Pocket Flask: Coveted BC Mushrooms Make Bearface’s Matsutake Wilderness Series Whiskey Wonderful

As a valuable public service, we create open minds from British Columbia to Bahrain and beyond, then give you a very opinionated review the size of a pocket bottle.

Today’s free installment

Bearface Matsutake Wilderness Series Canadian Whiskey

their words

“Our first limited-edition batch captures the wild flavors of foraged matsutake. Only rare, fresh mushrooms are infused into Bearface to create a one-of-a-kind whisky. The matsutake version is bold yet complex, with spicy layers of nutmeg followed by an earthy, umami finish.

Tasting Notes

In the unlikely event that you still don’t know what makes this Bearface Wilderness Series special, start with the coveted matsutake mushroom. Because they are highly sought after by the Japanese, most mushrooms picked on Canada’s west coast, including the Monashee Mountains just past Kamloops, are quickly loaded onto planes and shipped overseas, where they can sell. $800 a pound.

Yes, you read correctly.

Japanese mushroom fanatics describe the flavor of matsutake as a mix of fruitiness, spiciness, and overwhelming spiciness. (The scientific name for the “mushroom, which typically grows under pine trees, is Tricholoma nauseosum, which translates to “smelly fungus.” Europeans prefer the more evocative description of “sock smell.”)

Now you can see why one of Bearface’s mottos is “we believe no idea is too wild and no ingredient is too adventurous”.

Speaking of wild, Bearface takes a decidedly unorthodox attitude to the aging process. Wilderness Series whiskey is packaged in sherry casks, which are then rolled into refurbished shipping containers left outside in the wilds of British Columbia. From there, fluctuating elements – driving rain, freezing snow, driving rain, two weeks of sunshine and more black rain leaves – contribute to aging. The final stage of “elemental aging” sees amber liquid gold added to a cask with matsutake mushrooms for the finish.

Video of BEARFACE: The Wilderness Series – Matsutake Release

To answer the big question you’ll ask yourself, “No, Bearface’s Matsutake doesn’t smell like smelly mushrooms – or ‘sock smell’ – when uncorked.” Instead, expect burnt toffee, toasted almonds, a kiss of maple syrup, and cool, moist straw (the latter of which is way nicer than it looks).

While sipping, Matsutake goes downhill smoothly despite its 42.5% ABV. Taste-wise, you get a sweet war between sweet caramel and dry sherry, with the kicker being something vegetal winning and fascinating. Hello matsutake mushrooms, which are designed to give this endlessly interesting whiskey a subtle yet unique kick.

The umami still indescribable? Yes, it will definitely work, not so much as a starting point, but rather as something to inspire you on the adventure front.

Imagine spending a week in the wild mountains of Monashee foraging for mushrooms under towering pines in the morning, then sitting around a campfire at midnight with a bottle of Bearface Matsutake, the stars shining in a clear sky above.

As the Japanese say of the West Coast mushrooms that are right there with the Yartsa Gunbu of the Himalayas and the European White Truffle on the coveted scale, it sounds like one thing: heaven.

Cocktail hour

On paper, that makes about as much sense as a Margarita where gin is the main spirit, or a Rum Punch where American bourbon fills in the Caribbean rhyme “One sour, two sweet, three strong.” , four weak”.

We’ll probably never know who exactly invented Mai Tai—Trader Vic Bergeron or Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach—but what’s not debatable is that it requires two types of rum, as well as lemon. fresh green.

Clearly convinced that rules are meant to be broken – remember the motto “we believe no idea is too wild and no ingredient is too adventurous”? – Bearface has decided to break with tradition for its Matsutake Wilderness Series whisky.

Instead of Jamaican and Martinican rums and lime, Bearface’s Mai Tai subs in Matsutake whiskey and lemon juice, and goes the choppy rather than shaken way.

Not to disappoint you or your discerning Japanese guests, but sorry, that doesn’t call for mushrooms that cost more than what you earn in a week. Which doesn’t make it any less fantastic.

Matsutake Mai Tai

2 ounces Bearface Matsutake whiskey
¼ oz of orgeat syrup
¼ oz sugar syrup
½ ounce of Cointreau
¾ oz lemon juice
three dashes of Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir for one minute. Strain into a new glass with fresh ice. Garnish with fresh pine, pressing the pine for aroma.


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