Canadian over the years

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Canadian over the years

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:45 pm

This is really a question for Gary or Dave more than anyone else at this point, but feel free to jump in if you wish. I have an un-opened bottle of Canadian Club from the late 70's. Would it taste the same as a recent bottling or would it be different? I am curious if Canadian has changed from the 1970's in some of the ways bourbon has changed. If you think it is interesting and would like to crack it open, let me know the next time you are in town and I will crack it open with you.
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Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:02 pm

Mike, good question. I haven't had experience tasting older Canadian Club (historical bottlings) but I have tasted Crown Royal from the 1940's. I had an uncle who had this and he gave it to me. The liquor was in my view noticeably better than today's CR (any version). It had a deeper richer taste, and more straight whiskey tang than CR does today. I also had a CR from the 1970's that a friend at work brought to a Friday office tasting we do occasionally. Again, everyone felt it trumped the current version. I am not too pleased with CR today: I find the Special Reserve rather oaky and pallid, the regular CR is a bit bland and the Limited Edition CR (which maybe is the best) has an interesting citric taste but not really something I associate with CR. I still like it but the oldies were better. Regarding Canadian Club though, I don't know.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:15 am

Gary,
It sounds like we need to get together and crack open the bottle and see what we shall see.
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Unread postby mickblueeyes » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:36 pm

This is an interesting topic. I would suggest that since the 1970's the recipe is most likely the same. However, CC may not use the same grain supplier as was used in the 1970's. Perhaps a fermenting tub had to be changed out? The still may have required repair or replacement? Maybe the source of barrels has changed?

IMVHO, there are dozens of events that occur during a distillery's lifetime that cause subtle changes in the whisky. I would guesstimate that the whisky you have is different than more recent production. I would also hazard a guess that since the trend is toward conglomerate owned corporations with more emphasis on production than quality, that the 1970's bottling is probably better.

I recently scored a nice decanter of 1950's Old Grandad BIB that I am going to compare to recent production. I will go out on a limb and say that the 1950's bottle will probably be much better than the recent stuff.

Just my .02
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Unread postby Dave » Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:03 pm

Mike, I'm of no help with your question. In the '70s CC was simply for mixing. And it still is IMHO. I'm not trying to knock the Canadian style, but I don't believe it was ever intended to be a connoisseur's choice. It's a major BRAND and as such, appeals to the major whisky crowd that adds three ice cubes and 7-up (AKA the famous "Rye and Seven') (it's quite OK to substitute coke, gingerale, etc.)

I'd be curious to know what you think if you DO open the bottle. I'd love to know if you can detect more RYE.

It IS my belief, however, that we're on the dawn (hopefully) of a new era for the Canadian style, especially with distillers showing an interest in stretching the limits (such as barrel select). The market will dictate whether the Canadian style will change.
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Unread postby mickblueeyes » Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:44 pm

I would have to take one point of contention with you Dave. I don't think that Canadian whisky is designed to be a mixer any more than vodka is. Modern marketing has created that almost insurmountable mindset in millions. IMO, this is the same influence that has associated Rum with Coke, Jack Daniels with Bourbon, proof with increased ability to get drunk and Crown with Canadian whisky.

On the contrary, I find brands like Lot 40, Pike's Creek, Tangle Ridge, Pendleton, Gooderham and Worts, Bush Pilot, older Wiser's and others to be perfectly tasty neat. I am sure the Canadians don't want their national whisky to be associated with "mixable" anymore than we want U.S. whiskey to be associated with Early Times (or Early Crimes as I like to call it).

Anyhow, that is just my .02
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Unread postby gillmang » Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:27 pm

Lot 40 is pretty good, I had some last night. Definitely better (much) in my view to CR.

I got a 1980 Jim Beam White Label (so probably distilled circa 1975) from a relation's condo bar in Florida at Xmas, bottle was open but almost full and well-closed. To me it was quite different to Beam of today. It tasted somewhat like the current Beam Black, a slightly younger version, but in general was rich and soft which Beam White today is not and was less "clean" than Black is today. Maybe I'll bring that to Gazebo too (if I drive I can take more stuff but I may fly).

C'mon guys I spent half the night (literally) putting together that e-mail on M'Harry's book, how about some reaction? :)

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