Distillery: Hiram Walker
Bottler: official bottling
Age: 10 years
Casks: American oak, Virgin oak finish
unchillfiltered / unknown colouring
Colour: red gold
The nose starts out with a whiff of alcohol followed by loads of vanilla (scraped vanilla pods) and fresh oak – thanks to the virgin oak finish. In fact, the vanilla and oak mix reminds me of sniffing fresh bourbon barrels after arriving in Scotland for filling. A fresh cask-driven spirit. But what else do we have? Mixed spices (cloves, allspice), a touch of forest honey, caramel and a hint of tonka bean give the very “modern type” whisky enough backbone so it isn’t just oak and vanilla. On to the palate! Oh! Quite spicy on the arrival, with allspice, cloves, white pepper and a slight chili catch. Maybe some rye in the mashbill? Rich and mouth-coating with, of course, vanilla, (lots of) caramel sweetness, forest honey, and we also meet the fresh oak notes again. Just like the nose: A pleasant, modern, cask-forward profile. The medium long finish also has a pinch of spices and chili upon swallowing, before it gently glides down the throat with a vanilla-, caramel- and oak-driven profile. Very consistent.
In a nutshell: A very cask-driven, “modern”, sweet-ish and spicy Canadian whisky. In fact the spices make this whisky, they provide a counterbalance to what would otherwise be very dominant vanilla-ish and caramel-sweet notes. While this might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it, makes me want to explore more Canadian whiskies. In fact, I have another sample bottle right here…
(Nose: 86 Palate: 85 Finish: 85)
Thanks a lot to George for the generous sample!