedded in the calendar.  I almost dropped it pulling it out of slot #4 it was so light.  This is the very first ever spirit offering from Niagara’s Wayne Gretzky Estate Winery, the Red Cask Premium Crafted Whisky, which is distilled from locally grown grains and then, in a nod to its roots, matured in the winery’s own red wine barrels.  Very cool.  It has to be one of the least expensive whiskies ever to grace the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar as well, tipping the scales at a svelte $44 for a full bottle.

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This inaugural Advent offering from our home and native land is great to look at, a pleasantly burnished amber colour impressively obtained given what I wouldn’t expect to have been an extraordinarily long maturation period.  It smells equal parts spicy and toasty, cinnamon and charcoal, layered with elastic bands, Old Fashioned-style citrus and melon fruit.  The double-take portion of the whisky comes in the form of its ultra-satiny, almost gelatinous texture, like a Jello shot or an alcoholic Jujube.  It billows out on the tongue like a roasting marshmallow and then sits there, inflated and cooked on the edges, hanging out.  I wrote “is this rye-based?” when pepper and sandpaper started biting my tastebuds, and I was at least partially right:  it’s part aged rye, part malted rye and part corn-based whisky, each distilled separately.  The corn comes through in the Bourbon-esque caramel, burnt orange and Creamsicle flavours, lending easy approachability to the whole affair.  On the whole, while the mouthfeel seems slightly exaggerated, this stands up quite well as a solid weeknight sipper.  O Canada.

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