If there is one name most people with a vague interest in sport will know when Ice Hockey is mentioned it’s the Canadian Wayne Gretzy and I’m going to guess that within the next ten years he’s going to be pretty well known for whiskey too.
So, what does a man who’s worth two hundred million dollars from playing sports do when he retires? Well some play golf, some start up new clubs, some just sit by the pool but our Mr Gretzky started up a winery, as good a use of your time as any other.
And now, a few years later, it turns out he’s been distilling whiskey too, cheeky begger.
This isn’t his first bottle produced but it’s the first one I’ve managed to get my hands on thanks to Whisky Whistle who managed to send me a very generous sample.
This is a NAS whiskey aged for three years minimum before being finished in Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels which I’m guessing helps with the dark colour. Bottled at a hefty 49.5% and takes a little water well but I’m guessing Ice wouldn’t hurt either.
It’s been made using American Oak and they’ve used 100% Ontario Malted Rye, if you’re interested.
Nose. Charcoal and lots of spice here, bit hits of clove and some nutmeg and a faint hint of dried or cured ham, touch of sweetness if left in the glass for half an hour but it’s burnt sugar rather than sweet candyfloss.
Palate. My first impression is of what red wine might be like if it were nearly fifty percent ABV, spicy wood, charcoal again, a real barbecue feel, lots of roasted chestnuts and burnt bits of Barbecue glaze, very nice.
Finish. Lasts an age loads of red wine tannin, dark chocolate and that coal feel again.
This is excellent, obviously it’s quite expensive for what we’ve seen from Canada, I believe it’s around one hundred Canadian Dollars which is around fifty five pounds but that’s about the same price as the fantastic Crown Royal Barrel select, which really is rather wonderful.
I worry this will be snapped up by collectors for the name on the label and that would be a shame because it’s a very nice bottle of whisky.