Friday, 2 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #222

Centennial Limited Edition 10 Year Old (40% abv)
Canadian Rye Whisky
Not available in the UK (yet)
Photos courtesy of @Whiskylassie
Continuing my Canadian Whisky education with the third from the five dram sample swap with @Whiskylassie. It wasn't easy to find out about this whisky, they really are keen on keeping it all to themselves! While savouring this dram I also had the opportunity to actually meet up with both Johanne and Graham from The Perfect Whisky Match blog through the wonders of Skype and discuss my thoughts while we were both sipping the same whisky, from the same bottle - magic! Anyway, talking to Graham and Johanne I learned that this expression is made by a relatively unknown Canadian Distillery, Highwood Distillers, based in Alberta

The distillery was founded in 1974 and originally operated under the name ‘Sunnyvale’. In 1984, it was renamed ‘Highwood Distillers’ after the famous river and region that surrounds the distillery in the foothills of Western Canada’s beautiful Rocky Mountains. Until 1997, both the distillery and sales offices were located at the distillery in High River, Alberta. Today, the sales team operates out of Calgary, Alberta while the distillery continues to thrive and grow in High River. After nearly 40 years Highwood Distillers is now one the largest independently owned distilleries in Canada, producing a number of Canadian whiskies as well as Gin and Vodka. It's also a sub-contract distiller who'll do whatever you ask them to.

So What Did I Think?

Centennial Limited Edition 10 year old is a Canadian Rye whisky, but uses wheat in the mash bill with the rye to give a smoother, richer taste.  Their website says that this is created in small batches, and go on to say a great deal of attention is given to the selection of grains – wheat lends to a gentle sweetness, rye a spiciness, while corn delivers a robust body.

The nose immediately has those spicy, dusty rye notes - almost chalky, and I had to dig a little deeper to bring out the sweetness of honey and caramel from it, but when it does release itself, it comes across as rich, dark sweetness, like that of dark cherries.

On the palate it started with a juicy mouth-watering sour note, as though it's cleansing or preparing the palate for what's about to come next. Sweetness of honey and caramel, smooth and mellow, before the spicy rye kicks in near the end, leaving a peppery tingle on the tongue.

It's smooth and mellow right through to the finish, there's a light bourbon note near the end amongst the sweet spicy finish. 

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