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Canadian Club Chairman's Select 100% Rye


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Was on Facebook and the CC page was advertising this. Stated on the page this rye is made from single rye grain is aged in new oak barrels; after reading this, had to grab a bottle. Went to lcbo here in Ontario and picked it up for $27. It is great. A bit mellow, spicy, but can really taste the toasted oak in the background. Much different than other Canadian 100% ryes like Lot 40 or Alberta Premium. Very impressed.

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Was on Facebook and the CC page was advertising this. Stated on the page this rye is made from single rye grain is aged in new oak barrels; after reading this, had to grab a bottle. Went to lcbo here in Ontario and picked it up for $27. It is great. A bit mellow, spicy, but can really taste the toasted oak in the background. Much different than other Canadian 100% ryes like Lot 40 or Alberta Premium. Very impressed.

I saw this as well and picked one up. It is very good, and a great value.

It seems clearly to be 100% flavouring rye (i.e., distilled at a low proof like American rye). There is a noticeable congeneric smell, yet it does seem different to Lot 40, younger and without any charred barrel effect. I wonder if it is the same spirit as Lot 40 but aged in different wood for a different period, hard to say.

I think the idea of new barrels is to give it a strong wood taste to stand-up to the rye congeners, at least at relatively young bottling ages, if so it works very well.

I still prefer rye mash aged 100% in new charred barrels, to me you get the best taste that way, so far no Canadian product has come out doing it this way as far as I know. Hard to say why, perhaps this style is considered the remit of U.S. distilling. (Perhaps though the NAFTA trade agreement has some effect here, I should take a look at it).

Anyway, hats off to CC, this is fine whiskey at a very fair price point.

Gary

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I saw this as well and picked one up. It is very good, and a great value.

It seems clearly to be 100% flavouring rye

Had a bottle in my hand an hour ago but put it back on the shelf. My fear was this was just another blend of "flavouring whisky" and so-called GNS style whisky. If indeed it tastes like all flavouring whisky I will pick one up despite it being the bare minimum 80 proof, chill filtered, and likely with colour added.

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Good assessment Gary, this ones on my list. As to new vs used barrel stylistic differences there's a practical component as well, at least for other CC brands, which is parent company Beam has alot of used barrels at their disposal.

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Thanks and thought I'd give it a further, more detailed look.

Nose: Definite spice and chemical notes, very similar to any young rye spirit in this respect in the States (Lot 40 is not dissimilar). No char or smokey notes.

Taste: Sweet with pleasant woody notes balanced by spice, waxy notes, pine sol. It doesn't taste as if any sugar of some kind is added but possibly a little is, hard to say. Very good mouthfeel.

Finish: The rye congeners and wood gums again with some tingly notes from the alcohol and tannins.

It is a gentle spirit but very flavourful, brandy-like, like a good-value Cognac except with rye whiskey.

It doesn't really remind me of CC which has a typical "cigar box" signature. It is more like Lot 40 but a little sweeter I'd say and probably younger, perhaps just 4 years old or so.

A really good product and I don't get any grain alcohol in it, I don't think it is blended with high proof spirit. The Facebook site doesn't give distillation details and says only it is 100% rye spirit. Since CC's flavouring whiskey is all-rye IIRC, I'd think this is that white dog except put in new toasted barrels and not mixed with the base whisky distilled out at a high proof. I could be wrong but it doesn't have that "doctor's office" taste most Canuck blends have.

Gary

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WhiskyToWhiskey

A really good product and I don't get any grain alcohol in it, I don't think it is blended with high proof spirit. The Facebook site doesn't give distillation details and says only it is 100% rye spirit. Since CC's flavouring whiskey is all-rye IIRC, I'd think this is that white dog except put in new toasted barrels and not mixed with the base whisky distilled out at a high proof. I could be wrong but it doesn't have that "doctor's office" taste most Canuck blends have.

Gary

Yes. I noticed the facebook page the admin incharge of the page is commenting that they do use new oak and could call it "straight rye" if they wanted to but choose not to. I enjoy it, but my only complaint it that it is too mellow. I think bumping up the proof to 45-50% would make this much better and worth a slightly higher pricepoint.

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I did see that comment about straight whisky but found it confusing. I'd guess the new oak used is toasted, not charred, but maybe I'm wrong.

Gary

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Nothing official, but for what it's worth, I did see a comment on twitter (Oct 2) by the guru of Canadian Whisky marketing (Davin de Kergommeaux) that it is "7 years plus in virgin oak barrels)

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Well, Davin would know. Virgin suggests to me toasted oak not charred (I doubt they would use completely untoasted wood). Anyway it's very good and 80 proof, while the minimum, suits it IMO.

Gary

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WhiskyToWhiskey
Well, Davin would know. Virgin suggests to me toasted oak not charred (I doubt they would use completely untoasted wood). Anyway it's very good and 80 proof, while the minimum, suits it IMO.

Gary

Maybe I have been thinking about "virgin oak" wrong. On the Masters of Malt page they give this definition;

  • Virgin Oak Oak which has not yet been used for the maturation of an alcoholic beverage is termed Virgin Oak. Virgin Oak imparts a great deal of character to a whisk(e)y. This is rare in Scotch Whisky production, for the spirit becomes quickly overpowered by the character of the oak, though some industries, notably Bourbon, solely use Virgin Oak.

With that definition, and being used in bourbon, suggests charred. Hmmmm

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I believe Virgin Oak simply means it hasn't been used to age whisky yet (what we would call a new barrel) and the interior may be toasted, charred or in between. Curiously, the Scottish term for our used Bourbon barrels is "first fill" because they reuse them more than once. Don't Canadian practices and terms generally follow the Scots?

Edited by squire
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Well, usage varies even here I think, but the whiskey just doesn't taste to me as if aged in a new charred barrel, e.g., there isn't even a light smoky note in the empty glass (that I could detect) as you normally get with such whiskey. But I could be wrong..

Gary

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Gary I follow your reasoning and that makes sense. A little more detail from them would be helpful but I suspect the information posted on facebook is intended for a more general interest audience than the one found here.

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Harry in WashDC

Been following this a little. Initially, I took "virgin barrel" to mean "new oak barrel, charred" like we think of for bourbon. After cogitating over the tasting notes of Gary and Portwood, I'm now wondering if they mean "new, uncharred, untoasted barrels" unaltered by humans. Whatever, my interest, too, is piqued.

Edit - Hhhhm. Maybe that was they're intention - to be mysterious so our interests would be piqued.

Edited by Harry in WashDC
another thought
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Been following this a little. Initially, I took "virgin barrel" to mean "new oak barrel, charred" like we think of for bourbon. After cogitating over the tasting notes of Gary and Portwood, I'm now wondering if they mean "new, uncharred, untoasted barrels" unaltered by humans. Whatever, my interest, too, is piqued.

Edit - Hhhhm. Maybe that was they're intention - to be mysterious so our interests would be piqued.

Could all be so, hard to say, I'd think though the new oak cask must be toasted, they wouldn't use (I believe) raw oak to hold the spirit. And toasting and charring are two different things. Having one now, very nice grainy tastes, the rye of course, it would be good to try at a higher proof yet at 40% ABV the drinking balance is nigh perfect. Will look forward to your comments, Squire's, and any further from Portwood. They got this one right though.

Gary

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John Hall over at Forty Creek has stated he ages single grain rye whisky in a lightly toasted barrel "to enhance the fruitiness and spiciness" of the rye, as a heavier toast or char gives more wood influence than he wants for rye.

Just remembered that.

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John Hall over at Forty Creek has stated he ages single grain rye whisky in a lightly toasted barrel "to enhance the fruitiness and spiciness" of the rye, as a heavier toast or char gives more wood influence than he wants for rye.

Just remembered that.

Might well be the same logic. The balance here between spirit and wood was done with nicety.

Gary

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Is this available anywhere South of the border?

No.

More details posted on whisky advocate:

http://whiskyadvocate.com/whisky/2014/10/06/canadian-club-releases-an-all-rye-grain-whisky/

Key passage for me: distilled and aged for 7 years at Alberta Distillers, Beam Suntory’s western Canadian distillery in Calgary and then shipped east to Walkerville, Ontario, for bottling at 40% abv.

Unless I'm missing something (perhaps the difference being the new oak as opposed to more traditional ex-bourbon barrels) this is essentially Alberta Premium in a much nicer bottle.

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We don't get Alberta Premium either. Oh well, Beam may ship you 70,000 cases of the new CC rye but they send me Old Grand Dad BIB so there is balance in the Universe.

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WhiskyToWhiskey
No.

More details posted on whisky advocate:

http://whiskyadvocate.com/whisky/2014/10/06/canadian-club-releases-an-all-rye-grain-whisky/

Key passage for me: distilled and aged for 7 years at Alberta Distillers, Beam Suntory’s western Canadian distillery in Calgary and then shipped east to Walkerville, Ontario, for bottling at 40% abv.

Unless I'm missing something (perhaps the difference being the new oak as opposed to more traditional ex-bourbon barrels) this is essentially Alberta Premium in a much nicer bottle.

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Well, that's interesting, it's Alberta Distillers' make apparently, not Windsor make. I must say I wondered when I looked at the label because it says "our master distillers bring you..." and that it is "distilled in Canada" (not Ontario or Windsor), so I thought it might be sourced from somewhere else in the Beam Suntory group. I was mindful too that Windsor apparently blends the flavouring whiskey it makes for CC at birth, so why would it have laid away such whisky unblended years ago for aging? But no matter, I don't care where they got it, it is still great Canadian flavouring whiskey. And quite different to the WhistlePig line and that group, probably due to use of virgin barrels not charred new wood as I apprehend it. It's all good. (And yes there is no resemblance to Alberta Premium).

Gary

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WhiskyToWhiskey

Well...I asked CC on what exact barrel were used. The response;

CC 100% Rye is produced in heavily charred new American white oak barrels. Any other questions, please let us know!

Cheers!

The CC Team

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Well that's a thought I hadn't thunk. Wonder what level of char they consider heavy. May I have the CC Team email?

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WhiskyToWhiskey
Well that's a thought I hadn't thunk. Wonder what level of char they consider heavy. May I have the CC Team email?
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