A couple weeks ago I was on something of a whisky kick; penning a post for blogTO about fledgling distillery Toronto Distillery Company, announcing the release of Still Waters Distillery’s first single malt whisky, and even finding new reasons to rant about the province’s liquor laws as a result of said writing.
Somehow, in the shuffle, I forgot to include my thoughts on what should always be foremost when it comes to booze and beer: the taste.
I was lucky enough to be shipped a small sample of Still Waters’ very limited first release (the 46% version) and, while it’s a touch late to inform you about whether or not you should line up to get yourself a bottle when they were released (back on April 27th), here are my notes on the province’s only commercially available micro-distilled whisky.
First, it’s probably worth noting that this whisky is young.
I mean really young.
It’s literally as young as booze can be before you’re legally allowed to call it whisky in this country (i.e. three years), so while I was certainly impressed with Still Waters’ first efforts, the relative immaturity of this booze most certainly informs its flavour and you might have resignations, should an opportunity to buy some come up again, shelling out $70 for a bottle.
Having said that, if you can appreciate that this is just the first offering from Still Waters, it’s clear that good things are coming. The aroma of this whisky, for example, was just short of fantastic. There’s butterscotch and honey on the nose and while you can certainly get some of of the potent booziness in the nose, it definitely doesn’t overwhelm.
On the palate there’s more butterscotch and honey plus the suggestion of brown sugar or maple and a whole bunch of the woody sweetness imparted by being aged in bourbon barrels. Ultimately though, the cutting booziness of the young whisky dominates.
This isn’t the kind of whisky you’d crack a bottle of with friends then suddenly realize you accidentally drank the whole thing because it’s just so damn smooth. Because this ain’t all that smooth. However, it’s definitely got a lot of merit and, if you’re a whisky fan and you’ve got the money (and they release some more), it’s probably worth picking up a bottle. It’s an interesting whisky and one of the first made in Ontario and, given all the promise the little bottle I drank shows, it might be worth buying one simply to be able to say “I had one of their first batches,” when Still Waters’ whisky finally comes of age.