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- Brand: Tap 357
- ABV: 40.5%
Tap 357 Maple Canadian Rye Whisky is a relatively new product on the shelves - but I cannot find much info on who exactly is making it (unless it's a purely independent company just doing this particular bottle - which seems unlikely). The website gives some info on how it is made: "357" refers to its blend of 3-, 5- and 7-year-old ryes (quadruple distilled - hence eliminating any flavour whatsoever) from "the oldest distillery in Western Canada" (any guesses? I'm guessing Gimli but if anyone knows, please comment!). The whiskies are matured in first, second and third fill bourbon barrels, blended together and then blended with Canada 1 Light maple syrup from Quebec - because you can do shit like that in Canada, and still call in whisky, unlike in the rest of the world! The Master Blender's name is Michel Marcil - otherwise, little personal or direct info is given on the site. I presume it's American though - on the site, locations to purchase the product give only US outlets, and it came out in the US before it was released in Canada.
In colour - very light amber. On the nose, well, it delivers what it promises - maple and rye - though in very muted quantities. The maple notes do come off as pure maple syrup (as opposed to shitty fructose table syrup) but of a very light grade (which is, again, as promised). Though it overwhelms the Canadian rye, you do get those blended rye notes in the background (as opposed to the pure, rock-hard rye of Alberta Distillers). Buttered pancakes. Liqueur-like, similar of course to Sortilege, though not quite as sticky-sweet. Water brings everything down. Not off to a great start.
On the palate - almost all maple syrup. Seriously. The rye in the back brings some grapefruit pith, pepper and a generic spice but all is overwhelmed by maple syrup. Again, it's GOOD maple syrup. But that's the single dominant flavour here. Complexity is lacking, to say the least. Water somehow makes it even more syrupy...? Only on the finish does the rye start asserting itself over the maple syrup...but only just.
Well, this is pretty mediocre - unless you hate booze and just want to drink maple syrup, and social mores (and a sense of shame) prevent you from chugging a bottle of maple syrup. If a frenemy buys it for you for Christmas, use it as a topping on vanilla ice cream - I bet that's good. Earlier I gave a guess that the rye whisky comes from Gimli - I ask that because when I try to fight the maple syrup and identify the rye, I am getting Crown Royal. But who knows. At an LCBO I sampled the Gibson's Grey Cup Maple Whisky - and I liked it better (though I'm not about to buy a bottle in order to sit and properly review it), so if you must buy a Canadian maple whisky this Christmas, get the Gibson's.