|Whisky Advocate's 2012 Canadian Whisky of the Year|
I have been known to make disparaging remarks about Canadian whisky before, usually decrying their practice of adding up to 9.09% syrup/color/wine/maple syrup or whatever, as well as their even more rampant practice of blending perfectly good "flavoring whisky" (whence Jefferson's, Whistlepig and Masterson's) with very high proof "grain whiskey" that differs little from vodka.
I put all of this aside as I read the Advocate and other reviews. All touted huge amounts of oak and notable rye spices. As I forked over my $54, I was really looking forward to an available alternative to keep me from raiding my stash of older, straight rye whiskies.
This was some of the worst whisky money I have ever spent.
At first, I was going to write that I must just not understand Canadian whiskey, but I don't think that is fair to me. This is really overpriced, disappointing stuff, and I cannot understand how it is so well reviewed. When I first opened it, I got a whiff of oak, that was quickly gone and has not come back. Otherwise:
Nose: Vanilla, apples, a touch of butter and something bitter smelling that may be tired oak. Notable rubbing alcohol.
Palate: Vanilla, reused oak, a touch of cardboard, vodka and water.
Finish: Bitter and alcoholic. Despite being diluted to a pathetic 80 proof, it still has a very spirity burn that in no way suggests 18 years of aging. Otherwise mercifully brief.
Could this be a bad bottle? Do they counterfeit Wiser's? I'm not even sure what to do with it. I tried water and ice to no avail. I think I may just dump it to use what is really a very nice bottle. 70/100
I really like Canada and Canadians, and I also know that good whiskey can be made up north; this just really isn't it.