Imagine sitting down to a table overflowing with food – some contrasting salads, maple glazed carrots, beans, corn on the cob, pasta, roasted meat – and beside it sits a glass of liquid, pairing perfectly.
Naturally you thought wine, right? Perhaps even a Pinot Noir… But what if the image shifted from a deep large round glass of red wine to the distinctive contours of a Glencairn glass? Containing instead a beautiful whisky from the west coast of Canada… ?
While you may be surprised, if you tried, you would not be disappointed!
But first, our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai had a chance to discover… Here is what they had to say…
Shelter Point Double Barrelled French Oak Cask Finish Single Malt (2018) 50%
- Nose – Sweetness, a bit musty and shy initially, then a lovely perfume, caramel, fruit, butter popcorn, candied apple, flowers
- Palate – Spice, lots of variation, very different, whisky and wine combine
- Finish – Long, dark grape peel, even some rich buttery ghee, a pinch of salt
Then a few weeks later our original Mumbai tasting group checked it out.
We discovered this whisky had certainly evolved… none of the musty elements, though some found it retained a bit of “shyness” on the nose until it opened up in the glass…
- Nose – A lovely wine note, surely it must have held red wine in the French oak cask? It also had a light almond aroma mixing with the sweet fruits and berries
- Palate – Such character! A nice balance of sweet and dryness, wood, spice and tannins, clear stamp of red wine with a nice body
- Finish – Some light spice?
The more we sipped, the more we enjoyed this one. It had a wonderful palate… almost like sipping a good red wine.
As we sat down to dinner, this whisky made a brilliant companion. It truly turned out to be a perfect “dinner whisky” – wonderful!
It was then further revisited with a few friends not long after:
- Nose – Soooo fruity! Pear, blackberry, sugar sweet and malty, macadamia nuts, cherry
- Palate – Marvellous! Less sweet than the nose indicated, more substance. Is that coffee? Certainly more of those yummy berries with a nice peppery spice… not in the least bit harsh
- Finish – Character follows through with a vanilla cream close
As before, the more we sipped, the more we enjoyed. It was much more complex than the other Shelter Points… one that requires you to slow down and pay attention.
I confirmed with the folks over at Shelter Point that their 2nd edition was in collaboration with Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, with a French Oak cask which previously held their rich fruity Pinot Noir.
All our speculation about the cask used for the finish fell into place – there was no doubt the dark grape, the tannis and berry fruitiness came from the wine cask.
Curious to know more? Here is what Shelter Point has to say:
We hand selected 4 of our finest Single Malt whisky casks and finished them in French oak wine barrels, previously home to Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir. Aged in our American oak for six and a half years, and then finished for 1993 hours in the flavourful French oak, Shelter Point Double Barreled Whisky is a sensational marriage of spirits.
- Nose: A deep, rich berry jam with toffee apple and toast. Stewed fruits, figs and rum raisins followed by powdered jelly doughnuts.
- Palate: Sweet, juicy tropical fruits with oak and forest berries.
- Finish: A warm peppery finish of cherry pie and salted caramel.
- Still: Custom-designed copper still
- Base: Two-row barley (That’s it. Nothing else.)
- Distillation: Small-batch, 2x distilled
- Spirit: Natural color and non-chill filtered
So there you have it – one whisky, three distinctive experiences!
What else did we sample in our Shelter Point 2018 Edition evenings?
- Artisanal Single Malt (2018) 46%
- Montfort District Lot 141 Grain (2018) 46%
- Artisanal Cask Strength (2018) 58.7%
Interested in more Shelter Point tasting experiences?
- Artisanal Single Malt (2016) 46% (1st Batch)
- Artisanal Cask Strength (2017 Winter) 57.2%
- Artisanal Single Malt (2017) 46%
- Double Barrelled Single Malt 50% (Coastal Black’s Blackberry Wine)
You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:
- Facebook Whisky Lady in India – https://www.facebook.com/WhiskyLadyIN
- Twitter @WhiskyLadyIN
I hope this email reaches you. Your Whisky Lady postings and website is very interesting indeed!
I’m a fellow Canadian and living in Hong Kong with my family for the past 29 yrs and will be travelling to India later this month for business – Chandigarh, Mumbai and Pune and then back to Hong Kong. Can you tell me where best places and shops to purchase India whisky mainly Paul John, Amrut and Rampur, i.e, the better stuff and not the local Antiquity Blue or Royal Stag etc.,
In addition, if you have pointers for whisky bars in Mumbai please let me know, I will be spending a few days there as well as Pune. BTW I found your tasting notes for the Paul John Edited Single Malt NAS 46% spot on.
Cheers and many thanks,
Lovely to hear from a fellow Canadian!
While it has been a few years since I was in Hong Kong, there is simply no comparison with a far superior range of whiskies available there than India. We have restrictions on what can be sold and are always teetering on the edge of prohibition.
Generally, those exploring whiskies in India rely on bringing in a bottle from travels and sharing privately in homes. In Mumbai, places like KODE or a few 5-Star hotels like Sofitel pride themselves on at least serving the range that is possible. Alas I’m not familiar with places to suggest in Chandigarh and Pune.
Glad we are aligned in impression about Paul John Edited! It is now relatively easy to get Amrut and Paul John local standards (ie the range they have permission to sell in Mumbai at local alcohol levels) but not Rampur. If you know what area you plan to stay, then can suggest a convenient “Wine Shop”. Unfortunately it won’t be the interesting cask strength or single cask bottles which are only available for export. Because… you guessed it… back to challenges with the way the liquor industry here operates.
I’ll drop you a short email too so we can be in touch that way as well.