Being produced since 1858, Canadian Club is a whiskey with a long history. During the prohibition era in the United States, Al Capone smuggled thousands of cases of this whiskey. It was popularly known as club whiskey, and developed a lot of popularity.
This popularity continues today. Canadian Club whiskey can be found in almost any liquor store in Melbourne and it has a very popular range of ready mixed drinks.
A few months ago I found an old dusty bottle of Canadian Club whiskery, and on further inspection discovered that this was bottled in 1982. Canadian Club is a blended whiskey, and this one is bottled at 37.5% Alc/Vol. During a blind tasting of the 1982 Canadian Club whiskey, I found it more pleasant than the Jim Beam white label and despite its age fresher and lighter (incidentally Canadian Club is now owned by Beam Inc). So put on your skinny tie and lets beam back to 1982!
The nose on this whiskey is light and fresh with mellow lemon tones wafting up with some crisp lime leaves and metallic spring water. This 6 year old is no doubt meant to be a mixer, as the back of the bottle clearly shows, but this whiskey has a surprisingly good nose! There are some clear dull moments when nosing this whiskey and the smell of alcohol is evident, but that crisp lemon is an ever present scent.
Thin in texture, this whiskey gives a hit of fresh lemon with lots of sweetness. It is extraordinarily smooth, lovely! Notes of honey and grapefruit fall on the tongue, very vague though. This is a one dimensional whiskey.
This whiskey has the strangest finish I have encountered in a whiskey yet. Just as disappointment sets in, this whiskey redeems itself and pleases with a sensationally soft and long finish. The crisp character of this whiskey results in a dryness that bursts into live a few seconds late to develop into a finish that I was almost convinced was not coming. This whiskey is incredibly smooth, and it has no burn or harshness whatsoever. However, it is a little too light. It does not have much oomph but instead, what I would call some buzz.
This 1982 bottling of Canadian Club is a charming whiskey, crisp and light with bursts of fresh citrus, it has a lovely smooth taste and a nice but weak finish (though it does give a strong fume sensation of alcohol). Where I think it stumbles very noticeably is in the finish and balance. This whiskey has little variety of flavours, and it is heavily skewed towards dry citrus. It has a weak finish. Because this whiskey does not have much variety, its nose, taste and finish suffers because complexity and depth cannot be teased out. However, it is crisp and smooth, very drinkable!