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Pike Creek is a new-ish product, having come out only a couple of years ago, from Corby Distilleries. While John Hall and Forty Creek gets all the awards, attention and ink, Corby has quietly been releasing great whiskies such as Lot No. 40, as well as the full range of excellent Wiser's products such as 18 Year Old, Legacy and Red Letter. Pike Creek is 10 years old, and double matured, having been finished in port barrels. As is usual with Canadian whisky, no information is given as to where the port barrels come from, how long it is in those port barrels, nor the mashbill or anything else. Sigh.
The colour is blood orange. The nose is quite sweet and fruity - marzipan, overripe bananas, mangoes, with spicy rye in the background. Lots of oak, sprinkled with mild chilli powder and dried herbs - plus the usual suspects such as caramel, maple and vanilla. Definitely some tannins from the port casks. Yummy but lacking dimension - I know my notes above indicate some complexity, but it all sort of melds together, in a pleasant but somehow indistinctive way. Water seems to do little to either the nose or palate.
The palate features many more oak notes, with caramel, vanilla and dates at the forefront. Toasted almonds and Christmas cake, with some orange and candied peel. Quite sweet, if that is your thing, but also a little dry, which is welcome. Very tasty.
The finish lingers nicely with creme brûlée, mouth-drying oak and cinnamon. A lovely finish, the highlight of this whisky. Definitely a quality dram, and would go well with a rich dessert around the holiday season. This particular 10 year old won Best Canadian Whisky at the 2013 World Whisky Awards - however, Americans will have to settle for a slightly different, no-age-statement variation of this (which will be younger than what remains within our borders for our consumption).