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Canadian Club 20 Year Old

Older doesn't mean better

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@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

3rd Dec 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

According to Canadian Whisky guru (see note) Davin de Kergommeaux, "This is exactly the same whisky as the 6-year-old mixer, but it has simply been left in the barrel for an additional 14 years." While Davin is mad for this whisky, my own experience was a bit more lukewarm. Perhaps my palate isn't as refined as Davin's, but I'll state, for the record, that this tasting was done from a single 40 ml sample in a single sitting. This whisky was donated by a friend, and I have no idea when the bottle was opened, nor when the sample was poured.

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): brown sugar, musty wood (but in a pleasant way), rum raisin ice cream (seriously), caramel corn, orange zest, a bit of menthol
  • Palate (undiluted): gentle arrival, brown sugar, toffee, orange zest
  • Finish: medium length, caramel corn, orange zest, drying wood tannins, and a slight note of Angostura bitters.

With water, a flat cola note appears on the nose and palate and the whole thing seems to get a bit sweeter. There are some blackberry notes on the finish as well. This is bottled at 40% abv and really doesn't need water. This is very similar to the Canadian Club 12 Year Old. In fact, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell them apart in a blind tasting. The nose of the CC 20 Year Old is a bit deeper and richer, but not significantly different than the 12 year. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think this is worth the extra twenty bucks.

Note: I don't use the term "Canadian whisky guru" pejoratively; I've spoken to Davin through Facebook messenger several times; the man is very knowledgeable and friendly. He is a true gentleman.

Related Canadian Club reviews


paddockjudge commented

Batch variation on this one is wild...borders on dissociative identity disorder. When it is good, it is very good, and when it is not it is ....well, something else.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@paddockjudge Yeah, I think this one retails for the same price as Highwood's 20 Year Old did when it was available. I would take Highwood Ninety 100% of the time over this one. The CC 20 wasn't bad; I don't mind the slight bitterness in Canadian Club, but the 12 year old is half the price and has an incredibly similar profile.

4 years ago 0

casualtorture commented

Pejoratively, good word. I have expanded my vocabulary reading your review.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

RikS commented

Are you implicitly saying that the common reaction to “Canadian whisky guru” would be that it is an oxymoron? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

4 years ago 0

OdysseusUnbound commented

@casualtorture I’m glad the circumlocutory nature of my reviews helped. I hope you don’t think me a sesquipedalian.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

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