View Full Version : Century Reserve 13 year old Single Cask
Found this in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a family visit here. Poor bourbon selection here by the way, just WT, Rare Breed, Woodford and Knob Creek (that I saw), maybe Beam White too - good bourbons but too few of them! The Canadian ryes are better represented, and we are in Prairie country, so that is expected (touring around the University of Manitoba - the car stalls had posts on which electric outlets were provided - for block heaters in the tough winters here - I saw with satisfaction a building called, "Centre of Cereal Research" - got to make sure the ergot stays out of the rye. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif They must be doing a good job because our rye whiskies are clean-tasting but not always rich in character. The subject whisky is a rare single cask offering - diminished however by just 40% ABV. The taste was a little spiky, there are some good flavours but they don't seem that intergrated. There was light spice character too but I could not detect much of the rich malty taste promised by the label. I think this product would be more distinctive at 100 proof or higher, but at 40% ABV it tastes much like many other Canadian whiskies I know. The new Danfield's I mentioned earlier and Wiser's Special Edition offer much more interest in my view, more flavour and depth. Oh well. I should have bought the Maple Leaf-produced brand I saw, this is a locally made product, and possibly it offers more taste and depth than the Canadian norm of which Century is quite representative. I might pick it up before I leave tomorrow. Century does put out excellent whisky though, its 21 year old is rich and full, and its 15 year old is very nice, too. Those are older than the 13 year old, of course, and have the benefit of good blending which Canadian whisky benefits from, I think. I asked a clerk in one of the stores here, "where is the Century line is made?", he did not know (he told me confidently there are only two distilleries left in Canada -wha...?) but I think it is from a company in British Columbia, the successor to Potter's of Kelowna, I believe. Potter's hasn't operated in many years and some Century whisky (according to Michael Jackson's new book, Whisk(e)y) is from the original Potter stocks and some is bought in bulk from other distilleries. I'm not sure where the 13 year old Century cask came from.
Postscript: I put the mostly full bottle into a carry bag amd put it through the security at Winnipeg airport without a moment's thought, only to find they wouldn't let me take it on because it had been opened. I knew of this rule from earlier experiences and had simply forgot to put it in my checked luggage - it is okay to check such bottles but not carry them on. I left it with the security person and said, "You can take it home with you, it would be a pity to throw it out" (no discernible reaction - as proper from the Civil Service, but I hope it wasn't wasted http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif). They would have let me take it to an office to have it sealed (they make you take a sip first!) but I didn't want to bother, mostly because I hadn't thought it was that good. My plan is to buy the Centennial 10 year old Rye Whiskey I saw in Winnipeg but didn't buy because it is available in Toronto, too. In Winnipeg I noted that the small leaflet attached to the bottle claims the barrels are "chilled" - really - I scratched my head over that one. There is always something new in this business, I guess.
By the way, searching the web I found that the Century Reserve whiskies (Century Reserve 13 year old single cask and the 15 and 21 year old versions, as well as Potter's Special Old) are products of Cascadia Brands of Kelowna, B.C., which was sold to Andres Wines last spring, a large national winery in Canada. Cascadia owns wineries and breweries (e.g., Granville Island Brewery of Vancouver) but apparently Andres has only just recently divested the Cascadia spirits business. It is operated by International Potter's Distilling, a subsidiary of Cascadia Brands. I could not detect as yet who purchased it. I believe Cascadia's head office is in Vancouver but the Potter's distillery operation is in Kelowna, B.C. in the Okanagan Valley. This is where presumably bulk whiskey is being brought in to eke out the aging Potter's stocks since the Potter's distillery is no longer producing.
Anyway, I didn't feel the Century Reserve 13 year old was a winner. I have a sense Centennial 10 year old Rye Whiskey, made by Highwood Distillers of Alberta (an independent - the other two distilleries in Alberta are owned by Jim Beam and Barton's) - will be better. I'll pick it up soon here and advise. Maybe it's the chilling! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
CR13 appeared here in Las Vegas about 4 years ago. I'm quite fond of it, so much so that it has become my "go to" Canadian. I think it (and even more so the CR15) bares a passing resemblence to Bush Pilot's Private Reserve, my favorate Canadian whiskey. I certainly agree it would be far more flavorful at 46 or 50% abv!
Well it is a single cask whisky too and possibly varies quite a bit between the bottlings. I would certainly try it again.
The Centennial 10 year old is very good, it has a velvety texture with good integrated reused barrel flavors but is not tannic or bland.
The more I sample Canadian whisky the more I find the best of it is very good but the run-of-the-mill much less so. Yet, run-of-the mill can be used to assist in blending experiments.
Currently I like Forty Creek which have quite a distinctive house style. Its Three Grain is tasting better than ever, the version on the shelves currently is rich and balanced and shows nice sherry influence. I like to blend the two from the house - the Three Grain and the older Barrel Select - with some Royal Reserve rye whisky (a Corby brand) and a little Lot 40. I have some I may bring to Gazebo that is really good. The sherry and rye flavours from the Three Grain informs the walnut-tasting, "dark" flavors of the Barrel Select, the Royal Reserve (which itself can vary I've found) "displays" these other two and the hint of Lot 40 adds spicy rye character.
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