Canada’s Glen Breton 10 year 43% (Glenora Distillery)

Normally I’m proud to be a Canadian and equally proud to call India my adopted home.

Except when it comes to single malts… We have fabulous grain, cool conditions (OK, maybe a bit TOO cool!), lots of folks who appreciate whisky, so… one would logically think that Canada could be a contender in the single malt space.

With great anticipation, on my 2013 Canada trip, I picked up a Glen Breton from Nova Scotia’s Glenora distillery – touted as Canada’s first single malt Scottish-style distillery in Canada.

I’ve sampled it on three occasions:

Glen Breton

Glen Breton 10 years 43%, Canada, Glenora distillery

  • Appearance – Very light pale yellow, quick thin legs
  • Nose – Sweet and light, initially nothing remarkable, medicinal, lemon fusion, hint of vanilla, the longer it airs, became increasingly sour like old curd
  • Palate – Initially sweet on the palate, then spice, finishing with a faint bitter twist of kerela (bitter gourd) or turmeric – nothing else, more sips and a little mint
  • Finish – Slightly bitter then vanishes
  • Water – Don’t. All it does is dampen the sweetness with nothing further gained

During the 1st tasting:

  • Speculation – There was debate about the maturation barrel given the colour. There was also a sense that it must be a very ‘young’ whisky or a possibly a blend, likely not from Scotland.
  • Revelation – When revealed as a 10 year from Canada – there was universal surprise. From two perspectives – one was the age as many thought was closer to 3 to 5 year old – certainly not a 10 year! The other that Canada is known for its Rye whiskey blends not single malts.

My 1st impression was of disappointment. My 2nd impression, not so different. And my 3rd time?

Funny thing is, when I picked it up today for another revisit, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it is light, and no it doesn’t have the complexity I prefer in a whisky, but it certainly isn’t the disaster I remembered. In fact, I must have been in the mood for something uncomplicated, simple and refreshing as it actually hit the spot quite nicely.

Glen Breton Rare 10 year

Glen Breton Rare 10 year

Glenora’s official tasting notes:

Aged for 10 years with American Oak in traditional warehouses situated within the apple orchard of the Glenora Distillery property in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

  • Nose – Orange, Spice, Chocolate, Honey, Vanilla, with hints of Tobacco Maple & Cherry
  • Palate – Fruit, Chocolate, Hazelnut, Maple and Cherry
  • Finish – Long and smooth, eventual Apple and Ginger

I also understand that Glenora’s offerings have been steadily improving plus there are more Canadian single malt whiskies cropping up – Shelter Point, Victoria Spirits and Pemberton (organic). Something I completely welcome as I would like to have as much ‘whisky pride’ in my country of origin as I do in my adopted home India!

PS – Fast forward a few years and I’ve become a complete FAN of Shelter Point!

What others say about Glen Breton 10 year:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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