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Alberta Premium Dark Horse

Albera Premium Dark Horse bottle

Alberta Premium Dark Horse is a very distinctive offering in the Canadian landscape.

Known for their expertise in producing 100% rye whiskies, Alberta Distillers has produced an unusual beast with their Dark Horse (also known as Alberta Rye Dark Batch in the US, due to copyright issues with the dark horse name).

Alberta Distillers has been up-front about what is in here. Most of the bottle (~90%) is a mix of two types of Canadian rye whisky: High ABV rye aged for 12 years in used barrels, and low ABV pot still rye aged for 6 years in new barrels. Rounding out all that rye whisky is ~8% of US-made bourbon (believed to be Old Grand-Dad – we’ll get back to this in a moment). But the really distinctive element is ~0.5-1% sherry added directly to the mix. The final whisky is then aged in heavily-charred American oak barrels, bottled at 45% ABV, and sold at a very competitive price.

While the addition of actual sherry into the mix may seem like a cheat to single malt fans, it is the net effect of traditional aging of whiskies in ex-sherry casks. I’ve seen estimates online that 500L first-fill casks can contain up to 7L of the previous product (stored in the wood staves). Over time, this migrates and mixes with the new make product, producing a distinctive end result (i.e., a sherry bomb whisky). Rather than aging Dark Horse in (expensive) first-fill sherry barrels, they went right to the horse’s mouth (sorry!) and simply added in an equivalent amount of actual sherry before aging in traditional barrels. This makes Dark Horse a sherry-bomb version of a Canadian rye whisky.

But what about the main elements of the mix, specifically that corn whisky? Note that despite the “rye whisky” moniker, most Canadian whisky is actually a blend of a relatively small amount of low-proof rye “flavouring” whisky added to high-proof grain whisky. Sometimes that includes Canadian-made corn whisky in the mix.

While this composition may seem odd, it makes perfect sense once you know about the 9.09% rule. A long time ago, it was decided that you could add 1/10 volume of non-Canadian whisky to a Canadian whisky and still allow it to be sold as such. Legend has it that this was to allow Canadian whisky to be sold in the US under generous tax break exemptions given to US products. Basically, Canadian distillers would import cheap US-made Bourbon, add it to Canadian whisky (up to 9.09% final volume, which is an additional 1/10) and then sell the concomitant blend back in the US as “Canadian whisky” and reap a tax break.

Here in Canada, there was no need to actually use US bourbon. Apparently, distillers just kept the original Canadian formulations intact for the products intended for domestic consumption. This was possible since the US versions were adjusted to match the standard Canadian flavour profile. But this practice seems to only have been applied to value blends destined for mixing – premium products are a different story.  While it was initially reported that Dark Horse would be using Canadian corn whisky (done bourbon-style), this was quickly corrected by Beam-Suntory, who were open about the use of US bourbon from the beginning.  At some point, they also confirmed that it was Old Grand-Dad bourbon specifically (although I can’t find an official published source for that).

FYI, there’s a good public article about the 9.09% rule – as it applies to the US-release of this whisky – by Davin de Kergommeaux on Whisky Advocate.

Personally, I find the Dark Horse to be an exceptionally good value in the Canadian whisky landscape. The Meta-Critic database seems a bit mixed on this one though, giving it an 8.67 ± 0.36 on 11 reviews. While that is above average for a Canadian whisky, it is still toward the mid-range of scores in this category. But you can’t beat the price – along with CC 100% Rye, this is a quality product masquerading at an entry-level budget price. It is different though, so I would recommend it to fans of Canadian rye who are looking to expand into new flavour profiles.

Probably the most positive review I’ve seen of the Alberta Premium Dark Horse is by Davin de Kergommeaux. Jason Hambrey gives a more typical rating on his Whisky Won site.Albera Premium Dark Horse bottle

Something else that stirs up mixed feelings about this whisky – its suitability for mixed drinks (sorry for the pun). 😉 Because of the strong sherry influence, I would have thought that this whisky is best served as a gentle sipper (preferably neat). Dave Broom seems to agree – in his mixed-drink book The Whisky Manual, he gave this whisky relatively low scores when mixed with five classic mixes (i.e., Soda, cola, ginger ale, coconut water and green tee). But he does point out that it could work well in a sazerac style cocktail. According to David de Kergommeaux in the earlier link above, Dark Horse has apparently become a popular mixing rye in bars, as well as a bartender’s favourite for their own concoctions. Hopefully you will enjoy experimenting with this versatile and distinctive Canadian whisky.

Expert vs User Reviews – Part II

Following up on my earlier discussion of the online whisky review community on Reddit (“Scotchit”), I have now added a properly-normalized set of Reddit user reviews to my Whisky Database.

Background

As mentioned on that earlier page, I found an unusually high degree of consistency of scoring between Reddit reviewers on some whiskies, and evidence of systematic biases that differed from the independent expert reviewers. Scoring methods were also a lot more variable among the user reviews, although this can be partially corrected for by a proper normalization (as long as scoring remains consistent and at least somewhat normally-distributed for each reviewer).

My goal was to find Reddit reviewers who could potentially meet the level of the expert reviewer selection used here. As such, I started by filtering only those reviewers who have performed a similar minimum number of reviews as the current experts in my Whisky Database (in order to ensure equivalent status for normalization). This meant excluding any Reddit reviewer with less than 55 reviews of the current ~400 whiskies in my database. As you imagine, this restricted the number of potential candidates to only the most prolific Reddit reviewers: 15 in this case.

Upon examining the scores of these generally top-ranked reviewers, I identified 6 as having potential inconsistency issues in scoring. One common issue was a non-Gaussian distribution (e.g., a much longer “tail” of low scoring whiskies than high). I was able to account for this in the final analysis by slightly adjusting the normalization method at the low-end.

Of potential concern was inconsistent reviewing, where two products of similar flavour profile, price and typical mean expert scores were given widely divergent scores. Only a small number of reviewers should issues here, but some examples include the Aberlour 12yo non-chill-filtered compared to the Balvenie DoubleWood 12yo, the Coal Ila 12yo compared to the Ardmore Traditional Cask, and the Glenfiddich 18yo compared to the Dalmore 12yo.  I found reviewers who placed those exact pairings at the extreme ends of their complete review catalogue (i.e., ranked among the best and worst of all whiskies reviewed by that individual).

To be clear, this is not really a problem when perusing the Reddit site. As long as you are looking at whiskies within a given flavour cluster, you are likely still getting a clear relative rank from these reviewers. It is just when trying to assemble a consistent ranking across all flavour classes of whiskies that inconsistent review scores for a given reviewer becomes a potential issue. As explained in my article discussing how the metacritic score is created, scoring is simply a way to establish a personal rank for each reviewer.

Fortunately, these instances were fairly rare, even for the reviewers in question. In most cases, it was the low-ranked whisky that was disproportionately un-favoured for some reason. If significantly discordant with the rest of the database, these could be accounted for in the normalization by excluding a small number of statistically-defined outliers (using the standards described below).

Correlation of Reddit Reviewers

Independence of review appears to be lower among the Reddit reviewers than among the expert reviewer panel used here. Reddit reviewers often reference the scores and comments of other users in their own reviews. This tends to lead to some harmonization of scoring, perpetuating dominant views on a number of whiskies. Indeed, the variance on many of the well-known (and heavily reviewed) expressions was lower for normalized Reddit reviewers than the expert reviewer panel. Also, the average of all significant correlation pairings across the 15 Reddit reviewers was higher than among the expert review panel (r=0.60 vs 0.40). Interestingly, the one Reddit reviewer who seemed the most independent from the others (r=0.37 on average to the others) correlated the closest with my exiting Meta-critic score before integration (r=0.72).

I also noticed a strong correlation in the selection of whiskies reviewed among Reddit reviewers – which was again much higher than among my independent expert reviewers. This was initially surprising, given the wide geographic distribution of Reddit users. But on further examination, I discovered that lead Reddit reviewers typically share samples with one another through trades and swaps. This can of course further reduce the independence of the individual reviews.

As a result of this analysis, I decided to combine these 15 Reddit reviewers into one properly normalized reviewer category for my Whisky Database (i.e., a single combined “Reddit Reviewer” category).  [Revised, See Update later in this review]

Normalization Method for Reddit Reviewers

For this analysis, each Reddit reviewer was individually normalized to the overall population mean and standard deviation (SD) of my current expert review panel. The normalized scores for these individual Reddit reviewers were then averaged across each individual whisky they had in common, to create the combined Reddit Reviewer category. On average, there were n=5 individual Reddit reviewers per whisky. As expected, the SD for the Reddit group of reviewers was lower on average than among my current expert panel.

To deal with any inconsistent scoring patterns, I used fairly stringent criteria to isolate and remove outlying scores. To be considered an outlier, the individual normalized Reddit reviewer score had to differ from the average Reddit reviewer score for that whisky by more than 2 SD units, AND had to exceed the existing Meta-critic score by more than 3 SD units. In cases where only one Reddit reviewer score was available, exclusion was based solely on the 3 SD unit criteria from the existing Meta-Critic mean score. This resulted, on average, in 0.8 outlier scores being removed from each Reddit reviewer (i.e., less than one outlier per reviewer).

The combined group of top Reddit Reviewers was then treated as a single reviewer category in my database. The combined Reddit score was then integrated with the other expert reviews for all whiskies in common (~200 whiskies in my database). The second pass normalization was performed in the same manner as for each individual expert reviewer described previously.

Comparison of the Reddit Reviewers to the overall Metacritic Score

Now that this category of top Reddit user reviews is properly integrated into my Whisky Database, it is interesting to compare how the Reddit scores compare to the other experts – to see if the general trends noted earlier in Part I persist.

For the comparisons below, I am comparing the combined Reddit Reviewer scores to the revised total Meta-critic scores (which now includes this Reddit group as a single reviewer category). I will be reporting any interesting Reddit reviewer differences in terms of Standard Deviation (SD) units of that group from the overall mean.

I am happy to report that the integrated Reddit scores do not show the pattern of unusually low ranking for international whiskies, as noted previously for the broader Reddit group (i.e., these top reviewers are commensurate with the other expert reviewers here).

For the Rye category, the overall distribution of scores was not that different. There was a trend for Reddit reviewers to rank Canadian ryes lower than American ryes, but the numbers are too low to draw any significant inferences.

The Bourbon category similarly shows no consistent difference between the Reddit reviewers and the other reviewers in my database. The Jack Daniels’ brand of whiskies seems somewhat less popular on Reddit, however, compared to the overall Meta-critic score (Gentleman Jack -2.2 SD, Jack Daniels No.7 -1.1 SD, Jack Daniels Single Barrel -0.5 SD).

The blended Scotch whisky category was scored lower overall by the Reddit reviewers compared to the expert reviewers – consistent with the earlier observation (i.e., almost all Scotch blends received a lower Reddit score than the overall Meta-critic score). Only a couple of blends stood out as being equivalently ranked by both the top Reddit reviewers and the other reviewers – the most notable being Té Bheag (pronounced CHEY-vek). Incidentally, this happens to be one of the highest ranking Scotch blends in my database. To be clear: Scotch blends get consistently lower ranks than single malts by virtually all reviewers – it’s just the absolute scoring of the normalized Reddit reviewers that is particularly lower than the others.

The single malt whiskies showed some noticeable examples of divergence between the Reddit reviewers and the overall Meta-critic scores. The clearest example of a brand that was consistently ranked lower by the Reddit group was the new Macallan “color” series (Gold -2.4 SD, Amber -1.4 SD, and Sienna -0.5 SD). To a lesser extent, a similar pattern was observed for some of the cask-finished Glenmorangie expressions (Nectar D’Or -1.1 SD, Lasanta -1.0 SD), and the entry-level Bowmore (12yo -1.4 SD, 15yo -1.3 SD), and Ardmore (Traditional Cask -2.1 SD) expressions.

Similarly, some brands got consistently higher scores from the top Reddit reviewers – most notably Aberlour (A’Bunadh +2.0 SD, 12yo NCF +1.8 SD, 12yo double-cask +1.6 SD, 10yo +0.4 SD). Again, to a lesser extent, other seemingly popular Reddit choices were Glenfarclas (105 NAS +1.1 SD, 17yo +0.9 SD, 12yo +0.7 SD, 10yo +0.6 SD) and Glen Garioch (Founder’s Reserve +1.3 SD, 12yo +0.8 SD, 1995 +0.4 SD).

Note that both Aberlour and Glenfarclas are generally in the heavily “winey” end of the flavour clusters, just like the relatively unpopular Macallans (and Glenmorangies). I suspect part of the issue may be the perceived value-for-money in this “winey” category. Macallan is considered especially expensive for the quality, and the new NAS “color” series are generally regarded as lower quality by most critics (and even more so by Reddit reviewers). In contrast, Aberlour remains relatively low cost for the (high) perceived quality.

In any case, those were among the most extreme examples. On most everything else, there is little obvious difference between the normalized top Reddit reviewers and the other expert panel members. Properly normalized in this fashion, they provide a useful addition to the Meta-critic database. I am happy to welcome their contribution!

UPDATE July 22, 2016:

In the year since this analysis was published, I have continued to expand my analysis of Reddit whisky reviews.  I now track over 30 Redditors, across my entire whisky database, properly normalized on a per-individual basis.

While many of the observations above remain, this larger dataset has allowed me to explore reddit reviewing in more detail.  Through correlation analyses, I have been able to refine subtypes of reviewers on the site.

Specifically, there is a core set of reviewers who show very high inter-reviewer correlations.  This group, as a whole, correlates reasonably well with the Meta-Critic score, but is really defined by how consistent they are to one another.  Many of the high-profile, prolific reviewers fall into this group. All the associations noted above apply to this group, and are strongly present (e.g., they score American whiskies consistently higher than the Meta-Critic, and Canadian whiskies consistently lower).

A second group of reviewers show relatively poor correlations to each other, the main reddit group above, and the Meta-Critic score. On closer examination however, the main reason for this discrepancy is greater individual extremes in scoring on specific whiskies or subtypes of whisky.  When properly normalized and integrated, this group demonstrates a similar whisky bias to the first group (although somewhat less pronounced, and with greater inter-reviewer variability). A number of high-profile reviewers fall into this second group.

The third group (which is the smallest of the three) is a subset of reviewers who correlate better with the Meta-Critic score than they do the two groups above.  This group appears to show similar biases to the larger catalog of expert reviewers, and not the specific cohort of reddit reviewers.

As a result of these analyses, I have expanded the contribution of reddit scores to my database by adding the average scores for each group above.  Thus, instead of having a single composite score for all of reddit on each whisky (properly normalized and fully integrated), I now track 3 separate reddit reviewer groups (each normalized and integrated for that specific group).

I believe this gives greater proportionality to the database, encompassing both the relative number of reddit reviews, and their enhanced internal consistency.

 

Auchentoshan 12 Year Old

Auchentoshan 12yo bottle

Another relatively unloved single malt in my Whisky Database, I thought I’d put in a good word for the Auchentoshan 12 year old (pronounced OCKen-TOSHan).

Auchentoshan is one of the few Lowland distilleries still operating in Scotland. This style of whisky is typically characterized as “lighter” than most other single malts. Although you shouldn’t rely on geographical location for flavour, as previously observed, this is one case where the traditional triple-distilling method of lowland malts does produce a gentler base spirit. That said, there is more flavour to this malt than you might expect, earning it a spot in the E flavour cluster in this analysis.

As previously presented here, delicate whiskies get lower overall metacritic scores compared to more complex ones. As such, the 8.33 ± 0.30 (based on 16 reviews) for the Auchentoshan 12 yo is a very middle-of-the-road score for its flavour class. Note that this is significantly improved over the earlier Auchentoshan 10 year old and Classic expressions, which were more poorly received (and by all accounts, even lighter in flavour). The current Duty-Free expressions – typically identified by a certain type of wood for finishing – are similarly not well regarded by the critics (although I don’t currently track them in my database).

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to having a soft spot for this whisky – it was the first bottle that I actually purchased (although I still kick myself for letting a Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottling of a 21 yr old Glenlivet pass me by a few months earlier). Up until this Auchentoshan, the common Glenlivet/Glenfiddich 12 yr olds or Johnny Walker Black were my entry-level introductions to the world of Scotch whiskey (as they are for many). The Auchentoshan 12 yo was suggested to me at a tasting bar as one to try next, and I was very impressed by its sweet maltiness and dry oakiness (and light touch of caramel throughout).

Not being a fan of cloying fruity/floral sweetness, this was a refreshing change for me – and I bought a bottle on the spot. Like many, my tastes have expanded over the last couple of years, and I can now appreciate most anything (although I am not a fan of the young, medicinal members of cluster J). Personally, I now tend to gravitate toward the well-aged members of the cluster A-C whiskies. But I still enjoy returning to this old favourite on occasion, when looking for something uncomplicated.

Auchentoshan 12yo bottleAnother reason for the soft spot – this is also one of my wife’s favourites. 🙂 She is not a fan of the heavily “winey” or “smokey” single malts in my collection, and prefers this expression over most others. The Hibiki 17 year old and the Dalwhinnie 15 year old are also high on her list – as they are with most novice whisky drinkers.

And that’s the secret to the Auchentoshan 12 year old – it goes over well with almost everyone who tries it. If there were such thing as a “universal donor” among whiskies (i.e., something that all could accept), this is the closest I’ve found to date. For literally only a few dollars more than the ubiquitous (and innocuous) Glenlivet/Glenfiddich 12yr olds, you get a much nicer experience here. Highly recommended if you are just starting out.

Probably the most positive review I’ve seen for this whisky is on the RumHowler blog. Jim Murray also seems to be a relative fan. For a balanced perspective, you may want to check out Ralfy’s video blog.

Incidentally, this bottling  made it onto Esquire’s Seven Best Scotch Brands Under the Radar You Need to Know.

 

 

 

Hibiki 17 Year Old

Hibiki 17yo bottle

Note: This commentary has been updated with the expanded scores from the Oct 2015 build of my Whisky Database.

The Hibiki 17 year old is an interesting whisky to profile. It is exceedingly rare outside of Japan, so there were initially very few reviews of it in my Whisky Database. I initially hesitated in including it in the list at all, given how oddly low three of those reviews were – although the overall average is now a more reasonable 8.75 ± 0.43 on 8 reviews. The more budget Hibiki 12 year old (which until recently was more widely available) gets a reasonable 8.65 ± 0.27 score on 13 reviews.

Personally, I was so impressed with the 17 yo on my first trip to Japan that it became the one bottle that I chose to bring back through duty free (Canada has strict import limits). There were a number of other whiskies that I had thought I might return with – but the Hibiki 17 yo was a surprise hit for me. Since then, everyone who has sampled from my bottle has been very impressed – from newbies to experienced scotch drinkers alike. In fact, I’ve had to ration tastings from that first bottle, to ensure as many as possible could try it at least once. 😉

The Hibiki line is actually blended whisky, not pure malt. This surprises almost every experienced whisky drinker who tries it, as you do not taste any of the typical “graininess” or rounding-off of flavour common to traditional Scottish blends (even higher-end ones). Again, the age statement is only a minimum – everything in there (including the grain whisky) is at least 17 years old. Suntory certainly seems to know how to age grain whisky well. Everyone who has tried mine just assumes this is a single malt, given its flavour and quality.

Here’s what I find in the glass:

Nose: Sweet and rich aromas of raisins, sultanas and plums. Lots of toffee and butterscotch. Definite honey. A great nose, it’s a pleasure to come back to it between sips

Palate:  Same flavours as the nose, initial sweetness with the raisins/sultanas and some softer tropical fruits, like honeydew melon (although that could be the honey poking through again). Caramel/butterscotch again as well. It has a somewhat oaky backbone, with the sweet vanillins yielding to dryer woody/paper notes over time. A pleasant tingle as it goes down, with the hint of something spicy/peppery at the end. A very well balanced palate.

Finish: Remarkably long-lasting, with a good mix of after-glowing sweetness from the caramel/butterscotch, balanced with a slightly bitter oakyness, and a touch of cinnamon to round it all off.

Although heavily over-used in the whisky world, the best word I can use to describe this whisky is “smooth”. The main flavours are consistent across the nose, palate and finish (which is actually rare in the whisky world). Sweet but never cloying, well balanced with a slightly bitter hint of wood and spice at the end. There is also nothing “sharp” here either – the flavours are well balanced, leading to a very enjoyable experience (with a very prolonged finish).

This gets back to why I think it gets mediocre scores from some reviewers – it doesn’t have strong characteristics that come out and attack the senses at any point. Those craving unique experiences typically want something distinctive and unusual (i.e., sharp, not smooth). But almost everyone who has tried it in my house wants a second glass – and that is pretty rare in the structured tastings I’ve done. It definitely grows on you.

Note that the Hibiki 17 yo comes in the same decanter-style, glass 24-sided presentation bottle as the 12 yo (with a parchment paper label and heavy glass stopper). This is unusual as well, given the rather minimalist presentation of most Japansese whiskies (lucky owners of any of the Nikka pure malts – or Nikka from the Barrel – will know what I mean).Hibiki 17yo bottle

The Hibiki 17 is famous for another reason – it is the actual whisky that Bill Murray’s fictional character is seen promoting in the 2003 film, “Lost in Translation“. I can only assume the filmmakers chose the whisky given the cachet it has in Japan.

Regardless of the metacritic score here, I think anyone lucky enough to get their hands on a glass of the 17 yo (or failing that, the quite decent 12 yo) will definitely be inclined to “make it Suntory time”! 😉

For a fair review of the Hibiki 17 yo, I recommend you check out one of the best english-language Japanese whisky sites: Dramtastic’s The Japanese Whisky Review. Thomas of Whisky Saga also has a good balanced overview of this expression. Josh the Whiskey Jug has recently reviewed it as well.

 

 

BenRiach 12 Year Old Matured in Sherry Wood

BenRiach 12yo Sherry Wood bottle

Following up on my recent commentary of the GlenDronach 12 yr, I thought I would put in a word for the 12 year old, similarly sherried expression released under the BenRiach name (who also owns GlenDronach).

There is not a lot of information on this expression online, which is surprising given its price – like the GlenDronach, this is a remarkably affordable young “sherry-bomb” at the LCBO (currently ~$67 CAD). The BenRiach 12 yo Matured in Sherry Wood gets a very good composite score in my Whisky Database, at 8.80 ± 0.26 on 9 reviews.

I recently received a bottle of this BenRiach expression for Father’s Day, and was surprised to find how different it is from the GlenDronach. As discussed in that commentary, the GlenDronach 12 yr is actually from much older stock than the label indicates (i.e., my early 2014 bottle contains whisky that is a minimum of >17-18 yrs old). But the base spirit from GlenDronach is clearly quite different from BenRiach – I find the BenRiach to be a much gentler dram, with a more more delicate underlying base.

BenRiach 12yo Sherry Wood bottleTo my mind, this would make the BenRiach 12 yo Matured in Sherry Wood a much better choice for newcomers to single malts (especially newcomers to sherried malts). Despite the classic sherry sweetness up front, this expression is definitely on the drier side going out – compared to most sherried malts I’ve tried. And this is something I find inexperienced whisky drinkers typically prefer, as many are put off by excessive or sustained sweetness (and overwhelming flavour and complexity).

If I were to sum up the difference, I think the GlenDronach is a great choice for experienced sherried malt drinkers who are looking for distinctiveness. That said, the BenRiach 12 yo Matured in Sherry Wood is still something that I think everyone may enjoy, given its good balance of flavours and easy drinking nature.

For a good concise review of this expression, please check out Dramming.com. The boys at QuebecWhisky have reviewed what they call a “Sherry Cask” version of the BenRiach 12 yr, but it sounds from the description that the flavour profile is much the same (as is the photo).

 

 

Expert vs User Reviews – Part I

Wine barrels

As discussed on my Biases and Limitations page, I have chosen to use only established reviewers – with an extensive range of individual whiskies reviewed – when building the Whisky Database here. Please see my Reviewer Selection page for the criteria used in selecting these reviewers.

But there are a number of active online whisky communities that have member reviews, and it is worth exploring how these may relate to the properly-normalized expert panel developed here. In this commentary, I am going to explore correlations of the Whisky Database to the Reddit Scotch Whisky subgroup (“Scotchit”).

My goal here is simply to see whether or not it is worthwhile to try to incorporate this user community into my expert panel. I am personally a big fan of discussion forums, where newcomers and experts can rub shoulders and shares experiences.

The Reddit Scotchit Review Archive

This Scotchit user group meets many of my established reviewer criteria, including being very active in the last few years with openly available reviews. While the main Scotchit site can be a bit daunting to navigate, you can find the full open-access review archive (with over 13,000 reviews as of July 2014, including “community reviews”) – as well as several attempts at quantitative analysis and summary of the results.

The main challenge is that individual Scotchit user reviews can vary widely in quality, experience and consistency. Scoring is also hugely variable (i.e., some members use the full range from 0-100, whereas others use the more common restricted higher range). Ideally, a proper normalization should be performed for each reviewer, but this poses considerable technical and logistical challenges for the massive review archive dataset. User Dworgi has created a user review normalizer program, but I couldn’t get it to work with the current review archive.

On that front, I should point out that while they have done an impressive job of maintaining the Scotchit review archive, it is still a community project using automated review-catching bots. As a result, there are a certain number of errors in the database. The most significant of these are erroneous scores (likely due to the reviewer mentioning several scores in his/her review, with the automated script having trouble finding the final score). There are also structural problems with the complete dataset – for example, several hundred entries currently have missing columns or transposed columns. There are also many more cases where the same expression is listed under different titles. So if you plan to work with this archive, you will still need to do your own manual quality control checks and data curation.

Given these issues (which are generally well appreciated on the site), it is recognized that some filtering restriction of the archive is required to meaningfully interpret any summary results. One approach is to restrict to only those reviewers that meet a certain minimum number of published individual reviews (e.g., those who have done 50 or more), and to ignore community reviews. Another is to set a minimum number of user reviews required for each whisky before considering it in an analysis (e.g., 10 reviewers, as done here for an analysis by Dworgi for data up to the end of 2013). Another option is to also restrict reviews to those that meet a minimum score cut-off (e.g., neglecting reviews that score <50 out of 100). Charles Vaughn has a good interactive graphing tool using the same dataset as Dworgi, where you can dynamically adjust these cut-off values yourself on the Overview tab and see how it affects the results. This is a good tool to help you calibrate you understanding of the dataset (although it is limited in time to an early summary set).

Again, all these restrictions are done in order to try and help compensate for the wide variations in scoring, given the lack of normalization. Given my experience, I’m not sanguine about the success of these methods – as demonstrated on this site, you really need to properly normalize each reviewer’s scoring if you are to meaningfully integrate. However, given the daunting size of the Reddit reviewer database, these simple filtering approaches are understandable – and are better than nothing. It is at least worthwhile to see if the filtering methods suggest any meaningful trends that could be followed up  with a more detailed analysis.

As an aside, one potential advantage to having a very large dataset of user ratings is the possibility of using a proper Bayesian estimator. Popular in estimation/decision theory, a Bayes estimator is used to compensate for when only a small number of ratings are available on any given item in a much larger dataset (i.e., what is known as posterior expected loss). It works nicely across extremely large datasets that have highly variable numbers of reviews (e.g., the Internet Movie Database apparently uses a Bayesian estimator). Items with a low number of reviews are given lower weighing in the analysis. Once the number of ratings reaches and surpasses a defined threshold, the confidence of the average rating surpasses the confidence of the prior knowledge, and the weighed Bayesian rating essentially becomes a regular average. Of course, any biases in the underlying dataset would still be confounding (see below), but this would definitely be something to consider if you want to mine the Scotchit database further.

Comparative Analysis

For this first pass analysis, I have pulled out of their current public review archive (as of July 2014) all reviews for whiskies in my dataset. This yielded >200 whiskies in common, with almost 6000 individual Scotchit reviews. A quick descriptive-statistic examination of the raw data illustrates that single malt-like and bourbon-like whiskies get generally equivalent average scores across Scotchit reviewers, but that scotch blend-like and rye-like whiskies get significantly lower scores on average. While this trend is apparent among my expert review panel as well, it is noticeably more pronounced in the Scotchit user archive. This feature is well noted on the site – i.e., many seem aware that blends (and other perceived lower quality whisky categories) are particularly devalued by the members.

At a more granular level, I note that the international malt whisky subset of my database are scored lowered by the Scotchit users on average, compared to the Scottish single malts. In contrast, the expert panel used here rates these international whiskies higher than the single-malt group average. Further, I note that Canadian rye whiskies get lower scores on average in the Scotchit review archive than the American rye whiskies – whereas those two sub-categories of rye get equivalent scores among my expert panel. While relative numbers are low in these last two cases, it does suggest that the underlying biases may be different between the expert panel and Scotchit users for international products.

To explore relationships between our datasets in more detail, I have applied the same filtering method used by Scotchit users themselves when depicting their own data. For this analysis, I have used moderately stringent criteria, excluding all whiskies with <10 reviews, and any individual review score <60. This reduces the dataset to ~5400 Scotchit reviews, across ~160 whiskies in common. Again, I would prefer to use proper normalization of each of their reviewers, but the automated tool does not currently seem to be functioning.

A few observations of this restricted dataset. For one, the variation across Scotchit user reviews is much higher than across my expert review panel, on a per-review basis (even before normalization was applied to my dataset). And even after consolidating to an average score for each whisky, the variation within each reviewer group is again much higher for the Scotchit dataset. These results are not surprising given the wide variation in how scoring is applied by Scotchit users (and despite the attempt at filtering the results).

Correlation to the Meta-Critic Scores

Let’s see how a correlation of the average Scotchit score for each whisky compares to my meta-critic dataset. For this depiction, I have broken out the whiskies by category (single malt-like, scotch blend-like, bourbon-like and rye-like). Further, I have identified the flavour cluster categories for the single malt style whiskies. See my How to Read the Database for an explanation of these terms.

Correlation of WhskyAnalysis.com to Reddit Scotchit

The overall correlation to my meta-critic score is reasonable (although lower than the average expert reviewer to the meta-critic score). You can also see that the variation increases as we move to whiskies with lower scores, as you might expect given the significant variation in how the Scotchit user base applies scores. Note that this variation is much higher than that seen in my expert reviewers (and discussed here).

Looking more closely, you can also see how the blended whiskies do indeed score relatively lower for the Scotchit users (i.e., virtually all these whiskies are below the best fit line, indicating relatively lower Scotchit scores). There are no obvious group differences among the other classes or clusters, suggesting the Scotchit users share a similar bias to my expert review panel of favouring complex whiskies over delicate ones, and heavily-smoky over lightly-smoky (in general terms).

That said, there are a number of individual whiskies results that are interesting (i.e., cases where the two reviewer bases obtain significantly different results). One example is for the less heavily-peated Highland and Islay whiskies (e.g., Bowmore and Ardmore). The entry level expressions of these brands tend to get average-to-slightly-above ratings in my expert panel, compared to consistently below average ratings from the Scotchit user base. I am not clear as to the reason for this difference, but it may reflect how user reviewers tend to apply a wider scoring scale within a given class of product (i.e., while they rate heavily-peated whiskies equivalently to the expert reviews, they disproportionately rank lighter-peat whiskies lower).

There are also individual whiskies where the Scotchit rankings seem unusual. One example is the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or. The other Glenmorangie expressions rank in similar ways between the Scotchit and meta-critic reviewers (i.e., Lasanta < 10 yr Original < Quinta Ruban < Signet). The Nectar D’Or gets an overall average score among Scotchit users (placing it in the middle of the pack), but a consistently high score among the meta-critic reviewers (i.e., equivalent to the Signet). A possible explanation for this is that the Nectar D’Or is frequently cited in some of the popular Scotchit analyses as an example of an “average” scoring whisky (going back several years now). This may thus be influencing members to consistently rank it that way, based on earlier assessments (i.e., a trend towards consistency over time).

Wrapping Up

Taken together, this analysis suggests that may be some specific and general differences in the underlying scoring approach taken by Scotchit users and the experts used here in the meta-critic score. In particular, Scotchit users seem more critical and relatively negative toward perceived lower quality whiskies (e.g., blends) than the expert reviewers. Similarly, the users may have a relative bias in favour of UK single malts and American bourbons/ryes compared to other international jurisdictions of similar products, relative to the expert panel. Note that I am not saying the expert panel is better or worse in this regard – just that their relative systemic biases may be different (and thus difficult to integrate across users and reviewers).

There are also definite differences in how scoring is applied to whiskies, with a lot more variation among Scotchit users. However, it may be possible to correct for this with a proper normalization for each reviewer. And a proper Bayesian estimator could be used to adjust for cases where there is a low number of reviews. To date however, it seems that simpler filtering approaches have been used for most analyses of the Scotchit archive.

An underlying question to explore in more detail is the relative level of independence of reviewers. Even the expert reviewers used here are bound to be influenced to some degree (likely a variable degree) by the reviews of other experts. There are indications in the Scotchit analyses that this effect is more pronounced among the members of the user group, especially in regards to certain specific whiskies and defined clusters of whiskies. This may pose an insurmountable problem in equating expert reviews (where distinctiveness of review – within overall consistency – is highly prized) and community user reviews (where consensus may be highly prized by some, and extreme/inconsistent positions valued by others). Again, the relative value of the meta-critic analysis here is that it is drawn from samples that are as independent as possible, while striving for internal consistency (both important criteria for inferential statistics).

At the end of the day, it would not be appropriate to try and incorporate any simple summary of the Scotchit archive into the expert meta-critic score. However, there may be individual reviewers from Scotchit who have similar characteristics to the experts used here (i.e., similar relative biases and levels of independence). Indeed, there is one member that is common to both groups (the Whiskey Jug). I will continue to explore the individual reviewers in more detail, to see if there are any others that may be relevant for inclusion in the current meta-critic group.

And of course, none of this should get in your way of joining and participating in any user community you feel a connection with. They can be a great place to explore ideas with people of similar interest. 🙂

UPDATE: I proceeded further through the dataset, and done proper statistical normalizations on a number of Reddit reviewers. Discussed further here.

 

 

GlenDronach 12 Year Old “Original”

GelnDronach 12yo bottle

The GlenDronach 12 year old is a popular entry-level example of the “sherry bomb” style of single malt whisky. It earns an above-average rating in my Whisky Database for the ABC super cluster: it currently receives an 8.68 ± 0.25 on 14 reviews (the overall average for this ABC group is ~8.55).

I have picked it to highlight in this commentary for a number of reasons. For one, although it receives a fairly consistent average-to-slightly-above score from most reviewers, there is at least one reviewer who rates this as a top pick. It is also an exceptional value in the ABC group, especially in Ontario (only $66 CAD at the LCBO). And it has a surprising amount of flavour for a supposedly young “12-year old” expression.

This last point is the most interesting to me. The GlenDronach 12 yr was first released in 2009, after the distillery had been sold to BenRiach. But the GlenDronach distillery had been shut down between 1996 and early 2002. So under the rules of single malt labeling, they had to rely exclusively on the pre-1996 stock to make these bottlings. At time of launch (in 2009), that meant the minimum age of the whisky in those bottles was at least 12-13 years old, depending on the exact end date of production in 1996 (but most was likely much older, for reasons I’ll explain below).

By 2010, the source barrels for that year’s “12 yo” bottlings would have to have been at least 13-14 years old. This trend continues up to the 2013 bottlings, where the minimum age going into those “12 yo” bottles could not have been younger than 16-17 years old. It is only at some point in 2014 that they would have been able to start using some of the new make 12-year old whisky in the vattings (and I’m going to guess not much – again scroll down for an explanation).

Given how production actually works (see my understanding single malts page for more info), it is highly unlikely that they would have blown-out all their late 1995/1996 stock in the first production runs of the GlenDronach 12yr. It is more likely that the blend of whiskies used in the vattings for those early bottles was heavily biased toward older barrels even at the start, in order to maintain some consistency in vatting over subsequent production runs. I say this because at the time of launch of this expression in 2009, they already knew that they wouldn’t be able to use any new make before some time in 2014. And given that the new make was not likely to be same as the old (due to differences in production methods), they presumably are still using a lot of that aging old stock in the current bottlings (to maintain consistency).GelnDronach 12yo bottle

For more info, this back-story is described in an excellent blog post on Words of Whisky. But do scroll down through the comments, as the included chart in the article is off by one year in its calculations (i.e., whisky made in 2002 would only be 1-year old in 2003, etc.).

Anyway, this helps explains why the GlenDronach 12 yr tastes remarkably robust for its apparent low age statement. So if you like that sort of thing, then you might find this to be an exceptional value. Note that some people online have complained about a “bitterness” in the palate/finish (which likely relates to differing abilities to detect sulfur compounds, as discussed here).

I plan to post a commentary soon on how the BenRiach 12 yr old Matured in Sherry Wood compares (hint: that is a gentler dram, better suited to beginners interested in trying something in the sherried class). UPDATE: commentary posted.

But for those of you who are already fans of the well-aged style of single malt, I recommend you check out these two very positive reviews for more info on this particular whisky: The Scotch Noob and Ralfy.

 

Canadian Club 100% Rye

Canadan Club Chairman's Select 100% Rye bottle

The Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye is an interesting innovation to the somewhat staid CC line of whiskies.

The premier U.S. spirits-maker Beam was acquired by Japan’s Suntory early last year (and with it, the well-known CC brand, which was in Beam’s stable at the time). This set the stage for a shake-up of the Canadian whisky scene, as Suntory already owned Alberta Distillers – which is a premium source of Canadian rye whisky. After much careful experimentation with this Alberta source stock by the Beam-Suntory craft makers in Kentucky, a new straight rye whisky was born – under the popular CC label. You can read more about the fascinating story of its creation in Davin de Kergommeaux’s blog post on the Whisky Advocate site.

What’s surprising to me is the price – at $27.45 CAD (list price) at the LCBO, this CC 100% Rye whisky is priced the same as the somewhat entry-level CC Reserve. But it is frequently on sale for $25.95, which is even cheaper than even the regular base CC (aka CC Premium). And it clearly does a lot better than the entry-level CC whiskies in my Meta-Critic dataset:

  • Canadian Club Premium ($26.35): 7.28 (±1.22 on 11 reviews)
  • Canadian Club Reserve 9yo ($27.45): 8.07 (±0.54 on 4 reviews)
  • Canadian Club Classic ($28.45): 8.35 (±0.37 on 10 reviews)
  • Canadian Club 100% Rye ($27.45, on sale $25.95): 8.66 (±0.38 on 5 reviews)

To put those numbers in context, the average Meta-Critic score in my database for all Canadian whiskies is 8.44. That puts the CC 100% Rye at well above average, despite having one of the lower price points in the whole dataset.

Canadan Club Chairman's Select 100% Rye bottleWhat is interesting to me is the taste – this is a fabulous straight rye whisky in my view, far belying its budget price. I have brought this one out during structured whisky tastings at my house, and have surprised quite a number of my guests once I revealed the price.

In those sessions, I have always done direct head-to-head (nose-to-nose?) comparisons to the popular Lot 40 from Corby – also a 100% Canadian Rye, priced at $40 at the LCBO, with a Meta-Critic score of 8.97 (±0.26 on 10 reviews). Surprisingly, it tends to be an equal wash of who prefers the CC 100% Rye and who favours the Lot 40. Invariably, most agree that the Lot 40 has a better nose, but a number of people have commented that they like the more “fruity” body of the CC 100% Rye (i.e., it’s more fruit-forward on the palate).

Personally, I don’t think you can’t go wrong with either – although the Lot 40 does have more to offer the experienced Rye drinker. But at this bargain-basement price, I would definitely encourage every Canadian whisky drinker to give this one a shot.

Davin de Kergommeaux has a clear and concise review of the CC 100% Rye on the Whisky Advocate website. For a more detailed review with tasting notes, please check out Whisky Won.

As always, interested to hear your feedback below.

Gibson’s Finest 18 Year Old

Gibson's Venerable 18yo bottle

Gibson’s whisky has a long history in Canada, with production having passed through several producers and distilleries over the years. Through it all, the 18 year old expression has remained the top of their line. It currently holds the distinction as the highest ranked Canadian whisky in my Whisky Database (for the “Finest Rare” 18 yr): 9.12 ± 0.41, on 8 reviews.

The latest bottlings at the LCBO have a “Finest Venerable” subtitle. Although I think “rare” still applies – I received this bottle as a Father’s Day present, and I know it took some driving around by my family to find a LCBO that stocked it (it was on my list of wanted whiskies). 😉

That subjective impression is borne out in my recently posted analysis of LCBO inventories. Looking at the data table in that post (compiled from the LCBO iPad/iPhone app), you will see that there are only ~650 bottles of the 18yr available in all of Ontario right now. Compare that to >42,000 bottles of the base Gibson’s 12 yr and Sterling expressions. And most of those 12yo/Sterling bottles are the larger 1140 and 1750mL sizes. So if you do a comparison by volume, only 1.1% of Gibson’s whiskies available in Ontario right now are this top-shelf 18 yr.

In case you are wondering, I agree with the consensus wisdom in the Meta-Critic score – this is an outstanding Canadian whisky!

Nose: Very creamy sensation from the start, with oaky caramel, butterscotch and vanilla aromas that seem more like creme caramel in this case. “Yellow-flesh” fruits come to mind: plum, pear and pineapple especially (I admit that last one seems a bit weird). Something slightly nutty. like crushed peanuts. Nice nose.

Palate: Much the same flavours as found on the nose, with even more butterscotch up front. Luxurious creamy mouthfeel. Rye “baking spices” start to come out now (nutmeg, cinnamon, touch of cloves), but not as strongly as most quality Canadian blends. I’d swear there a bit of wheat sweetness in this blend – definite bread-making flavours come out, in addition to the rye. A bit of bourbon sweetness throughout. Finally, a touch of bitterness comes in at the end, but doesn’t seem out of place or glaring (like it does in cheap blends)

Finish: Still sweet up front – although more focused on those bread baking characteristics than any of the fruits. Still relatively creamy, it moves more toward a slight bitterness over time (although well balanced with the sweetness). Not hard to handle at all.

As I describe in recommendations for hosting a whisky tasting, I always suggest people ignore their taste impressions on the first sip (to allow your palate a chance to cleanse and recover from the initial alcohol burn). But this is an example of that rare whisky where I knew I was in for a treat from the first few seconds – a nice compilation of aromas and flavours.

Gibson's Venerable 18yo bottleI guess the only question now is who do I give that old bottle of Gibson’s 12 year old to – the one that has been sitting in my cabinet barely touched for awhile? As an aside, the 12yr is a decent budget whisky for the price, but it’s really best suited to mixed drinks.

One thing for Gibson’s – and this is a plus or minus, depending on your point of view – they have very plain packaging. The 18 year old doesn’t come with a box, just the bare bottle is sold off the shelf. And some of the “decoration” around the top is just part of the security packaging (i.e., comes right off when you open it). So while it may not make for the prettiest gift package – your recipient is likely to thank you once they sample it!

For a recent review of this whisky, you can see Jason Hambrey’s Whisky Won review here, or check out the main list of reviewers used in this meta-analysis.

Whisky Volume in Ontario

display rack of whisky bottles

Summer is apparently a slow time for whisky sales in Ontario – at least judging by all the marketing push at the LCBO for everything but whisky these days.

I look forward to the lead-up to Christmas, when the LCBO stocks a much wider array of mid-range and higher-end whiskies (especially single malts). Right now, it is the high volume, low-end whiskies that seem to dominate on the shelves. With Canada Day almost here, I thought I would do an analysis of the summer product distribution of Canada’s largest distillers (thanks to the helpful LCBO app).

What I’ve done is to search the LCBO app and website for all “budget” Canadian whiskies (i.e., in the $25-30 range). From this, I developed a list of all producers/distillers currently offering entry-level products (as a proxy for the largest distillers). I then tracked the LCBO inventory for the entire brand and expression range of the whiskies these distillers produce, in all bottle sizes. There were half a dozen distillers with less than 6000 liters of product on inventory at the LCBO, which I excluded from the further analysis (you’ll see why in a moment).

At the end of the day, this gives me a good dataset of the full pre-Canada Day LCBO inventory of all the products made by the largest Canadian whisky producers. The full searchable data table is available at the bottom of this post.

Before I get into the top-line observations from this whole dataset, there is one interesting feature to note in a subset of whiskies. Most of the entry-level expressions of these major distillers are available in a range of bottle sizes (i.e., from 200mL up to 3000mL). For all whisky brands where multiple bottles sizes were available, here is the distribution of the total current LCBO inventory (combined from all producers), as of June 28, 2015:

LCBO-bottlesAs you can see, the 750mL and 1140mL sizes are the clear “sweet spot” for the production and sale of budget whiskies (not surprisingly). What may be a little surprising is the absolute number of bottles in inventory. Again, the above chart is only for expressions that are released in multiple bottle sizes (which are typically just the base expression of each producer).

So what are the key observations from the whole set?  Let’s start with a ranking by production levels, for each identified distiller on the LCBO site. Note that these distillers may in fact be distributors (and some are owned by the same conglomerates). As such, I will also provide the names of the specific brands they produce, since that is what you are likely to recognize. Here they are, in order of total inventory of all whisky products (in liters) at the LCBO right now:

  1. Corby Distilleries Ltd (Wiser’s, Hiram Walker, Royal Reserve, Lot 40) – 148007 liters
  2. The Crown Royal Distilling Co. (Crown Royal) – 105383 liters
  3. Forty Creek Distillery (Forty Creek, Canada Gold) – 96603 liters
  4. Canadian Club Whisky Company (Canadian Club) – 79156 liters
  5. Schenley (Seagram’s, Black Velvet, Golden Wedding) – 52258 liters
  6. William Grant & Sons (Gibson’s) – 43819 liters
  7. Carrington Distillers (Alberta Premium, Alberta Springs) – 41460 liters

The relative rankings aren’t too surprising to me, especially with the Wiser’s juggernaut in Canada. I’ve noticed a lot people buying Crown Royal, so that makes sense as second place. But Forty Creek is certainly quite the success story, given that they have only been around for a short period of time. The Alberta distillers do remarkably well in Ontario as well, it seems.

The absolute volume of whisky in Ontario is a bit of an eye opener for me. Just focusing on these major distilleries, that’s over 566,000 liters of Canadian whisky currently sitting on LCBO shelves (at the time of year when whisky sales seem to be at their lowest).

What percentage of those whiskies are mid-range or higher? Very little. If you crunch the numbers, it turns out that (by volume) 96.1% of the output of these Canadian distilleries goes into <$30 whiskies. That means that less than 4% of their output (based on current LCBO inventories) could even have a shot at being called a “sipping whisky”. The vast majority is clearly designed for mixed drinks, as entry-level product.

To add insult to whisky-snob pride, want to guess how much of this total output is geared toward flavoured whisky products? According to the dataset, 8% of the above are flavoured whisky drinks. And that is likely an underestimate of the true market share, since there are other popular flavoured whisky drinks that are not being captured in this analysis. For example, if we add the popular cinnamon-flavoured shooter “Fireball” into the dataset, the overall proportion of flavoured whisky rises to 10% of the new total.

For the higher-end whisky enthusiast, these results can only be described as … sobering.

EDIT: As an aside, here is an interesting article from ScotchBlog.ca outlining their challenges with the LCBO.

Below is the full table, in number of bottles sitting in inventory for the LCBO on June 28, 2015.

Distributor
Brand
Standard Pice (750mL)
# 200mL
# 375mL
# 750mL
# 1140mL
# 1750mL
# 3000mL
Total Litres
Carrington DistillersAlberta Premium$25103901389088776426664532899
Carrington DistillersAlberta Premium Dark Horse$3133512513
Carrington DistillersAlberta Springs$251272416816048
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club (Premium)$2614118138371571513505717986150341
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club Reserve$2730822312
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club Clasic$2813461447183793161612423
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club Maple$2743013226
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club Rye$2775871642156510301
Canadian Club Whisky CompanyCanadian Club Sherry$33738554
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal$2995731220132400714881117075344
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Apple$301772813296
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Maple$3052263920
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Black$33716525218248
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Limited Edition$4022751706
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Special Reserve$551200900
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Monarch 75th$6021461610
The Crown Royal Distilling Co.Crown Royal Extra Rare Blue$180479359
Forty Creek DistilleryCanada Gold$2511320721637449
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Barrel Select$2718743141971922513292562748491
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Spiked Honey$2892346926
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Copper Pot$30106966891289720947
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Cream$298057404010648
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Double Barrel$6017211291
Forty Creek DistilleryForty Creek Confederation Oak$701133850
William Grant & SonsGibson's Sterling$2766967144432020726
William Grant & SonsGibson's 12yo$30512981557202362922601
William Grant & SonsGibson's 18yo$75656492
SchenleySeagram's 83$2537273729273511833
SchenleySeagram's Five Star$2554
SchenleySeagram's VO$2555166696327117495
SchenleyBlack Velvet$2424121304002
SchenleyBlack Velvet Toasted Caramel$2726561992
SchenleyGolden Wedding$251443293552351213447
SchenleySchenley's OFC$259319313485
Corby Distilleries LtdRoyal Reserve$2555085754317316243
Corby Distilleries LtdHiram Walker's Special Old$256496740655004924407420944
Corby Distilleries LtdLot 40$4017131953
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Special Blend$25121611264010280641736989
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Deluxe$2716926164151647621014851155662416
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Torched Toffee$281162872
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Spiced Vanilla$28318436723948
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Small Batch$3037742831
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Legacy$50789592
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's 18yo$701007755
Corby Distilleries LtdWiser's Red Letter$100619464
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