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Shelter Point Single Cask Rye Whisky (Cask No. 6)

Review: Shelter Point Single Cask Rye Whisky (Cask No. 6)   91/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 10,  2022

The Shelter Point Farm and Distillery was established in 2011. It is located on 380 acres in Oyster River, BC, about halfway up the eastern side of Vancouver Island. The farm and distillery contains 2 kilometers of oceanfront, a natural mosaic of streams, a salmon-bearing river, wetlands, forests and fields which are all shared with native wildlife. This land has been farmed for generations and remains one of the last seaside farms on the Island.

Shelter Point Single Cask Rye is a Distillery Exclusive available at the distillery as well as online as new casks are bottled. The whisky is made from 100% rye grain and bottled with its natural colour (non-chill filtering) at cask strength (usually between 58 % and 60 % alcohol by volume).

The sample for this review was drawn from Cask Number 6 and was sent to me as part of the series of samples I analyzed for the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards.  Recognizing the spirit as one which deserved further attention, I wrote extensive tasting during the judging process such that I could publish this review.

In The Bottle  5/5

To the left is a bottle shot provided by the distillery of the Shelter Point Single Cask Rye. Its a tall long-necked bottle with a slight bubble in that neck. This is the classic Tennessee-style bottle and features a snazzy Vinolok glass closure.

The label is attractive featuring an original engraving of Shelter Point Farm created by renowned illustrator Steve Noble. The label also contains the batch number and bottle number as well as the bottling strength for each batch.

In The Glass 9/10

Colour: Between amber and copper

Legs: Big thick droplets at the crest slowly release very stubborn legs

Nose: Big beautiful oak notes complimented by vanilla and butterscotch. There is a robust grain and rye combination followed by graham wafers, hints of maple and almond extract. The oak and rye notes just keep growing reminding me of a waving grain fields set beside an expanse of forest. Allspice, hints of nutmeg and clove with maybe a bit of cinnamon. In the background hints of chocolate. The effect is mouth watering.

In the Mouth 55/60

All at once a wallop of alcohol, oak and rye spice hits the mouth like a sucker punch.  Behind this wallop is a light touch of menthol, some warm vanilla and light sweetness of butterscotch which provide welcome relief from that pop in the mouth.  Oak sap, rich maple and vanilla, canned fruit and baking spice all seem to merge into a delicious whisky flavour, which despite the intensity created by the cask strength bottling keeps me engaged until my sample has disappeared.

In The Throat 13.5/15

The whisky packs a punch and has a nice long spicy finish soothed by warm vanilla and butterscotch. There is excess heat, but the pleasure outweighs the pain by a substantial margin.

The Afterburn 9/10

Wow, Shelter Point Cask Strength Rye is quite a mouthful. The sheer intensity of the heat and spice caused by the bottling strength makes this a dram which requires you to either add ice or water to bring the spirit into alignment with what your tonsils can handle. In the past, I have commented that previous cask strength offerings I have tasted from this distillery didn’t quite have enough age to carry off the intense flavour and heat generated by such a concentrated dram.  With this offering, a better balance has been achieved and the whisky has sufficient maturity and depth of oak flavour to be enjoyed thoroughly.

You may read some of my other Whiskey Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74   Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79   You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84   We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89   Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94   Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+        I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and f

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