Canadian Rockies 21-year-old whisky exclusive to Taiwan

Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old 40% alc/vol

February 13, 2013


Robust, yet elegant and fine. Continues to develop in the mouth and in the glass. Sip slowly for maximum pleasure. Red cedar, lilacs, kumquats, and spicy-hot pepper in a rich butterscotch. ★★★★★

As the Asian thirst for whisky continues unquenched it was inevitable that someone from the area would tap into the burgeoning world-wide interest in Canadian whisky. On October 25, 2012, Taiwan’s Fountana Group will introduce Canadian Rockies 21 year old to media in Taipei. Tastings for Taiwan’s whisky connoisseurs will follow in the days after.

This lovely, long-aged whisky is the masterwork of Vancouver’s Thomas Chen. A long-time whisky aficionado, Chen also works in the wine trade in Taiwan and China. He wanted a whisky that would appeal to the well-cultivated palates of Taiwan’s top whisky lovers.

Traditionally in Taiwan, most whisky has been consumed at business and social dinners rather than at serious tastings. As whisky is commonly consumed during dinner, most Chinese food goes well with whisky. Or perhaps it’s the other way around – most whisky goes well with Chinese food.

Recently though, Taiwan’s whisky drinkers are becoming more serious about their whisky for its own sake. Whisky bars have led the way and whisky tasting clubs abound. Even five years ago it was rare for importers to hold consumer tasting events, but that has changed and these days almost all importers are doing so.

Taiwanese whisky lovers have a keen interest in high-end whiskies and about half the whisky consumed in Taiwan is malt whisky. An avid population of Taiwanese whisky collectors is well known for buying rare bottles overseas and through various auctions. To impress Taiwan’s whisky cognoscenti Chen needed a very special Canadian whisky, and luckily he found one.

Nose: A complex synthesis of red cedar, sweet plums, white pepper, and lilacs rides a surging wave of butterscotch. Rich and full yet oh so elegant and clean with wafting vanilla and whiffs of sweet baking spices. A teasing citrus zestiness tickles the nose. The full bouquet takes time to develop and patience is rewarded.

Palate: Sweet and sour kumquats, lots of spicy heat, and subtle hints of cedar move quickly to the foreground, only to be replaced by creamy caramel on the second sip. Hot chili peppers and sweet baking spices bathe in the richness of buttery corn. The whisky breathes lilacs, mint, vanilla, and hot black pepper with tinges of anise, all the while maintaining its elegance and subtlety. Then earthy tones and new-cut wood lead it in another direction. As the peppery temperature rises, a soothing creamy cushion mellows it. Slightly pulling tannins turn to quintessential cleansing Canadian grapefruit pith as the flavours move towards their finish. Multi-layered, very subtle, complex, and ever-changing.

Finish: Medium-long to long. A refreshing citrus pith that moves freely through oak, toffee, fresh flowers, cedar, and hot spices as it slowly fades. Spicy, creamy and so soft.

Empty Glass: Butterscotch, sweet kumquats, suggestions of oak, cloves, and lilacs.

Very Highly Recommended ★★★★★

Taiwan only.

Canadian Rockies 10 year old is reviewed here.

Canadian rockies 21 year old


6 Responses to “Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old 40% alc/vol”

  1. [...] The Canadian Rockies 21-year-old courtesy of Davin de Kergommeaux, which is normally exported to Taiwan and not sold in Canada despite being made here! It’s delicious though, and you can read a beautiful review of it at Davin’s site. [...]

  2. Darko Vusir:

    I hate this!
    A new law needs to be made. Any Canadian Whisky needs to be sold in Canada as well as anywhere else, especially at the LCBO :-)

    I’m selfish. I want to be able to experience it all!!!

  3. Feng:


    What is difference between this one and Century Reserve 21 year Old? since both of them are produced by Highwood Distillery.


    • Davin:

      Barrel selection, blend, and possibly age. 21 is the youngest whisky in the blend.

  4. Richard Yaremko:

    Hello Davin:
    The Fall 2015 issue of Whisky Advocate, in their new products listing for Canada, announces that batch 2 of Canadian Rockies 21 year old is being released in Canada and for Canada only. This is good news if true. Any word at your end of when and where we can start looking for it?

    Richard Yaremko

    • Davin:

      Yes, it is true and it is at higher abv as well. I understand there has been a delay in getting it into stores, but it is on its way to Alberta and BC first.

Leave a Reply