Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old

New Packaging...New Whisky?

0 885

@talexanderReview by @talexander

12th Jan 2013

0

  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    85

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

A year or so ago, I wrote a short review of the Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old (scoring it 80) - a Canadian whisky I've always liked. Since then, I've studied the spirit (and was tested on it) at a spirits course at George Brown College in Toronto; in addition, as with a few Canadian Club offerings, it has been repackaged and re-marketed, this one as a "small batch" (including giving a batch number on the label). Is it the exact same spirit in the bottle as it was in years past? Given the batch number on the label, I'm going to guess: not necessarily. Shall we re-evaluate this and see how it measures up? My bottle is from batch no. C12-040.

The colour is deep amber with light amber highlights - seems a little lighter than the old version but that could be my imagination. On the nose, as you would expect, there is lots of caramel and vanilla. Grapefruit pith, tropical fruits (and dark fruits as well), some cinnamon and cloves. A drop of water lightens things up. Seems more complex to me than in previous years.

In the mouth, the whisky is soft and rounded. Lots of rye but it's coated in those vanillas and caramels. Quite sweet, but not as sweet as I remember the old bottling being - there seems to be more rye gripping the palate, which I really like. More rye and citrus with a drop of water. A little bit medicinal, even.

The finish is long and deep, almost smoky, with a lot more spice than on the nose or palate. More grapefruit pith on the finish, with some banana and papaya as well (which I've always picked up on in the past). This is a very good whisky and really, not as sweet as I remember. When I was tested on the old bottling in the George Brown course, I tasted it shortly after evaluating a Laphroaig Quarter Cask - and I mistook the CC 12 for a rum! Embarrassing...I don't even know why I'm telling you this. But it speaks to how sweet I found the earlier bottling, and I'm quite sure this bottle is not as sweet as that. There is a lot of caramel, yes, but it is tempered by more peppery rye than I remember. I believe this is an improvement.

Note: Jim Murray rates the old CC 12 a 91.5. However, he tasted the new one, batch no. C12-020, and rated it a 73.5. I'm tasting batch no. C12-040 and I find it does not match many of this descriptives of his sample - so I suspect there is a fair bit of deviation between batches, which is very interesting.

Related Canadian Club reviews

8 comments

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

Great review talexander. It's funny that you are writing it at this time actually! Over the Christmas holidays I purchased a bottle of the newly packaged CC Classic 12 for a co-worker. During a Christmas party he decided to open it and we sampled it together. I would absolutely agree with what you've written here. To be entirely honest I'm not a fan of the Canadian Club line in general but I was pleasantly surprised with, what I believe to be, some improvements with this whisky.

7 years ago 0

@JeffC
JeffC commented

I noticed the new packaging on the CC 12 YO Classic during a recent visit to the VIrginia ABC store. I also noticed that the former CC 10 YO Reserve bottling which had come with a blue label is also rebranded as a 9 year old, touted as being "triple aged" since by Canadian law whisky need only be aged three years. I prefered the Reserve over the Classic, it will be interesting to see how this new 9 YO tastes.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I've actually liked the CC Classic 12 I've had in the past. Looks like there is wide batch variation on this one. That is not a good sign, though.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

@Victor, why do you say that is not a good sign? Variances in batches is the usual and is understood...?

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I am talking about a wide variation in quality in the batches. I don't have much confidence in a brand when I like one bottle and dislike the next one. It's even worse if I don't like the first one, and then the reports are much better. A new different whisky looks like a safer bet for my money after I've been burned by a bottle.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Well, you won't know for sure if you don't try the different batches. I presume the batch I had has a different profile from the batch Murray had, based on his tasting notes...but I cannot know for sure until I try it as well. And the batch I had compared to the old CC 12 is better but certainly not different in style.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I would be sampling a drink, not a bottle, at that point with the new batch.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

And I am now having a Hallowe'en dram of CC 12, batch C12-041. Although I don't remember exactly, I would say from my above tasting notes that it is pretty identical.

6 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in