Apr 21, 2014

Shelter Point "Ageing" Single Malt...

Shelter Point "Ageing" Single Malt (63.5%): Shelter Point Distillery is a young Canadian distillery located in British Columbia and founded by Andrew Currie, Jay Oddleifson and Patrick Evans which started to distill in 2011. Although their main focus is aging their own single malt Canadian spirit nowadays they bottle some outsourced rye whisky under their label and also sell single malt vodka to create the much needed cash flow for the distillery till their whisky is ready to hit the shelves. While everybody is patiently waiting for that day I was lucky enough to receive a sample from their aging "not yet whisky" with my #DavinTT2 Canadian Whisky prize basket. It is a 24 months old sample at cask strength. Actually I do have also a sample of their single malt vodka but I will try to review it later some time. Color: Quite nice yellow gold despite its young age. Nose: Dusty... Hay, brown cardboard boxes and wool blanket. After airing a little it gets incredibly sweet and fruity: gummy bears, German fruit salad with whipped cream and holiday fruit cake. Adding water to bring the abv down to a humanly level makes the fruity aromas even more pronounced: Strawberry jam, sour cherries and raspberry ice tea. Palate: Ooops... After that sweet and inviting nose I totally forgot that I was tasting a super young cask strength sample. It numbed my mouth totally but also left a coating of concentrated red fruit paste. After adding water and allowing it to breath all the fruity aromas I got from the nose show up in the same order: Bonne Maman four fruits preserve, thick raspberry sauce, unsweetened cranberry juice and fruit punch with heavy cherry notes. It tastes like it was in a port pipe for all those 24 months... Young alcohol shows itself with harsh vegetal notes: green asparagus, Belgian endives and dry hay. Finish: Long but mostly with young alcohol burn on both sides of the tongue. Maybe a little bit of white peppercorns. Overall: It is going to be an interesting whisky without a doubt. It just needs other layers to work together with now overpowering red fruit notes. With the young alcohol notes disappearing in time I cannot wait to taste the whisky in the future..! It will be a good one...

Apr 14, 2014

Bush Pilot's Private Reserve 13yo...

Bush Pilot's Private Reserve 13yo (43.0%): Now this is a very interesting sample from my #DavinTT2 Canadian Whisky prize basket: The legendary Bush Pilot single cask whisky from 1990's... It is a 13 year old unblended 100% corn whisky from Canada distilled in 1982 and bottled in 1995 which is considered as one of the Holy Grails of Canadian whisky. It took the American market by storm in mid-nineties but disappeared rather quickly because of various reasons. According to Davin de Kergommeaux from canadianwhisky.org although the whisky was supplied by Potter's distillery in Kelowna, British Columbia nobody knows exactly where it is actually distilled. Thanks again to Davin de Kergommeaux, Johanne McInnis and Graham MacKenney to give me the chance to taste this rare whisky. Color: Lemon chiffon, hay. Like an oak aged Chardonnay. Nose: Dusty... Dry clay soil, old magazines piled in the basement and vintage birch furniture. Eucalyptus leaves and red licorice. A few drops of water opens it up beautifully: peaches, bosc pears and strawberries. Palate: First taste is enveloped with strong oakiness. Dry and chalky... After allowing the spirit air a little oak notes fade out nicely and the dram transcends. Eucalyptus notes I got at the nose evolve into gentle spearmint drops. I also get some rye whisky notes now (Maybe my brain is playing tricks to me knowing the spirit coming from Canada): green pepper corns, vanilla and musty garden soil. Adding water thins out the texture but brings the creaminess I was looking for from a 100% corn whisky. It is also more fruity now. William pears, cinnamon dusting and cloves. Finish: Very long with sweet spices: Nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger. Overall: This whisky became a legend in 1990's and I can totally see why but to be honest I think we are a little bit spoiled as whisky lovers nowadays. I very much enjoyed the ride and it is definitely a very good dram without a doubt but on the other hand we easily can reach whiskies as good as Bush Pilot's even in our local liquor store with a much lower price tag. Nevertheless it is one of the best corn whiskies I tasted; well aged, layered and incredibly easy to drink. A bottle goes around $150 if you are lucky enough to catch one on online auction sites...