Century Reserve Lot 15/25 40% alc/vol

September 11, 2012


Please note that due to devastating floods some Highwood whiskies are in short supply and are temporarily out of stock at some liquor stores.

Charred oak, pencil shavings and silky tannins melt into sweet citrus fruit, marzipan, hints of flowers and a certain meatiness. Peppery baking spices abound. Finishes long and hot with woody undertones. A wood-lover’s spicy nirvana. ★★★★★

Someday, when we are old and grey, we’ll sit with our whisky buddies reminiscing about the ones that got away. Here’s fair warning: Don’t let Century Reserve 15/25 be one of them. This long-aged corn whisky is as strong as an ox and as aromatic as a British Columbia lumber mill.

A peripatetic whisky too, there’s a lot of Canada in this bottle. Those who know for certain are keeping it to themselves, but most likely at least the older portions were distilled in Seagram’s long-defunct Weyburn, Saskatchewan distillery. Not long after, they were shipped to Potter’s warehouses in the heart of B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. There they lay quietly maturing until 2005 when Highwood Distillers bought Potter’s last remaining barrels and moved them to their warehouse in High River, Alberta.

Age is not the only factor in making great whisky, but a properly matured, long-aged whisky such as Lot 15/25 is a rare treat. And these barrels sat undisturbed for so many years. The youngest is now 15 years old, the oldest almost 30. Tasting the whisky you begin to wonder if you are chewing on a log, and it’s a fragrant, scrumptious, pleasantly tumaceous log at that. And the creamy corn whisky that so richly coats your tongue assures you that the crispy-clean oak won’t leave any splinters behind.

Nose: Dried fruit with predictions of wood and a slight creaminess tinged with tickling nuances of vanilla. Suggestions of bicycle tires, pencil shavings, ripe fruit, and icing sugar.

Palate: Creamy and fruity on a strong foundation of well-aged dry timber. Searingly hot peppers build quickly, reinforcing the woody notes, which in turn bring a slight and velvety tannic bitterness. This hot clean pepper and the distinctly old wood could easily overwhelm, but sweetish fruit and a luxuriously creamy body hold it in balance. All the same, this remains somewhat of an extreme whisky. The oak is just slightly drying causing the whisky to taste older and much more robust than its 21-year-old stable mate. Some sweet citrus fruit, marzipan, toffee, and hints of flowers remind us of rye, and an almost meaty rye at that.

Finish: Long, hot, and a bit tannic. Not for everyone, this most definitely is a whisky for those who love the earthy fragrance of a deep-forest logging camp.

Empty glass: Oak, oak and more oak. Very expressive.

$29.95 at LCBO.

Very highly recommended ★★★★★

Highwood Ninety 20 year old is reviewed here.

Century Reserve 21 Year Old is reviewed here.

Highwood 25 Year Old is reviewed here.


16 Responses to “Century Reserve Lot 15/25 40% alc/vol”

  1. Andy:

    On the lcbo website it has this listed as Century Reserve 15-25…but the picture has a bottle that says “15years+” instead of “lot 15 25″. Would both these whiskies be the same? I’m thinking of getting one later today.

    • Davin:

      The 15+ is an earlier batch.

  2. Blair Phillips:

    The one that got away from me is Century Reserve 21 but until its return, this one happily fills that empty spot on my shelf. Looking forward to what comes next from Highwood.

  3. Don Draper:

    An amazing whisky. Apples, wood, sugar, and cream. I’m going to horde a few bottles because this stuff is to good to be true. Enjoy with some jazz.

  4. [...] Century Reserve Lot 15/25 is reviewed here. [...]

  5. 2shrodes1cup:

    Any idea about the grain make up here? Tastes too light to be all corn. Is it a wheat/ rye or triticale production?

    • Davin:

      It is all corn. I learned a lot from this whisky because you are right, it does not taste like all-corn. A distiller at another distillery told me the correct question was not “what grain is it made from,” but “how was it distilled.”

  6. [...] from Highwood’s purchase of stocks from Potters Distillery, and some of the older stocks may even have originated from an even older (and now closed) Seagram’s distillery in Weyburn, …. I can only imagine the blender tasting the range of stocks and dreaming what to produce…but [...]

    • Davin:

      Tried to respond on your website but it blocked me. Just a note that Potter’s was not a distillery and they did not have a still on site. Potter’s was strictly a brokerage house and they did buy some of their whisky from Weyburn.

      • oh interesting! I did not know. thanks for the info – I’ll have to update. too bad it took me so long to see this…also not sure why you were blocked. thanks.

  7. Marlene:

    I am wondering shy the bottle says “Rye Whiskey” yet the article says that this is a slow aged corn whisley?

  8. Robert:

    The first taste I had was in a tumbler glass. Had to add a dash of water.
    The next tasting was from a Glencairn 6.5oz glass. drank it neat.
    Did the glasses make the difference or was it just me?
    The Century Reserve 15/25 I found was comparable to Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve

    • Davin:

      Yup, it’s the glasses.

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