Whiskey Review Round Up: Cadée Distillery Whiskey Port Finishes - The Whiskey Wash
Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits

Whiskey Review Round Up: Cadée Distillery Whiskey Port Finishes

Cadée (Gaelic for pure) Distillery, one of several distilleries on Whidbey Island, Washington, produces a full line of spirits including two iterations of gin, a bourbon, and a rye. The distillery was established in 2015 after a flexible Indiegogo campaign (which didn’t make the entire fundraising goal, but the video is worth watching) by Colin Campbell, whose family heritage includes distilling spirits in his homeland of Scotland since 1494.

Campbell, a certified Master Distiller and ex-aerospace engineer (among other entrepreneurial exercises) settled on Whidbey Island due to the amazing natural resources that the Pacific Northwest provides as well as the environmental benefits of being sandwiched between the Olympics and Cascades on a coast with generally moderate climes and a barometric environment that encourages successful extraction. That, and he and his wife had been vacationing there for 25 years prior to finally packing up and moving to the island to start Cadée Distillery.

Campbell isn’t fooling around with his newest releases, Deceptivus Bourbon Whiskey and Cascadia Rye Whiskey, both finished in port barrels imported from Portugal.

image via Elizabeth Powell/The Whiskey Wash

Tasting Notes: Deceptivus Bourbon Whiskey bottle 299, batch 1           

Vital Stats: Bourbon aged at least nine months in new American Oak barrels, finished in single-use, 20 year-old Portuguese port barrels, 85 proof, $44, distilled and aged on-site in Whidbey Island, mash bill is unspecified.

Appearance: The deep, rich red-brown of a chestnut leading into a lighter, slightly muddled copper.

Nose: Immediately recognizable hit of caramel, vanilla, oak, and lean grains that move into warm tawny port notes of leather, slightly oxidized, raisins, and hazelnuts.

Palate: The nose doesn’t lie, the youthful lean bourbon notes of grain and slight spice notes are enhanced by the round, mouth-pleasing richness of caramel, aged leather, warmed citrus (think flamed orange zest,) and toasted nuts. The finish is warm and smooth with a touch of toffee sweetness.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Tasting Notes: Cascadia Rye Whiskey bottle 167, batch 1

Vital Stats: Rye aged at least nine months in new American Oak, then transferred to French Oak first-use port barrels imported from Portugal, 87 proof, $49, distilled and aged on-site in Whidbey Island. Awarded a gold medal in 2017 at the Los Angeles Spirits Competition in whiskey with an overall score of 90 points.

Appearance: Amber-hued with hints of gold at the edge of the tasting glass.

Nose: Spicy rye with notes of chocolate, rich, dark, almost overripe fruit, butter-rich toffee, vanilla, and unsweetened cocoa.

Palate: First impressions are of the sweetness imparted by the port barrels with underlying spice notes imparted by the rye, touching on vanilla cake, finishing up with a light tannic hit of oak.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Takeaway

For the money, either of these whiskies would be on my list of spirits to grab and enjoy if you’re into barrel-finished spirits. Enjoyable neat, with a little dash of water, or a single cube, there is no doubt that Mr. Campbell knows exactly what he’s doing and is adding another feather in the cap of PNW distilling. His first expression of these are delicious, easy to enjoy, and not too hard on the wallet, making them a great gift option or an easy-drinker for your back bar.