Goodridge & Williams stems from the founders – that’s Stephen Goodridge and his wife Judy Williams. So, in 2013, when the government decided to create this craft distilling industry, he and his wife were one of the first pair to join that trend. So that’s really where the name comes from. Stephen has been a brewer and a distiller by trade for more than 25-years and he’s crafted beer and spirits for some of the best microbreweries in Vancouver.
Entering the Whisky game, their first release is called the Western Grains. Made from Western Canadian grains and aged in ex-Jack Daniels Bourbon barrels the label depicts notes of new wood, stone fruit, toffee and honey.
The colour is an amber colour with a caramel hue, darker than you would expect for a whisky of this age. On the nose there is an aroma of oak, vanilla, bourbon spice, cornbread and dried fruit. A heat comes through on the nose contrasted with the bourbon and vanilla character. The flavour is less intense than the nose. Here a newish oak flavour comes with honey, stone fruit, subtle vanilla and that same bourbon-esque cornbread flavour. The oak character is reminiscent of wood chips with a distinct woodiness that overshines any ex-bourbon character.
This whisky has some young heat to it but shows the signs of a quality whisky early on. The base spirit has a mellowness and residual sweetness that helps bring out the barrel character. While some purists may not be willing to accept this into the ranks of its Scottish Elders, there will surely be great things to come from Goodridge & Williams in the years to come.
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