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Canadian Whiskey

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Canadian Whiskey

Postby ScotchPalate » Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:28 pm

I'm interested to try some canadian Whiskeys. Can anyone recommend one? Are there any straight Canadian Whiskeys or are they all blends?

SP
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Postby mithril » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:20 pm

All Canadian rye's are blends of various grain whiskeys with the primary component being rye (20% ish). Exceptions to that are Alberta Premium and Alberta Springs which are both made from 100% rye, but they are still blends.

There is only 1 single malt whiskey produced in Canada, Glen Breton by Glenora, and it is distilled in the Scottish tradition . They actually just won a years long legal battle with the SWA over the use of the term "glen" in their brand's name. I've not tried it yet but it's s'posedly very good.

As for suggestions I'm afraid I'm not much use to you as I'm really not that big on rye outside of a rye and ginger.
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Postby heatmiser » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:15 pm

I have been through a few different Canadian whiskies and my favorite is Crown Royal Special Reserve. I have tried their XR which is very good but VERY expensive. I am extremely happy with the Special Reserve straight and the regular CR with 7-up for a lighter drink...
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Postby Quaichuser » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:32 am

In my youth I was always partial to Albert Springs and Gibsons. At some point I discovered single malts and drank nothing else for many years. In the last 2 or 3 years I started trying some alternatives. Bourbon, gin, and rye.
I discovered Kittling Ridge 40 Creek rye a couple of years ago. It is a rye that is very complex, very smooth, akin to a sherry cask scotch. I drink it neat.
It has one numerous awards in the past few years.

http://www.fortycreekwhisky.com/history ... talent.asp

To your health!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:55 am

If you can find a stray bottle of Lot 40, you'll have perhaps as close to a 'straight' as has been produced recently from Canada. I still see it occasionally around here.
I also found a Bush Pilot's Private Reserve -- 13yo, single-cask, unblended -- within the past 6 months, but it's the only 'live' bottle I've ever seen. The beer Busches threatened legal action shorty after U.S. release, and it disappeared quickly.
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Postby Admiral » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:39 am

Interesting no one's championed Forty Creek yet?

I recently tried a 50ml sample of their next Barrel Select batch. Very sweet and smooth. (A little one-dimensional for my money, but streets ahead of Canadian Club, which is the only Canadian whisky you can get in Australia).

Cheers,
AD
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:23 pm

mithril wrote:
There is only 1 single malt whiskey produced in Canada, Glen Breton by Glenora, and it is distilled in the Scottish tradition . They actually just won a years long legal battle with the SWA over the use of the term "glen" in their brand's name. I've not tried it yet but it's s'posedly very good.


I've had the Glen Breton, and I would classify with Dalwhinnie 15 and maybe Glenlivet 12. It's decent, and definitely smooth, but I think it lacks depth.

Gibson's Rare, a 18-year-old Canadian whisky is the best one I've tried: I would drink straight like a scotch.

PLEASE DO NOT judge our whisky by an experience with Canadian Club: it is pure varnish that wouldn't serve to anyone.
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Postby Admiral » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:13 pm

PLEASE DO NOT judge our whisky by an experience with Canadian Club: it is pure varnish that wouldn't serve to anyone


:D Relax, Rory! :) Every Canadian who's contributed to these pages over the last four years has said exactly the same thing! :wink: :lol:

Cheers,
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Postby Quaichuser » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:44 am

Admiral wrote:Interesting no one's championed Forty Creek yet?

I recently tried a 50ml sample of their next Barrel Select batch. Very sweet and smooth. (A little one-dimensional for my money, but streets ahead of Canadian Club, which is the only Canadian whisky you can get in Australia).

Cheers,
AD


You missed my posting with the link. :)
I'm a little partial to 40 Creek because it is about 40 minutes from my place. Perhaps a little to convenient. :lol:
Just purchased another bottle today.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:18 am

mithril wrote:There is only 1 single malt whiskey produced in Canada, Glen Breton by Glenora, and it is distilled in the Scottish tradition . They actually just won a years long legal battle with the SWA over the use of the term "glen" in their brand's name. I've not tried it yet but it's s'posedly very good.


Not yet, I'm afraid. In fact, I wouldn't go so far as to say "good". Pretty place, though.

Image
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:24 pm

I like the 10 year old blue label Canadian Club Reserve. Jim Murray scored it a 93 in the 2007 Whisky Bible. The price is very reasonable to.

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Postby MGillespie » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:01 am

I'd second the recommendation on the Forty Creek...it's a very complex whisky that has a lot of interesting flavors to keep you coming back for more. John Hall, the distiller, actually produces several different varieties of whisky and blends them together after aging to create the finished product.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:57 am

If only he'd bottle an all-barley dram...no reason he couldn't.
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Postby Cam » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:39 pm

I keep 3 Canadian whiskys on hand. Gibson's Rare 18 year old, Crown Royal, and Canadian Club for those who prefer there whisky with Coke, Ginger Ale, or Seven Up.

Cam
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:14 pm

Kittling Ridge's FORTY CREEK WHISKIES are what I'd recommend. To my knowledge, this is the only surviving Canadian small distillery, situated not far from Niagara Falls.

The distillery has two different whiskies - Forty Creek Barrel Select, done much in the true Canadian tradition - 'Forty Creek Barrel Select is distilled in small batches in copper pot stills and patiently aged in white oak barrels hand-picked for their unique characteristics. A selection of light, medium and heavy char barrels create a richness and toasted earthiness in the spirit. Vintage sherry casks impart a subtle complexity. This unique barrel selection process results in a whisky where aromas of honey, vanilla and apricot fuse with toasty oak, black walnut and spice. The flavor is rich and bold."

Whisky mag's tasting notes: http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/forty_creek/whisky741.html

The there's the Forty Creek Three Grain, representing something new in style. Says the distillery: 'Three Grain is the delicate harmonization of malted barley, rye and maize. The small grains are distilled as separate batches in copper pot stills and aged in toasted oak barrels. Each varietal grain lends a distinct character. The nuttiness of the barley, the fruitness of the rye and the richness of the maize are skillfully blended. Three Grain displays butterscotch, vanilla and orange toffee aromas with hints of floral and spice. The taste is delicate, soft and subtle.'

Here is a link to the tasting notes in Whisky mag: http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/forty_creek/whisky742.html

Both are well worth a try, and represent the finest Canadian whisky I've come across. if you do get the chance, go visit the distillery - the master distiller Mr. John Hall is well knowledgeable in the art of distillation, and was most kind in taking the time to chat with me for a good long while about his whiskies and the canadian whisky industry in general.

http://www.fortycreekwhisky.com/history/patiencetimetalent.asp

http://www.kittlingridge.com/


Must say, I am not a big fan of the now difficult to find Lot 40 whisky, I have tasted it on several occasions and found it quite unbalanced in flavour - the portwood treatment has certainly not improved it in my humble opinion. The resulting alcohol is quite, erm, 'strange'.
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Postby thehoj » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:24 pm

M.R.J. wrote:Kittling Ridge's FORTY CREEK WHISKIES are what I'd recommend. To my knowledge, this is the only surviving Canadian small distillery, situated not far from Niagara Falls.

The distillery has two different whiskies - Forty Creek Barrel Select, done much in the true Canadian tradition - 'Forty Creek Barrel Select is distilled in small batches in copper pot stills and patiently aged in white oak barrels hand-picked for their unique characteristics. A selection of light, medium and heavy char barrels create a richness and toasted earthiness in the spirit. Vintage sherry casks impart a subtle complexity. This unique barrel selection process results in a whisky where aromas of honey, vanilla and apricot fuse with toasty oak, black walnut and spice. The flavor is rich and bold."

Whisky mag's tasting notes: http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/forty_creek/whisky741.html

The there's the Forty Creek Three Grain, representing something new in style. Says the distillery: 'Three Grain is the delicate harmonization of malted barley, rye and maize. The small grains are distilled as separate batches in copper pot stills and aged in toasted oak barrels. Each varietal grain lends a distinct character. The nuttiness of the barley, the fruitness of the rye and the richness of the maize are skillfully blended. Three Grain displays butterscotch, vanilla and orange toffee aromas with hints of floral and spice. The taste is delicate, soft and subtle.'

Here is a link to the tasting notes in Whisky mag: http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/brand/forty_creek/whisky742.html

Both are well worth a try, and represent the finest Canadian whisky I've come across. if you do get the chance, go visit the distillery - the master distiller Mr. John Hall is well knowledgeable in the art of distillation, and was most kind in taking the time to chat with me for a good long while about his whiskies and the canadian whisky industry in general.

http://www.fortycreekwhisky.com/history/patiencetimetalent.asp

http://www.kittlingridge.com/


Must say, I am not a big fan of the now difficult to find Lot 40 whisky, I have tasted it on several occasions and found it quite unbalanced in flavour - the portwood treatment has certainly not improved it in my humble opinion. The resulting alcohol is quite, erm, 'strange'.




I just picked up a bottle of the Forty Creek barrel select, I have to say I quite enjoyed it.. although it had a bit of that chemically flavor to it that I always end up tasting in Canadian whisky.. I did definitely enjoy it though, and you can't go wrong for $22.
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Postby hilliamash » Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:06 pm

I think the Canadians get a rough rap with whiskies, because of the Canadian Mist and Canadian club experience. Give them some credit....they export the bad stuff and keep the best at home!! :D

It's tough to find Gibson's 18, Schenley's 8, etc outside of the grand country of Canada herself. I've never seen Alberta Premium outside the country, which is a real shame, because that whisky's a real cracker as far as I'm concerned (and a lot of other people). You guys are just being selfish on that one. LOL

You can find Tangle Ridge sometimes in the U.S. which is a 100% rye initially made by Alberta Distillaries, that is later double blended/barrelled and is 10 yo. It's blended with some sherry from my understanding at the second blending, so it's definitely sweeter than most ryes out there. It has a fair amount of butterscotch on the nose for me. It's gotten poor reviews, but....I happen think it's quite good. Although, I may be expelled from the forum for such a statement. LOL.

I agree that the CC Reserve 10 year is markedly better than CC, and won't touch the regular CC. The difference between the Reserve 10 yr and the original is amazing. Windsor is also a lovely little fellow, but quite light.

Someone else hit the nail on the head with the Crown SR--yummy.

Anyway, Canada is a monster in whisky.....and I drink more Canadian than any other variety. But, like most things Canadian, it is under-recognized for greatness and often silently moves without a lot of fanfare.

It's a heckuva country.
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:57 pm

I'd agree with you on that...Alberta Premium is one of my favorite ryes...and they do make some stunning whiskies in Canada!

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Postby shoganai » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:35 pm

I haven't had too much canadian whisky. Local shelves are dominated by Canadian Club and Seagrams. I do enjoy the standard Crown Royal, and the Special Reserve is truly fantastic. However that's about the extent of my experience.
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Postby hilliamash » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:58 pm

I do admit that you have to search for Canadian varieties at times, and it can be hard to find. But, there are some great choices. On a trip to Canada...a trip to the off-duty is not a bad outing.

I have to admit that the romance of the Crown Royal XR is alluring to me, but at $150/fifth, I haven't yet indulged. The reviews on it have seemed to be a bit lacking for this whisky for the price.

Anyone have any experience with it?
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Postby MGillespie » Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:24 pm

I had the pleasure of tasting it at Whisky Live Toronto last fall, and it was excellent!

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Postby Frodo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:41 am

MGillespie wrote:...and they do make some stunning whiskies in Canada!


Where! Where!!!
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:13 am

Frodo, I know you're responding with the typical Canadian reserve...but I actually like Alberta Premium...Forty Creek's pretty good too...

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Postby Frodo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:34 am

The thing is I tried Alberta Premium - both the NAS and the 25yr old - and found them to be too harsh. I should say that I am mystified at the popularity of this distillery on these boards as I had to get through varnish and nail polish remover to get a fruity taste from the dram. Forty-Creek is a different story...

I like the Three-Grain enough to give it a nod, but not enough to buy a bottle. I found it worth the coin for sure, but not exiting enough to drink. The Barrel Select I found digusting although I don't usually go for sherry casking in general. I respect Forty-Creek's products enough to buy a bottle of their premium stuff (Cask Select or whatever) at $60 without trying it on the recommendation from people who went to SOI last spring.

I should say that Cdn whiskies are one of my blind spots. It's not fair to compare apples and oranges (scotch and cdn or bourbon) but Cdn whisky just doesn't speak to me. There are some expressions that I found drinkable, but way too expensive. Case in point - Crown Royal Special Reserve. $50/bottle. Tastes great. Rather have Highland Park 12, Glenmorangie 10, or Blanton's at a similar price point.
Last edited by Frodo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:51 am

Frodo wrote:The thing is I tried Alberta Premium - both the NAS and the 25yr old - and found them to be too harsh. I should say that I am mystified at the popularity of this distillery on these boards as I had to get through varnish and nail polish remover to get a friuty taste from the dram.


Witch hazel!

I actually enjoyed a sample of the 25 given to me by Wendy, but it had to be taken with a thoroughly fresh palate--the stuff is just too light for me, and couldn't stand up to anything tasted beforehand. Murray fed us a sample of the NAS at Victoria two years ago, and I'm with you on that, Frodo--its appeal escapes me altogether.

Forty Creek and Glen Breton ought not to be lumped into the category of Canadian whisky, as their intent and method find their respective inspirations elsewhere--Forty Creek looks to American whiskeys, and Glen Breton to Scottish ones. They should be judged on that basis.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:07 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
Frodo wrote:The thing is I tried Alberta Premium - both the NAS and the 25yr old - and found them to be too harsh. I should say that I am mystified at the popularity of this distillery on these boards as I had to get through varnish and nail polish remover to get a friuty taste from the dram.



Forty Creek and Glen Breton ought not to be lumped into the category of Canadian whisky...Forty Creek looks to American whiskeys...


Would like to know why you feel this way. Glen Breton I agree is modeled on Scotch single malt but the Forty-Creek stuff...American? Where did that come from :?:
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Postby hilliamash » Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:54 pm

Good point on the Crown Royal SR, Frodo. I agree...it's a lovely whisky, but for the price, you can get rather nice single malts if that's the way you swing. I think it ultimately boils down to taste and whether you like/value the typically lighter, blended styles of the Canadians....or not.

I agree with you that comparing bourbon, Canadian, and Scotch is a bit like comparing apples to oranges to plums. Some people manage to like all 3 styles (me included) while others just don't see the taste value in one or more. No harm, no foul on this I say.

I have yet to be able to enjoy many of the Islays...but I do understand and can taste the nuances that many people find enchanting in them. They just aren't my personal cup of tea. Much the same as Sherry casked whiskies aren't yours.

I'm also curious about Forty Creek being styled on American....I don't see it either. I think that Forty Creek is still pretty much typical Canadian (or atypical if you compare it to CC or Mist). I get the Glen Breton being modeled on Scotch, so should likely be judged in that category.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:33 pm

Well. slap my face. It's the use of multiple grains, although they blend them after maturation rather than mashing them all together, and mostly new wood. The stuff tastes more bourbony to me than anything else, but then again I don't drink much bourbon. Well, hardly any at all. And I don't drink any Canadian, either, so I guess I'm not qualified to say that Forty Creek isn't like other Canadians, but it does seem to me to be more like one of the boutique distilleries I've seen in the US than anything else in the Dominion. Maybe we should regard such as an entirely separate category altogether.
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Postby hilliamash » Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:46 pm

Laughing, perhaps that's best. :D

Good point regarding any tastings....you have to start with Canadians if trying more than one style of Whisky. If I decide to have a Canadian after I've had a bourbon or Scotch....forget it. I'm not for sure what I'm drinking! :roll:
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Postby Frodo » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:26 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Well. slap my face. It's the use of multiple grains, although they blend them after maturation rather than mashing them all together, and mostly new wood.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

After I recovered from reading your first four words, I got where you're comming from. I didn't realize that Mr. Hall uses new wood. I know that he uses sherry casks (from making his own Cdn sherry) for his Barrel Select expression, but this would not be universal amongst all the his brands. Are you sure about the new wood? (It wouldn't suprise me given what you do know about Canada Mr TH.)

As for the multiple grains, grain whisky in Scotland uses either corn or wheat. You can argue that a blend such as Bells (or Grants or J&B) use grain whisky that based on both wheat and corn from multiple grain distilleries such as Cammeronbridge and North British, and add malt whisky to it thus using multiple (3) grains.

One interesting view of Mr. Hall's whisky from Mr. Chuck Cowdry on Straightbourbon.com was the idea that Mr. Hall uses corn whisky that serves the same purpose as grain whisky in Scottish blends. I wish I could post a link, but I'm not that computer savvy.

I guess my first reaction to your assertation was :?: given that Forty-Creek products are made in a pot still when most American whisky is made in Coffee stills
Last edited by Frodo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:37 am

Rory B Bellows wrote:Gibson's Rare, a 18-year-old Canadian whisky is the best one I've tried: I would drink straight like a scotch.


Cam has also identified this expression as something worth trying.

I happen to think Gibson's 18yr is one of the few Cdn whiskies I like, would buy myself, would enjoy drinking, and is worth the $$ at the LCBO (about $40). Curious. This is the first thread that I have seen support for this expression.

I liked Crown Royal Special Reserve better but given the cost differance, would sooner reach for the Gibson's 18 on the shelf.
Last edited by Frodo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:48 am

hilliamash wrote:I have to admit that the romance of the Crown Royal XR is alluring to me, but at $150/fifth, I haven't yet indulged. The reviews on it have seemed to be a bit lacking for this whisky for the price.

Anyone have any experience with it?


THE most delightful Cdn whisky I've ever had the pleasure of trying. Retains the softness of the CR line, but has "amped up" subtle flavours. REALLY nice.

When I tried it, I thought to myself "that's the equal of many single malts - I'd be willing to pay $60-80 for a bottle of this". I then saw the price tag of $175 cdn and thought "that's being greedy". I think the price is party due to the distillery trying to premiumize the expression - "look folks, it's the last of the Waterloo distillate". If someone told me "look - it's the last of the Sullivan's Cove distillate" I wouldn't be running to get some, nor would I be willing to pay a premium for it.

Granted CR is well known and well marketed, but...

In summation, I enjoyed it more than the Special Reserve, but not 225% more (the cost difference).
Last edited by Frodo on Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:57 am

hilliamash wrote:Good point on the Crown Royal SR, Frodo. I agree...it's a lovely whisky, but for the price...


Crown Royal put out a limited edition 15yr old that was about $10 more than the regular NAS expression. I really like the value of this one, although for a few $$ more, I'll stick with Gibson's finest 18yr. Still respect the CR 15yr although I only had a couple of samples. Found it pleasant.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:17 am

I was recently sent a sample of the Forty Creek Barrel Reserve Select. I found it extremely sweet, to the point of being one-dimensional.

Yes, it was sweet; no, it wasn't rough or harsh; yes, it was pleasant.

But, ultimately, it wasn't very exciting.

Cheers,
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Postby hilliamash » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:04 am

Good to know Admiral....the Forty Creek seems to get strong ratings overall from folks, so interesting to hear your take on it. Hopefully, will get to try it in the not too distant future.

Yeah, Frodo, I have to agree....the 225% markup on the XR is the off-putting part. I keep thinking....how many bottles of CR or Gibsons could I buy with that.....3 or 4. The price has just not been worth it to me so far--history or not.

I agree on the Gibson's though....these are great Whiskies--both the 12 and the 18--, and still quite Canadian in nature. The Gibson's 18 in particular is a beauty and very drinkable.

Please pardon the rambling on about a few different topics.

After all, I'll try anything twice. :D

best to you all gentlemen!

harry
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