Review: King's Lock 1000 Islands Moonshine / by Jason Hambrey

King's Lock Moonshine.jpg
Distiller King's Lock (Prescott, ON)

I typically think of moonshine as a grain spirit off the still (not completely true - it refers to white spirits in general distilled illegally) - but this is not a grain spirit but rather from molasses - fine by me since it doesn't need as much age to start tasting is aged, as well - they have another version, Lighthouse shine, that is unaged.

I find a lot of rums from big distilleries in Canada to be quite sweet, so I've enjoyed exploring some of these rums from small Canadian producers (some I quite like: Blackstrap and Leatherback Special Reserve).

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2017

Definitely more oak (or bourbon?) than the standard 100 islands. It actually comes off with more bourbon than rum characteristics on the nose. The cask characteristic has become a much bigger part of the whole here. Still biscuity, with light fruit highlights underneath on the nose – but toffee, light smoke, and caramel are added in. Light oak, toffee, and a tannic structure is provided from the oak – leading to a palate which is dry, with some wood-smoke and light oak too. The finish comes on with the rum, with light molasses, sweetness, and the berry fruitiness typical in many rums.  Light spice and smoke on the finish.

I’m not actually sure if I like it more than the moonshine. It’s different – more oak and smoke – and more mature – but also a bit less balanced, which I expect will be fixed with more age. Quite light, and a bit unclear on vision – the cask is a bit too dominant for the spirit. I would have matured it in a re-used rum cask to develop cask character and preserve the delicateness of the spirit.

Assessment: Recommended, if you like exploring white spirits.

Value: Average. It’s not expensive (28$) and it’s a pretty decent spirit.