The latest in Corowa's delicious experimental casks, single cask #218 is drawn from an ex-bourbon barrel that previously held maple syrup.
Debuted at Sydney Whisky Forum 2021, this is a release that - in the distillery's own words - "smells like it should be poured on pancakes".
Distilled 27 September 2017 and bottled 12 August 2021 at 56.8%, there were just 88 bottles to come from the release.
Speaking at the Forum's Aussie Whisky Get Together night Corowa founder Dean Druce explained the genesis.
"A lot of the time in Canada to get that depth and complexity and that oak characteristic into their maple syrup they age it for 12 months. When I finished high school I actually lived in Canada for two years and did a little bit of work with maple syrup – I’m not a maple syrup expert, there's no secret about that – but especially being in an ex-bourbon cask it throws something really unique and different in there… they’re cut down to 96 litres [about 25 gallons] barrels as well.
“When [The Oak Barrel] said find the weirdest and most wonderful thing we have, this is certainly not the weirdest but it does go down that alley of being weird and unique.”
Oak Barrel Comments:
"We weren't sure what to expect when the first ex-maple syrup cask (#31) crossed our desk last year, but it was a huge success. Straight away on #218 this is another big, sweet, maple syrup nose. The 'pour it on your pancakes' line from the distillery is very true. A bit of time in the glass and the whisky elements come through, with dry malt and ground nutmeg. The palate is nice and thick, vanilla amonsgt the syrup elements and feeding seamlessly into a good length finish, the sweetness particularly lingering. Something very different and very enjoyable."
Located on the NSW side of the Victorian border, Corowa distilling is an extension of the Druce family's chocolate business in Junee. Having agreed to acquire an old flour mill from the council for the princely sum of $1, major renovations were untaken to turn the site into a functioning distillery and tourist destination.
- Single Malt
- New South Wales