Glen Breton Rare 10 Year Old

On the Label: “Rare Handcrafted Single Malt Whisky – Canadian/Canadien – Aged Years 10 Aus d’Age – (Maple Leaf)”
On the Label: “Rare Handcrafted Single Malt Whisky – Canadian/Canadien – Aged Years 10 Aus d’Age – (Maple Leaf)”

I licked a drop off of my thumb I had spilled while pouring my first dram. Tastes… somehow Canadian… I hesitate to say this because it’s ludicrous. But it somehow jogs a memory of a stolen CC from a buddy’s father’s stash sometime in the 1990s. (Note: Bodacious Booze only encourages the consumption of beverages by those 21+ and reminds you to drink responsibly.)

Could it be the barrels? I’ve only had blended Canadian, but somehow this seems familiar.

Nose: Floral. Malt. Lavender. Vanilla. Sweet aromatics. Very faint peat and honey. Cherry.

Tongue: Herbal. Marzipan. Very nice mouthfeel. Velvety. Apricot and faint antiseptic.

Finish: Butterscotch. Clove.

It’s a very clean, very simple Highland-like Canadian Single Malt. I’m not sure that there’s a Scottish equivalent – but that’s not a bad thing. It’s crisper, cleaner and lighter than most Scotches. In many ways, the profile reminded me of a similarly-aged Irish Pure Pot Whiskey. My girlfriend – who is anything but a fan of Scotch – drank it on the rocks!

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See ‘translation’ below – was I close?

Kind of cool the placard is only in Quebecois. I think I’ve got the gist: “Scottish immigrants move to Canada… their new home has similarities to the Highlands back home… pioneer traditions… expertise in making whisky…

“Move to Inverness County… clean, clear water… some dude named McClellan…”

Anyway, they make good single malt!

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This is the actual translation for the placard above.

Glen Breton and the Glenora Distillery are commonly known for an international trade law case in which the U.K. and Scotland sued them for using the word “Glen.” To make a long legal story short, an international court upheld the name given it was labeled as Canadian.

Personally, I like to read all packaging before throwing anything out. But with Glen Breton 10, they gave me a dang homework assignment. It took me a long time to read all of the copy on the box, label and inserts – and French was only partly to blame!

This bottle was purchased in Montréal – where they apparently don’t have Alberta Premium. I asked for it at the liquor store and a clerk plugged it into the computer only to tell me that they didn’t carry it in all of Quebéc. Sacré bleu! That particular store didn’t carry Canadian Crown 100% Rye, either.

If it weren’t for the friendly people at Glenora Distillery’s Twitter account who kindly pointed me in the right direction by giving me the address of a store that carried it, I would’ve been totally out of luck and returned to America empty handed of a truly Canadian bottle not able to be purchased in America.

That would’ve been unforgivable.

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Article by akendeall

Aaron is a whiskey writer, brand ambassador and distiller based in Pittsburgh, Pa., who has been working in the spirits industry since 2013.