Canadian Club Reserve 10 years old (40% alc./vol.)
Sweet, peppery, and fruity, with a pleasing bitter zest. Hard, flinty, earthy rye tinged with cinnamon and ginger. Nice weight and creamy mouthfeel. Spicy Rye. ★★★★Canadian Club is probably the best known Canadian whisky brand in the world; the first bottles appeared in the 1880’s and it is now available in over 150 countries. Originally, Hiram Walker let his Canadian Club whisky mature for seven years, then chose to offer it instead as a six-year-old version. In the early 1990's, other bottlings, some of them even older, and based on four mash bills, were added to the line. This splendid ten-year-old Canadian Club rye whisky is typical of the hard-rye genre, displaying a steely firm foundation for luscious caramels, ripe fruit, and hot spices.Nose: Citric notes, dried grain, flinty rye notes, then fruity. It smells slightly floral and remains vaguely citric, and just a little bit meaty. The nose changes over time, developing loads of fruity rye notes including hints of sherry, rich ripe black fruits, and sweet fruity aromatics. Did I detect a little bit of sweet-and-sour sauce in there? Why yes, I think I did.Palate: Sweet and fruity with a pleasing bitter zest. Soon there’s hot pepper, a slight astringency like walnut skins, and lots of concentrated fruit. Under it all, a very pleasant rye bitterness keeps everything under control. It’s sweet, creamy, almost buttery, with lots of flavours yet somehow it seems quite simple. There are lots of hot spices, hints of fresh water plants – the earthiness of rye, then cinnamon, pepper, and maybe a hint of salt. It has nice weight and the slippery creaminess feels good in your mouth. It’s very fruity, but nothing really sticks out except maybe some stewed prunes. The vague hints of ginger and cinnamon are typical of whiskies with a high rye content. And slowly it develops a pleasant warming glow under all that peppery heat.Finish: Medium-long. It becomes quite hot, then fades slowly and sweetly away with the typical underlying almost bitter-lemon rye zest that cleans the palate as it fades, leaving behind a few notes of cinnamon and ginger.Empty Glass: Carmel, toffee, brown sugar, sweet cereal, fruit juice, slightly floral with cloves, mint, and dried fruit.Canadian Club Reserve 10 year old is not just the regular Canadian Club aged for a few more years. No, the folks at Canadian Club have created a range of different whiskies, each one the result of tweaking Hiram Walker’s original recipe by changing the ratios of grains, using different types of barrels, and of course, varying the ageing times. The recipe for this version, Canadian Club Reserve, includes about 30% rye and rye malt. These, along with corn and barley malt distillates, are blended together as new spirit before being put in barrels to age.About 40% of the blended spirit goes into new oak barrels which emphasize the spirit’s aggressive rye notes. The rest is matured in re-charred Jim Beam barrels. After ten years, the mature whiskies are brought together and re-blended before final bottling. So, even though the spirit that goes into CC Reserve is “barrel blended,” the whisky in the bottle has elements of both new and re-charred oak in it, and this is what makes it such a winning combination.At $25.00 Canadian Club Reserve is a bargain indeed.Highly recommended★★★★Canadian Club 8 year old Sherry Cask reviewed here.Canadian Club 12 year old Classic reviewed here.Canadian Club 15 year old reviewed here.Canadian Club 20 year old reviewed here.Canadian Club 30 year old reviewed here.