Hi, it’s Kelly and I’m very excited about this year’s 2nd annual Vancouver Whisky Festival so I’m giving away invitations all week on air, so make sure you listening to win or you can buy your tickets here.
The Vancouver Whisky Festival is Saturday, September 16th at the Pacific Inn Resort Hotel in White Rock. Expect this year’s festival to be much larger with 12 scheduled Masterclasses compared to only 3 last year and over 200 Whiskys that you can sample.
Top 5 Whiskies You Have to Try
One of the goals of the Companions of the Quaich is to educate people about whisky. We do this experiencially – by tasting and comparing whiskies – and not by lecturing. With this in mind, the 5 whiskies selected represent distinctive styles of whisky. We selected whiskies, not by region, but rather, by their flavour characteristics. Up to 70% of the flavour in any whisky is derived from the cask that it has been matured in. Was the spirit aged in an ex-bourbon or sherry cask? Or, perhaps, and more exotic, was it matured in a rum or Sauternes cask? Not only are the whiskies chosen delicious, they are also excellent expressions of bourbon, sherry, rum, cask strength and peated whiskies.
1. Compass box Kensington Wine Market 25th Anniversary 46%
Five years of discussions went into its creation. Inspired by Flaming Heart and other Compass Box elegant and older blends, this spirit is a unique creation. It was blended with a mixture of old grains, and spicey and smokey malts. It has a distinctive sherry cask flavour profile derived from mature spirits. Dried fruits – sultanas, raisins, candied peel, spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, wood, caramel, orange, Christmas cake, chocolate, coffee, leather.
2. Clynelish 19 YO, 1997
Distributed by 3rd party bottler Carn Mor, this expression is representative of the flavours one can expect from a bourbon cask whisky. Bourbon cask whiskies are generally lighter in colour and flavour than those matured in sherry casks. Flavours include vanilla, honey, nuts – coconut, almonds, hazelnuts, butterscotch, fudge, spices, ginger, white fruits. The Clynelish distillery is located in the Highlands, north of Inverness. If you have tasted Johnny Walker, then you have sampled a bit of Clynelish, as it is one of the spirts in that blend.
3. Benriach, 16 YO Dark Rum Cask 53.9%
Matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks, this Highland spirit is then finished (re-casked for several months or years) in casks from Jamaica, previously used to mature Dark Rum. Finishing a whisky adds new dimensions to a whisky, generally enhancing its flavour. Flavours include, sweetness, nutty, porridge, molasses, vanilla, tropical fruit, dark fruits, caramel.
4. Kilchoman 100% Islay 7th edition 50%
This peated whisky from Islay’s newest distillery is a young, yet very flavourful spirit. This spirit is matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, so one gets a true feel for the peat flavours. A wonderful Islay single malt that in this day and age of modernization, is made using barley that’s grown, harvested, malted, distilled and matured at a single farm distillery. This 7th edition was filled and matured in ex-Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Flavours include chocolatey smoke with hints of fruit, barbequed banana, and a hint of menthol. This edition is now completely sold out from the distillery even with sales limited to only one bottle per person.
5. Highland Park 18 YO 43%
This classic Orkney Island 18 year-old single malt, from the northernmost distillery in Scotland, is considered one of the world’s best all around whiskies. It’s redolent with heathery peat, honey, and smoke; it is complex, slightly salty with nutty, honey, and spice flavours. The finish is long, spicy, and smokey. With a creamy texture and mouth feel, flavours include, toffee, espresso, cinnamon, allspice,