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Adams Antique 8 Years Old

Two from Thomas Adams (Who??) - Part I of II

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

8th Nov 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Adams Antique
  • ABV: 40%

It's not every day I come across Canadian whiskies I've never heard of, so I plucked these two from an LCBO auction. Thomas Adams Distillers was founded in 1953 when Sam Bronfman acquired United Distillers and changed its name (apparently Thomas Adams was a distiller he knew). I'm guessing it was produced with Crown Royal in Waterloo, though the bottle states that the company is in both Toronto and Vancouver (no mention of Waterloo on the label). Despite this being a long forgotten brand, there is still a "Thomas Adams Distillery" listed as a business in downtown Toronto.

We're going to compare two bottles - one an 8 Year Old, and the other a 10 Year Old. First, the 8 Year Old, which has a 1969 tax stamp (so bottled around 1977):

The colour is a soft caramel. On the nose - well, lots of caramel for sure, plus cherry nibs, buttered croissant, light maple syrup, baked apples and a touch of cinnamon. A bit oakier with water. As you might guess, this is a little on the sweet side, and not terribly complex. I suspect this is all corn.

On the palate there is a bit more going on, with strong cinnamon notes, anise, pepper, vanilla extract and butterscotch. Arugula. Clove. Creamy mouthfeel. Hm, a bit of rye spice and more anise comes out with a drop of water. Still rather flat and overly sweet, despite the spicier notes.

The finish shows custard, oak and a bit of black pepper at the end. Well, it's not terrible but it comes off as much too smooth, sweet and buttery. Some might like this, or even call it luxurious but it's not quite for me. Let's see if the 10 Year Old is any different.

Note: the picture shows not only the 8 and 10, but also a Seagram's VO and a Schenley OFC (both 1974). I didn't bother reviewing them as I have done other bottlings of both in the past (and they didn't blow me away).


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