Wayne Gretzky Red Cask (Toronto Whisky Society Review Set #1)

Wayne Gretzsky Red Cask.jpg

As part of the Toronto Whisky Society, we had a small getogether and drank our fucking faces off.

Like gentlemen and ladies and all that shit, you know? All hosted by one of our members, /u/devoz and his amazing wife.

Each of us brought a bottle to drink. And that was too many. So I understand if you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Or two.

We started, as we all should start, with a questionable whisky of lower proof and reviews that were… iffy.

Thanks to /u/muaddib99 for bringing this whisky. As well as whisky bacon that I stupidly forgot to bring home, but will be grabbing soon, as my wife is a bacon fiend.

The whisky in question is Wayne Gretzky Red Cask. And I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that the famous basketball baseball hockey guy?

Why yes, it is. This isn’t a MJ/MJ whisky situation again. He is the famous amazing hockey player who lives in California.

Turns out the great one has had a few wineries in his day. The first eventually being sold, and the second being one that he lends more than just his name to. And then someone there, a master distiller by the name of Joshua Beach, has convinced them to open up a distillery.

Opening in Spring 2017, eventually the Niagara valley will have another distillery (after Vieni, Forty Creek, and Dillon’s). Apologies if I missed any, I’m typically driving around wine drunk friends and wife when I’m there.

The whisky mashbill is malted rye, rye, and corn. I’m not 100% if this is the first from the stills or if it was sourced. I do know that they finished the whisky in their own red wine barrels.

That’s pretty cool. However after drinking another Canadian legend’s recent foray into the whisk(e)y market, I am concerned. Is this a Ciroc or a Virginia Black?

Most of us at the tasting are leaning towards that feeling. But we’ve been wrong before.

Let’s see how the great one makes whisky, shall we?

Price: $34.95 (CAD) at the LCBO

Region: Canada

Abv: 40%

Colour: 5Y 8/10

Nose: Maple, craisins, wheat

Not much of a nose on it, like a bruiser who’s been playing too long and thinks his face to fist technique really works.

That said, there’s nothing rough about it. Just not much to it. So let’s move on to the taste.

Taste: Maple, raisin, papaya, sand, butter

So I’m of two minds on this: The one is remembering Gretzky as the goofy one in ProStars. The other is seeing his stats.

Also, on the whisky, there’s some new, and some old. Yes, like many Canadian whiskies, it has a maple and butter flavour to it. Take that as you will.

However the red wine cask has added some nice fruity elements and some dryness that sets it apart.

I’m honestly surprised. Was expecting worse.

Finish: Ginger, dry, raisin, wheat, earth/mineral

Nice finish. Good spice, great wheat, and a mineral note that I wasn’t expecting at all. The raisin is pretty cool.

Shorter finish, but not surprised given the age.

Conclusion: I’m honestly surprised. The bar wasn’t set particularly high (think Peewee Hockey not NHL). However given the price, the type, and the fact this is new, I’m generally happy to have this.

Not all the time. Well, not above most other more expensive whiskies. And I’d probably buy Alberta Premium Dark Horse over it.

Ignoring all that, it’s a young, okay whisky with some different parts and a pretty non-existant nose. Generally surprised, and if more Canadian whisky went in this rough direction, with somewhat different elements.

Here’s hoping they Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.


World Whisky review #170, Canada review #62, Whisky Network review #825

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