“Dining delight” Shelter Point Double Barrelled (2018) 50%

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.

Tasting Notes:

  • 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.

Whisky Facts:

  • 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?

Interested in more Shelter Point tasting experiences?

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Minis – Shelter Point Double Barrelled 50%

Ever since a whisky sampling companion picked up this Shelter Point mini in BC, I’ve been ridiculously impatient to try it. My previous experience with Shelter Point has been very positive – there is something just so enjoyable about their single malt that is simply comforting – the exact dram you want to settle down and relax with.

And this one? Just like our other minis, it plays with a finish… in this case quite unique – after maturing in French oak casks, it was finished in a blackberry wine from Coastal Black Estate Winery near Mount Washington in the Comox valley on Vancouver Island. I was last in the area for a cousin’s wedding and can attest to it being a truly beautiful part of Canada.

And while I’ve never had their blackberry wine, I couldn’t wait to try what it did to this Shelter Point whisky.

Shelter Point Double Barrelled 50%

  • Nose – Wow! Blackberry compote, black wine gummy, light spice, a cassis kir, nice dark berry, almost like a rich port, with a bit of sourness too. Very interesting, juicy fruity without being overly sweet with a very natural quality, jammy, fermented barley sugars, a bit dusty like a granary, creamy, salted caramel banana, peanut brittle, vanilla
  • Palate – Spice cinnamon bark, while has character it was quite linear from palate to finish, some light sweet fruit
  • Finish – A simple yet nice black raspberry finish that just gentle rides off into the sunset
  • Water – While there is a more character without water, it is good to try with… the water dampens down the nose. As it settled the berries came out even more… just needed a bit of coaxing. Really quite nice, softer and  revealing that wonderful “enveloping you like a comfortable blanket” quality which makes Shelter Point so enjoyable

We set it aside and returned to chocolate chips, a wonderful mandarin or clementine perfumed orange.

And what do the folks at Shelter Point have to say?

Our first Double Barreled Whisky is a special collaboration with Vancouver Island’s Coastal Black Estate Winery. We hand-selected two of our best Single Malt Whisky casks and finished them in two French Oak wine barrels, previously home to Coastal Black’s Blackberry Wine. Aged in our American Oak for six years, and then finished for 1126 hours in the flavourful French Oak, Shelter Point Double Barreled Whisky is a sensational marriage of spirits.

  • A nose of brandied bananas, sweet toffee and caramel, with a marvelous hint of lemon sherbet and tobacco leaf.
  • Salted caramel continues to the palate alongside golden treacle and a dash of white pepper.
  • With water you can find youth in Jolly Rancher sweets, cola, and a creamy vanilla finish.

Our fabulous finishes minis eve included:

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Minis with fabulous finishes – Glen Scotia, Nomad, Shelter Point

Believe it or not, we had a problem of plenty… lots of different minis to potentially explore picked up our several trips.

A tasting companion neatly organized into different possible sets and the one we elected to try was whiskies with finishes… we initially planned to sample four but in the end we were content with just these three:

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