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Black Velvet Reserve 8 Year Old

Blue Velvet?

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@RantavahtiReview by @Rantavahti

20th Jan 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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There's something strange about Black Velvet Reserve 8 year old. It is like Blue Velvet by David Lynch: there's few good spots but mainly it's just annoying.

Aromas balance between good and bad. The taste is actually decent and the finish is just too grainy and blended.

This left me a bit confused, just like almost every Lynch movie. Which isn't always bad. Better to be confused than angry, right?

Nose: First, the stingy alcohol and rectified spirit effects. Then it gets lightly fruity with lemon being the main factor. Everything fades away very fast and ends up almost completely scentless.

Taste: Gives heat very much. Peppery but mellow.

Finish: very quick with wood and peppers. Gets watery and uncharacteristic almost right away.

Balance: Black Velvet 8 yrs is decent whisky when compared to other cheap blended ones. Made me feel happy, yet blue...

Related Black Velvet reviews


Victor commented

I've never sampled the Black Velvet 8 yo. The Black Velvet exported to the US has no age statement and by most reports is not as good by a large measure as is the 8 yo. Too bad really. I always liked both the name and the bottle designs of Black Velvet. Maybe in the great Canadian Whisky Renaissance to come there will be a wonderful revamp of this brand. Maybe. But I am not holding my breath.

8 years ago 0

Rantavahti commented

I got this as a Christmas present and it is a bit better than the regular one. As you mentioned the bottle is classy but after that it's mainly downhill. Looking forward on other Canadian brands though, Seagram's V.O was an okay blend but it would be nice to taste some Canadian single malts or bourbon as well.

Any suggestions?

8 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Rantavahti, Congratulations on such a nice review for a less than nice whisky.

Black Velvet is one of the inconveniences that must be endured when it comes to Canadian whisky - it is all about the bottom line. Without the cash flow that these mixing whiskies generate, we would not have the top shelf offerings.

I am a HUGE fan of Canadian whisky, as you can see by the 50+ expressions in my cabinet. There are many very good and some incredibly brilliant offerings produced in Canada. (Jim Murray is absolutely infatuated with Alberta Distillers 100% rye expressions.) There are not so many single malt and I am not aware of any 'bourbon' style expressions.

I could talk about and sip Canadian all day long!

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Rantavahti, there aren't many Canadian malt whiskies, yet, and most of them are from Glen Breton, which usually gets so-so reviews. For recommendations for Canadian whisky from me, take a look at my Eleven Canadian Whiskies For the Desert Island list. I like all of those 11 whiskies quite a lot. Bourbon is only made in the US, by law. And the Canadian blended whisky style is seldom very close to bourbon, mostly because American whiskey almost always uses new oak, and Canadian whisky uses new oak only occasionally.

Yes, I can attest that @paddockjudge can talk Canadian whisky with you for any length of time you wish to give to the conversation...

8 years ago 0

Rantavahti commented

@Victor Thanks for the correction, somehow I was under the impression that Masterson's made bourbon but silly me! Nice list, Masterson's Straight Rye, 10 YO has actually been on my wanted list quite a while.

@paddockjudge Thanks! Lord Calvert, Seagram's V.O., Balck Velvet and Glen Breton Ice 10 YO are the only Canadian whiskys available in Finnish liquor stores. Too bad that in Finland the whisky selection is very poor and expensive because of strict and high alcohol taxing and monopoly by Alko (local liquor store being held with a company controlled by the government).

That's why we Finns tend to shop our liquor from tax free ferries that sail from Finland to Sweden or Estonia.

Great cabinet by the way, you too Victor! When it comes to webshops, whiskysite.nl/overige-whiskylanden/… is my usual place. Feel free to give any tips about Canadian whisky from their selection.

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

A clarification. Bourbon is always made using new charred oak. There are a very few American whiskeys which age in used oak, but those whiskeys cannot legally be called "bourbon" or "rye". US whiskeys aged in used wood are just generically labeled "whiskey". An example is Early Times Whiskey, which is aged in part used oak and part new oak.

Sometimes you will see a brand labelled as Rye Whiskey which does not meet these criteria, such as High West 21 YO Rye, which is aged in used oak. Is this correct labeling? Not from my reading of the US Government's regulation. To the best of my knowledge that High West 21 YO Rye should be named High West 21 YO Whiskey, with a note somewhere on the label that it is distilled primarily from rye grain.

8 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Rantavahti - Pendleton's 12 would be an excellent choice. It is bottled in Oregon state by Hood River Distillers - I believe it to be 100% Canadian rye whisky. Pendleton 1910 (12 YO) is 100% rye aged in Canada and then bottled in Oregon; it takes its name from The Pendleton Roundup, which began in 1910.

Although I have never tasted Pndleton's 12 YO, I am confident in saying that it is from Alberta Distillers (Calgary, Alberta) world's largest distiller of rye whisky and an absolute favourite of J.M. Masterson's is 10 YO rye whisky from the same facility - the Masterson's is 45% abv. Pendleton's 12 YO should be a very good example of rye grain whisky.

8 years ago 0

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