Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeWhiskeySourced Canadian Whisky – WhistlePig, Howitzer, and Bearface | Malt

Sourced Canadian Whisky – WhistlePig, Howitzer, and Bearface | Malt

A lot has been written about whisky sourcing by Non-Distilling Producers, and much more ink has been spent denouncing whisky origin tales of doubtful credibility. I imply, what number of “great-great grandpappies” had secret rye whisky recipes that completely matched as much as MGP’s 95% rye? What a fortuitous occurence!

That stated, I’ve nothing in opposition to sourced whisky per se, as long as corporations are sincere and clear about their practices. Choosing and mixing whiskies is an under-appreciated artwork kind so I’m not in opposition to sourced whiskies outright. Compass Field makes a few of the most fascinating whiskies I’ve tried, and their choices are 100% sourced. The whiskies I’m reviewing listed here are all sourced, but none declare that theirs was Al Capone’s whisky of alternative, or smuggled throughout the Canada-US border by Vito Corleone, or… no matter.

WhistlePig is open about their use of Canadian-made rye, no flight of fancy required. Based on their web site, WhistlePig started with the acquisition of a farm in 2007. After a couple of years of “deep consideration and private reflection we dedicated ourselves to crafting the world’s most interesting and most fascinating Rye Whiskeys.” No, I’m not going to rant about advertising tales right here. WhistlePig must be recommended for not referring to any “secret pre-Prohibition recipe”, however quite being clear about their course of.

WhistlePig teamed up with the late, nice Grasp Distiller Dave Pickerell and purchased rye whisky from Alberta that “was being profoundly misused.” This 10 12 months Straight Rye is a 100% rye whiskey which was sourced from Alberta Distillers after which re-casked and aged in Vermont. It’s first aged in new American oak and completed in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels.

Due to my good friend Hal for the pattern.

WhistlePig 10 12 months Previous Small Batch Rye – Evaluation

Color: Chestnut.

On the nostril: Surprisingly tender; vanilla, mild baking spices (cloves, allspice, cinnamon), oak, a little bit of ginger, caramel. With time within the glass, the floral vanilla notes dominate.

Within the mouth: Barely scorching arrival, inexperienced and vegetal initially with some black pepper, cinnamon, and a little bit of caramel. The end is of medium size however the odd “inexperienced” vegetal observe refuses to go away, there’s some cinnamon and black pepper with a bit extra oak and vanilla.


A good whiskey to make certain, however nothing that strikes my spirit (pun unapologetically supposed). The “inexperienced” notes are a bit odd. To be utterly sincere, I discover them somewhat off-putting. I’m glad I waited for a pattern earlier than dropping $100 on a full bottle. I would seize a bottle if it had been $50 – , to maintain round as an oddity – however at $100 it’s a tough no from me. I can see how this bottle may attraction to some, nevertheless it’s not likely my most popular type of rye whiskey. I need my ryes to be spicy with a little bit of toffee sweetness.

  • Would I settle for a glass of this if it was provided to me? I suppose. I don’t wish to be impolite. I’m Canadian, in spite of everything.
  • Would I order this in a bar or pub? Most likely not. At $100 for a bottle right here, I can’t think about a pour being definitely worth the cash with the “pub ambiance” markup.
  • Would I buy a full bottle? No. This isn’t actually in my private wheelhouse.

Rating: 4/10

For individuals who don’t know: a Howitzer just isn’t solely a long-range artillery weapon, it is usually hockey slang for a booming slap-shot. The corporate’s advertising appears to lean closely on army traditions and in addition with Canada’s nationwide obsession. Nevertheless, (spoiler alert) this whisky isn’t actually an enormous daring…something. It’s a mix of 93% corn whisky and seven% barley whisky, aged for 5 years in response to their web site.

The small print on the supply of their whiskies aren’t disclosed and, so far as I do know, there isn’t a Howitzer distillery. There’s point out of ex-bourbon barrels on the web site, however no additional particulars. My pattern of Howitzer Canadian Whisky is “double sourced,” so to talk. The whisky itself is sourced and my pattern was generously supplied by my good friend Hal. I ought to point out that this tasting was achieved blind. I made my notes and scored the whisky with out realizing any particulars about it in anyway. I like this format each time doable, as a result of all expectations and preconceived notions are eliminated and the main focus is uniquely on odor, style, and texture.

Howitzer Canadian Whisky – Evaluation

Color: Auburn.

On the nostril: Shy at first, smells like younger rye, a bit grassy, some solvent aromas, a touch of cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, a little bit of orange zest, caramel, some wooden furnishings polish. With time, the caramel and vanilla change into extra outstanding on the nostril.

Within the mouth: Mild arrival, some caramel, pink apple skins, oak tannins, black tea, surprisingly nice after the shy nostril. The end is brief to medium size, a bit peppery, with only a little bit of rye spice (cardamom and cinnamon largely), and pink apples. The solvent-like ethanol observe exhibits up once more.


Howitzer is an inoffensive and comparatively well-integrated whisky after a shy begin. When tasting this I assumed this was 100% rye whisky – albeit a younger one – primarily based on the flavours when tasted neat. However, as quickly as I added water, these corn whisky notes took over on the end. These of you who’ve learn my critiques or chatted with me know that I’m not likely a fan of that very spirit-forward, dare I say vodka-esque observe on the end. In fact, I might be assigning blame for these notes to the mistaken part. I’m no knowledgeable, simply an fanatic.

  • Would I settle for a glass of this if provided? Certain, it’s not disagreeable so long as it’s sipped neat.
  • Would I order this in a bar or pub? Unlikely, until there was nothing else obtainable.
  • Would I buy a bottle? Probably not.

Rating: 4/10

Bearface is a relative newcomer to the Canadian whisky scene. I first discovered about it again once I ran my very own weblog. I received an e mail from their gross sales rep/advertising individual/model ambassador asking me if I’d tried it. I keep in mind feeling, as Ron Burgundy would say, like I used to be form of an enormous deal. That stated, they didn’t ship me a free bottle, so I suppose I’m not at Davin de Kergommeaux, Serge Valentin, or Dave Broom’s stage simply but.

The makers of Bearface sourced “7-year-old Canadian whisky from the shores of Lake Huron” (presumably the Canadian Mist distillery, because it’s the one distillery I do know of that matches that description) after which Grasp Blender Andres Faustinelli experimented with “numerous barrel and wooden mixtures”.

From my correspondence with the corporate and Faustinelli: “This single grain whisky is initially aged in ex-bourbon charred American Oak barrels for no less than seven years. It’s then positioned in tight-grained French Oak ex-wine barrels with over seven years of use for prime finish, wealthy Bordeaux-style wines that Mission Hill are famous for…The ultimate end…is with 3-year-old, air-dried virgin Hungarian Oak.”

Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky – Evaluation

Color: Copper.

On the nostril: Fruity, with a powerful corn whisky (candy, tender caramels) presence. Maple notes, rose petals, and some solvent/spirit notes at first. However the acetone notes dissipate inside 5-10 minutes and a few oak notes seem alongside some icing sugar and vanilla.

Within the mouth: A lot richer than I anticipated from 42.5% ABV, and a bit darker in flavour too. Amber maple syrup, a touch of oak and spice (cloves largely), pink grapes, vanilla, roses, icing sugar. Very creamy, silky and SMOOTH mouthfeel. (Did I simply use the phrase “easy?” There goes my web road cred) The end is medium size, foolish as it could sound, I’m reminded of Cap’N Crunch’s Crunchberries with milk, and with the creamy vanilla and fruity notes lingering. This whisky will get a bit much less fascinating with water, because the fruity and floral notes all however disappear, and the vanilla and caramel dominate. At 85 proof, there’s no want so as to add water. This one is significantly better neat.


I don’t know if there will likely be a Bearface distillery or not, however that is an fascinating whisky. I don’t assume it is going to change the “candy and pleasant” picture of Canadian whisky, however it’s undoubtedly extra fascinating than the caramel and vanilla dominant mixers that dominate our cabinets. There’s no actual chunk, no daring punch which is what lots of people search for in a whisky. Regardless of the “fearless” advertising and the bear claw marks on the bottle (which is definitely fairly cool trying), this whisky is extra teddy bear than grizzly bear. That’s to not say it’s unhealthy; it’s very candy and creamy, with a contact of fruitiness, very like a dessert. It’s a lot richer than I anticipated it to be, and dangerously simple to drink. This might simply change into a staple for informal sipping. At $35 to $40 right here in Ontario, it will get a bump up level for worth. Bearface is unquestionably price your time.

  • Would I settle for a glass of this if provided? I’d gladly settle for it.
  • Would I order this in a bar or pub? Indubitably.
  • Would I buy one other bottle? Certain.

Rating: 6/10

WhistlePig picture courtesy of WhistlePig. Howitzer picture courtesy of Connosr. Bearface picture courtesy of Bearface.



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