Appealing barrel tones accented by peppery spices, high fruity esters and dark fruits, in a lush, creamy body. All kinds of complexities so tightly interwoven that it is difficult to tease them out. Sweet corn, various fruits and hints of black licorice. ★★★★★
Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old 46% abv
It has been about five years since Vancouver’s Fountana Group launched their Canadian Rockies line with a tasty 21-year-old corn whisky from Highwood Distillers in High River, Alberta. The whisky was intended for the Asian market, and bore a number of flavour markers that would appeal to a palate familiar with Asian fruits.
Word spread and soon Canadian whisky fans were asking for the whisky to be released in Canada as well. Thomas Chen, Fountana’s manager in charge of whisky tweaked the cask selection and boosted the abv to 46% for Canadian release. It was a huge success.
Enter Roberto Roberti, a long-experienced whisky distributor. Shortly after Roberti joined the Fountana Group, Chen put him in charge of the Canadian Rockies brand. Roberti had a vision for a Canadian whisky that would appeal to connoisseurs and also to visitors and gift givers.
The label still says 21 years old, but the blend includes some whisky that is significantly older and that really boosts the elegant woody notes. Roberti also commissioned a custom bottle, embossed with the rocky mountains, with one peak punching right up into the bottle from underneath.
And finally he added his trademark Canadian maple leaf to the label. Roberti remembered when he was the agent selling Canadian Club to duty free stores. Sales soared after he added a tiny red maple leaf to the labels.
Canadian Rockies 21 year old is big whisky with plenty of breadth and depth, yet it retains the refined elegance of long-aged Canadian whisky.
Nose: such a range of rich, enticing woody notes, from clean dry wood to fresh pine sawdust. High esters – almost floral, almost fruity and heavenly. Buttery sweet corn with lively hot pepper and sweet rye spices.
Palate: quite sweet with gently pulling tannins as in a cup of strong black tea. An orchestra of woodwinds. Lovely woody tones, floral high notes, dark fruits and peppery heat. Lush and creamy, almost syrupy, with hints of dark licorice and potent peppery spices. Tightly integrated flavours make it difficult to tease out the individual components.
Finish: medium long and spicy with clean wood, fading pepper, hints of citrus fruit and slightly sweet fruity notes that dissove into into lovely mild grapefruit pith.
Empty Glass: strong clean boards, a woodshop, lumberyard, old dry wood.
Very highly recommended ★★★★★
$98 at Legacy Liquors in BC.
The original Canadian Rockies 21 year old is reviewed here: http://www.canadianwhisky.org/reviews/canadian-rockies-21-year-old-40-alcvol.html