June 15, 2017
In this year of celebrating 150 years of our great nation, we will pause and reflect on many things that make our nation great. Like hockey. And you can’t talk about the greatness of hockey without talking about the greatness of Gretzky. And you can’t talk about the greatness of Gretzky without talking about liquor.
Yes, Wayne has turned his extraordinary talents to the world of wine and spirits. Already an accomplished winemaker thanks to Wayne Gretzky Estate wines produced in Okanagan, Niagara and Sonoma, he has recently started to produce Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask Whisky. So has the great one now become equally as accomplished as the grape one? As experts in the arena of wine, spirits and beer, let’s review his game thus far.
Let’s start with one of his wines, specifically Wayne Gretzky Cabernet/Syrah, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah hand-harvested in the southern Okanagan Valley. Delicious. Garnet colour with a bouquet of blackberry, currant and black cherry. Medium-bodied and fruit-forward. Juicy, fruit flavours of black cherry, plum and berry. Notes of cocoa, berry and spice linger on the drying finish.
Now Wayne’s whisky. The reason we started with the wine is because that’s where the casks come from for the No. 99 Red Cask Whisky. The whisky is crafted in small batches from grain (rye, malted rye and corn) that is individually mashed, fermented and distilled. Once it has time to age traditionally, it is then placed in red wine casks from Wayne Gretzky Estates to “finish” the whisky. This is a process many leading distillers use to impart some unique and wonderful complexities to the flavour while the whisky continues to mature. The result? No. 99 Red Cask Whisky has a rich pale amber colour with a smooth and refined flavour profile that includes notes of marzipan, light citrus, vanilla, oak and spice.
Well done Wayne. Worthy of being sipped from the Stanley cup. While they might not appreciate in value as fast as his rookie card, you can appreciate his wine and whisky right now, in a glass or tumbler. Come by and see for yourself at any of our Co-op Wine Spirits Beer locations.
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