Distiller: Shelter Point. ABV: 46%. Grainbill: 100% Canadian barley. Age: no age statement/5 years.
Welcome surprise from Shelter Point Distillery: my first Canadian single malt. Shelter Point is a small distillery on a family farm on Vancouver Island that launched in 2011. Five years later, they’ve released their inaugural grain-to-glass malt–or field-to-flask, as they like to say–and they kindly shared it with us.
They pride themselves on using all Canadian barley, initially sourced from around Canada, though they’re transitioning to barley grown on the island as well. Double-distilled in copper pot stills imported from Scotland–not without some hiccups in the Panama Canal–and matured in full-sized, 53-gallon ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky.
Their first bottling rings in at 46% ABV. From a fresh bottle, the spirit needed a bit of aeration to show its best, as many things do. When it was ready, the nose led with graham crackers, honey, and what old-school East Coasters know as an egg cream: the classic New York soda shop drink made with neither egg nor cream (milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer instead).
The golden malt shone too, and carried through to the palate, where there was lemon pepper and fresh yeasty bread drizzled with honey. The finish darkened to a dense Russian black bread, with a touch of molasses.
A profile all its own, one you wouldn’t mistake for Scotch or American single malt, but recalling good things from both, and very tasty in its own right. Excited to see Shelterpoint grow!
Cheers, friends! -BO
Shelter Point kindly provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.