Pretty sure Canadian Club Premium was the first whisky I ever tasted, back when I was more concerned with the effects than the quality of the spirit.
Nose: a bit of alcohol, a lot of caramel. A touch earthy/leafy, as is typical of Hiram Walker blends. Some light vanilla tones. No fruit that I can discern. Becomes smoother and less astringent with time in the glass.
Taste: light-bodied, a bit hot. Grain alcohol and oak notes dominate. This combination gives the classic caramel flavour.
Finish: thin and somewhat bitter.
Balance: as bottom-shelf Canadian blends go, this one isn't bad but doesn't stand out in any way. As a mixer or cocktail base it is fine; as a sipper it is lacking. Its strongest point is definitely the aroma, which becomes pleasant over time.
I believe I may have started my whisky journey as you did, with CC & Ginger. I still have a soft spot for that label, but I commend your courage in sipping this neat. I tried that with Wiser's Special Blend (the black-labeled one) awhile back and it was not very pleasant.
I had this one recently at a birthday party. It was THE ONLY WHISKY at the bar. I enjoyed it, a lot. I was surprised at how well it agreed with me; however, the only bottles of CC I'll be opening soon are 2012 CC 20 YO and 2017 CC40... after some dialogue with the owner of the club, he took me to the stock room where I passed on Johnnie Walker Blue and selected Bulleit bourbon for the whisky initiated group that I was sharing a table with. I was happy to have tested the standard CC in a commercial setting.... happier to have closed the evening with Bulleit, Jefferson's Reserve, and Wiser's Legacy.