Eagle Rare Bourbon

eagle

The weather in Indiana changed, go figure, so after a few weeks of doing our tasting outside, the cold has returned, moving us inside. But we can still enjoy sipping on some good Bourbon.

Up today is Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Buffalo Trace, a distillery that Todd has visited and Ron Really, Really wants to visit. Eagle Rare is bottled at 90 proof in a tall, slender, good looking corked bottle with an Eagle on the front. It sells for around $30-$35 and is readily available.

NOSE

Ron:    A very good nose with caramel, oak, and spice up front. This is followed by slight scent of anise, tobacco and fruit.

Todd:    I agree, good nose with brown sugar, vanilla, wood and caramel leading the way. Behind that were subtle aromas of pepper, plum, leather and grain.

TASTE

Ron:    A sweet and spicy tongue along with caramel and oak. I also got a faint taste of anise, and the fruit that I got on the nose changed to cherries in the taste.

Todd:   A little hot neat, real good with a couple of cubes. Very strong, yet clean flavors of oak, caramel and a chocolate cake type taste. Also had a slight bit of mustiness as well as mint.

Ron:   Even after adding a cube, I liked mine neat unlike Mr. two cubes above.  I also got a bit of the mint after Todd mentioned it.

FINISH

Ron:       Decent medium to long finish with an Oaky essence.

Todd:     Medium to long with a sweetness and a bit more of the mint.

OVERALL

Ron:   I’ve had this Bourbon frequently but not as of late. This is a great Bourbon! Glad I just got a bottle as a gift from my neighbor. I have Great neighbors!

Todd:    I would stop short of calling it great, but it is very very good. To me this is a grown up version of the regular Buffalo Trace.

Nose      4.25 out of 5

Taste      9 out of 10

Finish     4 out of 5

Total                  17.25 out of 20 Barrels

Well we both liked Eagle Rare and both would buy it again, especially if you can find it for under $30. This Bourbon has the nose and the taste of all the classic traits you expect from a good bottle. Probably best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, not quite spicy enough for a cocktail and a little to pricey to mix anyways.

The price point and availability puts it into competition with Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek. If you are a fan of either of those, give Eagle Rare a try. We think you will like it better.

Canadian Club Whisky

cc                                                             Canadian Club, or as their fans call it CC, has been a staple in American and Canadian homes for Decades. At one point, mid 20th century, it was one of the most popular hard liquors in the the United States. Evidence can be found in popular culture like Mad Men, a T.V. show set in the sixties. Don Draper, the star of Mad Men, seemed to always have a glass of CC in his hand.

The name originates from the fact it was first sold only in clubs, and was thus called Club Whisky. That is not a typo, CC uses the Scottish spelling of Whisky which drops the e. Then some time in the late 19th century the word Canadian was added.

The standard Canadian Club, which we are reviewing here, is bottled at 80 proof in a plain looking dark brown bottle with a screw top. It can be found everywhere spirits are sold and is under $15, sometimes even under $12.   It is aged for 6 years.

CC is a Canadian Whisky, which is a class onto itself. They follow most of the same rules that Bourbon follows but not all of them. The main difference being Canadian Whisky does not have to be aged in new charred oak barrels like American Bourbon. They have to be aged at least 3 years, but that can be in used barrels. Canadian Whiskies usually have a little more Rye in the mash bill as well and almost always are a blend.

NOSE

Todd:   Very different than what I expected. Got a strong sweet smell of a candy that I couldn’t identify. This along with some orange, pear, and a slight scent of varnish. Nothing like a Bourbon nose.

Ron:    Nothing big as far as aromas. A little Rye, some citrus, some kind of grain and a little bit of a spicy scent. Not bad for the price. I also got a bit of furniture polish which is probably Todd’s varnish.

TASTE

Todd:     Very smooth even neat, almost no burn at all. Only needed one cube. Unfortunately not a whole lot of flavor either. Tasted a little citrus and spicy Rye along with a lot of sweetness. Picked up a slight taste of the varnish that I had got on the nose.

Ron:     Holy crap, Mr. 2 or 3 ice cubes Todd only used one! Miracles never cease.  A little bit of grain, citrus and spice. Not a bad drink, but I’m just not getting much.

FINISH

Todd:    Medium is being generous, got a slight bit of black licorice.

Ron:     Medium to short, not much to add regarding any new taste.

OVERALL

Todd:  I didn’t dislike CC, it’s like most Canadian stuff I try. Very smooth but not a lot of flavor. Also not really my taste profile. I didn’t get any caramel, vanilla, leather or wood that I get from Bourbon.

Ron:    Not a terrible drink, but for the price give me JTS Brown, Rebel Yell or even Heaven Hill. When I was a kid my mom’s “stepping out” drink was CC and 7-up. She was really kicking it when she ordered this drink at a party.

Nose    4 out of 5

Taste    7 out of 10

Finish   3.5 out of 5

Total            14.5 out of 20 barrels

Canadian Club Whisky is not a bad drink and makes for a decent cocktail, albeit a little on the sweet side. At that price point you won’t mind using it as a mixer. We have actually seen this on sale for $19.99 for a 1.75 ML. That puts it under $10 for 750 ML, there is just not much juice at that price point worth drinking. CC would also make a decent beginner or lead in to American Bourbon.

The only good glass we have had from Canada at a reasonable price was Crown Royal Rye which we reviewed last November. The rest all seem to lack depth in the taste department. Having said that, we would buy a bottle of CC over the standard bottle of Crown Royal. The taste profiles are very close but CC is about half the price.

Bottom line, if you like your drink to be a little sweeter and smoother, or if you are on a budget, give it a try.