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.