Canadian Club has released 6 40+ year old whiskies, based on a 1977 distillate, in the last 6 years, one each year. The whiskies have all been outstanding, if you like the character of lighter, well-aged corn whiskies (in my view the Canadian ones are similar, but richer and often less cask-driven than the Scottish single grains that are very well aged).
I've judged the Canadian Whisky Awards now for 6 years, and this year, the whisky was my runaway favourite in the blind competition (samples were "unblinded" after the winners were released). It's the first time I've had a runaway winner in the Canadian Whisky Awards. I would note, however, that only one of the other 10 judges had this whisky in their top 10% which indicates that not everyone else likes this as much as I did. However, if you like old Canadian whisky and you liked any of the 40+ year old CCs, you'll love this one - it's richer and purer than the rest (also higher ABV). The press release is slightly ambiguous as to whether this is pure corn whisky or whether anything is added. It is suggested, but not clearly.
It is the last in the "Chronicles" series but that isn't to say they couldn't release another one in a different series (there has been rumour of a 50 year old). As an aside, the 40 year old was not considered part of the "chronicles". It is more than 50% more money than the 44 year old.
The nose is truly decadent. Blueberries, leather, beeswax, corn husks, old and faded oak, earthy notes from a dry farmer’s field, vanilla, and the top notes are just so bright and deep. The palate is pure, clean, and rich – lovely corn, sweet vanilla, slightly bracing oak (but not very oaky), and an ever so subtle savoury richness. There is a lot of complexity and depth that I don’t have words for, despite years of writing tasting notes with loads of descriptors. The finish is light oak, beeswax, vanilla, corn husks, and leather. Slight tannins build on the finish. This is age doing its finest work.
Side-by-side with the Canadian Club 43 Year Old, one of my all-time favourites - it outshines it clearly. It isn't as full-flavoured, but it brings out all the additives in the 43, which I quite like on its own. I was stunned. An all-timer!
This is so good that I had to compare it to my all-time favourite Canadian whiskies. This sits at number 2, for me.
Is it worth the hefty price tag? For me, as good as it is, no. Depends how much you like to spend on money. A Canadian Rockies 21 gets you most of the way there for a 1/4 of the price...or the Canadian Club 44, which is still available, gets you nearly there for 60% of the price if you are still wanting to spend...