February 3, 2014
Lately I’ve been thinking about Canadian whisky. Other than Crown Royal, there isn’t really a lot of Canadian whisky available to US drinkers, and most of what’s available is… uhm… not very highly-regarded. That’s all changing with imports of products from Forty Creek, Lot 40, and others. But to put that into perspective, I felt a need to sample some of the existing “blended” Canadian whisky products already available here.
I should know by now that a plastic 50ml sample bottle is a bad sign. A $15 price tag on a 750ml bottle? Equally bad sign. But hey, the bottle says the whisky is 8 years old! An age statement on a cheap blended whisky? Maybe things are looking up! I can’t find a website, or ANY information about the whisky, other than its age. Like most blended Canadian whisky sold in the US, it’s almost certainly bulk aged spirit imported by tanker truck into the US and then proofed down and bottled.
Nose: A blast of young grain, a wave of artificial vanilla, and something vegetal, like fresh-cut cabbage. There is also a cloying sweetness attached to the vanilla.
Palate: Eughh. Chemical solvent, and a very fake taste, like concentrated food dye. The melted-ice-cream vanilla flavor tastes like it was added in by the bag. I don’t want to swallow it, but onward, in the name of Science!
Finish: Extremely (mercifully?) short, although it leaves behind a coating in your mouth like someone’s been spraying RoundUp weed killer nearby and you got some in your mouth. Truly wretched.
With Water: Didn’t even try.
Overall: Please, please don’t buy this. If one person, somewhere, reads this review in a BevMo and puts the bottle back on the shelf, then I have done my duty as a whisky blogger, and I can die contented. Buy anything – literally anything – instead. You’re better off with vodka “aged” overnight in a coffee cup.
OK, yes, it’s possible this sample was contaminated by being in a plastic miniature bottle (I’ve certainly had bad luck before with miniatures, especially plastic ones). However, you’d have a hard time convincing me that this stuff could be improved by ANY amount of careful storage. Also, any company that cares so little about repeat business that it allows miniatures (which many people use to “try before buying”) with this amount of degradation to represent their product deserves the bad press.