masterson’s 10 year old straight barley

Masterson’s 10 year old single grain barley

When I was young, I was a an avid angler. I used to fish whenever, wherever. Some nights, we add the tiniest amount of bleach to a bucket of water, and pour it on some fresh soil that housed a large hedge that bordered my property. We hunted the worms under the artificial glow of flashlights, and dig our hands into fresh, upturned, wet dark soil and pull out painfully wriggling worms and tucked them away for bait.

That morning I would bike down to an old dilapidated dock, which wasn’t really even a dock anymore. The posts that used to hoist planks were bare, and I had to balance on post top to top to get to an old, rickety door which helped me cross onto some rotten planks, that sometimes would break under my weight. All this while hovering over a deadly, fast current in a river, and a nearly dissolved toxic blob of pollutants.

In my adulthood, I am quite the active gardener. Each summer, I tend to my baby herbs and black currant bushes. I pick weeds, and turn over the blackest soil around. In the fall I upturn all the roots, and recycle the plants back into the soil.

All this aroma of garden herb and wet soil from digging up worms for bait is found for me in a bottle of masterson’s 10 year old barley whisky. this is a very strange profile for whisky, or for any spirit for that matter.


These are the coolest bottles going. Very clean presentation. The label is an old 20’s prohibition style of newspaper hosts a mustachioed man in a derby. Topped with a clean, sleek wood cork.

Something vegetal like wet hay. Virgin oak sets before barley and lacquer. Smoky tender fruit like bartletts and golden plums. Upturned roots, and red worms dug up for fishing. A slight sourness before the nutty barley. After some airing, the lacquer turns to cheap schnapps, with garden mint. Lots of decaying vegetation in this nose.

Oily palate with hot chiles up front, not letting up until a sweetening finish with some hard cinnamon candies. Slightly yeasty barley sugar and nuance of bbq sauce, strangely enough. Cut grass and foamy banana candies. Extremely unusual character.

Please note:
This seems to defy the laws of whisky. this doesn’t thrive on the typical vanilla, toffee, caramel and pepper. Instead, pepper is first, with the charred barrel flavours taking a backseat to some strange barley characters. Summer gardening and barnyard.

Masterson’s currently contracts their inventory from Alberta distillers, the same guys responsible for Alberta premium. It is blended, then bottled and shipped by ‘the other guys’ wine company, based in California. This whisky is crafted from unmalted barley, which is a first for me. Just like the palate, which is quite…. alien.

Unique sipper perfect for sharing. recommended

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