I've been looking forward to this one for some time, given the founders are fellow New England locals. I took this with me up to Maine and reviewed it at one of my favorite places on Earth. Let's see how this turned out after 16 long years!
Company on Label: Red Hook Distillers
Whiskey Type: Canadian Whisky
Mash Bill Percentages: 80% Corn, 19% Rye, 1% Barley
Age: 16 years
Further identification: Batch 002, Bottle 0121.
Nose: Immediate waves of citrus, chocolate and apricot. Lemongrass sits on a dusty spice shelf made of stained, dark oak. High corn sweetness mixed with a touch of older musty oak perhaps from the bourbon barrel maturation. That bright and shiny citrus Pinesol note I absolutely adore when I find it (see: Willett FE Rye, Little Book Chapter 2) but it is faint and balanced here, not the driving note. A bit of creamy caramel and vanilla frappe layer in a sweet base for some light white pepper and chocolate to follow. There's something dark and old that wants to be like leather, but it's too worn and tattered to produce any aroma. A nice rise of rye spice finally greets me and it brings back the citrus side of things.
Palate: Immediately a nice shock of spice. I was expecting that with the citrus zest that was brewing. Anise and white chocolate follow shortly after. Exposed, fresh sawn oak and a metallic cherry drift along nicely for how high test this. I would have expected a little more heat outside of the first sip of the day which is always a bit of a shock to the palate. Now this has settled nicely as the nose did into a sweet corn initial rise followed by a medley of rye spice and creamy citrus. The finish or any kind of rise is somehow missing altogether which I am puzzled by a bit until almost a full minute later the dark oak and lemongrass come swinging back into existence from thin air. Very interesting experience with this one! Definitely does not drink like anything I have had before. Altogether a great tasting experience, I'd love to see how a drop of water or ice cube can affect this one for the better or worse.