Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
As the hot summer months roll on through, we all have our preferred way to beat the heat. Some of us like to head north and find some cool Canadian forest. Some of us like to go south and enjoy a Carribean breeze. Proof and Wood’s Good Day and Sunshine expression seems to have it both ways: it’s a Canadian whisky finished in Jamaican rum barrels.
Between Canada and the Caribbean, an American purveyor is bringing the whisky together. Dave Schmier’s independent bottling company, Proof and Wood, is named for the two things a non-distilling bottler controls: the proof of bottling and the wood used for aging. In this case, he sourced eight barrels of Canadian whisky, blended them at a minimum age of 21 years, and finished the product in Jamaican rum barrels.
The business of independent bottling covers a wide range of products. There are companies pushing budget expressions sourced from mega-producers like MGP and savvy bottlers flipping the excess stock of shuttered distillers, but also a significant number of enthusiasts pursuing craft and artistry.
Moreover, for some independent bottlers, the practice is a chance to uncover and polish the dormant treasures of distillation.
Independent bottlers often explore dusty rickhouses, neglected barrel rooms, and the lots where casks sit in inventory limbo, waiting for a purpose. These journeys, often documented, aren’t just about finding great whiskeys. They can also be about finding something with unrealized potential. It’s unlikely that Canadian distillers in 2000 were planning to see these expressions finished in Jamaican rum barrels. Further, it’s an experiment that distillers in 2023 would have to wait 21 years to test from scratch.
Proof and Wood have this opportunity, though, as they can marry some available stock to a novel concept for a small batch release. It’s encouraging that independent bottling provides an avenue for novel expressions like this to exist. It’s especially encouraging if this turns out to taste good.
Tasting Notes: Proof and Wood: Good Day and Sunshine
Vital Stats: 52% ABV. Mash bill: 97% Corn, 2.7% Rye, 0.3% Malt. 104 Proof. MSRP 99.99 USD.
Appearance: Burnished Copper
Nose: The nose has a sparkling quality, engaging me immediately with the freshness of tropical citrus and leafy mint. Deeper into the scent, I can pick out notes of honey and sugar cane.
Palate: There is an initial fruity flavor of citrus and pineapple. It’s carried on the darker sweetness of molasses and concentrated honey. There’s also a slight mint quality to the flavor, lightening up these darker tones. Between the citrus, mint, and sweetness, I get a bit of mojito in the overall flavor. The flavor of rum is strong in the finish, which leaves me with the tropical sweetness of pineapple.
Whisky Review: Proof And Wood: Good Day And Sunshine
Between the 21-year-old blended Canadian whisky and the rum barrel, I feel like I was mostly tasting the rum barrel. While it has a good array of flavors, I find myself wishing that I could see these tropical notes playing against a more assertive oak body. The end result is tasty, and nicely evocative of the tropics, but doesn’t have the richness of my favorite expressions.
Still, this is a unique collection of fruity notes for a whiskey. I think its flavor, suggestive of a mojito, would hit the spot in the right circumstances. If you want to evoke the Caribbean while still pleasing the straight whiskey drinkers in your audience, this would be a decent choice.
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Taylor is a writer, researcher, and whiskey enthusiast. He came to Portland in pursuit of higher education, and found himself staying to pursue the Pacific Northwest's wide range of olfactory offerings. He's a fan of craft beer, farm to table food, indie perfume, and, most of all, whiskey. While he...