Something you really do need to know about Shelter Point distillery from BC, Canada is when they say “field to flask”, they really do mean it. The grow their own barley on their farm with this particular expression named after the lot:
Raised right here on our family farm on Vancouver Island, Montfort District Lot 141 is a truly unique field-to-flask whisky. The name itself is the very lot in which the single-grain barley was grown, and the coordinates to the exact field are included on every bottle. Distilled in our traditional copper pot stills, aged in American oak and French oak at our oceanfront warehouses, and bottled on-site by the Shelter Point family, Montfort DL 141 is a proud product of our distillery home.
I was so enthusiastic about our 2018 edition Shelter Point quartet that I arranged to share it with our Whisky Ladies, our original Mumbai tasting group and other enthusiasts…
Here is what we discovered! Starting with the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai when the bottle was freshly opened…
Shelter Point Montfort District Lot 141 Single Grain (2018) 46%
- Nose – Lots of fruits, sour mash, “barnyard funk” not in a bad way, just very rustic, like a dusty granary. Then chocolate mousse, cider, grape… with the aromas continuing to evolve… an unmistakable juicy fruit, gummy bears and dried tropical fruits
- Palate – An odd sweetness, grape mash, becoming even sweeter, the oak is also there, a creamy or buttery quality
- Finish – Limited
- Water – Surprising how much it opened it up, yet also became less layered in the aromas
There was no doubt that the aroma was the most complex element… a few remarked how it was a shift after the beautiful Artisanal Single Malt.
A few weeks later, our original Mumbai tasting group had a chance to sample:
- Nose – Benedryl, lots of cherry cough syrup, sweetened berries, cut green apple, tempered from earlier, single mono note, sweetest fruit, milk chocolate
- Palate – Chocolate fudge, coconut “Bounty” candy bar, good body, cream
- Finish – Short
More like a liqueur than a whisky… Shelter Point shares that the grain came from a single field. Yet we had lots of speculation about what the grain could be – was it barley that was unmalted? Or something else…? And what casks were used to achieve that berries and chocolate cream combination?
Then a revisit with friends familiar with Shelter Point whiskies soon after that:
- Nose – Raw husk, bourbon-like, honey, faint liquorice, purple grape
- Palate – At first so different than the aroma, heavy spice, sweet, farm like… Next sip was completely consistent with the nose – the light liquorice very much there, same with the purple grape
- Finish – A fennel herbal finish with spice
This one requires a bit of effort. Particularly after the delightful Artisanal Single Malt, this Shelter Point is a definite contrast. Curious, challenging… one that takes patience to unravel. Yet worth taking time and feel privileged to have sampled.
As for the folks over at Shelter Point have to say?
- Tasting notes: On the nose, Montfort DL 141 has distinct notes of vanilla fudge, dried fruits and hazelnut. The palate is honied and herbaceous with a luxurious assortment of dark chocolate cherries, leading to a warming spicy finish, with lingering oak and almond nougat.
- Still: Custom-designed copper pot still
- Base: 100% unmalted barley (That’s it. Nothing else)
- Distillation: Small-batch, 3x distilled
- Spirit: Natural colour and non-chill filtered
It also won the best Canadian grain in the World Whiskies Award 2019 having this to say:
“Floral and honey nose, orchard fruits and peaches with a light toffee colour. Spice, but very well balanced. The palate brings in green wood and flavours of baking spices, coconut and marmalade. Smooth and buttery in the mouth. Medium finish.”
What else did we sample in our Shelter Point 2018 Edition evenings?
- Artisanal Single Malt (2018) 46%
- Double Barrelled French Oak Cask Finish Single Malt (2018) 50%
- Artisanal Cask Strength (2018) 58.7%
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