By Debbie Shocair
Canadian Club is a Beam Suntory-owned company that has been producing whisky for more than 150 years, and no doubt still riding the surge that came from its high-profile product placement in the recent popular series like Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, recently brought its 100% Rye whisky in the US. Not only is this particular expression of Canadian Club (or “CC”) made from 100% rye grain, a particularly difficult grain bill to process, but it is also blended from spirits aged in three different barrels: ex-Canadian whisky barrels, used Bourbon barrels, and new American oak barrels.
On the nose, this 100% Canadian rye was at first somewhat raw and strongly suggestive of acetone, but further nosing brought tender wood notes and soft warm toasted grain. Breaking it with a ½ teaspoon of water brought out some notes of vanilla and a hint of maple.
Bottled at a standard 80 proof (40% ABV), the mouthfeel was surprisingly gentle for a rye, spicy and tingly only at the top and front of the tongue.
Nicely smooth, and though at first a bit acerbic, the finish on CC’s 100% rye was uncommonly long, flavors of cloves, spice, and a sweet nuttiness clinging to my taste buds and palate for at least five minutes. I found that to be a lovely characteristic, and one that any good sipping whisky should have, however, it was not enough to pull the rating up.
If you happen to be a fan of Canadian Club, this is certainly worth a try, and a very good bargain at a suggested retail price of around $20.