42% ABV - Ontario, Canada
Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, and citrus. There is a small amount of heat and wood polish notes. It’s a very simple nose.
Taste: Honey, Meyer lemons, butterscotch, brown sugar, spices, and a good smattering of the rum cask here. Over time this became slightly resinous and more raw or Manuka honey driven.
Finish: Vanilla, dry oak, citrus, spices - more peppery than before. Fairly short.
I picked up this bottle to bring to a social gathering — it had the theme of British and Canadian cuisine so, naturally, I had to make sure there was Canadian whisky! This is a very approachable drink and can handle the dousing of a soda mix or dilution from being served on ice. It does still has some of the more “potent” flavours of high proof alcohol, but, for at least 10 years in the barrels, a not-so-common rum finish, and rough cost of $40, it has good value.
Each component of this whisky has been distilled and aged separately — the marriage happening only after ageing, and, presumably in this case, before the finishing in rum barrels (though I haven’t found a definitive answer either way). I’d recommend this as a cheap entry into finished whisky, and even more so if you are curious about the rum casks like I am! As an aside, I’ve been trying to dabble more into the Caribbean flavours in anticipation of the Ardbeg Drum that is supposedly next year’s Feis Isle release on Ardbeg Day.
Interestingly, there is a huge gap in age statements for Pike Creek: the 10-year is followed by the 21-year. It might just be the market demand creating this condition, but it seems that there could easily be a 15- or 18-year old in the portfolio. Although, it could even be that the blending recipe isn’t forgiving in that age range, which would support why the 21s have been released with finishes, or maybe it is because Corby cannot offer a distinct variation from the J.P. Wiser’s 15 and 18. (All supposition with no merit! Just some speculation and an opinion of my own. Hard to not feel like the vlogger Ralfy when I write that..!)
Tasted 21 October 2018. (Posted 9 March 2019.)