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Rating whisky is hard work, both in defining how to assign a grade to the overall whisky (which usually consists of defining subcomponents of the score and weighting them) and, as reviews start, benchmarking as well.
One thing that I often find interesting is that I enjoy the same whisky differently when I am just sipping them to enjoy slowly on my own, sipping casually with friends where whisky is not the centerpiece, and reviewing/evaluating either alone or with others. And, each time, I might grade it a bit differently (though it would roughly be the same). For example, I generally value the nose of a whisky more when evaluating than when simply sipping, where, for me, taste is king (though I still spend many enjoyable minutes nosing).
Previously, I've been providing more or less mirror reviews on connosr and my blog; but now I think I am going to shift to review here on a slightly different format, which I will leave open to change. The difficult part about switching rating systems as well is that you are no longer using the same measuring stick, as it were, for whiskies, and you can't quite compare old reviews.
well, enough jabber - on to the review.
This whisky has a higher rye content in the recipe than the other Canadian Club products, so you might expect a bit of a different profile, and it does come through in boldness.
Nose:Quite dark - cinnamon, some slightly musty earthiness (as seen in other whiskies in the Canadian Club lineup), orange peel, toffee, and brown sugar. Licorice root and maple cookies make an appearance too. There's some bitterness, an odd mineral chalkiness, and a bit of a meaty aroma that detracts slightly. 78%
Taste: Rye, toffee, and vanilla...with a close of some more rye. It's quite juicy and showcases some plum, honey dates, thompson raisins, a slight nuttiness, and a touch of lemon. The dates are quite prominent, unique, and fabulous - I quite like it. There are also some prominent toned down molasses notes too - much like that of many aged rums - a character I often find in whiskies produced at Hiram Walker Distillery regardless of brand. 87%
Finish:A bit of sweetness and vanilla, dates, rye, maple, cornmeal, and some light berry notes as well. There's just a touch of unfortunate bitterness. 83%
Intrigue:I like the rye-forward nature of this whisky, and the accompanying fruitiness. The taste profile begs to be a mixer, and I think it would perform quite well in that category. Too bad the nose doesn't perform better in this one....83%
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 84.
*I have also posted a separate format of this review at whiskywon.wordpress.com/2014/07/….