It’s always rough being the first people in the door, especially when everyone else doesn’t exactly know where the door is or how to properly open the door.
Such, I feel, is the case of the much maligned Glen Breton Rare.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
Back in 1990, or as we North American’s call it, a really long time ago, Glenora Falls became the location of Nova Scotia’s newest Distillery. They would go on, in 2000, to be the location of the First, and only (at the time) Single Malt made in Canada, the Glen Breton Rare. Aged for 10 years, praised by Michael Jackson, and taking not only the name but the methods from Scotland, there was quite a bit of pomp and circumstance around this dram was quite large.
So, is the hype worth it?
As a heads up, I recently read about using Coffee Beans as a Olfactory cleanser, so I used it for this review, and let me tell you, it does help you clearly smell what you’re tasting.
Granted tests have shown that it’s the same as breathing in fresh air or lemons, and you can get the same effect from walking outside and taking some huffs of air, however if you’re like me, and it’s cold out, and you’ve been baking, I would recommend to anyone to use it. Just have to take one wiff of the coffee beans, and then nose the dram afterward.
Special thanks to my friends who bought this sample right from the distillery, as otherwise I’d have to buy it from an oxidized bottle in Toronto, and they’d charge me extra for no ice.
Price: $79.40 (CAD)
Region: A Teetotalers Paradise, Canada
Colour: Pear yellow
Nose: Pear, honey, floral, lime, light general berry, faint yeast
Very light nose, and somewhat simple for a 10 year old dram. The honey and lime elements are the strongest of the bunch, taking up most of the nose. As time goes on there’s the general berry smell. Like when you have a cheap homemade “berry” drink smell. Or rather, “berry drank” smell.
Taste: Lime, soap, burn, cilantro, chilies, cumin, margarine, pepper, dry
That famous soap flavour is there, and for me, that’s not really a big selling point. However if you can get past the soapy taste, and the ever present lime, you’ll find a weaker version of Cragganmore 12. Much weaker. So if you like the flavour of Cragganmore, you may like this.
Finish: Sour Apple, metal, lavender, lime, margarine, bitter lemon rind
And the finish puts the final nail in the coffin. Similar to the taste, however has more of a dry, tannic, and weak flavour. I’m finding that I, personally, don’t really enjoy the more “wine-like” whiskies, and this one is like that.
Also it tastes like chewing on nickels at the end, but that’s not present when my wife drinks it, so I assume I just don’t like dryer, bitter drinks and think they taste like nails.
Conclusion: This isn’t as bad as I remember it, and maybe that’s just because I’ve had worst. It tastes young, it is somewhat weak, the nose is nice, there’s a fake butter/margarine flavour to it, and it’s really expensive as it’s made in the most expensive province for Booze.
Part of me wants Glenora Distillery to become something amazing, and lead the charge on Canadian whisky, however they seem to bring out a whisky that is both frustratingly weak and overtly bitter and soapy (though the soap wasn’t the main issue, and was rather light to me). I hope that they can turn it around, and perhaps if I can get out to Halifax, I’ll see how the other expressions hold up.
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