When Highwood Distillers Ltd bought Potter’s Distillery in 2005, they also inherited whisky stocks dating back to Potter’s founding in 1958. Included in this stock was an assortment of casks 15 to 25 years old; owing to their dates, these would have been distilled in Potter’s Kelowna distillery (or perhaps earlier, in their Langley distillery before relocating to Kelowna). The Century Reserve 15 Years Plus (or Lot 1525) is the bottling of these casks, and what a bottle it is: with a long-stemmed neck and gold labeling, this whisky stands out on the shelf. Bottled at 40%, we were more interested in what was inside, however.
The first hit on the nose is a light bourbon vanilla, with related tones of brown sugar. Extremely well balanced, the nose opens up to a light palate, with spices bursting from the whisky in a nice warm mouth feel. Alongside the spice comes generous honey and vanilla, with a marzipan bite. The finish is smooth and of medium length, with slightly spicey caramel tones lingering.
Throughout, the bourbon vanilla is the dominating flavour and aroma, all while being fairly well balanced. With a purchase price just over $30, I was amazed at the quality of this whisky — another unknown Canadian gem of a whisky. Time to stock up on these before people realize how good, and how good a value, they really are. For another great review of this dram, check out The Rum Howler Blog.