Canadian Club is an interesting label. The brand is owned by Beam Suntory, which also owns Alberta Premium (ADL), but most of their whisky is made at the Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario. Or Walkerville, Ontario. Whatever. This CC bears a big ol' 12 year age statement, so it's got to be better than non-age-stated stuff, right?
- Nose (undiluted): Rye spice right away, leather, brown sugar, flat cola, a hint of corn husks
- Palate (undiluted): very soft arrival, almost rum-like with Kraft soft caramels, molasses, cloves, and raisins
- Finish: short to medium length, plums and blackberries at first, then slightly bitter and drying but not unpleasant. Somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit juice or tonic water.
With water the rye and leather all but disappear from the nose. They are replaced by brown sugar and raisins, with a touch of walnuts. Much of the “rummy-ness” of the palate disappears with water and this Canadian Club 12 becomes more of a sweet, dessert sipper. There’s also less fruit and more oak on the finish with water added, yet that bitterness hangs around. It's interesting, but it may not be for everyone.
This whisky is ok as a sipper, neat or on the rocks, but I think it's still primarily a mixing whisky. I sometimes like to add a dash or two of Angostura bitters to my rye and ginger, but I think it would be unnecessary with CC 12. The bitterness on the finish isn't overwhelming but it is present. I don't mind it, but it may not be for everyone. For what it's worth, the Chairman's Select, while under-powered, is a more interesting offering from Canadian Club. This one is a supporting cast member, not a star in its own right.