Proof Whisky (42% alc./vol) - Canadian Whisky Preview

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A new Canadian whisky from Toronto’s Proof Brands has been showing up quietly on LCBO shelves for the past couple of weeks.  Proof whisky has now found its way into 132 LCBO locations, although most of them have very small quantities. A promotion begins on August 15 and the whisky will be available for tasting at Whisky Live Toronto on October 22. Although it is made in Alberta, so far it is available for sale in Ontario only. The news release included below arrived today so, here is a very preliminary preview based on one quick tasting:The very expressive nose starts out with lemon cough drops. The palate, which is also quite expressive, has nicely balanced wood, rye spices, pepper, and citric notes. Although it is not as spirity as you might expect in a mixer, this is definitely mixing whisky, not a sipper, and will deliver lots of whisky flavour in a mixed drink.The nose is sweetly floral, almost like baby powder, rich in citrus candy, but with faint farm smells such as hints of cow barn and hay. It is not overly sweet, but it has many candyish overtones. For example, there are hints of wax lips candy, Ceres red grape juice, and sweet lemon pie filling. As well, distinct rye notes include a typical rye earthiness along with vague hints of cinnamon, but you have to look for them.The palate starts out with lilacs and violets then very quickly moves on to lemon cough medicine and hot white pepper. The pepper dominates leaving a nice burn on the tongue, and it is nicely supported by a fruity sweetness and lots of floral notes. This is not overly complex whisky, in fact it's not complex at all. Towards the end there are hints of marshmallow and a citric zestiness that really seems to work with the pepper.The finish is medium to short, very peppery and hot, with a slight tannic astringency.This is not a connoisseur’s whisky, nor does it pretend to be. It’s summer whisky for parties, barbeques, and the cottage. Its citric and floral notes will add zip and breadth to a cocktail that you just can’t get with vodka. It reminds me of a sweetish version of White Owl (White Owl is a new top-end "clear whisky" mixer from Highwood that is selling so well out West the distillery can barely keep up with demand).Anyway for now, let’s let the folks who sell proof whisky tell us about it.The News Release:Indisputable Proof, the hottest whisky of the summer! Toronto, On – August 4, 2010: As summer is in full effect, proof brands inc. is proud to announce the launch of proof whisky, the 1st 500ml on the market...just the right size, not too small, not too big...the perfect size for entertaining. “Great things come in small packages.” Proof whisky will help you make delicious cocktails and be the talk of the town. This deluxe product is an “Affordable Luxury” that will be available soon for only $19.95 at an LCBO near you!proof whisky sets itself apart from the restOne urban whisky in a hip new 500 ml size! The blend of Canadian prairie rye and wheat is distilled with pristine spring water from the Canadian Rockies. It is then aged to perfection in charred oak barrels, to create its sophisticated sweet and smoky flavours. Proof is bottled at 42% alc./vol., to give it that extra edge.Keep your guests on the edge of their seats; proof whisky is only the beginning for proof brands inc. They will also be launching a new vodka and rhum in the coming months.