Two Brewers started in 1997 when Bob Baxter and Al Hansen founded the brewery in 1997, after a canoe trip in Yukon, Canada. A dozen years later, then decided to take the next step and start making whisky. Using their experience as brewers and knowing the importance of the malt and the fermentation, they pay special attention to those steps as from the start they have a great influence on the final product. Those final products are numbered and unique, without a search for homogeneity, and classified in one of their ‘collections’: Classic, Innovation and their Special Finishes single casks. What we’re trying today is not one of their very latest batches but let’s try it anyway: the release N°26: a Two Brewers Classic
Chestnut. The crown is full of small beads that turn in quick thin legs.
Intense and quite fruity. Orange, plum, peach, pear, apricot and pineapple. A few sharp grain notes, honey, mint, and some baking spices. Fresh brioche from Vendée. Really good.
Fruity and spicy arrival, buttery. Good oily mouthfeel. Multiple fruits again, stone fruits mostly, but also with pear and bananas. Some oak spices, ginger, pear eau-de-vie, blackcurrant liqueur, a teaspoon of honey, and a light citrusy sourness in the back. There’s something sweet as well reminding me somehow of sweet potato.
The yellow stone fruits linger on with the oak spices, and (genuine French) croissant crumb (from the bakery, not the supermarket of course), with a medium length.
This whisky greets you with a beautiful nose, very fruity. Quite gourmand as well with the brioche notes. The palate is very nice as well, though maybe a tad under the nose, and a good finish, maybe a wee bit under as well. Anyway, good surprise as I must admit I didn’t know about this distillery before getting that sample, and I’ll keep an eye out for opportunities to try some more.
Lead photo: Two Brewers. Bottle photo: Whiskybase.Thanks Damien for the sample!
Canadian Club is one of the most famous Canadian whisky brands. It was founded in 1858 by Hiram Walker in Walkerville, Ontario. You might raise an eyebrow here: “Wait, Walkerville and Hiram Walker? Coincidence?” And you’d be right to raise that eyebrow. Hiram Walker founded Walkerville in 1890 as a model town, which was probably without a name before. Walker made homes for his workers, a church, and a school, the town growing outwards from the distillery. Nowadays, Walkerville is a heritage precinct of the town of Windsor. The whisky made there was first known as Club Whisky as it was well appreciated in the US and Canada ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’. In an attempt to hamper on Walker’s whisky fame, American distillers petitioned to have the word ‘Canada’ added to the label, but it backfired and helped Walker’s whisky to become more exclusive. In 1889, Walker added ‘Canadian’ to the label and after a few movements on the label, it became part of the brand name a year later. The ones we’ll try today are unfortunately not from this time nor some of the thousands of cases Al Capone secretly imported during Prohibition. Now, we’re far from the romantic view of Prohibition given out with movies as the brand is owned by the giant Beam Suntory. We’ll do an Old vs New Canadian club, as we’ll try to Canadian Club distilled in 1969 and 1976 and will compare them with the current Canadian Club 1858.
Back in 2019, Amrut released three expressions of its top shelf Greedy Angels. The first one was the unpeated ex-bourbon cask 10-year-old Greedy Angels I reviewed back in 2019. It was also the occasion for me to dive into what’s the Angels’ Share, and if you haven’t read this article, I encourage you to do so. The second one was the 10yo Greedy Angels Peated Rum Finish I reviewed a few weeks ago. And the third and last one was the one I’ll review today (take a deep breath): the Amrut 10-year-old Greedy Angels Peated Sherry Finish. I’ve talked about this range previously, so let’s directly jump to the tasting.
We’re back to India today, to try something quite new from Amrut: a triple-distilled single malt. Triple distillation is mostly associated with Irish whiskey, as most Irish distilleries use this process to distil their whiskey. If you want to learn a bit more about that process, I talked about it here. Ireland is not the only country where triple distillation is used however, as some Scottish distilleries, Auchentoshan or Springbank – for its Hazelburn brand – for example, also distil thrice their spirit before filling it into casks. But today, it’s Indian triple distillation, so let’s taste and review the recently released Amrut Triparva.
Two years ago, the Amrut 10yo Greedy Angels I tried was a fantastic demonstration about the difference about maturation and evaporation, the Angels’ Share, between countries and regions of the world. So I did some research to better understand how the Angels’ Share was working. How the type of warehouse, the oak the cask is made from and the climate all have an influence on the evaporation of the content of the cask. How some volume disappears over the years. Why usually the alcohol by volume drops in the whisky, but sometimes it’s rising. But I won’t write it again about the Angels’ Share, just go read what I wrote early last year, when I reviewed another Amrut 10yo Greedy Angels. Then in February when I kept the Angels’ Share part of the article to have a dedicated one in the ‘All about whisky’ category. But tonight, I’ll just review another victim of the angels, the Amrut 10yo Greedy Angels Peated Rum Finish.
We’re still in Tasmania this evening for our fourth dram from the advent calendar, and still at Hellyers Road. But we go a bit older and unpeated this time, so it will be interesting to see what’s different (to the one in the back saying “This one is not peated”, thank you, I’ve already said it, please listen next time) compared to the 2004 Peated from yesterday. As I said yesterday, Hellyers Road sits near Burning, in Tasmania, and was founded in 1999. Australian whisky, including Tasmanian, has really exploded since the beginning of the 21st century. Before the year 2000, there were only four distilleries in Australia, of which three of them were in Tasmania. Lark, founded in 1992, Sullivans Cove, founded in 1994 and Hellyers Road saw the light of day and the spirit flow in Tasmania. The fourth one is Bakery Hill, founded in 1998 in Victoria. And what about now? Well, now there are more than 70 distilleries running or about to, including the very well-known Starward founded in 2004. The exponential rate at which distilleries pop of the ground with whisky flowing soon after is mind-boggling. However, many of those distilleries are not widely distributed yet and I may not have the chance to try what they do. But today I’m back at Hellyers Road, and I’m very happy about that.
Hellyers Road is one of the largest whisky distilleries in Australia, with a capacity of 120.000 litres of pure alcohol per annum. Located near the town of Burnie, in Tasmania, it was founded by dairy farmers in 1999, and is named after Henry Hellyer, an explorer and cartographer who carved a bushy trail into a road in 1827. The distillery features a 60.000 litres wash still and a 20.000 litres capacity spirit still, and I must admit their capacity compared to the global capacity of production of the distillery eludes me. But I couldn’t find a lot of information on this distillery. Anyway. Dram 3 of my whisky calendar is a Hellyers Road 2004 that is 16 years old and peated, so let’s try that!
About a thousand years after everybody (in the whisky reviewing world, which I’m trying to put a foot in, reviewing a whisky two years after the others might feel as a late as being a thousand years late with the sheer speed of releases that pop out during the time I write an introduction or ask a question), I finally got my hands on a bottle of That Boutique-y Whisky Company‘s World Whisky Blend. At RRP. And I’m especially happy to have succeeded in getting one, because since its release in 2019, their brand ambassador, the award-winning cigar and pipe smoking glorious beard growing World Whisky Blend by the case gulping Dave Worthington must have drunk a third of its outturn. So finding a bottle two years after its release in one of the La Maison Du Whisky shops in Paris was surprising and deeply appreciated. So let’s pop the cork out (and break it immediately), let’s get a Glencairn, and get on with the review. Oh wait…
Back in October 2019, I attended Whisky Live Paris, and there was an Amrut masterclass hosted by their master distiller, Ashok Chokalingam. He was really interesting to listen to and discuss with, and he directed the tasting of three Amrut drams, including the Amrut 10yo Greedy Angels Chairman’s Reserve 2019 we’ll review. But before tasting this Amrut, let’s talk about the Greedy Angels range, and what angels they’re referring to: what’s often referred as the angels’ share.