Barrell Craft Spirits Gray Label Seagrass Whiskey, Canada
The foundation of BCS Gray Label Seagrass began with two groups of 16-year-old 100% Canadian Rye barrels - one with bright citrus and crisp green apple notes and the other with earthy spearmint notes. A portion of the first group was finished in Apricot Brandy casks, a portion of the second group was finished in Martinique rhum barrels, and a blend of the first and second groups was finished in Malmsey Madeira barrels. When each set of secondary maturation flavors peaked, those casks were pulled and slowly married into the final blend.
This deeply mature and rye whiskey has a classic, grassy aroma reinforced by the equally iconic, fresh notes of aged Rhum Agricole. On the palate, the oily rye is complemented by the oxidative, nutty madeira character that also balances that richness with exuberant acidity. Apricot brandy casks splash bright, sometimes tropical fruit over the finish before it fades to reveal the maritime minerality that lends this whiskey its name.
Appearance: Rich, golden straw.
Nose: The savory side of rye is showcased by an array of exotic spices and seeds–caraway, fenugreek, dill, and mustard. Rye toast, grilled cornbread, and roasted taro root give it a bready depth. The Rhum Agricole barrels bolster the spirit’s innate grassy notes of cucumber peel, black olive, and bark mulch. Beyond the cask’s prior contents, the oak itself is expressed by cigar tobacco, coffee, and cinnamon.
Palate: Extremely oily, displaying notes of peanut-, coconut-, and tea tree–oils. As it’s held in the mouth it grows creamier with soy milk and cocoa butter. A bright lemonade note buoys nutty sunflower seed in a nod toward the madeira barrels. That madeira influence expands into notes of grapefruit peel, verjus, and gravel.
Finish: The apricot brandy casks pick up where the madeira left off, bursting forth with passionfruit, mirabelle plum, and banana peel. Now the collective minerality of the rye and its respective finishes wash over the palate with notes of chalk dust, flint, paraffin, and cedar smoke.
With a splash of spring water: The maritime scent of fresh costal breeze is dialed up. Maraschino liqueur, cloudberry, and green apple herald a fresh fruitiness. Meanwhile marmalade, burnt marshmallows, and roasted chestnut sweeten the palate considerably. It gets a bit woodsier too, with balsam, wild mint, and raspberry leaf.