For whatever reason there is a product connection between hockey and whisk(e)y. Maybe it is because hockey is a very popular Canadian sport, and given they have a love of Canadian whisky in that nation, the two go hand in hand. Whatever the case, hockey hall of famer and Stanley Cup winner Ed Belfour is now getting in on the game via the recent launch of Belfour Spirits and an associated line of whiskey.
The Belfour Spirits line of whiskeys, according to those behind them, have a rather interesting back story. It is said that for the past five years, two generations of the Belfour family (including Ed, son Dayn, 30, and daughter Reaghan, 27) have apparently been working toward one goal: to produce a whiskey they feel is “worthy of a championship,” which apparently means one “that tastes as luxurious as its unique packaging: a 1920s-inspired, decanter-like bottle with a pattern that resembles cut crystal.”
Thus, applying lessons learned by both father and son during their respective, professional hockey careers and industry education from attending two whiskey schools (Canadian Craft Distilling Institute in Kelowna, B.C., and Moonshine University in Louisville, Ky.), they have used “teamwork, patience and attention to detail to distill 1,700 barrels of whiskey to date.”
“There are a lucky few who do what they love, not once in a lifetime, but twice,” said Ed Belfour, president and CEO of Belfour Spirits, who retired in 2008 after 21 years of playing professional hockey, in a prepared statement. “For me, this is the perfect career, post hockey.
“There are so many similarities in this business to the sport – the competition, the art of distilling, the creativity in barrel selection, the dedication required, the camaraderie of the team. I feel blessed to work alongside my family and work to build what I hope is a second legacy for the Belfour name.”
“We meticulously handcraft in small batches, paying attention to the art of barrel selection, charring and blending, and marrying that with the science of fermentation, distillation and aging,” added Dayn Belfour, vice president of distilling and production for Belfour Spirits, who played professional hockey as a goalie until he was 26. “Our whiskey is intentionally well balanced, not too heavy with sweet or spice, and every bottle is infused with our family’s shared, immense passion.”
What this all translates into from a release perspective are three new bottlings, as detailed below for your consideration. Plans call for these whiskeys to be released initially in Illinois and Texas.
Rye Whiskey 47% ABV, 94 Proof, 750 ML
A nontraditional tasting Rye Whiskey, this spirit honors a nostalgic mash bill profile and has unexpected flavors for its kind.
- Appearance: Golden honey, medium amber
- Nose: A burnt sea salted vanilla caramel aroma, leather
- Taste: Sweet caramel, butterscotch, cinnamon
- Finish: Full-bodied velvety warmth that lingers with a peppermint finish
Bourbon Whiskey Finished With Texas Pecan Wood 46% ABV, 92 Proof, 750 ML
The majestic beauty of a 300-year-old, oversized pecan tree on the old Belfour ranch in North Texas inspired this unique spirit. This Bourbon Whiskey aged in American white oak barrels then spent extra time mellowing with added staves of Texas pecan wood, imparting subtle notes of brown sugar and heavy notes of smoky roasted pecan.
- Appearance: Golden honey, light amber
- Nose: Nutty, butterscotch, crème brulee
- Taste: Smoky vanilla, molasses
- Finish: Long mellow warmth with a rich mouthfeel layered with vanilla
Limited Edition Straight Rye Whiskey 50% ABV, 100 Proof, 750 ML
This Limited Edition is offered at 100 proof and presented in an autographed collector’s bottle, featuring a 1 oz. chalice cork that is plated in sterling silver.
- Appearance: Golden honey, light amber
- Nose: Smoke pear, plum, dark chocolate
- Taste: Light almond, white pepper, pear, apple
- Finish: Elegant lingering smoke, lasting warmth
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...