Review: Bearface One Eleven Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Ex-bourbon, Virgin French Oak
Canadian Single Grain Whisky and Oaxaca Mezcal
Distiller N/A

Bearface has added to their lineup with a new experimental whisky. It is a single grain Canadian whisky, aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in two different types of French oak (the barrels are toasted differently), which is then blended with some Mezcal from Oaxaca. We’ve already seen some Tequila finishes, but this is the first Mezcal “finish” that I am aware of in Canada.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 201

Big, fruity, and oily – with some dense oak too. Pencil shavings, fruitiness, hazlenut oil, vanilla, and baking spice – but also that spicy, peppery agave character that you find in Tequila. Lots of flavours – all over the place – from deeply woody, spicy, oily to tropical fruit and rubber. It has a really nice impact from the mezcal – rich tropical fruit, a good rubbery character, that mezcal-like creaminess. And, it plays well with the oak - burning oak and toasted oak in good measure. I do love that funky creaminess, as you see sometimes in Mezcal. A very interesting whisky, and I like interesting and unique whiskies. The earthiness and smoke and high levels of oak on the finish have quite a nice effect.

Also, great old fashioned. Really good.
Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). Analytically, this doesn’t score as highly as some to my palate – but on the intriguing side of things it’s off the scale, and I think it’s definitely worth a go. They’ve done a good job in making you wonder if this is more of a tequila or grain spirit - usually, I don’t like this (I want my whisky finishes to be a variation on a theme, not a new kind of spirit) - but mezcal is so unique that I don’t mind pushing the boundaries here.

Value: Average against the market at $50.