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Gibson's Finest Rare 18 Year Old

Countdown to Canada Day Part III

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

30th Jun 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

One of the lowest scores I've ever given a whisky is to the Gibson's 12 Year Old. Ugh. How could the same distillery that puts out that crap, also release this excellent, classically Canadian whisky? I have no words.

The Gibson's Finest 18 Year Old is an annual release, limited to 12,000 bottles per year. It is only available in Canada (Sorry! Not sorry.) The code on the bottle is A-33064 - it doesn't say what that is referring to, I presume it is a batch code.

The colour is a medium gold. On the nose, a caramel sweetness (reminiscent of the Pendleton I reviewed yesterday) but with a bit more bite: herbal, biscuity and with some nutmeg. Ripe plums and red apples. Light brown sugar. Water reveals the rye and enhances the spice. Everything in perfect harmony.

We have a creamy mouthfeel, with light spices, creme caramel, and some rye in the background. Lots of vanilla, too. Water allows the mouthfeel to become even creamier. Delicious - a real pleasure.

The finish is crisp, chalky and buttery, with a bit more spice as well. A stellar example of our nation's whisky legacy, it is a classic. Full-bodied yet delicate, sweet but never cloying and with a gorgeous mouthfeel and elegant delivery. I find the notes very similar to the Pendleton, except every individual element is dialled up to 11. FYI Jim Murray scored this a massive 95.5! Truly magnificent, though pricey at CDN$75 in Ontario (and currently out of stock in the province.)

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talexander commented

Correction: it is NOT out of stock in Ontario. It's just that the new revamp of the LCBO website sucks ass and is confusing as hell.

6 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@talexander - this one is special. Formerly distilled at Valleyfield Quebec, it is now produced at Walkerville, Ontario. I trust the absolutely stellar quality of this world class whisky will continue; only time will tell.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

Gibson's Finest Rare 18 YO is excellent whisky, and a great model of the best of the Canadian style.

6 years ago 0

65glenfarclas commented

I have a self-imposed embargo on Canadian Whisky, especially bottles over $50. I refuse to pay that much for NAS, low ABV, filtered whisky with possible wine and/or other additives and minimal information about its provenance. HOWEVER, since we share two favorites when it comes to Canadian Whisky (Lot 40 & Wiser's Legacy) I am intrigued having read this review of the Gibson's 18. IF I come across an LCBO manager's special (20% markdown) I may break my embargo.

6 years ago 0

whiskydallas commented

Just sampled. Yes. It is currently known As Venerable 18 year. Agree with every word. I nosed the empty glass for two hours. Outstanding!

5 years ago 0

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