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Gillman
11-06-2007, 21:16
Finally got my own bottle of this and can apply a more studied approach (versus the sips I had earlier at Whisky Live in Toronto).

First, it looks good: it has a deep brown, well-knit appearance.

Second, it tastes very good: there is a typical Canadian whisky undertone but smoothed down and enhanced by the cognac from the ex-cognac cask it was finished in. The effect is to give it an orangey taste, almost as if it was a luxury version of Grand Marnier.

I like it a lot and have already pegged it for personal use: late at night, never watered, never iced.

Proves that an old dog can have new tricks (the whisky, I mean).

Gary

Frodo
11-08-2007, 19:52
Interesting. I just tried it tonight, and it had most of the benchmarks of the CR brand character (silky smoothness, and sweetness). It also had the taste of plums (!?!) which I found...confusing, as I've never had plum flavours in my whisky.

Gillman
11-09-2007, 09:37
I think that plumminess is from the cognac cask. I got some orange too altough it tastes a bit different every time I try it. A nice effort, I like it.

Gary

jburlowski
11-12-2007, 12:19
Cracked open a bottle yesterday with a friend who is a big Crown fan:

Definitely Crown at its core but definitely different... brandy / cognac notes are clearly present at the finish. I liked it much more than my friend since it made the Crown more interesting (I find regular Crown remarkedly unexciting.

whiskydude
12-01-2007, 13:37
I've read from others this is very good stuff if a bit more expensive. Where in the local NKY area did you get yours and how much if I may ask?

Gillman
12-01-2007, 13:46
You can get it at Old Time Liquors on Bardstown Road, Louisville, cost, $100 - what it costs in Canada, so a good deal for Americans. It is in the glass cabinet along the right side after you walk in.

It is an excellent product, I get a persistent orange note in my tastings, not sure where it comes from.

Gary

jburlowski
12-01-2007, 13:50
Also available at Party Source and COrk N' Bottle. Around $80, if my memory is correct.

Gillman
12-01-2007, 13:55
Excellent price.

I have a vatting of CR's from different eras (including some XR and Special Reserve) and will add some 1970's Courvoisier VSOP to see if I can equal or exceed the palate of CR Cask No. 16, I think I have my work cut out for me.

Any suggestions on how much cognac to add to the CR?

Gary

whiskydude
12-01-2007, 14:50
Also available at Party Source and COrk N' Bottle. Around $80, if my memory is correct.

Thanks, that's where I was thinking I would try. Maybe my other whisky buddies will want to buy one together. And of course drink it together! It seems the consensus is this is a good pour. It is cheaper than going out and we get to drink what we want, not what the bar has. If the bar has what I really want I am probably gonna pay for it.

Gillman
02-23-2008, 21:13
I am sampling the CR Cask No. 16 on its own, after dinner. (I never did do the emulation I intended: I did prepare the base - various CRs and other Canadian whiskies - but added bourbons and straight ryes to them and stopped there. It is very good but I am not sure Cognac would improve it).

The CR Cask 16 is good but I think it could be better. There is a persistent, "orange wine" taste to it that makes me wonder if a blending agent of some kind was added. The brandy taste is there but overlaid by the orange notes, and under that is the recognizable CR taste (dry, oaky).

A nice dram but I would have made it heavier and sweeter. It would benefit from some sweet old bourbon in particular, IMO. The finish is a little lacking, and the body. It is not bad by any means but in comparison to, say, Wiser's Very Old, it has a way to go. The Forty Creek whiskies too (any of them) offer more taste for much less money, IMO.

Gary

Gillman
02-24-2008, 07:15
Just a follow-up to say that the regular Crown Royal can't be beat for expressing the essence of the Canadian style, at a fair price. Just the regular version is fine although the Special Reserve version is good too (it has a little more taste, seemingly of older whiskies).

Sometimes the regular expression of something expresses its character the best.

It is good to see though experimentation with extensions such as Cask No. 16, since it widens choice and offers the possibility to create a new standard.

It would be nice to try a CR finished in a barrel that had held a well-aged, rich sweet bourbon or straight rye. Or do that plus add more bourbon and rye to the base than it now contains.

Some time ago I added a splash of Beam Black to regular CR and found it excellent. The drink was richer and deeper but still Canadian in style.

Gary

TBoner
08-23-2008, 13:44
I have been playing with vatting Canadians and bourbons of late, owing to some overzealous purchases of CC12 and CR Special Reserve almost a year ago. I have tasted the Cask 16 and wanted something similar but more intense and rich, and after reading Gary's last post in this thread, here's what I concocted:

275mL Crown Royal
100mL Crown Special Reserve
100mL Beam Black
100mL OO
100mL Knob Creek
50mL Lot 40
25mL Larressingle VSOP Armagnac

This blend has plenty of old whiskey, is quite high in terms of its straight whiskey component, and using Corby and Beam in concert to support the Crown profile added some nice wooded notes. Young whiskey and cracked grain come through from the two ryes. I used OO because I wanted to keep the Beam house involved, but WT might be better owing to its proof and assertive profile. The armagnac is easily detected, but it doesn't overcome the whiskey flavor; I might use something less expensive in the future, but that's what I had on hand.

One can make some very nice sipping whiskeys with good rye profiles from a combination of inexpensive bourbons and inexpensive Canadians. This is not such a blend, as the ingredients are a bit pricier, but the same balance could be achieved in a younger blend by using, say, CC12 or Seagram's VO Gold for the entire Canadian component. Gary, your posts on blending have taught me a lot, and I find this to be one of the more gratifying components of my whiskey hobby at this juncture. I love tasting new things and buying dusty bottles, but I can make a huge array of flavors with what I already have on hand or what I can buy cheaply, and the creative component is a lot of fun.

Regards,

Gillman
08-23-2008, 14:24
Thanks for the kind remarks and your essay sounds VERY good, I'd love to try it!

Gary

TBoner
08-23-2008, 14:42
Well, Gary, I can't get to KBF (again), but it's for a good reason: our first child is due Sept. 11. So...if I ever make it, I'll whip up a fresh batch, but in the meantime, I'm betting you have most of the components of this around...

Incidentally, I've been really working on getting something as smooth and drinkable as plain old CR from my own blending. I've gotten richer, deeper blends, but nothing so smooth and immediately appealing to the whiskey novice while still being satisfying for a connoisseur. Really an unbelievable whiskey for its style.
Crown, Forty Creek, Teacher's, and especially Famous Grouse leave me in absolute awe of the master blenders responsible for those consistently excellent, complex profiles.

Regards,

Gillman
08-23-2008, 14:58
I agree. but it's doable. I'd try using a less expensive Canadian that is around 12 years old (e.g. Gibson's, there are others) and adding a bit of an older bourbon or rye or more than one. It may work.

gary

TBoner
08-23-2008, 15:59
Gary, thanks. We don't get Gibson's down here, but maybe if I start from Forty Creek, which shows its oak stylishly, I could do something. I know Forty Creek is not as old - I think I've read that there's a 5-year-old component in the blend frequently - but the oak influence edges toward bourbon-like to me. It would certainly be different from what I have been trying. I normally drink Forty Creek neat with dessert (or as dessert); that hints to me that it would work as a base.

Regards,

Gillman
08-23-2008, 16:23
Forty Creek might work (certainly you could make a great blend with it, valid on its own merits if need be). But there must be other Canadians available there, say the 10 year old CC or the 12, something like that. Or any brand really that is around 10 years old. CR is a minimum of 10 years old I understand. Its keynotes are an oaky taste, so I'd add any woody bourbon that could impart that - Weller 107, say (I believe Weller 107 may be 9-10 years old and all-Louisville distilled because last year a member of the Louisville Bourbon Society gave me a special bottling done for that group, it said on it, 9 years old, distilled at DSP 1. So even after the sale by UDV of the brand, I wonder if the drink was still distilled there under contract, because that would mean it was a 1998 distillate (two years after the sale of the distillery to HH and as many years at least after the sale of the Weller name to BT, but I digress)). Or maybe Forty Creek, CC 10 years or 12 and some of that Weller 107 or any other older bourbon or rye or more than one.

Gary

TBoner
08-23-2008, 17:07
Ah, CC10 I have not tried for blending. It's not so rich as the 12, lacking some of the vanilla while still having plenty of oak. Hmm...I like the Weller 107, and then maybe a lower-proof well-aged rye like Russell's Reserve Rye to keep the proof in range for novice drinkers. Another bourbon that I think could do good things in this type of blend is Ezra B 12, which is very drinkable at its proof and provides a traditional high-rye profile. It's not too pricey, either, which is to its advantage for experimentation. Thanks for the ideas, Gary.

Regards,

mozilla
08-23-2008, 17:26
So even after the sale by UDV of the brand, I wonder if the drink was still distilled there under contract, because that would mean it was a 1998 distillate (two years after the sale of the distillery to HH and as many years at least after the sale of the Weller name to BT, but I digress)). Gary

Gary,
the sale of Bernheim to HH was in 1999, the same time they sold the labels to the different distilleries. HH had their distillery burn in 1996, maybe that was what you were thinking of?

When BT bought the label for Weller...I am sure they were allowed to supply that label for a yr or so with bourbon from Bernheim stocks.


The blending talk has been very interesting, so far. Some of the other Canadians in Texas are: Tangle Ridge, Wisers, G and W, Black Velvet, C. Mist, CC, VO, and a range of bottom shelfers.

Gillman
08-23-2008, 21:25
Yes Jeff, thanks for the correction, I was writing too hastily.

Fire in '96, purchase of Bernheim in '99 and sale around then of Weller label to BT.

So the 9 year Weller 107 of last year I mentioned was distilled before said sales.

But again, any distilled in '99 before sale, if still sold at 9 years, would be from Bernheim in 2008 that is. And as you say, maybe production continued after '99 for a time anyway.

My point is, Weller 107 bought now may be at least 9 years old.

Gary

barturtle
08-23-2008, 21:52
Yes Jeff, thanks for the correction, I was writing too hastily.

Fire in '96, purchase of Bernheim in '99 and sale around then of Weller label to BT.

So the 9 year Weller 107 of last year I mentioned was distilled before said sales.

But again, any distilled in '99 before sale, if still sold at 9 years, would be from Bernheim in 2008 that is. And as you say, maybe production continued after '99 for a time anyway.

My point is, Weller 107 bought now may be at least 9 years old.

Gary

We might be veering a bit off topic at this point, but I guess I should point out that even the young Wellers, but the 12yo as well, are in short supply right now...I had to hit 2 places to find even a smaller bottle of the SR for my tasting notes...

mozilla
08-24-2008, 09:40
Bring your shopping on to Texas. There is plenty of Weller at about every store I have been in...for the last few months. Every label and plenty of them.

spun_cookie
08-24-2008, 09:58
Bring your shopping on to Texas. There is plenty of Weller at about every store I have been in...for the last few months. Every label and plenty of them.

Centennials?



Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti DOH!

mozilla
08-24-2008, 10:11
Sorry E, current production only.

TBoner
10-19-2008, 16:22
Well, a couple of months since the exchange upthread between Gary and I, here's the blend I've settled on as a house pour for the Canadian whiskey fan (and the bourbon fan looking to be surprised):

275mL Canadian Club 12
110mL Beam Black
100mL Evan Williams Single Barrel 1998
100mL Russell's Reserve Rye
100mL Elijah Craig 12
50mL Beam rye
15mL Larressingle VSOP Armagnac

These are all items I can find for under $23/fifth, except for the armagnac. The earlier use of Lot 40, I found, was adding pot still character even in small quantities and getting in the way of the grain expression, which is what I find Canadian whiskey to be about. The Beam rye expresses small grains clearly and with minimal oak influence. The oak in the other products - I mostly adhered to the 10-year minimum age of Crown Royal - compensates for Beam rye's youth, and the use of products from various bourbon "houses" doesn't change the unity of flavor; Beam and the HH stuff are kissing cousins anyway, and Russell's Reserve Rye is a well-melded, well-aged straight rye that has mint and earth in it to pick up those components in the bourbons used. The armagnac grabs onto the slight fruitiness of Beam rye and clear fruitiness of Beam black and thus becomes the glue, so to speak, that holds things together.

I'd put this blend up against Crown for quality, and while it's not identical in flavor, it certainly has something in common with CR and CR Cask 16 (less so with Special Reserve).

I'm trying to avoid many new whiskey purchases, though I make some, and playing with components already on hand has proven a worthy diversionary tactic and has yielded some terrific results. Let the vatting fun continue.

Regards,

Gillman
10-19-2008, 19:30
Very interesting Tim, I rather suspect your blend trumps CR, of course you are using a majority of straight whiskeys (which I think CR does not do). A fascinating essay, well-thought out, and I don't doubt its quality.

Gary