The latest whisky to cross our desk is also the newest Canadian whisky to hit the U.S. market. It’s called Pike Creek, and it’s a blend of small batch whiskies aged in used bourbon barrels before being finished in vintage port barrels. Originally just available in Canada, Pike Creek spent some time in the U.S. before disappearing a decade ago. Now, it’s back in the states, but this time as a slightly tweaked version of the original. It carries no age statement, while the Canadian bottle is matured for 10 years.
That maturation process includes exposure to some pretty serious weather fluctuations. The barrels are stored in unheated warehouses in Windsor, which means they contract drastically during the frigid winters and expand during the warm summer months. This interaction with the wood, along with the port barrel finish, makes for a really interesting, flavorful whisky.
Pike Creek pours a deep, reddish amber in the glass. On the nose, there’s lots of ripe dark fruit and oak. Drink up for tastes of raisins, toffee, pepper and spicy ginger. There’s a big, tannic mouthfeel, and it finishes long, with more spices, oak, cooling mint and mild citrus peels.
There’s a lot going on here, and overall, a lot to like. We’re glad Canada decided to share this one with us.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume
CE Rating: ★★★★
Hi, great article. I got a chance to sample the American release of Pike Creek port finished, and although it is a bit on the light side, I quite enjoyed it. Looking forward to trying their rum release – but sad to read that the port releases are no longer made. It is difficult finding a good and affordable, port-finished bourbon, so this port-finished Canadian whiskey was quite a find. Any others like it?