Showing posts with label Canadian Blended Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canadian Blended Whisky Review. Show all posts

Canadian Club Review


“More Vodka than Whisky in da Club”

Country: Canada
Brand: Canadian Club
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS (Around 3-5 Years)
ABV: 40%
Chill Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review # 560

Colour: Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured). Judging by the colour, more than sufficient E-150 Caramel was added.

Nose: Quite Thin and Weak. The Alcohol is very present. I find Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast with Margarine, Corn Syrup, light Vanilla, slightly Bitter Almonds, light Honey, Burnt Grass, Charred Oak, Brown Sugar, Young Rum, Vegetables, light Orange Peel, light Aniseed, light Mint and light Fruity tones. Banana and Pineapple come to mind. There's not much going on here but at least I don't find extremely annoying off-notes. It's the best part of this Whisky for sure. 

Taste: Thin, almost Watery Delivery. On the Palate it's hardly recognisable as a Whisky. It's more like a Peppered Vodka and not a good one at that. I find Alcohol, Grains, Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar, light Licorice, young Rum, Vodka, light Vanilla, Burnt Grass, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, Nut Shells, Oak, light Citrus Peel, Pepper and light Cinnamon.       

Finish: Thin, Harsh, Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Alcohol and Caramel are the main drivers. I also find Cereals, Sugar, light Licorice, Grapefruit Juice, light Citrus Peel, light Cinnamon and Pepper.    

I added a few drops of Water and the Alcohol retreats significantly which is not a bad thing of course. But the Canadian Club also becomes extremely Thin. Like a Caramel flavoured Vodka really.

Rating: 70.5  

Nose: 18.5 - Taste: 17.5 - Finish: 17 - Overall: 17.5


General Remarks: Canadian Club Whisky was created by Hiram Walker in the year 1858 and has been produced ever since then in the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery located in Windsor (Ontario). Nowadays, the distillery is owned by Pernod Ricard from France. The Canadian Club Brand however is owned by Beam Suntory. Corn, Wheat, Barley and Rye are all part of the mash bill for Canadian Club. It ages for about 3-5 Years in a mix of New - and Refill White Oak casks. You can find it at prices between 15 and 25 US Dollars, depending on where you live (September 2016). 

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Conclusion: The Canadian Club Whisky is not too bad on the Nose considering its low price. But on the Palate and in the Finish it has little to do with Whisky as we know it and love. It's closer to a Vodka, flavoured with Caramel and Pepper. This blended whisky is not good enough to enjoy neat or even on the rocks. The only way to drink this is bury it in Cola or Fruit Juice. Canadian Club is not a good ambassador for Canadian Whisky. As such, I can't recommend it to Whisky lovers.

Jan van den Ende                                                             September 22, 2016

Canadian Mist Review


Country: Canada
Brand: Canadian Mist
Type: Blended Canadian Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%
Date: 23/11/2012

Colour: Pale Amber

Nose: Rather subdued but not unpleasant Nose with some Malt, Grain (Toast), Orange Peel, Bourbon, Rye Spices, Oak, Prunes, Vanilla, Red Grapes, Caramel and Apple. Less Alcohol then I expected.

Taste: Rather Thin and Sweet delivery with Caramel/Toffee, Rye Spices, Orange Peel, Oak and Pepper.

Finish: Short with Toffee, Pepper, Grain and Citrus. Dry, Spicy and slightly Bitter.

I added a few drops of Water and it reinforces the Grain, Vanilla, Caramel and Orange a bit. But Palate and Finish do not benefit from Water. Better have it neat if you must. In practise, most people use the Canadian Mist only as a basis for Cocktails. 

Rating: 80 (out of 100)
Nose:  21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20


General Remarks: Triple-Distilled Canadian Mist is one of the most popular whiskies in Canada and was first launched in the sixties. Nowadays, it is distilled from Corn, Rye and Malted Barley at the Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Ontario. The water is sourced from the Georgian Bay. The whisky matures in charred White Oak Barrels, most likely for around 3 years. The Brand is owned by Brown Forman from Louisville. The presentation and bottle are very nice.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: The Nose is certainly the better part of the Canadian Mist. The Palate is not very complex and the Finish is short and forgettable. It's sweet and light and therefore a good basis for Cocktails. It's quite drinkable but not really interesting enough to sip neat.

 Jan van den Ende                                                          November 2012

Crown Royal Black Review


Country: Canada
Brand: Crown Royal Black
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 45%

Colour: Very Dark Reddish Amber. I suspect that a generous hand of Caramel was added. This is the darkest dram I've reviewed so far.

Nose: In a blind tasting session, nine out of ten people (including me) would probably identify this as an American Bourbon or Rye Whiskey. The first impressions are Sweet Corn, Rye, Charred Oak, Pepper,Vanilla (Custard), Maple Syrup, Cherry Cough Syrup and Alcohol. After a while I find some Orange Peel, Mint and Cinnamon. Nice effort!

Taste: Bitter Caramel (Too much E 150?), Brown Sugar, Rye, Pepper, Licorice, Orange Peel, Alcohol (Ethanol), Nuts and Cherries. The Crown Royal character pops up a bit now. Taste Wise this is not a Bourbon anymore. It's more Crown Royal Fine De Luxe goes Bourbon style!  I'm not too impressed. I get visions of cheap Rum and Coca Cola!

Finish: Rye, White Pepper, Orange Peel, Alcohol (Ethanol) and Bitter Grapefruit Juice.

I added a few drops of Water but won't do that again despite the 45% ABV. The bitterness on the Palate is becoming unpleasant. Better sip this neat or with Coca Cola.

Rating: 78.5 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 19 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5


General Remarks: This new 45% ABV expression of the well-known Crown Royal Blend was launched by the Diageo Group in April 2010 with a massive propaganda campaign. It is distilled at the Gimli Distillery in Manitoba, Canada and matures in Charred Oak Barrels. Crown Royal Black contains Corn, Rye and Grain Whiskies and was elaborated by Master Blender Andrew MacKay. It is imported and bottled in the USA by the Crown Royal Company, Norwalk (CT).

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Conclusion: Crown Royal definitively looked for ways to attract the US Bourbon market when launching the Black. First they put in lots of Caramel to make it look like Bourbon. Then they in fact managed to blend a Nose together that is quite similar to American Bourbon and Rye Whisky. Good work from Andy MacKay in this respect. But on the Palate the Caramel and Ethanol are too dominant and don't give the other flavours a real chance. Americans may be tricked in trying out the Black once but at an average price of around US$ 35 there are too many good Bourbon and Rye Whiskey alternatives available that simply outclass this Canadian brother!

Jan van den Ende                                                              November 2, 2012

Black Velvet Reserve 8 Years Review



Country: Canada
Brand: Black Velvet Reserve
Imported in the USA by -and Bottled for Black Velvet Import Company, Canandaigua, NY.
Type: Blended Canadian Whisky
Age: 8 Years
Alcohol: 40%
Date: 23-09-2012

Colour: Light Golden

Nose: As happens so often with cheaper whiskies, my first impressions are Grains (Rye in this case), remarkably young Oak for an 8 Years and a bit of Alcohol. I left the glass for about half an hour but still I can’t get much else. Maybe a wee bit of Caramel, lightly buttered Toast and Lemon.

Taste: Less harsh than I expected after the Nose with some Caramel, Green Oak, Lemon, Pepper and a hint of Honey. It’s amazing that 8 years of Oak barrels added so little flavour to the spirit.

Finish: Very Short with White Pepper, Green Oak, Toffee and Licorice.

I added a couple of drops of water but that just waters things down. No need to add water. If anything, the Licorice in the Finish is enhanced. Maybe a very faint hint of Fruit on the Nose.

Rating: 70 
Nose: 17.5 – Taste: 18 – Finish: 17 – Overall: 17.5

General Remarks: The Black Velvet Reserve 8 Years is a Blend of Corn Base Spirits, partly matured Rye, Corn flavouring whiskies and some Corn – and Rye high wines. Black Velvet nowadays is owned by Barton Brands Inc. and is distilled, aged and blended in Lethbridge, Alberta at the Black Velvet (Palliser) Distillery.

Drinking Experience Neat: Average

Conclusion: I’m really surprised with the lack of flavors in this 8 Years Old Blend. It’s hard to believe that quality Oak was used to mature this whisky. I can’t really say it’s a bad spirit. I didn’t find any off-notes. In fact I practically didn’t find anything at all! It’s cheap in the USA, probably 12-15 Dollars. So you might use it in Long Drinks I suppose although Bourbons are better suited for that purpose. The Black Velvet Reserve 8 Years is drinkable but it has too few flavors to really enjoy it neat.

Jan van den Ende                                                                 September 2012


Rich & Rare Reserve Review



Country: Canada
Brand: Rich and Rare (R&R) Reserve
Bottled by Sazerac Co. at the Frankfort, Kentucky facility
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: NAS (Minimum 3 years)
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Light Amber/Orange

Nose: Nothing to get excited about. Harsh Oak and Sharp Alcohol, Syrup, Rye and other Grains, Varnish. Bit of Caramel, Buttered Toast and a hint of Citrus. There’s a Fruity tone in the back of the glass but I can’t pin it down exactly because of the Alcohol. Plums maybe. When I nosed the empty glass, I got the light but not unpleasant combination of Grain and Oak.

Taste: Watery delivery. Sweet Syrup, slightly bitter Oak and spicy Rye. Alcohol Burn. White Pepper. Very faint hints of Orange and Cinnamon.

Finish: Quite hot and dry with some Rye, bitter Oak and Caramel.

I added a couple of drops of water but won’t do that again. On the Nose you get a bit more Grain but the whisky starts tasting like simple vodka.  

Rating: 70  

Nose: 18.5 – Taste: 17 – Finish: 17 – Overall: 17.5 

General Remarks: R&R Reserve is a blend of Reserve Barrel whiskies from Sazerac’s stocks of over 200.000 barrels of Canadian whisky. Sazerac is a very old privately owned company from New Orleans and is (apparently successfully) re-introducing Canadian whiskies to the US Market. It’s a very cheap blend at around US$ 14, - a bottle.

Drinking Experience Neat: Not quite my cup of Whisky!

Conclusion: You can’t expect miracles for US$ 14, - a bottle and you don’t get them with the Rich & Rare Reserve. The Nose is acceptable but taste wise I get no pleasure from this Blend. I suppose you could mix it with something but I would rather spend a few bucks more and get me a Standard Bourbon or Whiskey.

Jan van den Ende                                                              August 27, 2012