Sunday, May 5, 2024

Very Olde St. Nick Ancient Cask 8 Year Canadian Rye Whiskey

- $150
- 86.8 Proof
- 8 years
- Lot #16
- Canada

This is one of my first forays into Preservation Distillery's offerings. I had seen them floating around social media for quite a while, new revivals of old brands. They come with higher age statements, great looking packaging that reminds one of other very sought after whiskeys, and, of course a great story/label that uses words like "ancient cask" and "legendary rye."

But, what's hidden on the back is something I should have looked at before I made this purchase -- "Product of Canada."  This is a low proof, 8 year Canadian whiskey.  That doesn't exactly command the premium price that I paid back in 2020.  I made the mistake of getting excited over seeing these bottles hit Illinois shelves for the first time and not bothering to do my research. But, despite the wind being taken out of my sails, I figured at that point I had already bought it, I might as well drink it!

The nose was a healthy dose of cinnamon and sawdust. It had that light, woody smell that you get when working with a table saw.  It also had sweet bready notes that reminded me of Hawaiian rolls and even at times glazed donuts.  The long and short of it is it was very sweet with a bit of cinnamon.

On the palate it was also very sweet, but it was more of a brown sugar sweetness that dominated, and it told me fairly quickly that this was indeed a Canadian whiskey.  There was also a layer of vanilla underneath the brown sugar sweetness that gave it a bit of a dessert quality. Unfortunately, for me, it just leaned too sweet and I had a hard time getting past it.

I did get some other, more interesting notes, including the cinnamon that I was getting of the nose. That mostly came through on the back-end, and it was unfortunately fairly fleeting. I also got a bit of a cayenne note that added just a touch of spice.  That too was fleeting.

On the finish I was left with those sweet, bready notes coupled with the ever-present brown sugar. The finish was short-lived, though, disappearing on me almost immediately.

This bottle just didn't offer much more for me than standard fare Canadian whiskey. And every time I drank it and thought about the price, I just got angry. There is a reason these bottles just sit on shelves now. This was one-dimensional, overly sweet and way overpriced.

Grade: D

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