I have to say, this is one of my favourite whiskies on the market, and hence I selected it for my inaugural review. This is a legendary Canadian whisky, which was produced for some time before production ceased. In 2012, the whisky was re-released and for that, I, certainly, am thankful. The whisky is double distilled, unlike the typical triple distillation of Canadian whisky. It is aged in white oak barrels before being finished in vintage port barrels and released in small batches, bottled at 40%.
Nose: The nose is very fruity, which is contrasted with the dry rye dancing around in the background. Vanilla, Red wine, fruitcake and dried fruit – prunes in particular. It smells sweet, with scents of vanilla and oak. Of all the finished rye whiskies I’ve tasted, this one combines the rye with the port in a wonderful way – even better than the forty creek portwood in my opinion. At some sniffs, the rye appears to dominate. At others, it’s the fruitiness from the port. There are berry-like notes of a style that are reminiscent of some rums.27/30 (90%)
Taste: A light sweet, smooth entry dominated with vanilla completed with red wine in the forefront of your mouth and simultaneously rye in the back of your mouth – as if you are drinking 2 spirits at once. It concludes with a lingering and warm exit where dry rye begins to dominate with some bitterness. I love the evolving nature of this whiskey – you might think it light bodied at the beginning before it turns up the heat into a complex mixture of flavours. Not one to bore you! Some whiskies take your mouth on a bit of a joyride – this is one of them. 27.5/30 (92%)
Finish: Although I really like the exit from the mouth, the finish is the weakest part of this whisky in my opinion. It is at first dominated by fruit and rye together, before the rye starts to dominate with some bitterness and spice. The spice I like, but the bitterness is not great as constructed here. There is a tinge of refreshing pith at the end though as well which is nice, and the finish does linger nicely. 16/20 (80%)
Conclusion: I really like this one…has to be one of my favorite Canadians out there. The brilliant combination of the port and rye as it is blended here is fabulous. Although often described as inferior to its sibling Lot no. 40, I definitely prefer Pike Creek (though Lot no. 40 is an excellent dram too!). Fruit and spice, side by side, in a brilliant manner. Fabulous. 19/20 (95%)