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Wayne Gretzky (99) Red Cask

Nozinan Mini and Sample Series - 29

2 380

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

28th Dec 2016


Wayne Gretzky (99) Red Cask
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Wayne Gretzky
  • ABV: 40%

Not "The Great One"

I picked up a 50 cc miniature of Wayne Gretsky's new foray into the world of whisky. I believe it was released in 2016 for the first time. A little bit of internet searching gives the impression that this is made up of a blend of three grains (rye, malted rye and corn) that have been separately mashed, fermented and distilled. After aging (it does not say if the aging is separate or together) the spirit is finished in red wine casks from the Gretzky estate winery. This is an NAS whisky. There is no mention about added colour and I suspect this is chill-filtered.

This review is prepared simultaneously with @Nosebleed and submitted at the same time. I've assessed this whisky in my usual manner, and, as is my tradition with Canadian whisky at 40% ABV, I have not added water.


I had to keep the glass covered to coax any significant smells from this one. The first whiff was slightly farmy (and this disappeared), and then I got a hint of nutmeg. At @Nosebleed's suggestion I was able to make out some caramel and some elements of vanilla. Maybe a little dust. In all a very weak nose. 18/25


Weak. Thin, watery. An initial hit of spice. It is sweet, a little too sweet. Maybe some honey, apple. I get no impression that this was finished in wine casks. 20/25


Medium short. Slightly tannic, sweet. Here there is the hint that wine casks were involved. 20/25


This is a smooth whisky. The nose and the palate are both weak, but they seem to complement each other. There is no mystery here. 20/25

Total Score: 78/100

Adjusted Score based on Enjoyment: 80/100

In a piece written for the Toronto star, the former hockey player is said to be "aiming to make his new beverage a game-changer, not just another celebrity-branded booze". If this is indeed his intention, he has clearly failed. It is bottled at a standard, weak 40%, the grains are standard, wine cask finishing is not new. There is nothing about this whisky that suggests innovation.

It's pleasant enough, and the last 10 cc were a little more flavourful than the first 15 I sipped, but this is not a premium whisky. It's too plain, too sweet and too weak.

I might give WG the same advice my patients give me when I make a joke... "stick to your day job".


Alexsweden commented

Will there be a head to head with Haig club??

7 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@Alexsweden I think that would be an interesting matchup. A whisky shilled by a great Canadian Hockey legend vs one named after a Field Marshal who presided over one of the Greatest Canadian military disasters (the Somme) of the first world war...

7 years ago 0

Nelom commented

@Nozinan I think @Alexsweden was suggesting it because Haig Club is another sports celebrity whisky: David Beckham's. Hockey vs. Football, who will win? :)

7 years ago 0