Review: Shelter Point Smoke Point Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Shelter Point Smoke Point.jpg
~5 yrs; Bourbon Barrel and Ex-Islay Single Malt Cask
100% Canadian Malted and Unmalted Barley
Distiller Shelter Point (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Shelter Point has been doing lots of good stuff of late, and they’re continuing - now having produced a single malt which has been finished in ex-Islay casks - indeed - Laphroaig! Now this is an exciting twist to an already good distillate. Any peat-head who likes Canadian whisky (like me) has to be excited for this. 1044 bottles.

It’s quite dark in colour, which surprised me given the lack of new oak - but no problem here, it’s still all natural.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose has lots of nuances of both generic Scottish single malt, alongside Shelter Point’s oily distillate. There is also lots of earthy peat, and smoky peat around the edges of the nose. Quite the nose – almonds, apple, vanilla yoghurt, smoke, peat fires, pear, caramel, burning twigs, white pepper, brazil nuts, and pine. It noses like a light-medium peated single malt. It definitely has some good Islay notes to it. It really opens up with time (or water – but the palate is best at full strength).

The palate is lightly sweet, with lots of smoke, burnt chickpeas, vanilla, peat fires, and a bit of iodine. There is also a nice dose of orchard fruit – I get peach, pear, and apple. It very much has a strong peat character. The sweetness balances out the smoke quite well. The finish is very smoky, with some apple pie, vanilla, burnt chickpeas, white pepper, black pepper, and pine. It’s very pleasantly drinkable.

This is a unique shelter point, but it still tastes like the house style – I’m delighted! It doesn’t quite come together as beautifully as some of their stuff (in my opinion), but it’s really a must have, if you like Shelter Point and peat.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). That being said, if you are a supporter of Canada and peat, this might get an extra bump up.

Value: Average, at $85.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code:  

  • Bottling Date: 2020

This one feels immediately more rounded than the last one, with a bit of a richer smoke and marine character. It does have a real peaty richness to it, nutty and earthy – much like laphroaig. That is paired with some sweet apple, hazelnut, smoke, and cinnamon. Some really nice, interesting complexity in parts – mushrooms, green wood, and wet earth. The palate adds green tea notes, pine, rye crackers, and finishes with more smoke and some dark, rich chocolate brownies.

Smoke and dark chocolate brownies on the end.

 A really nice edition from Shelter Point. It’s loaded with peat influence, and yet, it is distinctly unlike an Islay peated whisky.

 Highly Recommended (49% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). I like this more than the last batch...very nice.

Value: high at $78