Century Reserve Lot 15/25 40% alc/vol
Please note that due to devastating floods some Highwood whiskies are in short supply and are temporarily out of stock at some liquor stores.Charred oak, pencil shavings and silky tannins melt into sweet citrus fruit, marzipan, hints of flowers and a certain meatiness. Peppery baking spices abound. Finishes long and hot with woody undertones. A wood-lover’s spicy nirvana. ★★★★★Someday, when we are old and grey, we’ll sit with our whisky buddies reminiscing about the ones that got away. Here’s fair warning: Don’t let Century Reserve 15/25 be one of them. This long-aged corn whisky is as strong as an ox and as aromatic as a British Columbia lumber mill.A peripatetic whisky too, there’s a lot of Canada in this bottle. Those who know for certain are keeping it to themselves, but most likely at least the older portions were distilled in Seagram’s long-defunct Weyburn, Saskatchewan distillery. Not long after, they were shipped to Potter's warehouses in the heart of B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. There they lay quietly maturing until 2005 when Highwood Distillers bought Potter’s last remaining barrels and moved them to their warehouse in High River, Alberta.Age is not the only factor in making great whisky, but a properly matured, long-aged whisky such as Lot 15/25 is a rare treat. And these barrels sat undisturbed for so many years. The youngest is now 15 years old, the oldest almost 30. Tasting the whisky you begin to wonder if you are chewing on a log, and it’s a fragrant, scrumptious, pleasantly tumaceous log at that. And the creamy corn whisky that so richly coats your tongue assures you that the crispy-clean oak won't leave any splinters behind.Nose: Dried fruit with predictions of wood and a slight creaminess tinged with tickling nuances of vanilla. Suggestions of bicycle tires, pencil shavings, ripe fruit, and icing sugar.Palate: Creamy and fruity on a strong foundation of well-aged dry timber. Searingly hot peppers build quickly, reinforcing the woody notes, which in turn bring a slight and velvety tannic bitterness. This hot clean pepper and the distinctly old wood could easily overwhelm, but sweetish fruit and a luxuriously creamy body hold it in balance. All the same, this remains somewhat of an extreme whisky. The oak is just slightly drying causing the whisky to taste older and much more robust than its 21-year-old stable mate. Some sweet citrus fruit, marzipan, toffee, and hints of flowers remind us of rye, and an almost meaty rye at that.Finish: Long, hot, and a bit tannic. Not for everyone, this most definitely is a whisky for those who love the earthy fragrance of a deep-forest logging camp.Empty glass: Oak, oak and more oak. Very expressive.$29.95 at LCBO.Very highly recommended ★★★★★Highwood Ninety 20 year old is reviewed here.Century Reserve 21 Year Old is reviewed here.Highwood 25 Year Old is reviewed here.