Review: Lohin McKinnon Wine Barrel Finished (Black Sage) Single Malt Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Lohin Mckinnon Black Sage 1.jpg
3 yrs Ex-bourbon barrels; 6 months wine barrels
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Central City (Surrey, British Columbia)

After 3 years in Jack Daniel's barrels, this whisky is finished for 6 months in Okanagan valley wine barrels - Black Sage's Pipe wine, which is a port style wine of 1/3 cabernet sauvignon, 1/3 merlot, and 1/3 cabernet franc). So with BC malt and BC wine, we get an interesting take...this just landed in Ontario on LCBO shelves. Uniquely, this whisky also incorporates 100% BC barley, unlike most Lohin Mckinnon malts which use prairie barley.

Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Balsamic vinegar, raisins, prunes, and, notably, rich dried currants – and very malty – it’s as if I’ve just crunched up some crystal malt in my mouth. Sweet potato and dried fruit dominate the palate, which also adds in some rich maltiness on the big finish which includes candied pumpkin (you find it more often in Europe…), roasted squash peel, white pepper, black currants, and coconut sugar. Rancio develops beautifully on the finish and complements the baking spices, tannin, and oak. Terrific. Very intriguing, interesting, and – if you like earthy whiskies – make sure to give it a go.

I quite like the palate. The nose is a bit hard to get around – just needs some more time! This is a nice work on the go though, and the concept works really well. I do love earthy whiskies, and as much as I think the standard Lohin McKinnon single malt is better, there are many times I’d reach for this one instead.

Value: Average. I don’t like this as much as most Lohin Mckinnon malts, but a single malt like this for about 70$ is about par for the course against the whisky category as a whole. It’s one of the cheaper micro-distilled single malts.