Canadian Club 6 Year Old Whiskey Review


By Richard Thomas

Rating: C

Canadian whiskey has suffered an unjustified neglect in modern times, almost as much as rye whiskey. Among Canadian whiskeys, no label seems to have been overlooked as much as Canadian Club, a strange turn of events for a whiskey that was once ran like a river through Chicago speakeasies during the Prohibition-era reign of Al Capone. Once upon a time, it could have been argued that Canadian Club was America’s whiskey of choice, a historical note that period dramas Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men get right.

Canadian Club started with an American whiskey- and cider-maker, Hiram Walker. Driven to Windsor, Ontario by the mid-19th Century temperance movement, Walker’s Canadian Club dates its foundation back to 1858 and his original Detroit-based distillery, and the Windsor suburb of Walkerville is named for him. In the early days, Walker’s spirit was known simply as “Club Whisky” (Canadians use the Scots spelling), not putting “Canadian” into the title until 1890.

The core and entry-level whiskey of the extensive Canadian Club line is the 6 Year Old. This is basically the label’s classic, 150 year old product, albeit aged for one more year than was the case with Hiram Walker’s original whiskey.

The Whiskey
Canadian Club is bottled at 80 proof (40% alcohol), unless you live in Australia and New Zealand, where it is cut to 74 proof (37% alcohol). The whiskey is made from a mashbill of rye, malted rye, barley and corn, and aged in new white oak barrels. It comes in an unimpressive brown glass bottle with a plastic cap top, but with an old fashioned label that speaks to Canadian Club’s long history.

In the glass, Canadian Club has a deep gold color. That left me wondering why the bottle was brown — why not show that coloring off?! The nose is very grainy, with the mid-bodied scent of sweet barley. The flavor is thickly sweet, and I would almost call it mellow if it were not for the hint of a spicy bite. The finish is the same: sweet, smooth, and with just a bit of spiciness. Canadian Club 6 Year Old is often used as a mixer, but unlike some other whiskeys in that category, it is pleasant enough on its own or with a little ice.

The Price
Canadian Club 6 Year Old is a mass market whiskey, so it often retails for a modest $18 or so per 750 ml bottle. However, you can find the stuff marked down to as little as $12 for the standard fifth bottle, or $20 for the big 1.75-liter bottle. In the UK, this whiskey goes for about 18£, and for about 20 euros on the Continent.

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  1. I am enjoying a Canadian Club Premium Extra Aged at this moment, and thought I would check out some reviews considering that I usually buy Bourbon or Scotch whiskey’s (er…sorry, whisky)

    It was a sentimental choice. You see, my wife and I just returned this evening no less from our summer vacation in lower Ontario. A lovey place. The United States is blessed to have such a good neighbor to the north, and I wanted, in some small, self interested way, to say thank you Canada.

    I shall continue to demcompress from our vacation over the weekend, and Canadian Club will help with that. To my limited whisky vocabulary, it is smooth, flavorful, and a good value to boot.



  2. What is the difference between Canadian Club Aged 6 Years(which I enjoy)and Canadian Club Extra Aged?

  3. I’m not sure which CC whisky is referred to by “extra aged.” The whisky covered here is sometimes called “Premium” as well, but not Extra Aged, nor is anything else in the line so named. At least not formally. Having not seen all the labels up close, I can’t say whether CC 10 YO has “Extra Aged” on it or not.

  4. Canadian Club 6 year Premium has now been reformulated to a non-age declared whiskey labeled “1858” Extra Aged, meaning aged longer than the Canadian legal requirement of 3 years.Presumably, it is now aged 5 years as Canadian Club Reserve has also dropped a year of aging from 10 to 9.

  5. Yes, we had heard that Canadian Club was turning their flagship expression into a NAS whisky. Of course, that means we will need to get our hands on some and try it for review!

    • I thought only the label changed, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case. The extra aged does not have the same smooth taste as 6 yr old. Tastes like any other cheap canadian whiskey. Couldn’t even drink it straight. It used to be smooth now it tastes awful. I’ve been drinking club 6 yr old for over 20 years and have enjoyed it, as well as turned many of my friends on to it. I’m not happy at all. I feel as if it was a bait and switch. As a loyal canadian club fan, i want real answers.

  6. Right now I am enjoying a classic high ball made from Canadian Club Classic 12 and Canada Dry ginger ale. Nice !!!

    Purchased the CC Classic 12 at the Virginia ABC store near where I live.

  7. G’day from down under. My daughter just returned from New Zealand ( affectionately called the Land Of The Long White Cloud and the invention of Velcro gloves to help catch sheep) bringing with her a 200ml bottle of Canadian Club Premium Extra Aged with an alcohol content of 80 proof (40% alc/vol). Looking forward to having a sip today (Boxing Day 2014). I gather from what I read above that Premium Extra Aged only refers to the aging process over and above the legal requirement in Canada?.

    • I think those two are the same product, although I think you got extra lucky in one respect. From what I read, in New Zealand the stuff is bottled at 74 proof, in much the same way that Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam are bottled at a lower proof for Australia.

    • Could have been just for the airport duty free.

  8. Canadian club! Yes this is a great whiskey . To me I smell a lot of vanilla it’s smoother than Jack when drinking it straight.
    Canadian Club is top shelf tasting to me.

  9. I have an unopened bottle of 1940 Canadian Club with the tax stamp intact. Is there any value in this or should should I just call up my friends and partake?

    Tom C.

  10. I’ve been looking for a go to whisky, Canadian mist is not bad for the price, I like the fact CC is extra aged whereas Canadian Mist a younger spirit. I like the flavor of both.. Good rye, barley, caramel and vanilla, honey, cream, etc…notes…CC has the extra age quality I like. I drink scotch and bourbon and Canadian is definitely a whisky that is its own distinct flavor. And shouldn’t be judged otherwise.(as brown vodka lol).

  11. I have a bottle of Canadian Club 6 year old whisky 750 ml with all whit label & black & gol writing. It has been bottled in Australia though. It coul ne from 1980 or so. Do you know the value? Was wondering whether to gift it if the quality is any good.

  12. Beatriz Americano

    I have a bottle of Canadian Club 6 years of thr 1983. Do tio know the value???

  13. I have a bottle of Canadian Club Blended Canadian Whisky Hiram Walker & Sons 1938 ~ What’s it worth? Sealed.

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