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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    Canadian Whisky Today

    I'd like to make some general comments which seem to justify a separate thread.

    I agree that just because a whisky is called small batch or a similar name, it isn't necessarily better than a regular-issue whisky.

    I have favourites amongst the regular line up of Canadian makers including Royal Reserve, some of the older Canadian Clubs, of course Barrel Select, and Crown Royal's Special Reserve. None of these are small batch as such although some may be made up that way.

    Some of the small batch group are very good, e.g., Danfield's Private Reserve (there is also a 21 year old version). I like the Centennial line-up too. But some whiskies identified as small batch or with a similar phrase seem rather ordinary.

    Of the premium brands, Wiser's Very Old, which is aged 18 years in wood, is I think one of the best. It has a rich, woody and fruity taste but is not tannic whereas I get a tannic edge in, say, the XR version of CR which contains some well-aged whisky stocks from the long-closed Waterloo distillery of Seagram.

    In the end, personal preference will rule and the only way to scope the range is to try out the new brands. Sometimes they disappoint, e.g., Wiser put out a Family Reserve version a couple of years ago, at 43% abv, which is okay but in my view not that much different from its regular line (excepting the 18 years version mentioned). However, its new Red Letter is very full-flavored, you really do get something extra in this case.

    So, no really logical approaches to suggest other than trying the new brands as they come onstream, and of course the existing brands where not previously tasted, to see what you like and where you think an ideal price/value point is. By the way Gibson can be very good, of the recent new releases there is one finished in new oak and the other in a scotch cask that used to hold bourbon, I prefer the latter. (It has no age expression as I recall). Gibson also makes an older blend called Rare, which is somewhat similar to Wiser's Very Old.

    I think the Canadian segment finally is moving in a positive direction. The plethora of small batch and other new releases is only to the good. The next step in my view is to issue the flavoring whiskies uncut. This would be a nod both to history and palate. We have seen Lot 40, an interesting look at this portfolio, but it would be great to see many more released. I am referring to the ones made in-house in particular.

    Last edited by Gillman; 10-31-2007 at 18:57.



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