Glenora Distillery and I have a shakey non-relationship.
It’s a relationship for the joke description I’m writing now.
On the one hand, Canada’s first ever single malt. Made in Nova Scotia, fighting the good fight over naming issues. If that doesn’t make my heart bleed maple syrup and make me want to fuck a moose, I don’t know what will.
On the other hand… I didn’t love the standard offering from them. And while I don’t think it’s garbage, it’s just passing. Like a B- from the teacher who knew passing you meant you could take anything else and never be in charge of people they love.
That said, I actually really enjoyed their last Ice Wine release. And so did others, including /u/texacer, like that means anything.
So when Glen Breton announced they would be selling Glen Breton 12 Ice, my ears perked. I do love Ice Wine quite a bit. And I enjoyed the last one.
However this one is only 12 years old. And it’s not cask strength. However I’ve had some steps down situations in whisky before and they were tasty.
That said I split the bottle 6 ways with a bunch of other whisky peeps in Toronto. I may be open minded, but not so open my brain falls out.
As a note: Last time I did one of these, someone mentioned that they finish the whisky in ice wine casks for no longer than 6 months, as that’s the sweet spot. I assume this is the same.
Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $98.95 (CAD) at the LCBO
Colour: 10Y 9/4
Nose: Grass, mango, orange, floral, glue, caramel
No cilantro notes, and the ice wine notes are still here. That said, I noted an eraser note in the 17, and yeast in the standard 10. I assume then that these two horrid notes have bred to make something unholy in the glue note.
It’s no where near as strong as the 17 CS. However it’s more tropical fruit than berry drank of the 10. So slight improvement.
Taste: Grass, lemon, black pepper, turnip
Here’s where it doesn’t act like big daddy CS 17 and more like cousin does nothing Rare 10. And we all have that one cousin who does jack all.
It’s earthy. There’s not much to it. Any ice wine element has been reduced to a lemon note that seems out of place and could be recreated with a standard ex-bourbon cask.
Finish: Lemon, ginger, grassy, alcohol, earth
See above. It’s not a bad finish. Sure, it’s rough, but it’s palate cleansing at least. Nothing special, and certainly not the level of the older one (or even in the same neighbourhood).
Conclusion: Honestly this tastes like a slightly revised 10 Rare, and that’s all it really is. I’m sad they didn’t learn from the 17 CS that their alcohol needs a cask strength element to be interesting, to really show off the ice wine elements.
I’m rating this the same as the 10 Rare. It costs more, so it’s up to you if you want it. It does things slightly different, otherwise not special. I certainly hope that Canadian alcohol laws get their collective head out of the all dead prohibitionists’ asses and realize they are ruining our quality worldwide due to fear of alcoholism.
World Whisky review #156, Canada review #53, Whisky Network review #723