Thanks to the Whisky Fabric I was sent two sample bottles of Shelter Point Distillery, 2016, Inaugural Run. The bottles were sent by Geordie. Thank you very Geordie!! I will be sure to send something back to you as soon as I have enjoyed these drams.

So, Shelter Point Distillery, Inaugural Run. What is that all about? According to Geordie there is some Rye in there. I was sent two samples. The first sample is 46% ABV and the second is Cask Strength 58.4% ABv, from bottle 55 / 1200.

Where is Shelter Point at?

Shelter Point Distillery is on the west side of Canada. So it’s a Canadian Single Malt. In a place called Campbell River on Vancouver Island. It is next to the Strait of Georgia. Which is a sea Strait, so there is some salty air there! Excellent!

Shelter Point Distillery Map

Some Information

Established in 2011. The owner of Shelter Point Distillery is Patrick Evans. The Operations Manager is James Marinus. More can be read here.

I could have copied and paste all the information, but that would be plagiarism. The place grows it’s own two row barley next to the distillery. I am getting Kilchoman vibes because of that.

The distillery is “artisan”. I put that between “Thingies” because every new distillery that opens up seems the be “artisan”. If all the new distilleries are “Artisan”, then that hollows out the term. But, this small side-note is besides the point of this blog.

Maturation is done in 200 Litre Ex Bourbon American White Oak Barrels from Kentucky.  Louisville’s Churchill Downs is the hint given to indicate the source. The choice was made to source there. Low Tannins is what the aim was I read on the website. Knowing how long the bourbon has spend in these casks would tell me something about the flavour profile to expect, but this information is not given, alas.


The 46% inaugural Dram

Distilled in 2011. Bottled in 2016, so it is 5 years old. Bottled at 46% ABV. Double distilled in Scottish Pot stills.

I have tried this dram two times before today. The first impressions I had then was that I got the impression of a young dram. Today I added a good sample to my ISO 3591:1977 tasting glass.


On the nose: floral honey, grassy dried herbal, buttery sweet, Pine, light peach, vanilla custard. No nuts, no citrus fruits, no smoke.

On the palette: Spicy, Honey, some light chocolate notes on the finish. Some astringency, some spiciness and nice sweetness, bitter english liquorice. leaves my mouth a tad dry.

I did not get the rye notes Geordie mentioned to me. I personally am not fan of herbal and pine notes. Maybe that is why I relate those notes to it’s youth? I notice that my first two tastings have biassed me into thinking this is a 2 year old dram. Now that I know that it is 5 years old I find myself struggling to spot the slightly more mature notes. The oak has not taken it’s time yet to give of fruity notes like pineapple. The dram also lacks the banana notes I associate with new make, so that’s good I guess.

I find myself a little confused with this dram. It is a an age that not very many whisky’s are, without peat. The only other drams of this age were Laddiemp7 drams by Bruichladdich.

The 58.4% inaugural Dram


The first thing I notice is that this dram is more deeper in colour. The LRV is lower, meaning it is a tad darker, deeper. Malty Golden colour. Nice!

Nose: At 58.4% this stuff is strong on the ethanol burn in the nose. Grassy Herbal notes on the nose are the first thing that jumps out of the glass. Some Clove. ok, a smokey Brie note (French cheese). Hint of a nut. Not sure which one. Leather note on the hand-rub.

Palette: Drying, spicy, wow, ok really astringent, burning, wowsers. pepper, oh man, this is so unlike the nose. numbs the inside of my mouth. Was a bit worries swallowing that, but it went down well! finish is not to long. drying still, hint of chocolate.

After tasting it I did some youtube searching and only thén did I find out this is a mixed barley and rye mash-bill. That does explain the spiciness! Thank you Foodquig for pointing it out to me!

With water the ethanol burn is gone. There is a hint of malted barley on the hand rub.


Thank you Geordie for a fun experience. As I see the hight of the necks of the stills that does explain the lighter notes in this dram. I started out not liking the younghfull notes I thought I smelled. I thought the 46% was the watered down version of the 58.4% one. I was mistaken.

I liked the 58.4 best because of the rye influence! I like dry, astringent, spicy whisky. If this ever makes it across the pond I will get me a bottle!

What do others say

GreatDrams Whisky Reviews. See how he totally gets other notes than I do. Excellent stuff!! That only shows how each nose is different.

Trenny and C, on a slightly different dram

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings

Foodquig mentions the dram was finished in French oak. That’s only on the label I guess, can’t find it on the website.