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Smoky Hebridean Wake-up Call

Shelter Point - Echoes Of The Hebrides

92.90 / 100

Smoky & Earthy Flavours

Visual: 4.20 /5  •  Aroma: 23.40 /25  •  Taste: 37.20 /40   •  Finish: 28.10 /30

Dram Code: S36

Producer: Shelter Point

Bottler: Official Bottling

Type: Single Malt Whisky

Cask: Ex-Islay Quarter Cask Finish (Laphroaig)

Age: 5

Country: Canada

Region: British Columbia

Chill Filtered: No

Added Colour: No

ABV: 57.9%

Cask Strength: Yes

Release: 1 of 150

Price: $104.26 (at time of review)

Dram Code: S36

Producer: Shelter Point

Bottler: Official Bottling

Type: Single Malt Whisky

Cask Type: Ex-Islay Quarter Cask Finish (Laphroaig)

Age: 5

Country: Canada

Region: British Columbia

ABV: 57.9%

Cask Strength: Yes

Chill Filtered: No

Added Colour: No

Release: 1 of 150

Price: $104.26 (at time of review)

About This Single Malt Whisky

About This Dram

This is the second of our two new exclusive releases from Shelter Point – click here to read about our other special release, and how these two came about.

This whisky is something quite unique. A Canadian single malt, that is finished for 11 months (we think it was actually a year as bottling got delayed) in an ex-Laphroaig quarter cask. Matured by the ocean in a cask that retains some of that peaty Islay charm – you may find it hard to believe that this is an unpeated malt! This whisky won a bronze award at the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards, but curiously the whisky it was originally destined to be a part (Smoke Point) of won a gold! Perhaps the panel wasn’t a fan of cask strength whisky this year?

A special thanks for this whisky goes to Shelter Point Manager Jacob Weibe – who snuck this sample into our selection without telling anyone else at the distillery. As it turns out, Distiller Leon Webb actually marked this cask as the best of their ex-Islay casks – and was reportedly quite upset when he was told he couldn’t use it in one of his single malt creations! There’s a lot of similarities between Islay and Vancouver Island. We’re both temperate damp islands on the west coast of our respective countries. We’re both known for our natural beauty, and we are both very proud of our whisky.

 

Tasting Notes

Ever smoked a blackcurrant? If you were to try, it might smell a little like this whisky. There were figs and dates to be found on the nose also – curious as it was matured solely in American Oak, and these are normally hallmarks of a sherry cask. One of the SMWS panel’s favourite tasting notes made an appearance here too – Turkish delight. Finally, there was the unmistakable smell of smoked bacon frying in the pan. Like waking up at a BnB.

On the palate we were struck by two things most of all. Firstly how wonderfully coastal this tasted. Salted caramels dominated the front of the palate, before giving way to deeper more complex flavours. Secondly, the smoke flavours were beautifully clean, not even a hint of ash. There was that lemon and iodine note that you get in Laphroaig, but it wasn’t in the least bit overpowering. The whisky grew more intriguing the longer it stayed in the mouth, and ended up tasting like an experimental cocktail made with limoncello, amaro and sour apple gummies.

By Adam Bradshaw on January 28, 2020

Score & flavour profile voted on by members who sampled the whisky

Recent Reviews

How We Review Whiskies

Score

Whiskies are rated by our members on the visuals (out of 5), aroma (out of 25), taste (out of 40), & finish (out of 30). With a total score out of 100.

Based on how scoring occurred for our early reviews, the following guide is given to members –

0-60 awful • 60-70 bad • 70-80 okay • 80-85 good • 85-90 great • 90-95 awesome • 95+ amazing

The individual scores are collected, and outliers are removed via the “agreeable group” statistical method to reduce bias and taste preferences (ie, people who score a peated whisky lowly because they don’t like peat). This gives us a better idea of the overall quality of the whisky in the eyes of our members.

 

Flavour Profile

Along with scoring the whisky, members are invited to choose up to three of the below flavour profiles which they think match the whisky. The profile that is most commonly chosen is then the official flavour profile for the dram.

fresh & floral
eg – blossoms, cut grass, apples, pears

fruity & spicy
eg – peach, vanilla, coconut, nutmeg

malty & dry
eg – breakfast cereal, nuts, cookies

rich & round
eg – raisins, figs, oak tannins, dates

smoky & earthy
eg – wood smoke, bacon, iodine

 

Dram Association Nickname

The nickname is usually given by the writer of the initial review and tasting notes. It is based on their tasting notes and used to refer to the whisky to keep its true identity hidden for those who enjoy blind tasting.