Type: Canadian Single Malt Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Wine and ex-Sherry
Added colouring: No
Owner: Macaloney’s Island Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery
Average price: € 120.00
Official website: macaloneydistillers.com
It cannot be said that Canadian whisky enjoys a great reputation among aficionados, with a rather ‘libertine’ disciplinary and a production aimed at undiscerning palates, made up mainly of blends.
This doesn’t exclude that there may be more ‘noble’ realities caring for the distillate, such as Macaloney’s Distillery.
Founded in 2016 on Vancouver Island, it’s named after its founder, Graeme Macaloney, Scottish-born but Canadian for 30 years, whose love of whisky started in his homeland while working in a bottling plant.
He then decided to combine whisky and beer production, raising funds through a public subscription and taking advice from Jim Swan (not exactly the first one to pass by) to start his own Forsyth stills, with a Master Distiller (Mike Nicolson) having a long experience in Scotland for Diageo.
Mostly single malts from Canadian barley, made in different types, and a single pot still in perfect Irish style, whose names created a historic dispute with the Scotch Whisky Association, which considered them too similar to the Scottish ones, risking consumer confusion.
The dispute ended with the change of the distillery’s name (from Caledonian Distillery) and some labels, including the bottling being tasted today.
Born as Glenloy, this An Loy is made in numbered batches with 60% maturation in ex bourbon first fill casks, 15% ex STR Portuguese wine, 15% oloroso sherry and 10% PX.
Black bread and yeast flood the nostrils, later opening up to pear juice, candied orange, marzipan, honey, milk chocolate and crème caramel. Over time, it becomes spicier, with cinnamon and nutmeg, and the baked soul fades in favour of a sweetly acidic profile with some slight vinous inflections.
Spicy mouthfeel on the palate, quite lively, in which the wine part acquires more body with plenty of red fruits, sultanas and nutmeg, accompanied by the ubiquitous cereals with pear, orange, apricot, a touch of liquorice and leather.
Fairly short finish of red fruits, malt, spices, pear.
Undoubtedly young and not very incisive, it nevertheless offers a pleasant and fairly balanced dram that allows the qualities of the distillate to emerge without being (completely) devoured by the casks.