I’m going to keep this brief, as there are a lot of superfluous words populating the internet in regards to the subject. No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump’s bigotry, I’m talking about Whisky Bible’s 2016 Whisky of the Year 2016. If you really want to get some quasi-professional input you should check out Geoff Kleinman’s review at Drink Spirits here. I am anything but professional, so let me tell you what I think in cliché; the best whiskey in the world is the one in my hand (and belly and bloodstream and brain and all that.) That is not to say that some whiskies are not of a higher level of distinction, because of course they are, but with any enjoyable whiskey, any whiskey of a certain quality, it’s the individual qualities that count. I’m not in the game of superlatives, so let’s just get to those qualities, with another one of my not-even-remotely-famed single shot reviews…because that’s apparently all I have left. Final note to the reader before getting on with it, take the bag off Crown bottles, otherwise you’ll have no idea how much is left.
Right, tasting, let’s start on the nose. From first sniff the dominant notes are warm apple pie (or should it be apple crisp?) with a very heavy spice footprint, like maybe the top came off the cinnamon shaker. Filling in that lovely crisp is definitely a rich brown sugar note, but following up we get a hint of sawdusty must and an interesting twist of lemon zest also comes across.
The priming note on the palate is a tart crisp apple note which spreads across the tongue leaving in its wake a touch of dryness similar to the mouthfeel of a hearty Cabernet. The spice, of course, is not left by the wayside, with nutmeg and cinnamon present in spades, but seeming to leave the apple on its own, clinging instead to some kind of oaky sawdust scone, which is far more pleasant than the Civil War rations I’ve made it sound like.
The finish on this is surprisingly light and a touch short, with a mellow heat wisping down the throat at 90 proof, which leaves the tongue with just a soft dry tingle and a hint of honey around the edges of the mouth. Nothing too startling, just a friendly Canadian cleanliness.
I really do not have too much more to say. I know I’m not the man to slay the hype beast, I’m just another fella out there drinking whiskey to see what the fuss was all a-boot*. What I will say is that it is nice to be able to drink a whisky rated as the best offering of the year (agreeing or not with that distinction) without having to drop more than $30.
*This article could not have been complete without a Canadian diction joke, I apologize.