Review: Dillon's Three Oaks Rye Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

3 yrs; New Ontario Oak, New American Oak, First Fill Bourbon
100% Ontario Rye
Distiller Dillon's (Beamsville, Ontario)

Dillon’s splashed into the whisky market with a bang, immediately selling out of their two initial cask strength rye releases - and now they have released a new rye, at 43% in 500 ml bottles sold for $40. The whisky is made from 100% rye, 7 first fill bourbon barrels, 2 new american oak barrels, 1 new ontario oak barrel. The whisky was filled in 2013 and early 2014. Nice bottle, too. Dillon's often releases their whiskies in smaller bottles, which I like - it spreads out some good spirit and lets people taste it without having to lay out a lot of money.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 1

  • Bottling Code: N/A (Bottle 2110)

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Bright and fruit forward – green apple, apple sauce, pear- with some coconut, vanilla, sesame,

grassy, spicy rye, celery. Lightly creamy. Yeast and the grain character are shown through lightly as well.  Despite the new oak, it must not be that heavy of a char because this is quite distillate forward rather than being heavily focused on charred wood. The palate is terrific: creamy toffee and green apple lead into waves of incredible toasted grain and spice flavours. And some juniper and arugula as well, adding great structure. Great movement. The finish is moderately light, and maintains is lightly sweet, balancing the grassy rye, arugula, toffee, oak, and orchard fruits. Very easy to drink!

Really nice stuff. I still think at 46% this would go just a bit farther, particularly on the finish. Some people are disapointed that it isn’t CS, but I’m happy with that choice as the elegance of the whisky is probably better shown at this strength.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, for $60.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: 2

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Develops beautifully. Apple juice, pineapple, fruit drops, again slowly developing to reveal very nice grain notes. Light rye bread, crusty brown bread, toffee, and pear. The palate carries all the fruit notes forward in terrific fashion alongside terrific rye bread notes and lots of spices and light arugula. The rye bready notes on the finish are terrific. Very nice!

Not quite as deep or as well integrated as batch 1, and doesn’t taste quite as mature, but still terrific and some of the best micro rye in Canada.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High, for $60. It is just on the edge, though, this could nearly be in the average category.