Review: Shelter Point Avant Garde Barley Single Malt Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

~5 yrs; Ex-Blackberry Wine Cask
100% Canadian Unmalted Barley
Distiller Shelter Point (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Now here is a whisky -a single cask ex-blackberry wine cask, filled with 100% unmalted barley for 5 years and bottled at cask strength. I have always thought Shelter Point did really well in the ex-blackberry wine casks - this is no exception. 120 bottles produced.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: “Avant-Garde Barley” for the Strath, distilled 2013

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Quite a savoury whisky – umami, coconut oil, spice, dried apple, and banana. Broad and complex – a terrific nose which improves significantly with time – but, as good as this whisky is, I think it could continue to improve with time! The palate is a surprise – it brings in sharp arugula and spicy herbal notes like watercress. It’s fascinating, especially when paired with all the berry and berry bush notes (think berry leaf tea). The strength is perfect – it really highlights the breadth, and depth, of the whisky. A hit of dried peach at the end. Just awesome! Shelter Point has been making some excellent whisky to date, and this is the best of them- in terms of uniqueness, depth, and even breadth. One of the whiskies of the year for me.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average (based on $110).