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Ahhhhh. I'm inside on a sunny Saturday afternoon, watching the Rogers Cup semi-final (the women's tennis, taking place in Montreal). That it is the Williams sisters against each other makes it quite exciting. Especially because one of them is Serena...who I love....so much.....such a huge crush... strong... beautiful..... sooooo....oh, wait. Snap out of it! OK, on to the whisky.
Since the tournament is in Canada, I thought we would do a Canadian. There isn't much info out there on Danfield's 21 Year Old. The label says the distiller is Williams & Churchill (Williams whisky...Williams sisters...OK this makes sense), based in Valleyfield QC and Lethbridge AB - this is definitely distilled in Lethbridge though. Although there is no batch number or bottle code, this is labelled "small batch". It is also "diamond filtered." Wonder what marketing geniuses came up with that one...but anyway...
The colour is a coppery gold. On the nose, honey and caramel comes first, with a backbone of rye spice. Sourdough bread, vanilla custard and some rich oak. Marzipan and maple. Water makes it more floral, but be careful with water - too much will drown it. Rich and luxurious.
On the palate some citrus comes through (where did that come from?) with more caramel, vanilla and oak. The citrus with the sweeter notes, and the rye spice (with cloves), provides extraordinary balance - it's sweet but never cloying, and has real bite (which is reduced by adding water). The oak really is beautifully done here. Delicious.
The finish gives a burst of nutmeg and cinnamon, with more oak - it's long and deep, finally ending in tobacco. This has always been one of my favourite Canadian whiskies, not only a true pleasure to drink but features great depth and complexity. Jim Murray scores this a 95, by the way. Almost impossible to find now - @paddockjudge was somehow able to source this bottle for me - so grab it if you find it. And now, back to Serena. I mean, back to the tennis...