Maker: Mark Anthony Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Style: Single grain (corn) Canadian Whisky.
Cooperage: Ex-bourbon, then finished in French oak wine red wine barrels, then in new Hungarian oak.
Age: 7 y/o
ABV: 42.5% ABV
Michigan state minimum: $33
Appearance: Medium copper (coloring is allowed in Canadian whisky).
Nose: Roasted corn, leather.
Palate: Full-bodied and rich. Corn syrup, leather, Cabernet Franc, dried cayenne chili.
Finish: Silky and a little sweet, with a bite at the end.
Parting words: The Mark Anthony Group has nothing to do with the Roman general or the pop singer, it originated in 1972 as a BC-based wine importer. Its best known product is the (in)famous White Claw sparkling seltzer. Bearface is not Mark Anthony’s only Canadian Whisky. It also owns a brand called Dillon’s, which is not sold in Michigan, and I haven’t seen anywhere else in the US.
“What is elemental aging”? you may ask. As far as I can tell, it’s when they put the finishing casks in unheated storage containers outside and let them sit for a bit. I was a little disappointed to read that. I had hoped that they placed the casks in the woods to encounter actual bears, but alas no.
Bearface smells like a punched up version of Crown Royal (probably because of all the corn) but it’s much more pleasant to drink. Too often finishes are used in an attempt to improve bad whisky. I suspect that’s not the case here, but if it is, the attempt has been successful. $33 is a good price for a Canadian of this age and quality. The packaging is a little corny (oh no a bear attacked the bottle!) but Bearface is recommended.