Winter is upon us ! As you might expect, winter is the ideal season for discovering and enjoying fine spirits. Luckily the Holiday period highlights the cold season and brings upon us numerous opportunities to sample and share these high alcohol content beverages. The Holiday gatherings are perfect moments to open a new trendy spirit and toast to lasting friendships and strong family ties. In this week’s suggestions you will find some newly arrived (at SAQ) high quality vodkas and whiskies.
Surprisingly, amongst the most popular spirits on the planet, we find two alcohols that are in fact extreme opposites. Vodka is limpid, soft, velvety, delicately warming, while amber coloured whisky is brimming with volume, character and complexity.
These two spirits sit atop the list of most consumed alcohols both in America and Europe. As expected, their clientels are quite different. Vodka’s benefits from a more diversified clientel that includes curious consumers that like variety (so many vodkas out there), enthusiastic partygoers that like to repeat the vodka shooter experience and the increasing cocktail fanatics. While the whisky consumers are passionnate and patient : they care about about origin, style and ageing !
Here are a few vodka and whiskies suggestions that should warm up your gatherings during the upcoming Holiday period.
Vodka : two new vodkas at SAQ. Ideally served chilled or with one ice cube.
VX Vodka, Grey Goose, France 102$ 12434957 40% alc.
A small amount of Cognac (5%) has been added to this high end vodka. Its complex nose displays some fruity and floral scents. Superb velvety texture, with typical Grey Goose elegance. Hints of sweetness and bitterness in perfect balance. A very refined flavorful vodka. Grey Goose VX should satisfy the demanding vodka fan. Score : 96/100
Vodka Quartz, Domaine Pinnacle, Québec, Canada 40,25 $ 12392451 41% alc.
A classic high quality vodka that exudes aromas of sweet corn and vanilla. Its oily texture adds volume and richness. A hint of bitterness and warmth enhance the lingering finish. Remember to serve this well priced vodka quite cold. Score : 90/100
Three whiskies : ideally served with a splash of distilled water.
Teeling Small Batch, Irish Whiskey 48,25$ 12404811 46% alc.
A superbly refined Irish Whiskey. Aged in rum barrels, its nose reveals toasted caramelized almonds, dried fruits with a hint of pepper. A delicate, well balanced, flavorful whiskey. Easy drinking with some complexity that should satisfy the Irish whiskey enthusiast. Score : 92/100
Té Bheag Blended Scotch Whisky, Scotland, 39,25$ 858209 40% alc.
An original, well priced Blended Scotch Whisky that delivers the goods. Complex nose for a «Blended» it offers hints of smokey caramel, often found in whiskies from the islands. Great mouthfell, full and flavorful, sweet and lengthy. Quite good ! Score 90/100
Straight Barley 10 year Whiskey, Masterson’s, USA 111,50$ 12256396 46% alc.
For those who like more power, this intense Straight Barley 10 years whiskey should do the trick. Made with Canadien barley and distilled in Sonoma, California. Brimming with full, rich flavors enhanced by intense aromas of oak, spices, vanilla with a slight a vegetal finish. Superb ! Score 94/100
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