GSN Presents: The 2017 Advent Gift Guide – Day 23

With only two days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts.  So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully).  For Day 23, we’re focusing on the 30 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A (93) during 2017.

  1. Amarula Cream Liqueur
  2. Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur
  3. Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum
  4. Don Ciccio & Figli Nocino Walnut Liqueur
  5. Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro delle Sirene
  6. Dunedin DoubleCask 16 Year Old
  7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. A117
  8. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. B517
  9. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. C917
  10. El Tesoro 80th Anniversary Limited Edition
  11. Frisco Brandy
  12. Galliano L’Aperitivo
  13. Haikara Yuzu Sake
  14. Highland Park Valkyrie
  15. Hirsch Small Batch 8 Year Old High Rye Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  16. Jura 10-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  17. Kavalan Pedro Ximénez Single Cask Whisky
  18. Laphroaig Cairdeas Quarter Cask 2017 Edition
  19. Lucid Absinthe
  20. The Macallan Edition No. 1
  21. The Macallan Edition No. 2
  22. Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky
  23. Marble Distilling Co. Vodka
  24. Marble Distilling Co. Gingercello
  25. McKenzie Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
  26. Montanya Exclusiva Rum
  27. Redemption Wheated Bourbon
  28. South Island 25 Year Old Single Malt
  29. Union Horse Rolling Standard Four Grain Whiskey
  30. Westland Distillery’s 2017 Peat Week Commemorative Bottling

GSN Review: Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky

Maple sugaring season in Quebec — the historic birthplace of syrup tapping—is just ending.  This is a vital time of year for the award-winning Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky because it is how the brand obtains its “Grade A/Canada 1 Light” maple syrup for its blend.

Tap 357 is a premium small-batch Canadian whisky that marries rye whiskies that have been cask-aged for either 3, 5 or 7 years with pure maple syrup tapped at the first hint of spring.

Maple sugaring in Quebec generally occurs between February and April for approximately 20-25 days, if the weather cooperates. This is the only time of year one can obtain real maple syrup, and the quantity of the year is completely dependent upon the climate—for the maple sap to run out of the tap hole, one must have freezing nights followed by warmer days.

Master Blender Michel Marcil takes the naturally complementary flavors of fine, earthy rye and rich, true maple and transforms them into an elegantly smooth spirit with a delicate sweetness that is subtle, not sugary.  Thanks to skillful blending (and because Marcil has eschewed chill-filtering), neither flavor is allowed to dominate.  The finished result is a layered, nuanced and rounded spirit that’s great savored straight or added to creative cocktails.

Tap 357 (81 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Heavy maple sugar tempered by a spicy and moderate rye.  Engaging and not at all cloying.  A spirit nose, not a liqueur one.
Taste: Very smooth and at first the rye seems to prevail.  But, in a matter of a few seconds, the maple character announces its presence and gives a friendly welcome.  Not overly sweet, the rye really works in tandem here to keep things from going off into Candyland.
Finish: Medium long with lingering dark maple notes.
Overall: I’ve had a few different Canadian whisky/maple products over the years and this one is the best.  The balance between the rye and the maple syrup is excellent.  Well done!
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Tap Whisky