Van Gogh Imports today announced TAP 357, a new premium maple-flavored Canadian rye whisky set to hit shelves in February. Upon its release, TAP 357 will be the only Canadian maple rye whisky of its kind available on the market.
This small-batch whisky is a marriage of two purely Canadian flavors: rye and maple. The rustic, authentic character of rye is complemented by rich maple notes derived from maple trees tapped at the first hint of spring in the province of Quebec—where syrup tapping was born and perfected centuries ago. This natural flavor is added to a blend of cask-aged, 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old blended rye whiskies, then matured further to create the smooth, singular flavor of TAP 357.
“The whisky category—and flavored whiskies in particular—is growing by leaps and bounds as consumers look for new tastes and products to explore,” says Norman Bonchick, Chairman and CEO of Van Gogh Imports. “As a flavor-driven company we saw this trend as an opportunity well-suited to our expertise, and developed TAP 357. Because of its rich flavor, rye character and unique maple undertones, we believe TAP 357 will find fans across multiple brown spirit segments, especially appealing to whisky, rye and bourbon enthusiasts.”
The launch will focus on a select number of markets including Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Additional markets will be added later in 2012. According to Bonchick, “The response from our distributor partners has been tremendous, they are just as excited as we are about the introduction, if not more.” TAP 357 is presented at 81 proof with a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a 750 ml. bottle.
The rye whisky used in TAP 357 is produced at the oldest distillery in Western Canada, where it is distilled four times for smoothness then matured in a combination of new, second- and third-use bourbon barrels. Once aged, Master Blender Michel Marcil expertly blends the whiskies. Marcil then combines the blended rye whisky in in Quebec with pure “Canada 1/Grade A” maple syrup from the region. In a proprietary finishing process the maple-flavored rye whisky is then left to rest for an additional period until Marcil deems the blend ready for release.
The result is a naturally flavored blended Canadian maple rye whisky that is smooth and approachable with less sugar than other flavored whiskies currently on the market. Because no chill-filtering takes place, TAP 357 has a rich, layered flavor with depth. The rye emerges on the palate followed by a subtle taste of the maple on the finish. The aromatics and taste of the maple enhances rather than overwhelms the rich rye whisky flavors. It has a refined character that can be enjoyed simply on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail.
TAP 357 comes beautifully packaged in an elegant cork-finished custom Italian bottle produced by the prestigious Bruni Glass Company. The label features a hand-drawn illustration of the tapping process further communicating the brand’s Canadian roots and artisanal nature to the customer.