TASTE Winter 2022-23

REECE SIMS Reece Sims is a former award-winning Vancouver-based bartender who holds her WSET Level 3, Executive Bourbon Stewardship Certification, and has completed courses at the Irish Distilling Academy. After years of writing about whisk(e)y on WhiskeyMuse.com she recently created the Reverse Tasting Method: Whisk(e)y Sensory Program. Connect with her @reecesims or @whiskeymuse

…choosing a gift for someone (whether in advance or last minute) can be challenging. The key is to know which whisky or whiskies you’re going to purchase before you shop.

Bourbon FLAVOUR PROFILE: SWEET & RICH If your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, bourbon is an excellent option. Because bourbon must be made from at least 51 percent corn and aged in new charred oak barrels, it tends to be sweeter than other styles of whisky. When a barrel is charred, it caramelizes the wood sugars found in the staves and as the bourbon matures, these delectable sugars will be extracted into it. The balance of sweet and rich is particularly prominent in the oldest bottled bourbon, Old Forester . This bourbon, which was first bottled (and hand-signed) by George Garvin Brown in 1870 as a way to guarantee the quality, was even produced legally during Prohibition. With notes of spiced vanilla, red apples, orange and a hint of tobacco leaf, Old Forester is a testament to value for price point through the ages. If you’re looking for something with more intensity, seeking out a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) bourbon will do just the trick. Often found on the bottle, the terms “bottled- in-bond” and “cask strength” or “barrel strength” will inherently denote a higher ABV. Bottled-in-bond bourbons


will always be bottled at 50 percent ABV and cask strength/barrel strength bourbons will be bottled at the ABV in which it was put into the cask (typically in the 55 to 62 percent range). For example, Booker’s Bourbon , named after its founder, Booker Noe, is sweet, complex and potent. What makes this brand particularly special is that it is produced in small batches with each release having different flavour nuances and varying ABVs as each cask evolves differently over time. Booker’s Bourbon was created by Noe as a gift for friends during the holidays. Now, we have the distinct pleasure of gifting it to our kinfolk too.

From hot wings to flavourful Indian curries, if your recipient is a fan of spice, then look no further than rye whisky. Rye can be made all over the world, however, Canada and the United States are the major producers of this style of whisky. The US requires that all rye whiskies be made from at least 51 percent rye and aged in new charred oak barrels, whereas Canada allows a lot more flexibility. In fact, for something to be labelled “rye whisky”


BOOKER’S SMALL BATCH BOURBON WHISKEY USA $124.99 569061 Bottled at barrel strength, this bourbon possesses notes of rye spice, honey and caramel with hints of dill on the nose. The palate is full of cinnamon spiced pecan pie, buckwheat honey, dried fruits and tobacco with a long


USA $34.99 21822 This bourbon is a fine balance of citrus fruits, tobacco and menthol spice and rich dessert notes. Graham crackers, maple syrup, spiced vanilla, cinnamon- dusted almonds and cardamom leave you wanting another sip.

lasting, mouth- watering finish.



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