Every few months, the LCBO holds an online spirits auction (they also do a separate online wine auction simultaneously) through Waddington's. While prices often go through the roof for desirable bottles, I am often fortunate that I can buy older bottlings of Canadian whisky for pretty low prices (often, I'm the only bidder). So on this quiet Sunday afternoon, I'm going to play catch up on a few old Canadian Club bottlings I've purchased, and compare them today's standard Canadian Club Premium.
First up is a bottle distilled in 1985. According to the Waddington's website, this is 15 years old, but I don't know where they got that information (it's not mentioned on the label). The label also looks much older than a 2000 printing (it's the bottle on the right in the picture). But anyway, let's see how it tastes.
The colour is a pale gold. Buttery on the nose, with light caramel, vanilla custard, a hint of caraway and a dusting of cocoa. Golden Delicious skins. Bartlett pear. Freshly sawn lumber. And is that cotton balls? With water we get sawdust and a hint of wood smoke. This is very luxurious, rounded around the edges and with a lot of depth.
Silky on the palate with buttered corn-on-the-cob, Mackintosh toffee, creme caramel and toasted oak. Peppery spice. Clotted cream. Stewed apple. Hint of maple. Slightly tannic. Maltier with water. Like the nose, this is rather decadent while remaining light and creamy.
The finish is fairly spicy with bovril, caramel and pine. This is very different from today's CC; the 1985 is silkier and creamier, where as today's bottling shows more oak (and seems younger to me). Regardless, I find it hard to believe that this older bottling is fifteen years old, though it is in a different class altogether than today's CC.