Whisky Advocate

Review: Canadian Club 30 yr. old

June 16th, 2008

This whisky will be released later this Fall. I was sent a pre-release sample to review. This one is a good one!

Canadian Club, 30 year old, 40%, $150-$199
Bottled to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Club whisky. An amazingly fresh and vibrant whisky giving its age and delicateness. I feared that, given how light in body traditional Canadian whiskies are, this whisky would be old, tired, and show too much oak (which was true for Crown Royal’s ultra-premium offering, “XR”). But this isn’t the case. There’s an excellent balance of silky caramel, vanilla icing, dried spice (cinnamon, spearmint) and berried fruit, along with more subtle notes of toffee apple, corn oil and soft dried oak on the finish. Not as luxurious as Crown Royal’s Cask No. 16 (last year’s Malt Advocate magazine Canadian Whisky of the Year), but it shines with its polish and purity.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 93

8 Responses to “Review: Canadian Club 30 yr. old”

  1. Kevin Meng says:

    Being a huge fan of bourbon, I always found canadian whiskey to be lacking in flavor – just too smooth for me. But I am 100% in agreement about the Cask 16 – it is by far the best Canadian whiskey I have tasted. Your review makes me very excited to try the CC 30 year…

  2. John Hansell says:

    I don’t think it achieves the individuality of the Cask No. 16, but it still is a very nice whisky.

  3. Gary Gillman says:

    Hi John:

    I am a regular reader here and of course of Malt Advocate.

    Thanks for your heads-up on this forthcoming new product, it sounds very interesting.

    Your review sounds enticing. I wonder if this product was confected with a larger-than-normal proportion of rye whiskey distilled at a low proof. Your references to spearmint and berry suggest this may be so.

    CC 20, still available I think in certain international markets, is very good but different than what you describe, cocoa-like I would say (the oak doing much of the work, I infer). The other special CC bottling I recall in recent years was a tall, high-shouldered bottle which indicated it was a special or family reserve, maybe Family Reserve was the name. I recall it was 43% ABV, unusually for Canada where the norm is 40%. It too has been sold mostly in duty-free and other international outlets from what I understand. That had a different profile again, fruity, quite vigorous on the palate, good value for the money ($50.00 (CAN) in Ontario, this going back 6 or 7 years now), plus the bottle was a litre-size I believe.

    As for CR Cask 16: it is an excellent product, to my taste it has a persistent, orange liqueur- or orange brandy-like note. I wonder what explains that? The concept of finishing a Canadian whisky in a Cognac cask is an excellent idea. The whole concept of Canadian is as a base to add flavouring spirits to (bourbon, American-type rye, malt whisky, rum, etc.), so why not brandy via a finishing process?

    Best wishes.

    Gary Gillman, Toronto.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Hi Gary.

    I’m not sure of the rye content or distillation proof. However, I do know that it came from Walkerville.

    I never had the CC 20 or Family Reserve, so I can’t help you there. Sorry.

    Regarding the CR Cask No. 16, I think the orange liqueur/brandy-like note are, in part, from the finishing in cognac casks. It will be interesting to see if more of these types of “special” Canadian whiskies come on the market.

    John

  5. Gary Gillman says:

    Thanks John. You must be right about how CR Cask 16 achieves that aspect of its palate.

    It is good to see the large Canadian distillers being more active with new releases (the Wiser’s anniversary release last year was very good too).

    From a palate standpoint, I still find Forty Creek’s whiskies the most interesting made in the country today, but I welcome these new releases from well-established labels.

    Gary

  6. John Hansell says:

    Forty Creek production’s process is unique–not just for a Canadian whisky, but for any country’s whisky. Making three different whiskies–corn, rye and barley, aging them independently and then marrying them at the end of maturation is pretty cool.

    Traditional Canadian whiskies, as you already know, are so much lighter in body and flavor due to the way they are made.

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  8. nathan says:

    where can one obtain a bottle in the UK??

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