Gibson's Finest Bourbon Cask Canadian Whisky
This is the second of a pair of new Gibson's (a long established Canadian brand, now owned by George Grant Distillers in Scotland and made at Schenley in Valleyfield, Quebec (owned by Barton Brands)).
The other one was the New Oak version, finished in a cask of that description, which I found only so-so.
However the Bourbon cask is much better. It is, by Canadian standards, heavy-bodied and assertive with a good oak background and a well-balanced taste. It is certainly Canadian in palate but more distinctive than most Canadian whisky. It was finished in a bourbon cask that last held Scotch whisky. Can you tell in the taste? No, but the flavors in the cask must contribute that indefinable something to this bottling. There may be the faintest saline peat-like taste. George Grant makes a noted single malt and reputed blended whiskies. I speculate that some of these casks when emptied were used to hold a Schenley OFC-type whisky to give it extra heft.
However this was confected, it is an excellent product. Canadian whisky is very defined in palate yet tasted side by side with Alberta Premium (made by Alberta Distillers which is owned by Beam Brands), the two were rather different. I thought the Gibson's had the edge, in complexity and savour.
Traditionally the Gibson's line has stressed well-aged products including well-known 12 and 18 year old expressions.
I think Canadian whisky shows to best advantage however at a median age when its mild distillery character is not masked, as in the Bourbon Cask version (no age statement given). At the same time it can benefit often from an added something, as we see from this same whisky.