View Full Version : Canadian Club 12 yr. Reserve
I typically stick to bourbon, but my father-in-law is a very big fan of Canadian whisky. I was recently in Canada, and stopped at the duty-free shop on the way back into the US (they had 1 bourbon - Jim Beam white. Talk about disappointment).
Anyway, long story short - my father-in-law watched our dog while we were gone, so we picked him up a bottle of Canadian Club Reserve 12yo to say "thank you". He just opened it last night while I was over, and we each had a pour on-the-rocks.
This being one of my first experiences with Canadian whisky, I have to say that I was extremely unimpressed. It seemed to lack flavour. There was a mild alcohol burn, very smooth, and then it was gone. No finish, nothing. I suppose that if you're looking for something to sip and you don't want to be bothered to actually taste it, this would be a good whisky.
Maybe I feel this way because I pretty much stuck to bourbon when I began my whiskey drinking adventure, and bourbon is so flavourful. Now anything else seems dull and drab in comparison.
The funny thing is that I've gotten my wife to drink ERSB and EWSB '94, and she used to detest whiskey - now she enjoys it with a cigar on our back deck. Even she said the CC 12yr was too dull and boring for her; her exact comment was that it lacked character and "body".
Has drinking bourbon ruined other whiskies for us?
You might try the CC neat, cubes tend to kill its taste. CC isn't Bourbon, but at its best it is a nice sipper. The older versions of CC (the 15 year old, and the new 20 year old) are more flavorful than the 12 by the way.
That 15 yo CC (It´s called "Wild life") is actually available from one of the places in Germany where I, from time to time, order stuff. How would you rate it compared to, say, the deluxe versions of Crown Royal?
It is closer to Crown Royal's Special Reserve rather than CR's Limited Edition. It is very good, probably the best of all the CC's. The 20 year old is good too but a little woody. The 15 strikes just the right balance. There must be limited amounts of these bottlings available because even here they appear for a couple of months or so and then are gone. Not the 12, which is a staple, but the 15 and surely the 20 year old. The 15 year old is a well-flavored complex blend but it still has the signature taste of older CC, which is a kind of cigar box taste with good tangs from the flavoring rye whiskies used. It is amusing to see how Canada is still marketed in Europe using images of unspoiled nature. In truth, Walkerville, Ontario, where the whisky is made and aged has been industrialised for a century. There is nothing particularly wild anymore in that area (well, the zebra mussels in the Detroit River. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif). And the techniques of whisky-making pioneered by Hiram Walker are hyper-sophisticated.. Still, the image of Canada as a paradise of wild mountains, verdant prairie and endless tundra endures in Europe and our salesmen of liquors and foodstuffs use the image to their advantage. Nothing wrong with that. And take it from me: Canadian Club 15 year old whisky is very good, possibly the best Canadian whisky I have had. The only one I might rate higher is Captain's Table, now no longer available. This was a McGuinness brand. Mcguinness' surviving portfolio, e.g., Silk Tassel, are part of the Corby's family (as Hiram Walker's CC is), which is owned by Allied Domecq. The Cap's whisky was deep, fruity and rum-like. Today, CC's 15 year old is the gold standard but we must include Crown Royal Special Reserve as well.
Thanks very much for the info! I´ll keep it in mind the next time I order from this place. I have a bottle of C.R. special reserve at home - it is the most bourbon-like of all the Canadian premiums that I´ve tried. It is a little spirity but the dominant notes, to me at least, are dry and chocolatey not that dissimilar to the 10yo Ancient Ancient Age. None of the tasting notes that I´ve read have picked up on this, though. Maybe I´ve got an older bottling? It says Waterloo on the label.
As for the images of unspoiled nature : we have our fair share of moose, reindeers and untouched wilderness here in Scandinavia and it´s a big hit when it comes to attracting German tourists. Some ten years ago there was a problem with Germans actually stealing traffic signs depicting moose and bringing them home as souvenirs! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Well of course the Canadian nature mythos would not necessarily attract Swedes. You have a large country with flora and fauna intact (as you know, much of the pine trees and rocky outcrops are not unlike Canada's) but I guess Germans, in particular, have always been fascinated by Canada's extensive, sparsely populated regions.
My CR Special Reserve does not state manufacture in Waterloo, Ontario. It states only, "Crown Royal Distilling Company, Toronto, Ontario." I think Crown Royal is now made north of Winnipeg in Manitoba. The facilities in Montreal and Waterloo closed years ago although I know whisky was kept in both places until relatively recently aging in warehouses, so it is hard to say where yours was made or bottled. You are right that a touch of bourbon is in the product. I was told by a knowledgeable Japanese visitor at the Oscar Getz museum that Four Roses made bourbon used for the Crown Royal blend. I thought he said bourbon and other straight whiskies formed about 25% of the contents. Anyway, the current bottling is similar to what you describe. Possibly - it is hard to calibrate these things - the current offering is more rye-oriented and softer in palate.
Last night we had some people over and one gentleman tried my CC 20 and the Founder's Reserve (no age stated). He preferred the CC 20. He found the Founder's spirity, which it is, somewhat, although it is 43% abv., not the Canadian norm of 40% abv. That difference would be noticed by many people here. Apart from that Founder's is quite feisty for a reserve stock product.
But again CC 15 year old has excellent balance and is about the best we make today.
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