Frontier has always had a strong association with whiskey, a spirit associated with rugged countryside, cowboys, outlaws, and other elements of mythical Americana. Ironically, true frontiers in the whiskey world are rare these days, with a flurry of new producers whose bottlings are differentiated by the smallest of margins. With the whiskey reserves of US distilleries largely depleted, one of the most exciting developments in the last couple of years has been Canadian whisky. Characterful, spicy, robust whisky, often sleuthed out by their 100% rye mash bills. The industry was put on notice when a 5 year bottling from up north took home the most recent World Whisky of the Year title.
Then, we started to hear talk of Found North, based out of Massachusetts, who had apparently bottled some stellar and extremely well aged Canadian whisky. We talked to them, tasted their wares (two batches so far), and were floored and charmed by both them and the whisky. Here at last was evidence of that rare new frontier we were longing for. The two brothers behind the brand, Nick and Zach Taylor, are both longtime industry folks, spirit nerds, lovers of big bold flavors, and weren’t afraid of putting in the work. In their quest for that next great American whiskey, they found themselves in Canada.
The whisky itself defied our expectations. While Canadian producers mostly distill and age single grain whisky, looking to balance their mature flavors in the final blend, the premium bottlings we’ve seen have been more of a straightforward source and bottle approach that has netted lots of 100% ryes. Found North, on the other hand, has pushed themselves and their whisky on every front – with rye, corn, and barley all present in the final blend, creating truly singular flavor profiles. On top of that, the utterly unique cask selection gives an even wider color palette: Hungarian Oak, ex-Speyside Scotch casks, ex-Wheated Bourbon, and a combination of used, re-charred, and new American white oak all coming together to enhance the profile, without any one cask dominating or taking over the character of the grain, even with whisky aged up to 20 years. The bottling runs for Batch 1 and Batch 2 are small, only 1300 bottles each, with every one individually numbered. The value on the other hand, is huge. Bottled at cask strength, non chill-filtered, and with natural color. Both batches are already Double Gold SF Spirits Competition winners in their respective categories.
We’re so excited to share this gorgeous whisky with you!
Found North’s goal for Batch 001 was to create a cask strength rye with a robust spice profile, while layering in fruit, florality, sweet viscosity, and oak tannins. Fans of rye will love the combination of warming cinnamon and cayenne spice, dark berry fruits, and surprisingly sweet caramel. "Rye whisky has so much room for exploration. We didn't want to re-package the same whisky that's already on the market." - Zach Taylor
The 16 year rye component sets the stage with bold and herbaceous spice, while also adding a smoldering earthy quality and ruddy fruitiness from 3 years spent in Hungarian oak. The 17 year rye aged for 3 years in ex-Speyside Scotch casks lends bright fruit notes and a dash of honeyed floral notes. Finally, the 20 year corn whisky aged 7 years in new American oak adds creaminess, a touch of wood, and a fabulously long finish, pulling everything together into a cask strength bottling with a dangerously well-integrated 57.1% abv.
Batch 002 was initially planned as another rye whisky built around a 17 year rye aged in ex-wheated bourbon barrels. However, while blending, Found North discovered that increasing the corn ratio drastically improved the whisky, with the blend akin to a fantastically spicy old bourbon, but without the bitter over-oaked finish. "Batch 002 is a Bourbon-lover's whisky." - Nick Taylor
A supermajority of this bottling is 20 year corn whisky aged in a combination of new and used American oak, with the flavor of new wood joined by bright fruit, butterscotch, a dynamic swirl of caramel, burnt demerara sugar, and sweet clementines. The impact of the 17 year rye component comes through with fresh and creamy vanilla, minty spice, pine needles, and a touch of red apple. Rich, deft, and intensely complex, a new take on the US's most popular style of whiskey, and a rare treat. Bottled at 64.9% abv.