In this year’s vintage release of the Northern Border Collection (Canada’s version of BTAC), Pike Creek 21 Year Old is finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks. Aged Canadian whisky comes with a heavy fortitude of flavours, and this rich sweet Oloroso casks compliment those rich char and caramel notes perfectly.
This speaks well of the terrific oak program that Corby’s is developing at Hiram-Walker Distillery. Named after the river that runs alongside the distillery’s warehouses, the 2019 vintage of Pike Creek is my favorite Pike Creek whisky that I’ve tasted—by far. Even more interesting, I like this better than this year’s Lot No 40 Cask Strength, and that usually steals the show.
My tasting notes bellow:
Pike Creek 21yo 2019 Edition - Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
Category: Canadian Whisky, 21 Year Old, Sherry Cask Finish
Nose: The sweet caramel and heavy char unique to Canadian whisky, with a beautiful orange zest, dark chocolate, black tea, anise is spread across a sourdough. It noses like am ample whisky with plenty of booming flavour.
Palate: The orange zest is sublime, especially when carried on a wave of sweet caramel. The balance there is perfect. It’s a buttery palate satisfying sip of whisky with plenty of coco powder sprinkled along with cinnamon spice. The peppery spice notes get heavier and heavier the longer the whisky finishes. It’s a gentle long finish, with a great pepper spice.
Conclusion: Scoring aside, this is not the kind of whisky I typically reach for—it’s heavy on the nose and palate, sticky sweet, and obvious. And yet, the balance of sweet and spicy, zesty and buttery, all works perfectly. The complexity from the oaky spice that shifts from cocoa powder, to cinnamon spice, to direct peppery spice that really makes it enjoyable. It noses like a heavy whisky, but it has a wonderful youthfulness from the peppery notes. This is, undoubtably, my absolute favourite Pike Creek of all time.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Corby’s for providing me a sample of this whisky, and hosting me in Windsor for the preview of this year’s release.