White Owl

White Owl

Innovation and marketing are odd ducks.

So we now have new distilleries releasing white spirit and very young spirit in order to pay the bills while the spirit ages. And I can understand that.

However we also have Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, and even Alberta Highwood Distillers, makers of Centennial and Thunder Bolt Rye.

I recently had the chance to try their White Whisky, White Owl. And it is whisky. This is a blend of older whiskies that is then coal filtered to be clear. So it fits into that marketing bump.

It’s also able to be label whisky, because it passes the age requirement for Canadian whisky to be aged for at least 3 years.

So think about that: Something that was sold as a way to raise money, yet wasn’t that great, has created a buying habit that was done out of respect for new distillers, and now older distillers are doing the same thing.

That’s kinda weird. Oh well. This is called rye, however I don’t actually know the mashbills or the ages of the whisky in the blend.

Let’s see how it tastes.

Price: $39.95

Region: Canada

Abv: 40%

Colour: Clear

Nose: Peach, pepper, grass, alcohol

Starts out with an acidic, fruity note, however quickly goes more to a grappa flavour.

And since this is /r/grappa, I of course enjoy it.

Oh wait…

Taste: Peach, pepper, grass, potato

More fruit, some grassy notes, some pepper, and a potato flavour.

Not that great. Not bad. Tastes like drinking grappa or mid-range vodka. Which I don’t anymore.

For this very reason.

Finish: Pepper, grape, alcohol heat, wheat, taro

Bit more at the end. There a throat clearing heat to it, some more earth, and…. honestly, who am I kidding? It’s smooth and easy to drink, yet not that tasty.

Conclusion: This was the first dram of a Whisky Tasting night, and just about everyone had the same reaction: It tastes like grappa or vodka, doesn’t have much complexity, the alcohol is too low, and it’s overpriced.

Avoid this one. It’s an interesting idea, and still drinkable, however not much past a gimmick. Support the small distilleries instead, or buy the others because you can age them yourself.


World Whisky review #99, Canada review #37, Whisky Network review #515

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #234

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