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Black Velvet

Boring Old Black Velvet

5 1075

@talexanderReview by @talexander

17th May 2021


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a 1L bottle I picked up at auction some time ago - although I don't know when it was bottled, I'm going to hazard a guess that it's from the 1990s.

The colour is a light caramel. Some rye spice on the nose, with otherwise nondescript notes of toffee, vanilla and indistinct herbs. Pretty mild oak. Pencil shavings. Although a few drops of water gives it some maltiness and wood smoke, there's nothing special here except standard Canadian whisky.

Thin on the palate with butterscotch, vanilla extract and a hint of pepper. A bit of apple & cinnamon. A bit creamier and spicier with water. Not much else going on here.

The finish is medium length with cloves, toasted oak and caramel. All in all, this is pretty standard stuff; although I haven't tried the modern version, I'm willing to bet this is slightly better. Older bottlings of standard Crown Royal and Canadian Club can be quite stunning, but unfortunately this one doesn't greatly impress.

Related Black Velvet reviews


Nozinan commented

Someone had to.....

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

From the same distillery as Danfield's 21 YO....mind blowing!

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

Victor commented

Thanks very much for your review, Tom.

Oh yeah, your Canadian domestic Black Velvet from the 1990s is probably a lot better than the post 2000 stuff, not to mention the EXPORT Black Velvet. I've always loved the name Black Velvet, and liked the bottle appearance, but the export Black Velvet I've tasted in the US c. 2010-2012 DEFINED the negative stereotypes for Canadian whisky. Those are stereotypes which the creation of the year 2017 and onwards exponentially expanded top tier of Canadian whisky have largely laid to rest, at least for those relative few, worldwide, able to have the experience of the recently much expanded class of excellent quality Canadian whiskies. But you know what, @talexander, @paddockjudge and all of my many Canadian friends, for most people in this world top tier Canadian whisky is like Pappy Van Winkle. If they can't buy it or taste it at a reasonable price then it does not exist in their world. Thank you @paddockjudge and @Nozinan for seeing to it that I got bottles of whiskies which I would otherwise have been very unlikely to have had the opportunity to experience in depth. I just wish that everybody in the world who would like to, gets a chance to really get to know Alberta Premium 25 year old, Wiser's 35 year old, Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo, and William Larue Weller.

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@Victor Wait till you try some of the newer CS Canadian offerings @Victor... I really want to be there when you do...

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

Victor commented

@Nozinan I fully expect that you will be. What a nice time that will be.

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@Victor, You've had a powerful influence on my bourbon education. I have been able to buy many excellent and many popular bourbons, or at least I was able to do so. It is not so much the trend these days as the supply of top tier bourbon has all but dried up at the LCBO; the only game in town.

As the good bourbon dried up in Ontario, a wave of great Canadian whisky washed over our country, surpassing the top shelf releases we had been on the hunt for...yes, even in Canada one has to be on the lookout for these domestic gems. This helped to fill the gap left by the scarcity of great bourbon in our (government-run monopoly) jurisdiction. Excellent barrel picks from local start-ups, cask strength rye, corn, and blended whiskies from established producers helped to soothe the burn caused by the rapid decline of great, and not so great, bourbon north of the border. It's extra dry up here!

@Victor, It has been more than a decade since we became friends on Connosr and shortly thereafter, friends in person. During this time we have traded bottles, purchased bottles for each other, and have drunk from many, many, excellent bottles of fine spirits. I have before me a box of decanted samples. The box has a label, "BOURBON SPECTACULAR". IT IS INDEED SPECTACULAR. Vials of rare bourbon which you have so generously shared with me and many others. We will again gather with friends and family, and when we do a large cache of whiskies and fine spirits will be enjoyed. We will trade bottles, exchange purchases, and distribute a sample or two. We will catch up on small talk and make plans for future visits, all while trying to cram a couple of years into a couple of days.

Back to the boxed spectacle...

Here is a short list of some of the great bourbon you have shared with many friends over the years, and allowed me to enjoy in the comfort of my own home.

ABRAHAM BOWMAN 17 YO 73.75%....perhaps my favourite on any given day.

VAN WINKLE 10 YO 107pf



GEORGE T. STAGG 2011 71.3%

GEORGE T. STAGG 2012 71.4%

Thank you for your generosity!

I look forward to our next meeting; that will be a tough list to beat.

2 years ago 4Who liked this?

Victor commented

@paddockjudge you tempt me to tears.

Thank you for your warm testimonial.

Yes I think that we have a good bit of face to face tasting yet ahead of us. And you and I and many of our friends have large supplies of excellent spirits to enjoy.

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

JasonHambrey commented

@paddockjudge our 74.5% barrel pick from North of 7 didn't get an honourable mention in your list? @Victor you'll get a good taste of that (or two) at our next reunion, I'm sure.

@talexander I often get pencil shavings in old Canadian whisky. I've often wondered if it's related to bad bottle storage conditions (e.g. next to the furnace), since I've had CCs from the 70s that have been awesome beside CCs from the same year that tasted like ground pencil shavings substituted for coffee grinds for my morning brew....

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@JasonHambrey, you mention N of 7 barrel #16 and ask if it would be worthy of an honourable mention against BTAC releases and other top shelf notables? At the very least an honourable mention! Thank you for doing an excellent job bringing us to the (virtual) tasting table where we chose this special barrel from an offering of ten barrels... can’t wait to once again try the barrel of rye that we also selected. @Victor, barrel #16 is more than worthy of a mention. I’m looking forward to your reaction.

2 years ago 0

talexander commented

I just saw all these comments, as for some reason connosr is not sending me notifications - I'm glad a review of a mediocre whisky created such a "spirited" conversation!

about one year ago 0

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