Thanks to /u/tishpickle for the sample.
Being surprised is one of those human emotions that all people can enjoy. The idea that something can come out of nowhere, pop up, and say “hello” is pretty cool. Even better when you presume, as I have, that you know everything.
In the case of Lohin McKinnon Single Malt, I got to be surprised. It’s a brand new single malt from a brewery called Central City. And before you get all Flash on me, they’re actually from Surrey, BC.
The brewery/distillery makes a variety of beers as well as a gin and the single malt I’m reviewing today. They’ve selected Canadian malted barley, they use BC water. From the website, they use three different Holstein Stills, which is different again from what I’ve read in the past.
Finally they speak of unique barrels, which makes me excited for the future. While I can’t find what kind of cask(s) were used on Lohin McKinnon Single Malt specifically, there’s mention of collecting ex-Bourbon/Tennessee whiskey casks, Sherry casks, and specialty wine casks from Europe.
So while the distillery only started in 2013 (when we were young and crazy), it seems like Gary Lohin (the local brewer) and Stuart McKinnon (the distiller) are doing all the right stuff.
So let’s see how their first foray into whisky does, shall we?
Price: $60 (CAD), however currently sold out
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Butter, grassy/hay, malt, potato chips
Light. It takes a little while to pick out the flavours. That said, nice initial notes of butter and grass.
No maple here. The flavours, though quite light, are nicely complementary. I’d use surprising here if I didn’t think I was beating a dead horse.
Taste: Lemon candy, malt, grass
Sweet, stronger flavour than I was expecting, given the taste. Nice amount of citrus and sugar. Good amount of malt mixes with the grass.
Granted, it’s not super complex. It’s nice to sip on.
Finish: Grass, caramel, bitter, sea salt, black pepper
This is a surprising finish. See, I’m over worried about using that word.
Big finish though. More caramel notes than the rest. Quite briny, a little more bitterness than I’d like, however that’s my personal thoughts.
Conclusion: This is one of those malts that I’m very surprised by. They’ve figured out a good mixture of butter, grass, and caramel/lemon notes.
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting an amazing malt for 3 years. And 3 years of a single malt, from Canada, with our ridiculous laws that require all of them to have the same flavour profile. And this doesn’t fall into that trap, which is nice.
This goes to show that BC’s new laws can produce some nice whisky. Almost seems like other Provinces should adopt those ideas.
World Whisky review #188, Canada review #66, Whisky Network review #893