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Pike Creek 21 Year Old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished

Cloying Oloroso

6 583

@talexanderReview by @talexander

23rd Mar 2020

1

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    20
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is last year's Pike Creek special release, finished in Oloroso sherry casks during its 21 years of maturation. 4,410 bottles were released.

The colour is a shimmery gold. On the nose the sherry influence is subtle: earthy with golden raisin and milk chocolate, while also showing graham cracker, custard and caramel sauce (imagine a boozy cheesecake). Buttered pastry. Water brings out an herb basket. The nose is sweet to the point of almost being cloying, but thankfully it doesn't get quite that far.

The palate is more sherried than the nose - a bit too much. Red grape, blueberry compote, cinnamon and overripe banana. Seems kind of hot - and even hotter with water. Syrupy mouthfeel. The sweetness is a bit too much here, but it has complexity.

The finish is chalky and a bit rough, with dates, cloves and a cloying sticky sweetness. Pike Creek has always been my least favourite of the Northern Border Collection and this one has the same flaws as the standard bottling - very sweet and without balance. I have a bit of last year's special release (21yo finished in European oak casks) - also not great but the tighter oak grain balances out the sweetness nicely. Next to the standard 10yo rum finish, it is dryer and less sweet than that confection; all are in the same wheelhouse, which unfortunately is not one I am a huge fan of.

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5 comments

Astroke commented

I was on the fence over getting this one. I found it hard to believe it beat out Wiser's 23 CS. Sounds like a pass. Will stick to backup bottles of Wiser's 23 and G&W 49 Wellington.

8 days ago 2Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@Astroke Well, of course its subjective. I put my reviews on Facebook (Whisky Blogroll group) and Mark Bylok commented that he really likes this one. I think it goes back to the standard bottling: if you like the 10yo rum cask finish, you will probably like this one. If you don't, you won't.

8 days ago 3Who liked this?

@65glenfarclas
65glenfarclas commented

@talexander dayum! I bought a bottle of the 2019 based on the glowing reviews - I should have known better than to listen to the Cdn Whisky industry boot lickers. After buying, and hating the original "port" finished release, I swore I would never waste my money on another Pike Creek. Oh well, time will tell if the 90 bucks should have been better spent elsewhere (I'm still working through reducing the many bottles I have open, so may not get to it for a while).

2 days ago 2Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@65glenfarclas The annual releases all seem to get glowing reviews - but the quality can be a bit all-over-the-place. Well, try it and see what you think....

yesterday 0

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

Well, maybe I'm one of those "boot lickers" but I suggest giving it a try. I'm so-so about the rum release, and I originally liked the port release but have since found it too bitter.

I love old Canadian corn whisky, and I thought oloroso (to my surprise) was an amazing dance partner. If you don't like old Canadian corn, you probably won't be too excited about this one,but otherwise, what I've heard is that most people loved it.

But people's preferences and opinions in whisky are so varied that it may completely depend on your palate. I respect the palate of @talexander , so no knock on his review. I like it, he isn't in love with it - and that is fine and representative of what many think of this whisky, I would expect.

So, give it a go. If you don't like it, I'm sure you could trade it easily enough...

yesterday 2Who liked this?

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