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- Brand: Proof
- ABV: 42%
This comes from a Canadian company, Proof Brands, which makes a whisky, vodka, and a white rum. Proof brands is based out of Toronto, but this whisky was produced (distilled, aged, and blended) in Alberta (though I don’t know where). It is targeted to the cocktail community. The whisky is made from rye and wheat (no barley), and aged in charred oak barrels, and bottled at 42%. Centenniel 10 Year Old is also made from rye and wheat, but it is altogether different.
Nose: Very interesting – quite citrusy, fruity and different – it reminds me both of fruit brandy and tequila. Grapefruit, pear, caramel, wine gums, and an almost medicinal cough-syrup type aroma, orange, orange peel, guava – quite bright, and off the nose seems sweet and sour. This seems to be well crafted for cocktails, based on the nose. I do like the bright fruitiness, and I am not quite sure whether I don’t mind or don’t like the medicinal quality. Doesn’t have a lot of the typical notes of rye spice found in Canadian whisky – but this bottle is certainly packed with fruit. 85%
Taste: Orange, and a bit of candy-like fruit punch to it, more touches of cough syrup, blackberry flavoured hard candy – the flavours are mostly surface level, and underneath there is a hint of the grains involved, along with a light bitterness, similar in feel to what is found in grapefruit juice. It’s a bit too candy-like for sipping (though not overly sweet), I think – though it is still very interesting and unique in what I’ve tasted. 75%
Finish: A hint of rye comes through lightly at last, along with lots of orange (much like the chewy orange-flavoured vitamin C pills), blackberry, blackcurrant, and even a touch of dry wheat which outlasts the other flavours, though the slight fruitiness sticks through all of it. There’s a nagging touch of slightly sour bitterness. 77%
Conclusion: This whisky is so different than any other that I have tasted that it almost seems more in the category of a brandy or tequila. It’s very interesting. It seems destined for good cocktails, and the fruity kick and bright profile would fit in very well in many cocktails, I think, and could even be substituted with tequila I imagine for a different take on them -but it doesn’t have the strong peppery and vegetal tones and would likely get overwhelmed in some drinks. As a sipping whisky, I’m not sure what to think, but as a mixing whisky – this is where my mind is really getting interested. So far, this is the only whisky I have decided to regularly keep on my mixing shelf. 80%
I did a side by side tasting with Centenniel 10 Year Old, which is also a Canadian whisky made with rye and wheat, and it is quite interesting - some of the candy-like fruitiness is also evident there, but they are very subdued and subtle - in this one they are brought out and take centre stage.
I do imagine that there would be a wide variety of opinions about this one, as it is quite different, and I haven't had anything quite like it. It's not expensive (20$/500 ml in Ontario), so if you see it, I recommend it for the experience even if you don't end up loving it.
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 79.