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- Brand: Maison Sivo
- ABV: 42%
The Sivo family came to Quebec from Hungary, where they distilled fruit brandies. They've applied their experience to whisky making, making a single malt and now a rye whisky. This is a blend of 2/3 Quebec rye with 1/3 malted barley, matured in new European oak before being finished in port casks. Thanks to @cricklewood for the sample, which we tasted at an epic tasting at the house of @Nozinan.
There is paint thinner and nail polish remover on the nose, and the alcohol is a bit prominent at its bottling strength of 42% - but with some water this fades and complexity is really drawn out. The nose is centred around some really nice grainy notes, reminding me of the warm smell of fermenting rye grain. There are lots of peppery notes, loads of rye spices (baking spices, green and grassy spice, and lilac), along with cherry juice, prunes, and a sweet wine character. The palate is sharp, spicy, and fruity – very jammy, with a nice oaky backbone. The spicy, dried fruit character of the port really comes out towards the end of the palate. The finish is dry and spicy, with white pepper, lilac, dried cherry, and vanilla.
It is definitely better with some water - a lot of the worse components lift off and you see everything underneath.
The youth comes through on this one – but there’s lots of complexity and the whisky is quite interesting and has reasonable balance. As/if this whisky gets older, there’s a lot of potential! If you want to explore something that is a bit more unique and intriguing, I’d recommend, and I expect if the distillery can age it longer it may not be far from something special. It’s a bottle I’ve flagged to follow over the next few years.