Review: North of 7 Rye Canadian Whisky (North of 7 Distillery) / by Jason Hambrey

Photo provided by North of 7 Distillery.

Photo provided by North of 7 Distillery.

3 Years; Virgin Charred Oak
100% Rye (95% Unmalted, 5% Malted)
Distiller North Of 7 (Ottawa, Ontario)

North of 7 recently released their first rye whisky, matured in new oak - One of the owners, Jody, was telling me that the whisky tasted terrible a few months ago and has drastically improved (to which I attest). It is a combination of 95% unmalted rye, with 5% malted rye - matured in nice casks sourced from Independent staves. There will likely be another bottling in the summer, likely also 3 years and 4 months.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 1 (Barrel 10)

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

This noses like a sharp rye – frankly, I’m surprised, given the age and that it's the first rye product from the distillery. Loads of sharp floral and spice notes, alongside cola, toffee, vanilla, charred wood, and grassy spice. Lilac, baking bread, fennel, mint – it is remarkable that they have managed to attain such a sharp rye character and yet such a broad grain characteristic, in the same whisky. There’s one or two off notes – but it gets better in the glass.

 The palate brings in more grain character and some milk chocolate, but still carries the sharp spices in tow. The finish is grain-driven, but also carrying fruit. Without some of the off-notes, this would creep up a bit higher.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average (based on $60)