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I am not an expert on Canadian Whisky. My preferences are generally toward single malts and bourbons, but I am open to any well-crafted whisky. I’ve really enjoyed a number of Forty Creek special releases, and am a big fan of Alberta Premium 25 and 30 YO ryes. Highwood 90/20 is a stunner.
Tonight I was at a meeting and someone who is aware of my interest in whisky but who doesn’t drink it to my knowledge asked me if I had tried the World Whisky of the year. I have a sample courtesy @paddockjudge and so I promised I would taste it and let her know. I emailed her before writing this review: “ I tried it…I don’t like it”. So I suppose you could stop reading here.
I decided to do a head to head with another sample I received, Crown Royal Monarch, and after nosing both I tasted this one first. It was put in a sample bottle after being open three weeks.
Nose: fruit, pickle juice, spirit 20/25
Adding a drop or two of water brings out a pleasant fruit syrup / pineapple note but then the pickle juice pokes through 21/25
Taste: hot, some vanilla, muted. Spice or alcohol? With time becomes a tad less bitter with some added sweetness. 19/25 Water adds to the fruitiness as in the nose and gives it some flavour but also makes it hotter. 20/25
Bitter finish 18/25 – minimal change with water
Balance: Not unbalanced just not pleasant. 20/25
Score (with water because it was a touch better – unusual for low ABV whisky): 79
I did not finish the dram. I will leave the rest of the sample un-gassed and see what happens. I am a patriotic Canadian but I’ve tasted many whiskies , Canadian and not, which are better than this.
PS: mixing this with Crown Royal Monarch in equal proportions creates something better than the NHR and more complex than the Monarch. I am not sure I would repeat it.