And here we have it, folks - the oldest Canadian whisky ever bottled, from casks discovered in a forgotten corner of the warehouse, filled with 100% corn whisky and bottled in a beautiful etched decanter.
The colour is a pale, light caramel - the lightest 40 year old whisky you've ever seen. On the nose there is malt (though there is no barley in this), black liquorice, Juicy Fruit, wood smoke and balsamic. The serious oak doesn't match with the light colour, yet there we have it. With time in the glass, the black liquorice turns to red. Herbaceous with mint and fennel. Meatier with water. An absolutely extraordinary nose.
On the palate it's mouth-drying oak all the way, with red apple skins, mincemeat, lemon pith, strawberries and a hint of honey. Leather. Light tobacco. The oak is extraordinary - never overpowering but omnipresent, with all the other notes lying just behind it. Minty and very tart with water. A touch too bitter but an incredible experience nonetheless.
The long finish features mild spices with more oak, light soy sauce and dates. I have what is a relatively lacklustre CC 20 to compare with side-by-side: the 20 is much darker, with a tight, bitter nose and a hotter but fruitier palate. Although there is no comparison, the DNA is unmistakably there. With these two rich, fruity, mouth-filling whiskies, I think it's cigar time.