Toronto Distillery Company Hickory Cask

TDC Hickory 2.png

Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for the sample. Because I’m stupid for not buying a bottle.

You see, my wife was right, and I should have just grabbed a bottle. Or asked one of my many friends to grab me a bottle. Unfortunately I bought quite a bit of whisky during the month (first world problems) and decided I needed to back off.

I mean, it’s just Toronto Distillery Company Hickory Cask, the last product from their brick and mortar store, made in the only Hickory Cask in the world. A cask so hard to make that the now retired cooper was injured and stated never again (it wasn’t why he retired, let’s not get too dramatic).

I mean, yeah, Pete Bradford, “Canada’s Last Cooper” made it, and the hickory was so tough that it went from 110L to a 77L cask. And he swore to never make another.

So yes, I’m an idiot. But I saved a small amount of money and have room, so… still an idiot. That’s been proven. Onto the whisky.

The spirit itself is made with organic soft white winter wheat harvested in 2012-2013 along the Oak Ridges Moraine in Schomberg, York County, Ontario. It’s aged just over 3 years, and only 48 bottles came from it.

Experimental, at the heart of politics, up to date, supporting local, and (seemingly from the outside) quality.

Yeah, I should have bought a bottle.

Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

TDC Hickory 1.jpg

Price: $65.93 (CAD), however now sold out

Region: Canada

Cask Type: Hickory Cask

Abv: 50%

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Hickory, chocolate, molasses, orange, jerky/leather

Initial smell is nothing but hickory. And while some people may think that it compares to peated whisky, or even hickory/cherry smoked whisky in this way, that’s not the case.

No, this starts out exactly like Hickory. There is only Hickory. Bow down to Hickory.

As time goes on, it starts to branch out. You get some of those interesting flavours that older peated whiskies get. But the hickory is king here. This is hickory sticks being made fresh.

That’s a type of salted snack up here.

Taste: Hickory, maple syrup, salty, spruce

More hickory, and in no way less front and centre right off the bat. It takes time. And time. Eventually you end up with a young, salty spirit. The hickory is the main flavour, again.

It’s not bad. The youth is there on the taste. Each of the flavours, though, is very pronounced, and well defined.

Finish: Dry, hickory smoke, brown sugar, grassy

Long finish. Very long. Good dry flavour to it. At first it’s nothing but dry. It’s quite nice on the tongue. Lots of pronounced flavours here.

That said, I hope you like hickory.

Conclusion: So I’m kinda dumb for not buying this, because it’s quite unique, quite interesting, and all in all, pretty well put together.

Let’s not forget I love smoked food. And drams. And hell, smoking (not tobacco though). This hits those notes very, very well. If I had this blind, I’d be confused as to how alcoholic BBQ sauce was so thin. Then I’d remember North Carolina, but wonder where the vinegar went.

What I’m say is this: This is odd. Tasty. Not like another whisky. Yes, it’s young. I hope that the cask is used again for something that stays in it longer and benefits from a 2nd fill to keep the edge off.

And maybe we should ask Pete if he can make another one. Because hot damn, this is cool.


World Whisky review #194, Canada review #69, Whisky Network review #927

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