50% ABV - British Columbia, Canada
Nose: No denying there is a backbone of sweetness to this single malt—mostly coming off as caramel with a hint of maple candy. The background spices fade in and out with wet wood, candied fruit, fruit wine, cranberry, and red currant notes rounding out the aromas.
Taste: Now it becomes sweet and tangy… red fruits, nectarine, raisin, more red currant, a slight musk, and then as this all melts away it reveals some chocolate.
Finish: Generally light and drying. Grape skins, apples, spices, black pepper, and some of that chocolate carries over. Medium length.
I had been sitting on this one for quite a while and sediment has begun to collect at the bottom—a hallmark of non-chill filtration. I originally purchased this bottle near the end of 2018. My memory doesn’t serve me too well, but I think I joined forces with a friend to buy this for someone’s birthday and at some point they must have poured me a dram. What I do remember is that some measure of hours or days after that first taste I bought a bottle for myself because it was absolutely delicious. I have claimed that this has been my favourite Double Barreled release, but let’s find out… (I have already posted my reviews of the Double Barreled 3rd, 4th, and 5th releases.)
I believe that I had hyped this one up a bit in my head… the taste is thinner than I remember. Compared to the more recent releases it lacks some of the complexity I expected. Although ordering by score, this comes in second of the four Double Barreled expressions that I have reviewed. Water works wonders to tame the 50% ABV and open up some of the flavours—for example, I didn’t find any of the chocolate until I added a small spoonful.
Back in the fall I had some friends over (oh, the days before restrictions on gatherings...) and we did somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5 or 6 Shelter Points side-by-side. I did pick this one out as my favourite, but the Double Barreled 4th Release (my highest score for a Shelter point release) was not present. That bottle is long gone and I only have 4 oz tucked away for a future Double Barreled vertical.
I highly doubt this is on shelves anymore, but if you do find it then it’s a great value pickup. I really like this sweet side of Shelter Point with the finishes.
Details: Finished in French Oak (Pinot Noir from Quail’s Gate) for 1993 hours. Bottled in July 2018. Bottle 565 of 1131.
Tasting Notes (Official): Nose: A deep, rich berry jam with toffee apple and toast. Stewed fruits, figs and rum raisins followed by powdered jelly doughnuts. Palate: Sweet, juicy tropical fruits with oak and forest berries. Finish: A warm peppery finish of cherry pie and salted caramel.
Tasted 27 February 2021. (Posted 07 March 2021.)