Twelve Barrels is based on a Canadian Whisky first distilled in 1853, on the shores of the Napanee River. Canadian Whisky prior to prohibition used wheat as the primary grain, corn has become the favoured grain among the "Big Boys", but we are bringing back a little bit of history. We source our whiskies from a range of distilleries, allowing us to ensure quality and consistency.
Twelve Barrels receives most of its flavour from two sources, the grains and the barrels for ageing. Most companies won't reveal the information below, but as a consumer, I want to know what I am drinking and what makes a product unique.
- Canadian Wheat Whisky- 40% of 12B - 100% Wheat aged in Seasoned White Oak (Previously held Bourbon)
- Canadian Corn Whisky- 35% of 12B - 90% Corn aged in Seasoned American White Oak (Previously held Bourbon)
- American Rye Whisky- 25% of 12B - 95% Rye aged in Brand New American White Oak
John Meagher, the distiller we base our recipe off of, and "George the Jumpers" dad, was a gristmill owner in Napanee and the local grain of choice was wheat. Wheat Whisky is very soft and subtle compared to other grains, it is less sweet then Corn Whisky and provides a drier finish. This leads Twelve Barrels to be quite different when compared to Crown Royal or Forty Creek.
However we do have some of that corn in here, 35% of Twelve Barrels is Canadian Corn Whisky. Corn whisky brings sweetness, vanilla and toffee flavours. Aged in used bourbon barrels, this provides that signature Canadian Whisky taste that we are accustomed to.
Twelve Barrels has spicy notes, thanks to rye. Rye doesn't create a "hot" whisky but provides notes of rye spice, pepper, among others. Actually, pepper is a pretty good analogy. Many people add pepper to steaks, salads, soups etc. as it enhances the dish. But you don't need to use a whole lot as it can quickly overpower the food. The same goes for rye, it makes whisky taste better but too much can be overwhelming.
Thanks to everyone below who has taken the time to review Twelve Barrels. This page will be updated as new reviews are released and old tastings updated.
Jason Hambrey---85/100---Value Score 83/100
The nose is full of youthful, powerful straight rye – brown sugar, icing sugar, geraniums, clove, cinnamon, cedar, spinach, arugula (a touch), banana, and some roasted mixed grain, pine, candied orange peel, and the lightest touch of wheat. With time, slightly earthy notes come – like that of a creek in the woods, alongside corn husks. The palate plays so nicely off the rye – sweet, spicy, and balanced, with the rye coming in at first – sharp, vegetal and floral before fading slowly to orange, pine, and light dried corn husks. Significantly more integrated and together than the first batch – more restrained, and longer lasting. The rye is brilliant at the end, and it is lightly drying- sharp spice and grain come in nicely at the end, with great vegetal and floral notes. Ever so lightly bitter on the end, and some dill. The finish develops, grows in flavour, and dries out as it builds. Brilliant!
This is an exciting addition to moderately priced whisky – one of the lighter and more rye forward Canadian blends in this price range. It is becoming one of my favourite non-premium Canadian sourced blends. Moreish, which is good.
The whisky is similar to before, which I like, but it appears to have grown up a little. It is a bit more calmed down, less hectic, and slightly less fruit forward.
This whisky sticks to its landing without relying on a loud crash. The nose has a classic Canadian blend of caramel, rye spice and spring orchard fruits balanced by a hint of savoury herbs. Mild and velvety on the palate but delicious where the flavours from the nose skate with oak vanilla. A touch of peppery heat cap off a nice glowing pithy finish."