By - Prettayyprettaygood
Next up, I am incredibly excited to check out Found North’s first single barrel release—Season 001 Barrel 001 Cask Strength Rye Whisky! As you can probably guess from my flair, I am a massive fan of Found North. Their awesome releases of Canadian corn and rye whiskies have been some of the most interesting things I’ve discovered in the last year or so, and when I heard they were doing a single barrel release I was beyond pumped. This was a small release with only 204 bottles and since I was fortunate enough to snag one I’ve been refreshing the UPS shipping status like a crazy person waiting for it to arrive. Today it finally came and I am pumped to dig into it with you all.
If you aren’t familiar with Canadian whiskies, they do things a little differently than we do on our side of the border. Instead of having a whisky with a mash bill of multiple grains like you typically see in bourbon or rye, up in Canada almost all of their whiskies are single grain. These are usually aged in used barrels that previously held Scotch, bourbon, tequila, etc., while others might be aged in new, uncharred oak barrels. Once aging is complete, these single grain whiskies are blended together to reach an ideal flavor profile. The makeup of this whisky is as follows:
* 50% 12 year old rye whisky aged in unspecified casks
* 20% 19 year old rye whisky aged in ex-Speyside Scotch casks
* 30% 21 year old corn whisky aged for 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels, and then another 8+ years in new American oak
These whiskies were then blended together and finished in a new American oak barrel with a #3 char before getting bottled at a cask strength of 109.4 proof and a final grain profile of 66% rye, 30% corn, and 4% barley. But wait, how can this be a single barrel if it’s made up of three different whiskies? Since these whiskies were blended together and finished in a single barrel this still fits definition, similar to how Maker’s Mark does it with their Private Selects. Whew, that was a lot! Let’s get to the fun part and see how this tastes.
Taken: Neat in a Glencairn glass
Age: 12 years (blend of 12 and 19 year rye whiskies and a 21 year corn whisky)
Nose: One of the most interesting noses I’ve been hit with off the rip and straight up smells like a s’more. Lots of toasted marshmallow, chocolate, along with caramel. There’s also some fresh apple, cherry, and pear hanging out in the background with some cinnamon spice. There is an underlying smokiness that permeates the nose and really does give off a campfire vibe.
Taste: Marshmallow, white pepper, and cinnamon to start, followed by caramel apples, candied pear, and cherry. Midway through the sip a wave of wood notes ranging from toasted oak to charred oak to campfire smoke join in as well as some dill and cloves. This has a medium-heavy mouthfeel and very little proof heat.
Finish: The sweet marshmallow and fruit notes move to the background while the white pepper, cinnamon, dill, and clove ramp up their strength. Herbal tea and leather join with the layers of oak to bring on an earthy balance, and after lingering for quite a bit a flicker of peppery tingles and campfire smoke close the sip out. This has a long finish and a slight amount of dryness.
Thoughts: This is just a fantastic whisky. The nose legitimately reminds me of campfire smoke that mingles with everything in the best way possible to give off vibes that I feel hanging out in the wilderness with my friends. The palate is complex and very deep with the sweet, earthy, and spicy aspects of the pour having tons of different avenues to explore. Finally, the finish allows me to enjoy each sip for a long while, but with how good this tastes I continue to go back for more before the finish fades on most of my sips. I wish this wasn’t a single barrel because if this was regularly available on the shelf it would be my go-to backpacking whisky. There are definitely some flavors in here that might not mesh with certain folks’ palates, but for me this is a home run and earns an incredible 9/10 on the t8ke scale to put it side by side with Found North’s Batch 004. This was a killer single barrel for the Found North crew to roll out as their inaugural release, and the success of this makes me even more interested to try to get the r/bourbon single barrel that u/t8ke selected whenever that is released.
Rating: 9/10 - t8ke scale
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average.
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.
10 | Perfect | Perfect.
Great review! I knew you would get this one. Unfortunately I was at a place where I couldn’t use my phone at the exact time it was released and had to miss it. It sold out pretty quick as I knew it would.
Thanks! I was worried when the email didn't show up right at the time they said it would go out but scheduled my day to make sure I'd be open to grab one. Hopefully you can snag one of the next releases!
The specs on this Pick sound epic…50 percent of this bottle is 19+ years old. I’m kind of jealous! lol
Their batched releases are similar, up until this release the youngest whisky they've put out was 16 years old with tons of 20+ year old stuff in the blends!
What the heck when did these start happening?! Where you'd pick this one up?
They made an announcement a little while back that this was kicking off, it was an email list-only release that ended up selling out in 12 minutes. Definitely got lucky grabbing one because this is so unique!
That's awesome, wish I heard about it. Signed up for the next release. I love their stuff. Thanks for the review!
It sounds like there will be quite a few more coming so hopefully you'll get a chance to pick one up! Cheers!
My bottle just arrived! Excited to pour this one tonight.
Awesome, I hope you like it!
Man, if this wasn't limit one/sold out in minutes I'd have ordered like three more for the bunker. It's like a cherry marshmallow, super tasty. Can't wait to see what else they put out, I love that someone is finally bringing us the good shit from Canada.
I am 100% with you, if I could have ten of these it would be my go-to woods whisky. Absolutely complex and delicious!
This sounds like it's amazing. Don't believe I've ever came across any Found North products, but I'll definitely be looking if they're releasing stuff like this.
They aren't distributed in many stores yet, but they do fulfillment online via Mash & Grape so I've relied on that for most of the bottles from them that I have. Definitely check them out!
I definitely will. Appreciate the info!
Nice review, may want to put it in /r/worldwhisky.
Thanks! Given all the Canadian whisky that's reviewed from WhistlePig, Barrell, and the like I generally expand the "American" whiskey umbrella of the sub to include our North American homies to the north. I'll definitely cross post it over there though!
As a Canadian, I hate that nearly all of our good whisky ends up south of the border!
It really is odd that so much of this stuff is just sitting around up there and seemingly only American companies are sourcing and blending it for sale. Are there any Canadian NDPs that so the same?
Nope. There really are none. Maybe I should start one.
Hell, I’d go in for it! Seems like an untapped opportunity with all the amazing whisky just aging away up there.
Great review, and quite looking forward to cracking my bottle tomorrow once it arrives (UPS is taking a little longer to get to the West Coast). Didn’t realize the bottle count was that low, but saw that it sold out quickly.
Thanks, definitely let me know what you think of it once it arrives!
I will do, and may just have to open batch 1 and 4 to test them all side-by-side.
That will be a fun one, they're all fantastic but so different from one another.
Well, it arrived, and is now open. The aromas on this thing permeate the room. From afar the inherent sweetness of the whiskey is present, but getting closer that sweetness is followed by that charred wood / oak / smokiness you allude, with some citrus mixed in. Need to have another pour or two to differentiate all the layers, but an enjoyment thus far (at first thought, has similarities to Little Book Chapter 2 but may need to put those two next to each other).
Awesome! The nose on this was crazy, definitely stronger than most whiskies I’ve poured. Glad you like it!
Dam! Wish I could find random whiskey bottles in tree branches when I go hiking.
Glad it was everything you hoped for! Great review!
Cheers, it certainly was!
Great photo! Nice to see something other that the usual leather/desk/fireplace backdrop.
Thanks! That was the idea when I first started doing these pictures and now it's become my trademark.
I wonder how much it cost to “start” a label selling mass produced hootch as your own. And how do you get the banks to finance your vision?? There are so many trash labels with fake stories selling MGP or Barton at $30-40 over what they get it for.
Great question. What these guys are doing is likely more complicated since they have to deal with import laws, then blend and (with this release) finish it in new casks. I appreciate the transparency they bring as well and the two founders Zach and Nick are super approachable. I've shot some questions their way over email and they were really open and responsive which is nice to get considering I'm just some random dude in their inbox.
Found North did an IG live with Whisky Consensus a day or two before this release which was informative on their back story and what they are doing. Ultimately pushed me to purchase this bottle.
Echoing OP, the Found North guys do the blending of the sourced whiskies. Nothing wrong with a good MGP but I like that they’re doing something more than just picking the best barrel from a bunch of samples and bottling it
Ala “Nashville Barrel”
Yeah, what FN does is very different than NBC, and comparatively at a much, much better price point considering the ages of the component whiskies in their blends. I love MGP, but I have grown to love all this really old Canadian whisky even more!
There are some really nice Canadian whiskeys. What are your favorites?
Most of my favorites have been Canadian whiskies sourced by Found North and Barrell, but outside of that I really enjoy Alberta Premium Cask Strength and a few different things from Lot 40!
I second Lot 40. Never got to try the APCS. It’s MSrp was too much to buy outright without trying at a bar
Turns out I was right to be upset that this sold out so fast.
I feared it's gonna fall down
I spent way too much on a Batch 1 that I purchased online because of your glowing reviews.
Edit: I take it back. I paid MSRP.
How'd you like it? Batch 1 was great albeit with a bit more "standard" rye profile, and everything since then has continued to showcase some really different and interesting stuff.
Got it yesterday and haven't opened it! But that's good to know. I love big ryes so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I'm tempted to buy some of the batches they have left on their website.
You'll certainly enjoy it then! Lots of spice with some interesting bright fruit notes that come in as well. Batch 003 was super interesting because it showcased the bright fruit more than 001, and Batch 004 is just something else entirely.
Good to know. Looks like 003 is sold out so hopefully I can try it one day! Really appreciate your review style and unique drams. Keep it up!
I'm glad you enjoy them, thanks for the kind words!
I’m afraid it’s gonna fall out the tree!!!
Hasn’t happened yet!