Stalk & Barrel 1+11 Special Blend with Devin, Jono, Ryan, Dan & Goran

IMG_0526Christmas Stalk & Barrel! Thanks, Jono!

I’m about to make two grandiose claims, and it won’t even cost you much to find out if I’m right: This is the BEST Canadian whisky, and this is the MOST Canadian whisky. The first part of that claim will be completely apparent the first time you taste it, but the second requires more explanation.

This bottle calls itself 1+11 Special Blend, so a pretty good guess would be that this is a blend of 12 different sources. The product page mentions that they use selected whiskies from other producers and 10% of their own. Assuming the 1 is S&B, the other 11 make up the other 90%. This might sound weird at first blush, but this is exactly how scotch blends are done. In fact, since Stalk & Barrel is an independent, this is likely to be a more broad ranging blend than a Scotch one, who’s source scotches may be limited to whichever mega brand owns them this week. Oh yeah, and Canada is literally 125 times the size of Scotland, so it’ll definitely be broader.

No, really: Scotland = 78,387 km², Canada = 9,984,670 km². The one divided by the other thing is about 125, math whiz. Here’s what we thought:

Devin – combustion
Jono – bubblegum, vanilla
Simon – vanilla ice cream, hairspray, apple juice
Ryan – very light, vanilla waffle cone
Dan – very nice, not much alcohol, fruit, sweet, cherry? oak, faint spice
Goran – sweet, vanilla, amazing, sea salt

Devin – settles into soot, not smoke, very light
Jono – burns quickly but not significantly
Simon – sweet, complicated, but not specific, lemon
Ryan – diet fresca, cane sugar
Dan – delicious, sweet, almost creamy texture, ends with mildewy wood, cinnamon spice
Goran – white chocolate, butter, short finish, very smooth & buttery

Devin – non-descript, but the longer it sits the smokier it gets
Jono – takes away sweetness, easy to drink, warm water over bonfire
Simon – almost disappears, just wood
Ryan – not bad but not much
Dan – no need for splash
Goran – n/a

Stalk & Barrel 1+11 Special Blend – 40% 750ml – $39.95 – Ontario

Try it? Yes! Buy it? Buy 2 bottles if you can.

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