Last Mountain Distillery is Saskatchewan’s first micro distillery. Started in 2010 by Colin and Meredith Schmidt, they found no unique Saskatchewan spirits. At all. As Colin is a Regina boy (that’s not a sexual term, it’s a place in Saskatchewan, where such a sexual comment is not allowed), he felt this needed to be remedied.
If you’re a hardcore hockey buff, his name will ring a bell: He had a short NHL career after being drafted by the Edmonton oilers. One of Colin’s friends had successfully opened one of the first micro distilleries in the US, and they encouraged the couple to drop their banking/finance professions and start up a micro distillery.
You know, because running something with a high rate of failure is less stressful than the banking/finance industry. And if you think I’m being sarcastic, you haven’t seen the coke addled stare of a finance person as they cling to any semblance of life.
Currently Last Mountain has some flavoured vodkas, a spiced rum, gold rum, flavoured alcohols, and more. Heck, I kinda wish they sent us the Dill Pickle Vodka, as I’d be writing a martini and Caesar/Bloody Mary review right now.
Luckily for you, they sent us Last Mountain 100% Wheat Whisky Single Cask. This is one of three whiskies they have going on right now. From what I’ve seen, they focus on wheat whisky, what with living in the middle of Canada’s bread basket.
Not only is this single cask, it’s single source as well, with the wheat coming from Brewster Farm in Early Grey, SK.
Up front, let me be blunt: For me, a wheat whisky typically needs to be older to catch my attention. That said, I’m excited to see what they’ve brought out so far.
Price: Sorry, I couldn’t find the price.
Age: 3.5 years
Cask Type: First-fill bourbon cask
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Wheat, ethanol, dusty, margarine, caramel
Initial nose confirms that they have, indeed, used wheat. Good to hear. I didn’t think they’d lie about it, however it’s always good to be paranoid.
It’s young. Lots of dust, butter hasn’t fully developed. Lots of alcohol on the nose too.
Taste: Grass, caramel, cheap protein shake, ethanol
Hmm, not as boozy as the nose. It’s still got that grassy/grainy texture. The caramel carries through nicely.
Given some time, the alcohol taste increases.
Finish: Margarine, embers, leaves, cloves, grass
Finish is nice. Again, it has some signs of youth (margarine versus butter, some heat versus cinnamon), however it’s not total alcohol bomb.
Conclusion: Let’s keep aging some of these casks. Get something that’s 10 years old. It’s starting to work out, however the unfortunate side of wheat whisky is it needs time. I commend the distillery for using good casks, and getting the maximum amount of flavour out of a young wheat whisky.
That said, this needs more time before I can recommend it. It has an alcohol note that runs deep, the grass/buttery notes need time to develop, and it can end up quite nice.
Kudos for finding a decent finish. And for giving this to us at a higher abv. I want to try some of the blends from this distillery, because I think there’s signs they know what they are doing.
Oh, and maybe make a buckwheat whisky? Could be cool if you love wheat whisky.
World Whisky review #256, Canada review #83, Whisky Network review #1129