I've been meaning to review this for quite a while but since I have a quiet Thanksgiving today, it's a good time to do it. This is the second issue of the Chronicles series (the first was last year's 41-year-old release). It has a very small portion of young rye whisky and brandy, in line with Canadian whisky regulations such that it can still be called a 42-year-old whisky.
The colour is a medium-to-light amber - very light for a 42-year-old. On the nose we're hit with ripe bananas, tropical fruits (papaya, melon), lots of light caramel, vanilla custard and white pepper. Green apple. Just enough oak. You can tell there is some younger rye here from the spice, and it provides excellent balance. A bit of lemon with water, but it dilutes the other notes so don't bother. Very elegant.
The palate is also quite fruity with apricot, more banana and tangerine - some citrus too. Butterscotch. Hint of vanilla bean. Some cayenne and paprika. Mouthwatering. Water helps bring the various notes together, but since it dilutes the nose, it's not worth bothering with. Once again the oak is in perfect balance with the spice and fruit.
The long finish is spicy (not hot, but rich) with more oak, cloves and dark raisin. There are many who say you can age a whisky too long because of the oak influence, but when the cask selection is done right (and I suppose Canadian regulations help here as well) you can achieve something quite stunning. Side-by-side with the last of my bottle of 41-year-old, it is quite a different beast: The 41 is richer and bolder, the 42 more elegant and fruit-forward. I will say that it doesn't quite hit the heights of the 41 for me personally, but really that comparison is meaningless. The 42 is a gorgeous work of art.