Rare Perfection 14-year-old, like other sourced brands from Preservation Distillery, is wrapped up in layers of mystery and intrigue as to its source and what’s inside the bottle. Rumour has it that the barrels used for Rare Perfection 14 and the 15 year old bottling were found in a warehouse in Canada after new owners had purchased the warehouse. Preservation Distillery got the call about the casks, sampled their contents, and purchased the lot to be bottled under the Rare Perfection brand. The whiskey itself, although technically a Canadian whiskey, was distilled from a four-grain bourbon mashbill including corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley, by a now-shuttered distillery before being entered into new-charred oak. It was then aged in a single-story warehouse which maintained very low temperatures all year around with the result being a whiskey that has had a more subtle interaction with the wood than your typical bourbon and therefore bears a very light colour. The label simply states that this whiskey is an ‘overproof’ offering, which is a historic term indicating that it has been bottled at over 100 proof, and that it originates from Canada.
The nose shows toffee, a slight tingle of pepper, grain, vanilla and baking spice. The palate opens with a syrupy mouth feel and a strong combination of caramel, bitter oak, and a very big hit of vanilla, these notes develop into toasted marshmallow before a touch of earthy grain, citrus peel, and faint syrupy sesame emerges. As you continue to chew the vanilla note returns, bringing with it that whisper of bitterness from the oak and grain. Bottled at 100.7 proof.