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Gibson's Finest Venerable 18 YO

New Name, Still a Classic

1 090

@VictorReview by @Victor

22nd Nov 2016

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

My thanks go to @paddockjudge for this and previous samples of this whisky. The Gibson's 18 YO used to be called Gibson's Finest Rare 18 yo. While I have no information on any substantive differences between the Venerable 18 and the previous Rare 18 in terms of mashbill or maturation, the two whiskies do appear to be a little different from one another. The reviewed sample is from a bottle with the bottle code No A 78969

Nose: strong intensity, strong rye spiciness, strong natural-smelling caramel, plenty of oak, with attendant vanilla. This is sweet and very harmonious. The caramel here reminds me strongly of the caramel in Booker's 25th Anniversary edition. Lovely, while being engaging enough to entertain, and mellow enough to charm. Very clean. Score: 23.5/25

Taste: tongue-tingling spice from both rye grain and wood does not prevent this from being rather silky in the mouthfeel. Big big flavour from 40% ABV whisky. The caramel remains strong in the mouth. Mid-palate some sourness enters the mix. I also get a little cocoa and coffee from this particular sample. Score: 22.5/25

Finish: shifts to the sour into the finish. Long finish, with intense spice against a caramel background. Score: 21.5/25

Balance: excellent balance in the nose; very good balance on the delivery; good balance on the finish. Score: 22/25

Water added: 1) merges the flavours in the nose and brings out high-pitched sweetness, and 2) merges the palatal flavours, highlighting a contrast between sweet and sour

Total Sequential Score: 89.5 points

Strength: very strong flavours, especially considering that this is bottled at 40% ABV. Score: 24/25

Quality: wonderful grain flavours, with good to very good wood flavours. Score: 22.5/25

Variety: very good variety and contrast throughout the tasting stages. Score; 22.5/25

Harmony: the harmony is wonderful in the nose of this sample, solid on the delivery, and a little off as sourness creeps in on the finish. Score: 22/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 91 points

Comment: it is a shame that, by and large, only in Canada can you buy the best Canadian whiskies, included among which are both Gibson's 18 YOs, both the Rare and the Venerable versions. This is the third sample of the Venerable 18 yo I have tasted with and from the paddockjudge. This sample I liked better than the first one I had with him but not as well as the one I had on a second occasion. I do still prefer my bottle of the Gibson's Finest Rare 18 YO which I purchased in 2011 to the Venerable 18 YO, but the Venerable 18 YO is quite a fine whisky also. This is one to look for if any of you non-Canadians are visiting Canada

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