This new version of Pike Creek is still aged 10 years, but has been finished in rum barrels and the ABV increased to 42%
Nose: a bit hot at first. Then the typical Canadian wet stone and caramel aromas joined by subtle maple and brown sugar. In time, some fragrant sawdust. An understated yet inviting nose that is not without some complexity.
Taste: smooth, tingling mouthfeel leading to an oaky, grain-dominant flavour. An extra layer of sweetness might be attributed to the rum casks, but otherwise there is no noticeable rum flavour. Overall, a rich, warming flavour that is Canadian through and through.
Finish: lingering oak.
Balance: Like the old port cask version, this one doesn't try to stake out any new territory in the Canadian whisky domain, but rather provides a shining example of the typical Canadian style. The only difference I notice in the two versions is some extra richness in this one, while also trading the port cask's subtle fruit notes for deeper brown sugar and maple. Overall I like this one a bit better. Drinkers expecting a big departure from the typical Canadian style might be disappointed (this is no Lot 40), but fans of Canadian whisky should find this a smooth and heartwarming dram. A big step up from the simplistic and superficially sweet bottom-shelfers.