We’re in the depths of winter with those days that we reach zero making it feel like spring. So, we bundle up and endure to get some fresh air during the day. However, as night descends we slid into our comfy clothes and relax with a new book, or watch one of the many new films or series out there. This is also the time of year that many film festivals take place, and with the pandemic still in full force, many have gone online allowing viewers the world over to experience what was once only available to locals at theatres. Check out our blogs on theBUZZ to discover more on film, and our books blog on PinkPlayMags for some suggestions.

Now, grab the popcorn or your favourite snack, and your beverage of choice. May I suggest a premium whisky, straight up, on the rocks, or with your mix of choice.

For many, knowing which whisky to choose is the most difficult party, and hopefully this isn’t always done on cost alone. The two brands I’m suggesting below are both aged 12 years. So what does that mean?

A 12 year old whisky indicates that it has been aged for a minimum of 12 years before final refining and packaging. The taste of majority of whisky tents to improve with aging. The aging is normally done in wooden barrels. The wood with which the barrels are made normally differ according to the manufacturer and the taste that it will create in the aged whisky. Some aged whisky gives a smoky flavor and some gets smooth with time. The single malt whisky gets smooth with the aging process and so do others. The cost of whisky also increases with the aging process.

The only time you know that all of the whiskey in the bottle is less then 12 years old is if it is labeled “single cask” or if it includes “distilled on” and “bottled on” dates. In most cases, however, your ten, or 12 or 20 year old whiskey will include some even older whiskey in the mix.

Note: Maturation stops at bottling so both the year and the age may be significant. A 12-year-old whisky bottled 4 years ago is still a 12-year-old, not a 16-year-old though different years may occasionally be quoted.

So, here I offer you two of the top 12 year old whiskies on the market, both of which are available at the LCBO.

Many whiskies take their flavour from just one cask, but  Grant’s Triple Wood 12 is matured in three different types of wood: Sherry cask provides sweet spice robustness, American Oak lends subtle vanilla smoothness and Bourbon refill offers brown sugar sweetness. Complex notes of cereal, peat, honey, oak, dried fruit, vanilla and toffee lead to a sweet, fruity and medium-bodied palate with a long, rich finish.

Seriously, this isn’t your typical mid-shelf whiskey. Available at the LCBO. Pour a touch over plain ice cream for an adult-inspired treat.

Gibson’s Finest Rare 12 Year Old Whisky (40%, Made in Ontario by William Grant & Sons Inc.)

Gibson’s believes that character is only revealed with time;12 years has resulted in this exceptional whisky. Pouring pale gold with coppery highlights; complex on the nose with lovely aromas of spicy oak, crème brûlée and orange zest; rich with smooth and balanced flavours of caramel and spicy notes on a lengthy finish.

This isn’t called the finest for nothing. It stands up to it’s name, and makes a great cocktail companion. Available at the LCBO.

On a side note, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not treat yourself and/or your loved one to a special evening in with one of these

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.