Review: Shelter Point Ripple Rock Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Shelter Point Ripple Rock 1.jpg
8 yrs
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Shelter Point (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

Shelter Point released a single cask of whisky last year which was finished in virgin oak casks - a whisky release which I very much enjoyed. The whisky was matured over 6 years in American oak before being finished for 18 months in alligator char casks - it was named “Ripple Rock” after one of the largest non-nuclear planned explosions in the world which occurred underwater off the coast of Vancouver Island, where Shelter Point Distillery is located. It was named such as it was intended to be one of the biggest whiskies Shelter Point could produce in terms of flavour.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: Batch 1

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

A sweet, oaky, fruity nose. Distinctly Shelter Point, and yet, with quite a nice twist. Blackberries, raisins, caramel, toffee, pear drops, clove, vanilla, strawberry jam – it may sound a bit random but the nose is very cohesive and the oak is very well matched to the spirit. On the palate, rich grain notes battle the fruit and confectionary notes. As on the nose, the dried fruit remains at the centre. The finish sits with oak caramels, baking spice, apple skins, blackberry jam, malt, and herbal, grainy  notes.

While this was inspired, perhaps, by their popular virgin oak finish single cask – this one is very different in profile. It surprised me at first. For that one, complex oaky notes sit in and around everything else – at the centre – while here the oak ties everything together rather than being the prominent figure, and the fruit is much richer. I would tend to reach for this one more often, even if the oak characteristics are a bit less unique (taste-wise).

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High based on $77.