Thanks to /u/devoz, who pointed out this whisky and said I had to try it.
Top Shelf Distillers is a small distillery. They currently are making moonshine, gin, vodka, Perth Canadian Whisky, and hand sanitizer (if you’re reading this after the pandemic is over, wash your hands, hug your friends and family, and appreciate the little things in life).
I’ve reviewed things from a variety of small, craft distilleries. Let me be honest: When you buy a white dog or a young whisky from a distillery, you’re typically doing it to support the future of the distillery. However, it’s still a product. And there’re multiple other products they make that you can purchase to support them.
Perth was mashed, distilled, aged, and bottle-aged in Perth, Ontario, and it’s the first one in 100 years to be released there. It is a blend, and I assume done in the Canadian style of ageing/distilling the grains separately and then blending them later for the final product. They have a twin-column still and made this 100% themselves, aged themselves, etc.
Why did Devoz point this whisky out and tell me to try it? Because he’s had it. And he recommended it. Why? You’ll see.
You know where this is going, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $50 CAD
Colour: 5Y 8/10
Nose: White glue, sawdust, ripe peach
It’s rough. There’s a lot of woodworking notes. A very, very old peach note is there too.
I keep looking for more, and I don’t find it.
Taste: Sweet overripe apple, wood dust
Wow, that’s rough. It’s a wood-dust-covered apple you left on the floor of the workroom.
Finish: Burnt, plastic, dust
Somehow it’s gotten worse. The fruit notes are gone, the rough spirit-driven element is left, and finally, there’s a musty note that may eventually grow into something, but here leaves you feeling rough.
Conclusion: Weak, bad, overall rough and painful. This wasn’t good. I don’t want to hammer on that point. This is a small distillery, they are starting out, and they are finding their footing.
I’m going to be honest here: Buy something other than their whisky. They have flavoured products that a friend of mine really, really enjoys. The moonshine is, according to him, a good product. They have a pickle version, or a Tom Green flavoured group of drinks. Or Gin, maybe their gin is better. Heck, support them because they are making products in a local area and helping out.
If you want to support something, support them in any other way. And to Top Shelf, I really, really hope you go back to the drawing board on whisky. This is too much grain, too many filters on the column still, and rough. I hope the next one is a lot better.
World Whisky review #392, Canada review #131, Whisky Network review #1892