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Canadian Club Barley Batch Limited Edition

Barely Batch

6 3171

@talexanderReview by @talexander

1st Mar 2019

0

  • Nose
    18
  • Taste
    16
  • Finish
    19
  • Balance
    18
  • Overall
    71

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Canadian Club Barley Batch Limited Edition celebrates their 160th anniversary with a blend of barley-based whisky with regular Canadian Club. The bottle has been open roughly four months.

The colour is a medium-to-light amber. Slightly astringent on the nose, with young malt, violets, butterscotch and vanilla pods. Plums. Caramel popcorn. Mint and sage. A drop of water adds some honey, and makes it even maltier. A bit too floral, which overwhelms the fruit and bourbon-y notes.

On the palate it still comes across as very young, with light butterscotch and vanilla notes. Pretty thin mouthfeel. Cinnamon. Furniture polish. A bit soapy. Very young tasting. Thinner with water. A letdown.

The finish is toasted oak, humidor and light spice. Side-by-side, this tastes nothing like standard Canadian Club: it's much lighter in colour and tastes much younger. In fact, this comes across like a young single malt from a Canadian micro-distiller, perhaps Kinsip or Shelter Point. Just not to my taste.

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31 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, thank you for your review. Sounds like it is a good thing that this Edition is limited. Soapy?....oooohhh, the kiss of death. Thin too, and 'young'.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

Astroke commented

I actually considered this months ago but not many positive reviews. After my recent purchases of mediocre Whisky, I am not sure I could handle another. Now I can safely cross this off my list. Thanks for the review.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

But was it smoooooooth?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, free booze and a pay cheque, I'll give that a 90...every time

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge Would you?

To be fair, Beppi has never given a 90 to Lambertus.

I know you are probably the only person to have 2 pours of it in one sitting and live to tell the tale, but I trust your integrity and I’m sure that you wouldn’t give it a 90 under any circumstances (except maybe at gun point).

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound No - the youthful astringency worked against the smooooth. Pam didn't like it either, her notes were pretty much the same.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@Nozinan @paddockjudge I've noticed this a lot in the whisky world (especially when people talk about Jim Murray), that when someone disagrees with them on a whisky, they jump to a conclusion that there is a lack of integrity in the writer ("Oh, Diageo must have paid Murray a lot for him to give Norther Harvest Rye Whisky of the Year" - I've heard that a million times). There's no evidence to suggest Beppi doesn't think this deserves a 90; I'm not going to assume he just made it up for no reason. But I agree with @Nozinan that he doesn't seem to have much of a palate for whisky. Not because of his scores (it's all subjective), but his notes seem to be simplistic. One thing I do like about his column is that he at least highlights new releases so people know what's coming out (it's not as if the LCBO has a "New This Week" bulletin).

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Agreed. I found his reviews very helpful when I followed wine about 10 years ago. I didn't always like what he did, but based on his descriptions I had a good idea if I would like something and who in my family would enjoy a particular bottle. With whiskies I think I was lucky that the ones I went for (PEAT, The Laddie Classic, Springbank 12 CS and Claret wood) were good. He also brought my attention first to Octomore. I didn't get it in Ontario but when I saw it in Calgary... the rest is history.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I agree in part with what you say about integrity. We as consumers do not have access to the same sample used by a critic or reviewer; therefore, our reviews may differ regardless of preferences and abilities. I don't see many published reviews with scores below 80 and only a few with scores below 85. Some reviewers escape this awkward high wire balancing act by using a five-star or five-barrel system of grading, and as a result, we see two-and-a-half barrels or three stars occasionally....after all, who wants to by a whisky rated 76...and which producer will send samples to reviewers who award scores of 76/100?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, I doubt that Bepi has tried Lambertus, let alone reviewed it. Did @Jason Hambrey have a second helping? He has stopped giving numerical values to his reviews and instead is using a recommendation system as part of his evaluation. This forces the inquiring mind to actually read the review and not simply scan for a score...brilliant!

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@paddockjudge After my own lukewarm review of Signal Hill, I doubt I’ll be on the receiving end of any more free samples. Oh well....That said, I’m not in the “Jim Murray is a bought shill!” camp. We all have different palates, so it’s not surprising that we rate whiskies differently. I like reading @ScotchNoob’s reviews, but I rarely agree with his ratings, and even his notes are often noticeably different than mine.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@paddockjudge Yup, I am not a fan of the Scotchnoob for the very same reasons. I have taken him on in the past for generalizing Canadian Whisky based on a bottom shelf sample.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@paddockjudge Well, producers should send samples to reviewers no matter what score they tend to give that producer. In the film industry, reviewers are invited to press screenings and receive screeners no matter how good (or bad) they've given that studio reviews. Why shouldn't it be same in the drinks industry? In addition, reviewers would start to give good reviews to producers just so they can keep getting samples (even if they don't actually like the samples, they might gift them, mix or use them in cocktails, etc). If producers continued sending reviewers samples no matter what reviews they were getting, the more honest and transparent reviewers would tend to be.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, An AMEN from the choir! Honesty and transparency in whisky reviews would definitely be welcomed by me.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@talexander Are the producers more interested in positive reviews or honest reviews?

4 months ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@talexander - I don't know about the film bit . . . ask Brie Larson laughing

@paddockjudge @Nozinan - It would be great if all reviews were honest and independent but it seems that this is the way of the world at the moment: I'm seeing it in the press, film reviews (as above), gaming (which apparently is terrible for it) and so on and so on. Money talks, as they say, and everyone seems to have an agenda to push.

Whisky is possibly one of the lesser offenders for 'bent' reviews and I think it's fairly easy to spot the worst from the genuine. I know Ralfy has his detractors but his integrity as a reviewer is highly commendable.

I've asked myself the question - if i were sent samples from a distillery would it influence my rating? I'm pretty sure it would - that's why I think the only 'safe' way round this is to flat out refuse and only review what one buys. Easier said than done though I'd imagine . . .

4 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@RianC @paddockjudge @Nozinan No, film reviews don't tend to be influenced by studios (the Brie Larson example doesn't fit as those are just misogynist internet trolls)

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@RianC I wouldn't go quite so far - I agree that reviewing samples from industry does raise the issue of bias, and given "freedom of speech" I would simply ask people who review such samples to disclose.

Any samples provided by friends are fair game as far as I'm concerned, and I have no concerns about bias.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I'm with @RianC. In my experience, it takes some deliberate effort to state an honest negative opinion of something that's been given to you. I've never gotten "industry samples," but I've traded samples with friends, and before I share my opinions, I've always had a flash moment of reminding myself that we're all big boys, and that so-and-so won't be offended if I hate his Dalmore Cigar Malt or whatever. Humans being human, I don't trust reviewers to always overcome that hurdle.

Unfortunately, my friends never give me samples of Canadian whisky. If they did, it would save so much time—I could just shit on them without even tasting them. 'Cause that's how I rigma-roll, obviously.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@dloewen
dloewen commented

@MadSingleMalt ...heh, I guess I haven't been around here long enough to hear how much you hate Canadian whisky!?! laughing

@talexander This review was bang on! I tried this about a week ago from a friend's bottle and was disappointed. I can't believe CC had the gall to charge $50 for this! Prior to my tasting, I had toyed with buying a bottle many times, but was suspicious of it's contents. Thank you for your objectivity!

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

@talexander I wrote in my review (initially blind) that this tasted like a young craft-distilled single malt. I read your review since and was pleased to know I wasn't the only one! It is very, very fruity and quite a bit different than most CCs (although the alberta-distilled 100% rye is very fruity, too).

I get samples, and it doesn't influence my ratings. It's enough work to write about whisky for distilleries that it doesn't make me feel like I owe anyone anything. However, I've shifted away from numerical scores as they are too deceptive - in all the tastings I've done, people have such different palates and preferences (even though usually we can agree on most of the top 10%). I still rate for myself, though. I don't post about whiskies I don't like, or I don't recommend them - I try to help others understand whisky, not just stock their cabinets with the best stuff. I often go for uniqueness over "90+" which is pretty meaningless these days. It's hard to write/rate for such a broad audience, some of whom will vouch highly for whisky I wouldn't ever buy.

3 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@JasonHambrey Curious to know, why not post about whiskies you don't like? I would think that if you only gave "good" reviews, your readership might think you just like everything you taste.

3 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I’ve posted lukewarm reviews about whiskies sent to me free of charge. Of course, since then no company has sent me anything, but that’s probably because I don’t have the huge following of a ScotchNoob or a Josh Peters (Whisky Jug). And that’s fine. I was a bit nervous about posting a “so-so” review of a free whisky, but honesty is more important than anything else.

I’m any case, taste is so subjective that the best we can do is find someone whose tastes correspond somewhat closely to our own and value their opinion more than others before purchasing.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@dloewen
dloewen commented

@JasonHambrey @talexander @OdysseusUnbound From a personal standpoint as someone who reads whisky reviews for entertainment or sometimes as a purchase motivator, and occasionally writing them as a creative outlet or just for fun...I gotta ask, what is the big deal with getting free samples? I get that it probably bolsters ones self-esteem, and it's nice to think you've made it to a point where someone wants their product in your hands. But I would think rule number one (for someone who writes as a career) is to gain a readership...the larger the better, right? More readers, more website hits, means more revenue from advertising opportunities...and a well written negative review can actually be much more entertaining to read than obsessively positive ones! One of the best blogs I've ever read is The Boosh, case in point. (It's a damn shame he hasn't written anything for quite some time now!) And for the record, I frequently reference the "In Search of Elegance" and "Whisky Joe" pages as well as @talexander here on Connosr far more often than I visit Davin's page...speaking of obsessively positive!

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

@talexander - thanks for asking about withholding negative reviews. I should perhaps have been a bit more precise. I've only withheld a few of my reviews, and each time it was because the whisky was bad - but was a young product that wasn't ready. One of my worst reviews ever was a Pemberton 3 year old ex-bourbon single malt (which I posted), and, to my utter shock - 5 years later, the 8 year old is quite decent! It's still young, but it's now a whisky I'd recommend. So, in the case of micro-distilleries in need of cash flow that show promise, I'm not eager to be the one to get folks off their products until the product has had time to mature. Most micro-distilleries are jumping over barrels, with the initial releases younger than the intended staple releases. Further, those distilleries usually offer free tastings so I figure people can decide for themselves. I've never withheld a review for a big producer or a sample that was sent for review.

I also now give stats on my rating percentiles, which is rather telling - I think it's something I wish more reviewers would do. What is a "90" if you rate >50% of whiskies better than 90? In doing so, I realize I'm still positive (more than I thought I was). It turns out I rate almost 22% of whiskies 90 or above. Granted, I tend to drink and review things I enjoy.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

Also, quite interestingly - most samples these days go to "influencers" who may or may not care about whisky at all, or know anything about it. Instagram moments are very motivating. Whisky, particularly for the big producers, is a business run by marketers.

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@JasonHambrey I had noticed the paucity of scores when I visited your site this week after a long absence (no offence, I have no excuse, I apologize). it was disorienting but I like your reasoning.

@dloewen The issue with accepting samples is no different than the issue of big pharma providing perks to doctors. Individual doctors would insist their clinical judgement was unimpaired but there is evidence that freebies influenced prescribing. Now no industry funding (even "unrestricted grants) can be used in medical education. Do I miss it? Not really. As a resident I remember we had Journal clubs with dinners at restaurants (I remember we were joined by one of 2 drug reps each time but never together because although they were living together they worked for rival companies) and occasional noontime rounds with lunch (no mention of specific drugs). When I became staff I just took my team out for dinners (on my dime) or lunch and the noon rounds (with food) were paid for by our department.

Similarly, there is evidence that free samples of whisky from industry can influence behaviour. Simply the fact that a couple of poor scores dries up the supply is evidence.

For people who use reviews to help decide what to buy, it is important to know if there is industry influence. Sample swaps are fine. I get lots of samples and when I review them I indicate who gave them to me, and I don't worry too much if my friends will stop sharing because they don't really have skin in the game.

I have received 2 industry gifts since starting my whisky journey. The first was a sample of the original release of Amrut Greedy Angels. I have always meant to review it but have never got around to it. Given its rarity I think it should be reviewed but to be honest it's not my favourite expression to date (still good though - my first ever grapefruit pith experience). The other was Aultmore 12, a full size bottle as part of a loot bag after the "_Last Great Malts of Scotland" (ticket courtesy @JasonHambrey). Not only did I not review it I had tasted it at the event and I happily gave the bottle away to a friend and mentor. I did review the Dewar's 12 ( a quick intra-event post I believe) but I'm not sure Bacardi would have been happy.

When I ran for parliament I was approached by a community "leader" who wanted to know if I would be interested in donations from some Industry leaders. The catch? If I were elected, they would want some "considerations" - essentially "cash for access". My reply was "If they want to support me because they believe in my party, I will accept donations. If they want to support me for future considerations, they should keep their money". In hindsight, we didn't have a big enough campaign to spend it anyway, so had I said yes I would have sold my soul for nothing.

I have no problem with people getting samples (I would be happy to get samples of something I can't afford!) and reviewing them here, and saying they were samples. But I do worry about less experienced people getting influenced by reviews.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

Yeah, free samples are an interesting topic. They are a lot of work, and in Canada they are mostly tiny (30 ml) - between email & admin, making connections, chatting with the folks, and reviewing, it's probably 3 hours of my time per sample and most samples I get are not expensive and amazing whiskies. Most, if not all, of the highest rated stuff I have on my site (or have reviewed on connosr) came from my own pocket. I don't feel like I am indebted or that it affects my reviews - it is, frankly, a lot of work to review and the motivation is extrinsic. But, even so, I think most of my reviews are from bottles I buy. The thing I do really like about samples isn't the samples but that it gives me an excuse to chat with more people in the industry, which is quite interesting and there are some great stories (did you know that Newfoundland distillery started a pilot project with the dept of agriculture to grow barley for the first time on the island - and it's been a success?).

If it means there are more reviews of the current whisky scene on the internet, I'm happy with them getting sent to serious reviewers who do more than post company tasting notes. It's a bit of a mystery to me, though, sometimes.

In the USA, there is a lot more "sample money" around.

Also, @Nozinan - I'd never heard of the word "paucity" before (maybe I don't read enough?). Great word.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@JasonHambrey Yeah, the whisky I reviewed, ahem “lukewarmly” was from a full bottle the company sent me....in a nice case with a personalized note. The other samples I’ve been sent have been 50ml. I’m not running after companies for free samples. If they get in touch with me (which has been the case so far in my limited experience) then great, but my silly little blog is not a source of income. It was mostly born out of my desire to write again.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

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