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Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old

A Marker Whisky

0 1554

@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

13th Mar 2012

0

  • Nose
    14
  • Taste
    13
  • Finish
    13
  • Balance
    14
  • Overall
    54

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Today I had a quite nasty experience and it involves one of my favorite whisky categories. Canadian Whisky.

Money has been tight lately and so my wife and I have been pinching every penny and I haven't bought many bottles (many meaning any) lately. Today I totaled up all my tips that were in US currency and decide to exchange them for yand buy a bottle. This totaled roughly $43 bucks.

I then ran to Dan Murphys excited as to who I was going to adopt and take home with me today. To aid in the adoption process I brought my whisky bible 2012 and my mobile tuned into Connosr.

As I wandered through the whisky section I debated who to take home. A few good bourbons and ryes, but I already had a pretty good bourbon which I had used to introduce my father and brother in law too, so maybe something else they hadn't tried yet.

I spied Canadian Club 12 yr old and saw it was exactly $42 bucks. I pulled open my trusty whisky bible and looked it up, Jim Murray says 91.5. WEWT!! A steal of a deal at $42 then!! I pick up the bottle and head home. As I was heading home I pulled up Connosr, I see my 12 yr old has been getting 70-80ish point wise...uh oh.

I get home and pull out the bottle, my wife goes "Nice! That bottle is pretty" I think to myself "god I hope the whisky is too" I then pour us out both a dram . . . then my brother in law later on that night along with my father in law and this is what we discovered.

Jim Murray can be WRONG!! SHOCK!!!!

Nose: Honey, waves of honey come off this whisky with hints of cinnamon, then as my wife and brother in law put it "Permanent Marker" and something that my brother in law said should not be drunk by man. Waves of rubbing alcohol hit my nose with a hint of the permanent marker.

Taste: Sadly the taste agreed with the nose with quite a bit of bitterness. A little bit of rye, some honey and quite a bit of rubbing alcohol and permanent marker.

Finish: Extremely bitter. Do I really have to finish my glass?

I grew up in Seattle in the US and I grew up drinking bourbons and canadian whiskies. I loved Crown Royal back in the day and don't get me started on the bourbons. I know what a good canadian whisky is supposed to taste like. THIS ISNT IT. I rarely have encountered a whisky that I just said "This is a whisky and coke" whisky, but Canadian Club 12 yr old is just that.

My wife is a Speyside girl, my brother and father in law are Islay men and I'm a bourbon man myself . . . none of us found this to a even a decent whisky. I used to steer away from the Candian Clubs, I thought that it was because of stuff I had heard growing up, but I'm sorry to say I should have learned my lesson back then. It'll be ALONG time before I try another Canadian Club again.

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15 comments

@michaelschout
michaelschout commented

Harsh review, but I also agree that it's definitely not a 91.5. Have you ever tried the ten year old CC? It's no 90 pointer but I like it better than the 12 year old.

8 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown commented

Wow, just wow. Seems you like this as much as I like Bowmore Legend (that is to say, not much at all). Rare experience isn't it when you're getting accustomed to good whisky most of the time?

The "permanent marker" part interests me though - I am having an interesting time with my Glen Scotia 1992 at the moment and in a forthcoming review you will see me describe things like "acetone", "paint thinner" and "glue stick" but all I can tell you right now is, it sounds better than Canadian Club Classic 12yo!

8 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

@Michaelschout I haven't tried any other Canadian Clubs. This was my first one. As you can see from my review I was quite upset. I don't think I'll buy another bottle from them for a long time. However I would be willing to try a dram at a bar though.

@Systemdown Hahaha yeah it was an awful shock. I would of chocked it up to just being me, but all 4 whisky drinkers in the house didn't like it. If it had just been me or my wife I could of let it slide as personal preference, but everybody...sorry something's not right.

If you want to be tortured I'll send you a sample along with the other whiskies when we do our exchange. I have noticed a slight improvement (or maybe my tastebuds dying) in the last day or two.

8 years ago 0

@DBdarrell
DBdarrell commented

I was gonna jump all over this comment in defense of this whiskey (before I even tried it haha) cause Im a fan of the Canadian Club 9 year and assumed this had to be even better. Hey it's even more money right... so why not? Plus I'd read some great reviews. But holy crap is this 12 year harsh! My palette isnt as refined as some but I know good whisky and this was pretty brutal. Not the worst Ive ever had by far but Im quite disappointed considering the price I paid. Still got some left so Im probably gonna mix it with coke :) and then buy Crown Royal.

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

@DBdarrell Hahaha no worries my friend. It honestly takes a lot for me to find a whisky foul, but this whisky hit that marks, but that being said it doesn't mean that all CCC 12 year olds will be this bad. The problem with Canadian whiskies in my opinion (sorry to anyone who's a lover of Canadian whiskies!) is that 9.9% (I believe that's the percentage, if not it's close to that) that the Canadian government allows to be added to the whiskies. It can cause ALOT of batch variation resulting in some good whiskies and some really bad whiskies, with never an idea of what to expect from bottle to bottle. Like I said in the review Jim Murray gave this whisky a great score, but I didn't find it anywhere as good!

7 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

When I initially read your review, I thought that you were being adventurous. I've reconsidered - a trip to Caledonia is adventurous! Your cabinet is now filled with some excellent malt, otherwise an intervention would be in order;) - if there wasn't half a world between us, I'd drop by with an assortment of top shelf Canucks.

Okay, here is a "safe" list of Canadian juice - most of these seldom, if ever, leave the Great White North, but here's to hoping that you may find some of these... the next time you empty the tip jar.

Wiser's Red Letter, 150th Anniversary

Wiser's 18 Year Blended Canadian

Highwood Distillers Ltd Century Reserve 21 year old

Highwood Distillers CENTURY RESERVE LOT 15 to 25

Highwood Distillers 25 yr old 100th Anniversary Calgary Stampede Ltd Edition

Gibson's Finest 100th Grey Cup Ltd Edition

Alberta Distillers 25 yr old Alberta Premium Ltd Edition 100% Rye

Alberta Distillers 30 yr old Alberta Premium Ltd Edition 100% Rye

Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve

Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve 2012

Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

Forty Creek John's Private Cak No.1

Danfield's 21 yr old Ltd Edition

Corby Distilleries Lot No. 40, 2012

Pike Creek 10 year old

Gibson's Finest Rare 18 Year Old

Canadian Club 30 year old

Masterson's 10 year-old Straight Rye

Whistle Pig

Royal Canadian Small Batch

Caribou Crossing Single Barrel

Crown Royal XR

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

Thanks for the suggestions Paddockjudge! I know very little about Canadian whiskies, my experience being limited to McNoughtons, Crown Royal, Crown Royal Special Reserve and Canadian Club 12 year old.

Sadly I've never seen any of those whiskies over here, other then VERY rarely the Caribou Crossing Single Barrel. Which looks so beautiful, but I think it normally runs at around $200 AUS when I've seen it :(

However if I ever get a chance to visit Canada I'll bring some good Aussie whiskies and you can introduce me to some good Canuck ones!

7 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@SquidgyAsh - I'm about to add insult to injury. Tonight I had a pour of 1981 Canadian Club 12 year-old. Stunning! This bottle has been open almost three years and it remains an epic expression from another era....it seems that this expression has changed over thirty years.

7 years ago 0

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

SquidgyAsh my friend, I'm extremely confused! Didn't you just get back from Scotland with a ton of superb whisky!? Why the heck would you be wasting your time with the CC 12??

7 years ago 0

@YakLord
YakLord commented

CC 12 is on Ian Buxton's list of 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die, but then again, he points out that it isn't a list of the world's best whiskies, just whiskies you have to try for the experience...

I heartily agree with everything on the list that @paddockjudge provided, above, but would also add the Highwood Distillers Centennial 10 year-old...it is a pretty decent Canadian whisky that uses winter wheat as a base, rather than corn or rye.

7 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@YakLord ah yes, the wheated wonder, verrrry nice! The list originally acknowledged Great Canadians that rarely, if ever, travelled outside of Canada; it is by no means complete. Contributions such as the Centennial 10yo will help to expand this reference tool. One glaring omission was pointed out by @Victor: Wiser's Legacy.

With Canada Day fast approaching, I intend to show my patriotic side by posting a list of Great and Favourite Canadians - ex-pats are welcomed (whisky only please).

7 years ago 0

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

paddockjudge just helped set me straight by telling me that this post is quite old! Ooops, ignore above comment ; ) Really looking forward to the Great and Favourite Canadians paddockjudge!!

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

@PaddockJudge Hahaha my friend I wasn't saying all Canadian whiskies were bad, just saying I'd sadly never encountered a good one. Personally I think you guys keep all the good stuff for yourself :D Sorta like the Aussie exporting Fosters and keeping all the good beers for themselves! One of the things I'm hoping to do one day is make one of your guys whisky tastings and get my hands and lips on some great tasting Canadian whiskies. The big problem over here is the price point on even basic Canadian whiskies is very expensive, roughly $100-$110 for Crown Royal. It makes one very hesitant to experiment and like I said before, minus the Caribou Crossing I've never seen any of those whiskies over here.

To be fair the Canadian Club 12 year old I had is one I'm pretty sure isn't standard representative of the line, i.e batch variation, etc but in my defense it was FOUL!

I wound up selling the bottle to a friend of mine who sells beer with me and puts ALL of his whisky into coke.

@CanadianNinja I indeed brought home MANY excellent whiskies. As you already have commented it is an old review (just noticed the date was the day after my wife's and my first wedding anniversary), but sadly all of my sexy whiskies have to travel via boat before I get to see them. (Friends of mine who import whisky are importing my bottles for me which is supposed to lead to a lower tax bracket in theory)

7 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@SquidgyAsh - We do keep all the good stuff for ourselves, but I'm not opposed to sharing with whisky buddies. The difference between good and great whisky - good whisky becomes great when shared with friends, and then it becomes legend.

I had the good fortune of attending a tasting with @cpstcroix, @thecyclingyogi, and @talexander, while also trading whisky samples with @Victor and @Dramlette last year. Those opportunities opened a whole new world to me, introduced me to some great malts and blends as well as some of the Sazerac Antique Collection and a few other super-premium offerings that I had only read about - WOW! I was able to reciprocate with some top shelf canuck stuff. @Victor discovered ..."first hand that there are more than a few high-quality whiskies made in Canada."

Great job on the blog, you fiend! www.squidgyashwhiskyfiend.blogspot.com.au

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

@Paddockjudge I TOTALLY agree with you buddy that good whisky becomes legend when shared with friends! One can enjoy a nice whisky by oneself, but it's only when you're sharing it with a good friend or two that it pushes it into the next level and something special occurs!

Glad you're enjoying the blog my friend! Next post is Glenglassaugh!

7 years ago 0

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