Nose: Light fruity tones, apples, watermelon and cherries; chocolate; some hints of allspice and oak; caramel and vanilla undertones; Also some light grassy notes come wafting in and out.
Taste: Allspice and white pepper; chocolate, caramel and fruity sweetness.
Ask a few people to finish this sentence: “British Columbia in known for….” Non Googled responses would probably include: Mountains, Wine, Okanogan Fruit and on and on. Let’s add “whisky” to that list. Goodridge & Williams is an artisanal distillery in Delta, B.C. that makes vodka, gin and whisky. One of the two expressions they have is the Northern Grains. This one is made from a mash of BC winter wheat and malted barley, aged for a minimum of three years in American Oak bourbon barrels then finished in french wine barrels from the Okanogan. And, it’s non chill filtered.
This wheater puts out its hand to welcome you. Not in an over-the-top “I’m in charge here” kind of way. Rather, in a down to earth, Canadian “hey nice to meet you” way. The welcome starts with a sunset-rich colour in the glass. But the aromatic bouquet is where you start to greeting makes you feel you could be making a new friend. Light, approachable, sweet but not overbearing. On the tongue, the whisky is nice and thick with hints of polite, spicy heat. It’s as if you were drinking a liquid blanket, only without the fuzz balls. It lingers at the back of the throat long enough to say what it has to say, then cleans up, packs up and leaves – not wanting to overstay its welcome.
The Northern Grains is an NAS (non-age statement) whisky with an ABV of 40%. And while there may be some youthfulness in this whisky, it’s not like a teenager that borrows their parents credit card to rent an air bnb then invites 600 friends to party. It’s not that this whisky is timid, but rather that it’s well mannered and smooth.
As I bid goodbye to Northern Grains, with a final sip, I’m left with with this thought: if this is the bar set by Goodridge & Williams, I can’t wait to meet up with any of their future whiskies. Cheers.