Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Canadian Club Chairman's Select 100% Rye

Battle of the Ryes: US vs. Canada 2

1 1589

@talexanderReview by @talexander

16th Dec 2014

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    89

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The Canuck rye going head-to-head with Bulleit is the new Canadian Club. It is called "Chairman's Select" but I have no idea who this mystery Chairman is, nor if he is qualified to select anything. Unlike other CCs, which are distilled in Windsor, this one is sourced from Alberta Distillers. This is only available in Canada.

The colour is a deep reddish gold. On the nose, lots of caramel with some vanilla in the background. The spices are also softer and more subtle. The fruits are darker - plum, date - and it is not as floral as other high ryes. Much more Canadian influence owing to the casks likely being a mix of refill, and probably some ex-sherry as well. Soft and velvety, but a little spicier with water. Very pleasant and satisfying.

On the palate we have more spice but again they are softer, blanketed by the caramel. Mouth drying with the oak. Pencil shavings. Oiled leather. More plums, with overripe peaches and black cherries; even fruitier with water. Delicious.

The finish is quiet, drying to a wet slate, grapefruit pithiness. Of course, this is completely different from the Bulleit rye - there is no comparison. I find the Bulleit more complex, with more layers of fruit and spice. The CC is classically Canadian in its delivery, but is still very good (in some ways, more drinkable than the Bulleit). This was recently awarded Canadian Whisky of the Year by Whisky Advocate magazine, and I can see why. It's beautifully done, and I hope remains a permanent part of the CC stable. While Bulleit wins the battle, there really are no losers here.

Related Canadian Club reviews

15 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander, thanks for a very informative review.

I still haven't yet had a taste of CC Chairman's Select 100% Rye. Sounds very nice, though 'grapefruit pithiness' always scares me. To which of the various ADL ryes would you say this is the closest in flavour style and character?

Also, perhaps you or @paddockjudge knows whether or not some of the rye is malted here. Probably so, I should think. If not, then they'd have to use commercial enzymes.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I believe Canadian rye tends to be malted. @paddockjudge might know better than I do, though. That might explain the difference of character to American rye (although that's probably more attributable to the barrels used - but what do I know).

I would put the flavour profile somewhere between Alberta Premium and Alberta Springs 10 Year Old, if that makes any sense. But it does have a "Canadian Club" character in the caramel, so perhaps used CC barrels were utilized. It is very nice, but still not nearly as punchy as the best US ryes!

BTW I won the opportunity to buy the 2014 Stagg - it's ready for pickup at my local LCBO! I'll grab it tomorrow...

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Interesting. I asked @paddockjudge awhile back to try vattings in various ratios of Alberta Premium and Alberta Springs. I wanted something drier than AP, but sweeter than AS. He did, and the results seem arguably superior to either whisky alone. I will have to spend more time with them to decide which of the ratios I like best (2:1, 1:1, or 1:2). I bought my first bottle of Alberta Springs strictly for these vatting purposes.

God, I hope that that CC Rye doesn't have caramel ADDITIVE.

Great to hear that you got a 2014 George T. Stagg! I know how you do love it, as do I.

Mary Anne was able to turn up a 2014 Stagg this year and let me buy it from her...but I've promised that bottle to @smokeybarrels. I had planned to one day bring him a bottle of the 2012 release, but you can't legally bring liquor onto an airplane over 70% abv. Unsafe.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Hm I didn't realize you couldn't bring 70% alcohol on a plane...

Re: caramel - it will have colouring but not caramel FLAVOUR added (save that for the Wiser's Torched Toffee! Horrors!). Up here, they're all caramel coloured.

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

Very nice comparison @talexander. I think you'll like this one @Victor. CC 100% Rye is to the best of my knowledge produced with Alberta Distillers Ltd's proprietary enzymes.

Brown-Forman had a 'new cask and aged cask rye' offering as part of their Master's Collection. Chris Morris, master distiller at B-F stated they would never make rye whiskey again - a sticky residue coated their works as a result of the rye distillate production, Apparently this is a bigger problem with malted rye than with the use of enzymes.

ADL is the king of rye grain distillation - the largest consumer of rye grain on the planet. Although they may not be the best marketers of this delicious spirit, they are the #1 source for Independent Bottlers who then spin it off as some stylish boutique offering to the rye-hungry hoards; WhistlePig and Masterson's immediately come to mind.

New oak, heavy char and a generous portion of pot still flavouring whisky are not the only factors making this new expression an instant hit. Beam Suntory assembled a cross-functional team of specialists with expertise in key areas. Kentucky provided guidance in wood management, Alberta produced some primo juice, and Ontario dressed-up and distributed this darling to the market - projected to be 70,000 cases per annum.

Upon my first taste of this incredibly delicious whisky I immediately penned my prognostication at Whisky Advocate to declare this beauty as a clear winner in multiple categoties..."winner, winner at the whisky dinner".

Great Whisky. Great Value. Game changer. This one is a very easy sipper...if only it were available at a higher proof; Oh Canada!

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Might have to source a bottle of this stuff to help acclimatize my palate to rye. My non-drinking friend won the right to a bottle of the Thomas Handy Rye which I am happy to take off his hands.

A little jealous of @talexander:

STAGG was THE PRIZE

Always happy to trade.........

4 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

How would you compare the CCCS to Lot 40 (my most consistent reference point for good Canadian rye)? Thank you!

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Pudge72, I think the CC rye is more rye-forward - which is not to imply that I prefer it to the Lot 40. I'd have to try them side-by-side but I think Lot 40 has more complexity. I'll have to do a comparison...

@Nozinan, we are long overdue for a tasting, I'll be happy to provide a sample of the CC rye.

4 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

thanks for the feedback!

4 years ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I wonder what’s changed in the last 4 years... The rye you describe sounds delightful, while the one I just reviewed has none of those fruity notes you describe. Maybe this one became a victim of its own success.

about one year ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound I firmly believed that it has changed - subsequent bottles that I've purchased have been lesser quality than when this expression was first released...

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I concur, it has changed. The early batch(es) released upon the launch was nothing short of stunning. It was rumoured to be aged seven years in heavy char new oak. I doubt that subsequent batches received the same treatment. I have one or two bottles in the bunker from the launch era. I see a h2h in our future.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I don't know, maybe I should get you to try from my bottle. Maybe I should try it with you. Rye always seems to taste better when you're around... except Lot 40 CS - that's always great.

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, I would welcome a tasting of CC 100% Rye with you (and a posse of Connosr Rye Hounds led by sheriff @talexander)...somehow we get bogged down in cask strength, single cask, and limited releases all too often. We should definitely have a bottom shelf session....spitting strongly supported....

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in