Dillon’s Rye Whisky 59%

August 5, 2016


Hot, and sweet with dark fruits, creamy cereals, hints of pansies, then lush with high esters and sweet Niagara fruits – apples, peaches. Burley tobacco takes us into the lower registers as do hints of oak. A bright, lively, potent, but not overly complex whisky, with a sweet and fruity finish. At 59%, it just loves a few drops (or more) of water. ★★★★☆

There is something alluring about 100% rye whisky. And there is nothing more alluring than a well-made young rye. Long-experienced distillers know this, often reserving their youngest legal rye to top-dress older whiskies.

By law, in Canada, after grain spirit has matured for 3 years in a barrel, you can call it whisky. Strict regulations mean there is no such thing as “white whisky” here. So, some micro-distillers desperate for cash, count the seconds until they can bottle their spirit as whisky. Not Geoff Dillon. Yes, he sells a white rye spirit, but for his whisky, he waited 41 months so the barrel could work its wonders. It’s a first edition; he wanted it to be right.

About those barrels, they are coopered here in Canada from Canadian white oak harvested not far from the distillery. (66 Gilead and Forty Creek have also used local oak.) The rye grain is local too. Dillon went to a neighbouring farmer for his supplies. And since this whisky includes 10% malted rye (the rest is rye too, just not malted) he found a local maltster to process it for him.

Some people may balk at paying $30 for a 200 ml bottle of whisky, so remember, this is a first edition from a promising distillery.  From start to finish this whisky is handmade, then packaged one bottle at a time. With the whisky itself this good, these will quickly become collector’s items and will see rising prices in the secondary market as soon as all 1,107 bottles are sold.  Anticipating a rush, Dillon has wisely set a limit of 4 bottles per person.

Sales at the Beamsville distillery begin Friday, August 4, at 11:00 am.  Collectors and serious rye buffs will want to exercise their prerogative and buy four.

Highly recommended. ★★★★☆

Dillon’s The White Rye reviewed here.


6 Responses to “Dillon’s Rye Whisky 59%”

  1. neandrewthal:

    Id rather pay $30 for 200 ml than $90 for 750 ml. Unless of course I was buying four then I would rather pay $90 for 750 ml than $120 for 800 ml.

    Will it be only for sale at the distillery? That would be a shame as it appears its the first cask-strength whisky bottled in Canada in…I don`t know how long…ever?

    • Don:

      It’s a very good cask strength whisky, however, Still Waters in Concord has been offering cask strength for some time now.

      • Davin:

        Yep, and I enjoy both a lot.

  2. Toronto Tim:

    It is about time for some high ABV or cask strength CAD whiskies ! ! !

  3. Adam R:

    I was lucky enough to get a couple bottles. It truly is unique. Amazing to me how it seemed to change after opening. The 59% ABV was a little overwhelming at first. But the next day it seemed a little more mellow and some of the vanilla and toffee notes started coming out. Can’t wait for their next edition.

  4. Peter:

    Hi Davin,

    How does this compare to Stillwaters 100% Rye Cask Strength? I passed on the Stillwaters CS while in New Brunswick for $69 on clearance.

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