As someone who usually drinks whiskies with sweeter notes of vanilla, caramel and honey, I was at first skeptical about a whisky infused with mushrooms. But after trying the new Bearface Matsutake, I can say I am officially obsessed.
The first release in Bearface’s new Wilderness Series, this expression is infused with wild-foraged matsutake mushrooms, which impart a rich, umami flavour. The highly sought-after mushrooms are a rarity around the world but grow in abundance in B.C.’s Monashee Mountains. Here, they are picked from a secret spot, in accordance with the Forager’s Code, a strict ethical code that implores foragers to preserve the mushrooms and their natural environment.
The extremely limited volume of matsutake mushrooms can only be harvested once a year during a four- to five-day window in September. It may seem like a lot of effort expended for a few measly mushrooms, but following this stringent process is well worth it for the end result: a complex, layered whisky with a lip-smacking umami finish.
Balancing out this whisky's savoury notes, you'll also catch hints of sweetness, nuttiness and nutmeg from ex-sherry casks. Meanwhile, ex-cab sauv and ex-merlot French oak casks add subtle flavours of dried fruit, saffron and balsamic.
With all this complexity of flavour, Bearface Matsutake doesn't need much added to it. I'm a big fan of whisky cocktails, but all I needed was a splash of ginger-ale to thoroughly enjoy Bearface Matsutake — and I cannot get enough of it. You could also try it in an old fashioned. When it comes to cocktails, the simpler the better to really let this unique spirit shine.
Bearface Whisky Wilderness Series Matsutake, $49.95