Thanks to /u/devoz for this dram.
Canadian whisky is allowed to still be called Canadian whisky and keep its age statement assuming that less than 1/11th of it is made up of spirits that have been aged at least two years or non-spirit (or wine) added.
This was so that we could add in American whisky to ours and give it flavour.
Oh, I’m sorry, I guess I’m just a little pissed off that my own laws bleed the industry here dry to the point of needing to buy bourbon to add to it.
But what if, perhaps, some company in the US did the same thing? What if they made their own version, ignored the dumb 1/11th rule, and started blending American and Canadian whiskies? Would it be anarchy? Shall we light the torches and burn it all down?
No, that’s reacting like a crazy person. Instead, we should note that this isn’t the first of what I call “World” Whiskies, or whiskies made up of whisky from different countries. Japan does this, Canada does this, there’s been Scotch companies and blending companies, and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that if I look long enough, I could find an Irish company doing it too, and being given stink eye from other Irish people while they do it.
That all brings us to Booker’s Little Book Chapter 2: Noe Simple Task, which is made up of Kentucky straight rye, Canadian rye, and Canadian corn whisky. Each with different ages, different parents, and different methods.
But how does it taste? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: $139.90 CAD at the LCBO
Region(s): Kentucky, USA & Canada (World)
Blend of: Proprietary blend of three whiskeys – 8-year Kentucky straight rye at 119.8 proof, 13-year Canadian rye at 111.9 proof, and 40-year Canadian 100% corn whisky at 137.8 proof
Colour: 10YR 6/10
Nose: Maple syrup, coconut bread, oak, chestnut
Alright, it’s Canadian. We’re all good here, wrap it up ladies and gents!
Nah, that’s not fair. I’ve written about other World Whiskey before, I should go into it more. More wood, richer maple note on the nose. This has benefitted from the American whisky to play against the typical flavours of Canadian, but without taking over their spot in the sun.
Taste: Grape jelly, oak, cinnamon, pear tart, caramel, yoghurt raisins
Interesting note of grape jelly. It has that almost spicy, sweet, interesting mixture to it. That continues with more tart elements and a tart element. See what I did there? I’m so smart.
This doesn’t really let you get used to it. Keeps changing slowly over time. A lot more to the taste than the nose.
Finish: Rich caramel pears, cinnamon, sultanas, gooseberry, mineral
Big flavours, spice, fruit, and more tartness. Mineral shows up after a bit. First spot without big wood notes.
Conclusion: An odd whiskey that frankly kept growing on me. That said, I grew up with Canadian whisky and am used to and enjoy some of the flavours. The nose is going to turn some people off. Keep going is all I can say.
So the question we asked: What happens when Booker’s (as part of Beam) takes on the Canadian whisky idea and just goes for it? Well, you ended up with something nice this time around. Rich flavours, interesting tart notes, and lots of caramel. Is there much unique? Not as much as say some weird IB but enough to entertain a whisky nerd.
The nose is really what’s pulling it down at the end of the day. I’d say pick up a dram if you can, or just buy a bottle if you like Canadian whiskies.
World Whiskey review #357, World review #6, Whisky review #1704