Time for a blast from the past. OK. OK. Three years ago. Courtesy of Danh Tran (@whiskytran), the sample in my glass is the Pike Creek contribution to the 2019 Rare Cask series (formerly Northern Border collection). This is a 21 year corn-heavy blended Canadian whisky that has been finished in ex-Oloroso casks and bottled at 45% abv.
Nose: This is corn-heavy Canadian whisky through and through. Corn flakes, caramel corn. You know…corn! The cask finish is what really sets this apart from other old Canadian whiskies. It’s actually quite subtle, but that good ‘ole milk chocolate fruit and nut bar is definitely detectable. Slight hint of prune as well. I’m not really getting much in the way of spicing, other than cinnamon. After sitting in my glass for a while, I’m getting a pretty heavy vanilla note.
Palate: Creamy milk chocolate and honey on the entry giving me a lovely mouthfeel to start. The transition to the development is slow and steady. The spices from the Oloroso really start to kick in mid-way through. A really nice dose of clove as I hold this in my mouth for a while. As I sip this more, I’m getting a substantial raisin note floating overtop of the spice. A little bit of citrus is arriving about half way through. The back end of the development is mildly drying as I head into the finish.
Finish: This is very baking spice rich to start, but that fades pretty soon after I swallow. This gives way to cocoa powder, which dissipates nice and slowly along with some lingering citrus.
This was kind of a steal when it was on the shelves. If memory serves me correctly, these were about $90-100 CAD in Alberta. Not bad, considering it’s age. I’m glad that the finish was subtle, so that the distillate still sbone through. The main contribution that the finish offers is the extra spice on the palate, which kicks the experience up a notch.