Review: Wayne Gretzky No.99 Ice Cask
The Wayne Gretzky estates started in 2015, with a 2017 opening. This was in partnership with Peller Estates. As the production and distribution are relatively new, we are told that the Gretzky family had a hand in the selection and taste profile for this whisky. If you're not familiar with an "Ice Cask", they come from Ice Wine barrels. For those not familiar, Ice Wine is a dessert wine, quite costly, and very sought after. (LINK)
As described by the Distiller: This golden bronze whisky inherits top notes of toffee, clove, raisin, caramelized sugar and a hint of oak from its signature soak in Ice Wine barrels. The addition of a small splash of water develops added notes of chocolate, mocha and sweet spice. Its mouth-feel is smooth, round and robust, with just a touch of sweetness from deep notes of baked apple, berries and nutmeg. That slight sweetness lingers on the finish with flavours of toffee, caramelized apple, smoke and allspice.
Gold Medal – 90 points – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition 2018.
Gold Medal – 90 points – Tastings Spirits Competition, Chicago IL, October 2017.
Cask: Ice Wine
Nose: Spice (Rye), toffee, raisin, a hint of oak.
Taste: Spice, toffee, mocha, chocolate, and sweet.
Finish: Short, sweet, and trails off quick.
Chris' Opinion: I honestly have a hard time with this whisky given the cost compared to other products. Locally to Dan and I, this bottle is in the same price range as a Booker's Bourbon, and I think we'd all agree that it's a tall order to stand against. On the nose for this whisky, I will advise you have to give it a second. If you stick your nose into the glass after a quick pour, you're just gonna get ethanol. After a minute though, it starts to open up and you can slowly pick out the rye spice, a bit of sweet toffee, and a bit of that oak. The taste profile is pretty simple sweet, and if you give it some time you'll start to pick up the other elements of the baked apple and nutmeg, but you have to give it a bit of time. The finish is smooth, but lingers. Overall, on its own not bad, but for the price I'd pass over this for many others.
Dan's Opinion: OK, I am a fan of this Canadian Whiskey and not just because it carries the number of the great one. The ice cast is strong and bold when neat. I get on the nose the classic rye hit of spice with a rolling sweet smell, On the tongue I get a freshly baked apple pie and some nice rye spice.