Caldera Distilling is located in the historical shipbuilding community of River John, Nova Scotia. For those of you who aren’t up on the happenings of fishing in that area, it’s gone down in recent years, due to overfishing. Also the demand for clippers isn’t that high anymore, so they’ve gone looking for new businesses.
Thank goodness for whisky. The whisky ingredients are all grown on the River John distillery property. They also have a proprietary fermentation methodology, which is a first for me to see it. It ensures only the healthiest yeast strains are used. It’s suppose to prevent off tasting.
I’m fine with that. Sounds cool. The still design was customized to the right reflux for their recipe. They also mention a unique mix of aging oak barrels to accelerate, slow, mellow, and spice the spirit. I’m assuming that means they are using different sizes.
Which leads us to the whisky they sent us, Caldera Hurricane #5. This is the blended whisky from their lineup. The name comes from words handwritten in pencil on one of the old beams of a barn located on the distillery property. “October 18 1939 Storm” was written, and turns out it was a powerful (level 5) Hurricane that showed up. They placed it in the barn due to it’s stable features.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $34 CAD at Bishop’s Cellar
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Melon, grain, gravel, maple, oak
It’s a little nutty, but more woody then nutty, so I wrote oak where I had “is there a nutty/wood flavour?” written down. If you know of one, would love to hear it.
Fairly standard Canadian nose. The melon is there, which is different.
Taste: Melon, brown sugar, basil, nectarine
Again, melon is making the difference. No off notes. Nothing too crazy here, however nothing rough either. The low abv. isn’t doing it any favours on the taste, as I feel I’m missing some elements to this. Hopefully that changes with time.
Finish: Heather, coffee, cocoa, ash, wax, brown sugar
Floral finish, some nice complexity coming out, nicely rounded here. It’s earthy, continues the brown sugar, but has some ash that seems out of place here.
Conclusion: I heavily debated my score after having this whisky. On the one hand, it’s quite light. And that bugged me. On the other hand, the notes, as they sit in front of me these weeks later, are pretty impressive.
So what do I do? I split the difference. I wish that it was higher, and I recommend that they up it, even to 43%.
That said, it’s a nice whisky. I think they are doing some good things here, and have an interesting profile. I just wish that it was a higher abv.
World Whisky review #259, Canada review #86, Whisky Network review #1132