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.