Colour: Old Gold.
Nose: Cut pears sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, baking spices, honey-graham crackers, Raisin Bran, vanilla.
Taste: Dashes of pepper, cloves and cinnamon, pears and Raisin Bran cookies.
- Skilled in or marked by underhandedness, deviousness, or deception.
- Relating to, or characterized by, craft or skill; dexterous.
First off, I would hope that no one would ever consider the former definition of crafty. Ok, so maybe I snuck the odd peak at Gary’s test papers in math class, but my prof always caught me anyway. As for the latter: my mom always liked what I made in woodworking class (Admittedly, I was somewhat Krafty in college but that was just a musical and not a pasta phase I was going through.). Where is this going? Right to a poured glass of Glen Saanich, Small Batch No. 5 Single Malt Whisky (Yes, all those words do fit in nicely in my glass.). More importantly, this whisky relates deliciously to the second definition of crafty and most certainly not the first.
This single malt is from the Devine Distillery on Vancouver Island using island grown barley and aged for three years in ex-bourbon barrels. As the folks there like to say: “A good honest whisky made by hand.” It’s also bottled at 45% abv. While it isn’t cask strength, Glen Saanich’s presence is affirmed quite nicely. The old weathered gold colour is warm and inviting like an early Fall afternoon. On the nose, the party begins. Not loud or abrasive. There are a lot of guests coming and , in this case, it’s great that they’re not socially distancing. Fresh cut pairs with dashes of cinnamon; honey-tinged graham wafers, soft baking spices, Raisin Bran in a bowl (without the milk), vanilla. It’s not like all these notes they’re all barging through your front door at the same time. Some come up the centre, some are on the edges. And, like its colour, there’s “warmth” to the bouquet as well. In the mouth, the warmth comes shining through with some added velvety heat. The spices are friendly and not aggressive. Cloves politely intermingle with cinnamon and baking spices. The Pears add nice, light sweetness while fresh baked Raisin Bran cookies follow things up. As for the finish, the fade is long, supple, cashmere-like around the throat. Now this is a way to say goodbye.
Better-late-than-never full disclosure: With my advertising background, I typically read terms as “small batch”, “limited release”, “hand crafted”, “hand bottled”, hand labelled” found on many whisky bottles as adspeak – marketing slash branding terms. However, with Glen Saanich, there’s one term I’d like to add: genuine. To me, it comes through in their story and their whisky. And you have to be pretty crafty to do both. Cheers.