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Shelter Point Smoke Point

55% ABV - British Columbia, Canada

Nose: Sweet, with a malty or grain aroma, and (surprisingly) very light smoke, with hints of citrus and vanilla.

Taste: Quite the progression into light fruits, tropical fruits (guava and pineapple tang), floral notes, and wet campfire smoke (here it is!)

Finish: Fairly quick end with fruits, dried prunes or apricots, an ash smoke, and salty character.

Shelter Point has shared an amazing idea with us — finishing a Canadian whisky in ex-Islay casks! In fact, I found it difficult to find much evidence of any other distiller making this experiment… and, for the curious, it didn’t take long to find that the Islay distillery in question is none other than Laphroaig (one of my favourites)! In part because I knew that fact before I had my first sips, I expected to find more smoke upfront, but, for me, it landed its punch on the taste and into the finish. However, how many ex-Islay finished whiskies have I had? Just this one. And there is plenty of this whisky to go back to and see if that has changed (and I can update this review accordingly).

All-in-all, this is another great release from Shelter Point. It recently won Gold at the 2020 Victoria Whisky Festival! If you haven’t had the chance to try this (or any other expression), I hope that their distribution and availability increases!

Tasting Notes (Official): Smoke Point whisky is sweet, medicinal and smoky on the nose with barley sugars, iodine and campfire. The palate is sweet caramel, vanilla and sea salt, with peated warmth comforting the soul. The satisfying finish is a delicious combination of creamy pudding and a brand new first aid kit.

Details: Malted and unmalted Canadian barley. Aged 5 years in ex-Bourbon casks and finished for 8 months in ex-Laphroaig casks. Bottle number 138 of 1044.

Tasted January 16 2020. (Posted January 21 2020.)

89/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies. I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Good purchase decision—I would consider buying again.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would order at a restaurant or make a calculated purchase decision.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to add ice, mix it with soda, or use it in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle