Sheringham William’s White Double Distilled Grain 2015 45%

With Crown Royal’s flying off the shelf – irrespective of whether it is the now coveted Northern Harvest Rye or not – attention is shifting to Canada with speculation… is it the new ‘wild west’ of whisky?

20151126_William'sWhite

In steps a new ‘breed’ of upstarts! They may not have age, they may not have pedigree, but they have a whole lotta passion for craft fine spirits.

This half-bottle was brought back on a whim by one of our Whisky Ladies from her recent trip to BC. It was without a doubt the surprise of the night! Read on…

Sheringham ‘William’s White’ double distilled grain 2015 Batch 1308 45%

  • Nose – Yeast, liquorice, woody sawdust, cherry – like cough syrup, a definite sweetness, toasty, nutty, light, wet barley, almonds, butter cream, earthy, but nit unpleasant
  • Palate – Very fresh, light, sweet, perfumed, like sourdough starter, grapefruit, sour curd
  • Finish – Burn
  • Comments “Toasted ghee in a glass”

The definite surprise of the evening. Distinctly different. Never having even touched wood…

Here’s what the folks at Sheringham have to say:

William’s White is our White Whisky inspired by the high quality, smooth clear whisky that was once produced in our area. Bright aromas of sweet grains with a clean and slightly spicy flavour.

To be enjoyed; as a remarkable sipping whisky or in your favourite cocktail, in place of rye or bourbon.

Made from B.C. Red Fife Wheat, B.C. organic white wheat & B.C. malted barley.

If this is what their new make spirit is like, am quite interested to see what they produce in 2018 – their target date for release of their 1st whisky!

Other whiskies sampled in our Whisky Ladies session in November 2015 included:

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Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve 40%

Years ago while in Canada I had the privilege to crash a Winnipeg whisky tasting group.

These gents meet regularly and even have a locked whisky ‘cabinet’ that houses the whiskies acquired, sampled and re-sampled by its members. They are a merry bunch and I do hope another Winnipeg trip will coincide with their session… and they would be kind enough to welcome me back as a visitor!

Naturally, I asked what Canadian whisky is worth taking back to India for our tasting group. Crown Royal wouldn’t cut it (remember this is many years before Jim Murray decided to put Manitoba onto the whisky world map) and to be honest, I hadn’t really been paying much attention to developments in the Canadian whisky scene.

Forty Creek was suggested – specifically the Confederation Oak Reserve. Why? It uses Canadian oak – great big giant white Oak around approx 150 years to be precise – named as the trees likely began their life around the time of Confederation. How Canadian, eh?

Very hopeful and bursting with Canadian pride, I brought back a bottle and couldn’t wait to try! Except… let’s just say I wasn’t exactly bowled over by this whisky. I don’t even have a scrap of tasting notes for it…

However folks back in India in social gatherings LOVED it! A great conversation piece, a very smooth, drinkable dram… just not terribly remarkable in my hazy memory of many years ago.

20151126_Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve

Fast forward to November 2015 and this same whisky made its way via another Canadian lass living in Mumbai as her ‘treat’ from Canada for our Whisky Ladies November. However, always want to keep an open mind so thought what the heck! Let’s give it another chance.

What did we find?

Forty Creek Confederation Reserve Bottle #06232 40%
  • Nose – Citrusy, fresh cut wood, lemon peel, ether like in a doctor’s office, vanilla, cinnamon, fig, a rather Canadian maple and LOTS of honey
  • Palate – Very easy, creamy, smooth, wood, simple, not complex, bit of pepper spice, walnut, not full bodied but pleasant
  • Finish – Honey, mild with a bit of bitter
  • Overall – An easy drinking whisky, nothing exceptional but entirely drinkable

While nice to have something from Canada, there is nothing to make me stand up and go ‘Oh!’ Our contributor shared a similar reaction… and then went to on to share her explorations of newer craft distilleries whose whiskies are yet to come!

So we are still hopeful our patriotic Canadian whisky hearts will find something to fall in love it from our ‘original’ home to share with our friends in our ‘adopted’ home India.

For those that are curious, here are the official tasting notes:

Forty Creek Confederation Oak is the colour of old gold and is a very full bodied whisky.  To the nose it is a big whisky with constantly evolving aromas and flavours.

Beginning with a maple-raisin-vanilla-fig, layers of praline, banana, butter cream, honeyed nuts, marzipan, spice and orange blossoms. As it lingers, dark dried fruits and anise evolve. On the palate it has a very rich entry; soft, round and dry. Full bodied with vanilla, butter cream and pepper spice which is nicely framed with oak, walnut and smoke. 

An exceptional finish that has great depth. A long lingering finish with fading spice and white pepper.  Excellent balance and vibrant flavour. 

Here’s what others have to say about this Forty Creek:

Other whiskies sampled in our Whisky Ladies session in November 2015 included:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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, Still Waters, 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!

What others say about Glen Breton 10 year:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: