Highwood 25 Year Old Calgary Stampede Whisky
Please note that due devastation caused by major flooding some Highwood whiskies are in short supply and liquor stores may temporarily be out of stock, Vanilla ice cream with butterscotch pudding and real maple syrup. Fresh, sweet red cedar and weathered wood, dried cloves, sweet grapefruit juice. Pure luxury in a glass. ★★★★★“They’re cowboys, they know their whisky,” former Highwood manager, Glen Hopkins quipped, when asked why the tiny Highwood distillery in High River, Alberta turns out such wonderful Canadian whiskies. Perhaps recognizing how Highwood’s independent nature reflects the spirit of the best cowboy folklore, The Calgary Stampede has teamed up with the distillery this year to mark the rodeo’s 100th anniversary.When cowboy, Guy Weadick rode into Calgary just over 100 years ago, he had no idea how large his legend would one day become. A century later, the citizens of this bustling western Canadian city still remember Weadick by presenting an annual award bearing his name to the rodeo competitor who best embodies what the cowboy stands for – someone who typifies the spirit of the Calgary Stampede.Not only is The Stampede Canada’s best-known rodeo, it is also the world’s richest. The first stampede, held over six days in September 1912, drew a crowd of 80,000 people when Calgary’s population was just 60,000. For the next 100 years the Calgary Stampede brought people from all over the world together to experience Canada’s unique western heritage and values. That first rodeo was Weadick’s doing.Today as it approaches one million people, Calgary still hosts Weadick’s rodeo. Billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” this year the Calgary Stampede will run from July 6 to 15. And to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Stampede, in cooperation with Alberta’s Highwood Distillers, is releasing a 6,000-bottle, limited edition, ultra-premium, commemorative whisky. The liquid in the bottle? A 25-year-old version of Highwood’s highly acclaimed Century Reserve whisky.Highwood 25 year old is on store shelves now in Alberta, and given current sales it will be gone before the Stampede wraps up. The whisky itself was drawn from a special batch in the Century Distilling family. This is a single bond (batch) whisky produced from corn and aged in charred American white oak.As the whisky sat slowly maturing in those white oak barrels, the angels visited regularly to claim their share. And as they did so, the volume of whisky in the barrels began to decline. Twice the bond was re-gauged. (Re-gauging is the consolidation of maturing whisky into fewer barrels, so individual barrels remain full. This increases interactions with the wood and decreases oxidation, keeping the whisky soft and clean.)However, rather than introducing new barrels, the crew at Highwood chose to maintain the aging process in the best of the original barrels in which the spirit began its maturation. Thus the whisky remains pristine. The only adjustment was to bring it down to bottling strength using Rocky Mountain spring water. Was it worth waiting 25 years to bottle this whisky? You bet it was.Nose: The rich luxury of hand made French vanilla ice cream is accented by hints of fresh red cedar. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition made all the more inviting by a brawny richness that melts into the softest stove-top butterscotch pudding.Palate: A creamy first taste of butterscotch is just barely spiced with dried cloves. These soon disappear into hot white pepper and crispy cedar wood. The creamy mouth feel lingers even as hot mint gives way to sweeter and hotter whisky spices. A hint of ripe pink grapefruit juice soon takes over the palate then just as quickly disappears into dry silvered wood – barn boards or cedar fence posts – before the whole fades out on sweetish citrus notes.Finish: Medium-long to long, the finish is both spicy and creamy with soft pleasant woody notes that eventually fade to sweet citrus juice then nothing. Some spiciness throughout.Empty Glass: Very expressive with butterscotch, mild sweet wood, cloves, and real maple syrup.Highwood 25 year old is limited to Alberta where it sells for about $52.00.Very Highly Recommended ★★★★★Collectible. Highwood Ninety 20 year old is reviewed here.Here is what Chip Dykstra - The Rum Howler - thinks of Highwood 25 Year Old.Century Reserve 21 Year Old is reviewed here.Century Reserve Lot 15/25 is reviewed here.