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Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

Tap 357 Canadian
Maple Rye Whisky


By Robert Plotkin

Canada is famous for its rye whiskies and Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky will only further fuel their popularity. One taste of this delectable whisky will make you wonder why no Canadian distiller in 300 years has perfected something like it before. A quick sniff, sip and swallow are all it takes to make you a lifelong fan.

Tap 357 is produced in Quebec from a blend of quadruple-distilled rye whiskies matured for 3-, 5- and 7-years in a combination of new, second- and third-use bourbon barrels. Once aged, Master Blender Michel Marcil blends the selected whiskies to achieve the desired flavor profile. He then laces the whisky with a small amount of 100% pure, "Canada 1 Light" maple syrup. Afterwards the whisky is rested to allow its constituent flavors to fully integrate until deemed ready for release. Tap 357 is left unfiltered and entirely intact to best preserve its depth of flavor. It is bottled at 40.5% alcohol (81 proof).

Tap 357 is a most singularly enjoyable whisky. The reddish/amber hued spirit has a satiny textured, medium-weight body and a wafting baking spice, dried fruit, malt, toffee and maple nose. The aromatics are absolutely captivating. It has a spicy warm entry that quickly expands filling the mouth with the flavors of allspice, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, black cherries and honey. The finish is long, flavorful and laced with a hint of maple syrup. The overall effect is mesmerizing.

"The response to Tap has been phenomenal," says Norman Bonchick, chairman and CEO of Van Gogh Imports. "People seem to like it immediately so there's no learning curve. I liken it to instant gratification."

Equally enticing is the limited edition Tap Rye Port Finished Canadian Whisky, which is comprised of pot-distilled rye whiskies that are matured for up to 8 years in American oak and ex-port barrels. After blending, a small amount of port is added just prior to the whisky being cold filtered and bottled at 84 proof.

Be prepared to be impressed. Tap Rye Port Finished Whisky has an enticing bouquet of vanilla, cinnamon, cherries, dark chocolate and roasted nuts. Give this whisky plenty of time to breathe. Its alluring aromatics continue to develop for an impressively long time and they contribute mightily to the overall experience. The palate is a sumptuous offering of plump raisins, nutmeg, orange zest, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, cinnamon and toasted oak. It's a veritable flavor extravaganza. The finish is long and thoroughly satisfying.

New to the range is Tap Rye Sherry Finished Whisky, a sophisticated spirit barrel-aged for 8 years in American oak. After the whisky exits the barrel fine Amontillado Sherry imported from the Jerez region of Spain is added. It's an inspired move as the combination of premium Canadian rye whisky and Amontillado Sherry works perfectly.

Handcrafted in small batches, the whisky has a shimmery, reddish/gold appearance and a silky, lightweight body. Its brilliant aromatics are the first solid indication that you're in the presence of greatness. The nose is a lavish affair comprised of almonds, cacao, dried fruit, cinnamon, spicy rye, and of course, Amontillado Sherry. The whisky has a gentle entry and quickly bathes the palate with nutty, fruit flavors. The finish is long, dry and luscious.

All three of the Tap whiskies are a distinct pleasure to sip neat or over a few cubes of ice. They also have a tremendous amount of character and therefore work beautifully in craft cocktails.