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.
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.