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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    My brother-in-law stopped by to deliver our proceeds from Aunt Rosemary's estate. After the distribution of real estate and personal effects to closer family members, our share was booze from Uncle Otto's stash. He has been gone for decades and Rosemary didn't drink so there were 47 bottles. Most of it was horrid stuff like Kessler's. Otto was a gentleman of the Old School who knew that the proper way to drink whiskey was to toss back a shot and follow it with a cold Budweiser. If you never really taste the whiskey, it really doesn't need to be top shelf. Our share of the estate was two bottles of the "good stuff"--Seagram's VO and 7 Crown. The tax strip on the VO says 1954 which makes it by far the oldest dusty I have ever come across. The plan it to save both bottles for Christmas Eve when our family is here and raise our glasses to Otto and Rosemary.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Really cool bottles,true time capsules and the fact that you are going to pop one open and share makes it even more special.
    Last edited by WAINWRIGHT; 12-07-2013 at 15:53.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Great story - Cheers to your aunt and uncle!
    Mark

  4. #4
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Excellent holiday idea.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    When you do that (laudatory idea), taste them against current examples of the same brand and report truly and well here, if you would.

    Gray

  6. #6
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    With the help of Mrs. Fish, did a Christmas Eve blind tasting of the 1954 Seagram's VO, 86.8 proof, 6YO; current VO, 80 proof, NAS; Crown Royal, 80 proof, NAS. I don't drink Canadian so I approached this with no preconceived notions of what they should taste like. (The CR I stock for our friend Sandy--who has since declared that she prefers CR Black.) Normally, I try to void reaching a conclusion until I have sampled at least half a bottle but the '54 VO was to be shared with family so I had to save enough to give 14 people a taste. As it turned out, most took a tiny sip and opted to finish their share in Tom & Jerrys (Grandpa Smitty's recipe) in place of brandy.
    Tasted from Canadian whiskey Glencairns I sometimes use when taking bourbon with ice. The current VO was purchased at the suggestion of Gary Gillman specifically for this tasting. I cleared my palate between sips with water and crackers.

    Glass 1
    Color: Golden honey
    Nose: Honey and a little acetone. Light. Not much going on.
    Palate: Sweet but light and fresh. A hint of rye but not spicy. Corny like a well-diluted wheated bourbon. Tastes young but not harsh. No rough edges.
    Finish: Gone in a flash.
    With a drop of water: Subtle licorice.
    With a cube: Light, mellow, inoffensive. Reminds me of The Little Man Who Wasn't There except he wouldn't go away while the finish on this seems eager to leave.

    Glass 2
    Color: Virtually the same as #1.
    Nose: Grassy like green winter wheat. Earthy mustiness liked dried Shitake mushrooms.
    Palate: Some tingly rye spice but not distinguishable as cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon. Sweeter than #1 with a richer, oilier mouth feel. Some woodiness--oak and cedar--rather than char.
    Finish: Short but with an interesting retention of mouth feel. Even after clearing with water, there was still sweetness and oil on the tip of my tongue though actual flavors had faded.
    Water: Faint caramel. Hint of butterscotch. Licorice. Mouth feel seems even thicker.
    Ice: More actual rye, like rye seeds rather than rye spice. Maybe some cinnamon but definitely not red hots. More complex and interesting with ice than neat or with water. Like #1, not a whiskey I would spend an evening sipping neat.

    Glass 3
    Color: Noticeably paler than #1 and #2.
    Nose: Subtler still. Lighter with pronounced acetone.
    Palate: Nice mouth feel but not much flavor. A hint of cloves. Maybe walnuts and almonds.
    Finish: Disappointing. Short. Tart green apple at the back.
    Water: A little caramel--but I'm reaching for this.
    Ice: Loses much of the mouth feel--which had been its best feature. Some caramel and chocolate that I had not noticed when taken neat.

    Results: Little sticky tabs on the bottom of the glasses revealed that #1 was CR, #2 was '54 VO, #3 was current VO.
    These whiskeys remind me of Canadians I know, including a son-in-law from Toronto and his family and snowbirds we meet in FL and AZ. Compared to bourbons (or Americans) they are inclined to be pleasant and inoffensive rather than bold and assertive. The taste of all three seems like a population of 30 million spread across almost half a continent.
    I welcome feed back from SBers who have better acquaintance with and appreciation of Canadian whiskeys. Do any come with actual flavor or am I just unable to detect nuances after decades of having my trigeminal nerve over stimulated by bourbon?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Very astute observations Flyfish, thanks for posting.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Very interesting observations. As to comparative national character (non-whisky), I would point to Toronto's current mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to excessive drinking in public and usage of illegal drugs, as one who tends away from the national stereotype and many others could be cited who were very bold in their own way (extending to war heros, sports figures, actors and comedians amongst other categories). But that is neither here nor there.

    Interesting that the older VO didn't seem all that different from current VO and CR. This is borne out by the few tastings I've had of mid-1900's Canadian whisky. Canadian whisky until recently had perfected the art of the subtle blend. The idea was to offer just a hint of rye whiskey character and to one used to bourbon, that would show up as a restrained drink indeed. Recent Canadian whiskies, many discussed here frequently, can be quite different, e.g. Masterson, and Whistle Pig. The Forty Creek products are another example.

    Canadian whisky is a big seller in the U.S., possibly more than bourbon (haven't seen the latest figures), so clearly many Americans like the inoffensive taste too.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 12-26-2013 at 13:09.

  9. #9
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    Re: Seagram's dusties--foreign and domestic

    Perfected the art of the subtle blend is a great phrase Gary, and perfectly sums up the Canadian style.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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