Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Here's a real treat - a mini of Canadian Club Classic 12 Year Old from 1974! I love the old Canadian whiskies - they tend to be more rye forward, with more complexity and less overt caramel. I've tasted some Crown Royal from the 1970s, and a Harwood from the 1940s - both fantastic. Strange that I had to bring this in from Scotland!
The colour is golden, with orange highlights. The nose is loaded with butterscotch, dark honey and marzipan. Seems quite sweet, as you can imagine, but there is definitely a herbaceous rye providing a backbone. Reminds me of a rum-soaked Christmas cake - very fruity. With water, shyer and a little more herbal.
On the palate there is a wonderful balance between lighter caramel and honey with the sharper rye grain. Luxurious mouthfeel. Cinnamon and cloves, and definite oak. Light maple syrup - very light. Livelier with water. Very complex interplay of flavours and absolutely delicious.
The finish is long, again with the honey but spicier and chalkier (in a good way) with thick oak. I mentioned this in a prior review, but some years ago I blind tasted the previous bottling of CC 12 (not the current bottling) and mistook it for a rum (I would have been mortified, but most of the rest of the class made the same mistake - we tasted it right after the Laphroaig Quarter Cask!) This 1974 CC 12 has a similar profile on the nose, but if memory serves is much drier on the palate, which is terrific. Like so many older Canadian whiskies, this has more complexity than current bottlings.
Comparing it to the current CC 12 (batch no. C12-214, so a different batch than the one I scored an 85 about a year and a half ago). Much darker in colour (probably more colouring), and duller on both the nose and palate. I would score this batch lower than that earlier batch no. C12-040, and is a world away from the 1974.