This was tasted as part of the Toronto Whisky Society. We were given this bottle from Highwood Distillers for the purpose of reviewing it. We take our reviews seriously, and do not give higher marks because something is free. I appreciate the donation from Highwood.
Assuming no one reads that, feel free to call me a shill in the comments.
This is the first Centennial branded Canadian whisky I have ever had. From what I can see, this is a 10 year old blend whisky. Based on what I can gather, it is a blend meant to be a smoother Canadian whisky. It’s originally aged in ex-Bourbon barrels, and is meant to be a lighter whisky.
In this case, I’ll be reviewing Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky Dark Chocolate. Thus they have taken their standard blended whisky and added dark chocolate flavouring to it. Though according to the website, only a little.
Also note this may not be as old as the standard 10 year old rye. The age has been dropped.
So we started with caramel, made sure to have some crackers and water, and now we’re onto Chocolate. They should pair well.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Not available at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5Y 9/8
Nose: Cocoa, sugar
The nose is a basic, if nice blend of cocoa and sugar. Not really chocolate comes to mind, but rather the raw ingredients. I gave this some minutes to open up (I know, you’re surprised), however it didn’t really budge from the flavouring.
If someone has had the standard rye, perhaps they can state if it too has cocoa notes? From what I saw it has more vanilla, which wasn’t evident here.
Taste: Chocolate, tangerine
Odd flavour. Story time: My mother once made her favourite cookies, a chocolate-orange chocolate chip cookie. I thought they were regular cookies. And kept stealing them. Then eating it, forgetting I hated that flavour, and then promptly throwing up.
As such, I need to state my bias: I don’t like orange and chocolate together. You may. If so, this ones for you. The tangerine is just in the corners of your mouth. And the rest is chocolate.
Finish: Dark chocolate, sweat, wheat
This is the first time I can honestly say I tasted something that said “oh, the base is whisky” in this dram. Also there’s a flavour of sweat. And not that great, “I taste sweat because I’ve been working out so much and feel swole” feeling, but rather “did I just eat a sock” feeling.
Reminds me of too many ex-girlfriends, if I’m being honest.
Conclusion: As a sipping whisky, this would be a pass for me. I think there are others who have done the chocolate/whisky thing better. Wiser’s Hopped comes to mind.
This one has some off notes. The taste was okay. The whole thing, in the end, tastes of chocolate, because that’s what it’s meant to do. I unfortunately have to judge it as a whisky, thus my score is low because this is basic and there are off notes.
That said, I still think this could be used as a stronger chocolate liqueur quite well. It would make stronger shots. It’s certainly not fake tasting, and there are natural flavours here. So maybe add it instead of bitters to a Chocolate Manhattan, and it’ll work.
World Whisky review #207, Canada reviews #72, Whisky Network review #962