Tag Archives: canadian whisky

Canadian Club Rye

                                                             As you have read in our previous Canadian Whisky reviews,  you know we are not huge fans of Canadian juice. They are not terrible, but the ones we have tried lacked complexity and character with the one exception being Crown Royal Northern Rye. So maybe our neighbors to the North have figured out how to make a decent Rye, we will see.

Canadian Club 100% Rye comes with a synthetic cork in a short rectangular bottle, which is very different from the original CC bottle and sports a green label. It is bottled at a Whisky standard minimum of 80 proof (like almost all Canadian juice), sells for around $18 for the 750 ml bottle and seems to be widely available. There is no age statement on the bottle and we couldn’t get clarification of its age researching the Internet. It seems to be around 2 years old.

One thing our research did uncover is that the regular CC is made of corn, Rye, and barley. While this in itself is not news, how it all comes together is enlightening. All three ingredients are distilled and aged separately then are blended just prior to bottling. Traditionally the mash bill of Rye and all Bourbon is distilled together, then aged in oak until matured, and finally bottled. So this is just the same Rye ingredient of the traditional CC before it is blended and bottled. This process seems to resemble an assembly line rather than a traditional Whiskey producer.


Todd:  Like almost all Rye that has not been aged very long, I get a nose of bad Irish Whisky and varnish. I also get some faint hints of toast, malt and a oily-smoky odor. Strange, being 100% Rye it didn’t really smell like a Rye.

Ron:   First thought, it’s Canadian! I get the varnish and slight bit of malt that Todd picked up. Nothing really jumps out though, just secondary aromas of wet wood, ethanol and a hint of Rye. I also get an ever so slight scent of brown sugar.


Todd:  I get the same varnish and bad Irish Whisky upfront that I got on the nose. Also like the nose, this doesn’t taste like a Rye. Secondary taste included malt, oil and a touch of floral. Somewhat hot for 80 proof but fairly smooth.

Ron:   Agree, hot for 80 proof. I get the varnish, malt and ethanol that I got on the nose. Add to that, some spice and bitterness.


Todd:   Medium with more varnish.

Ron:    Medium-short with more bitterness and ethanol.


Todd:  I did not really enjoy this Whisky, it actually took me a while to get the taste out of my mouth.

Ron:   Simply not impressed one bit. I don’t need a bottle taking up valuable real estate in my cabinet.

Nose      2.5 out of 5

Taste      6.5 out of 10

Finish     2.5 out of 5

Total score      11.5 out of 20 Barrels

We know the bottle only sells for around $18 but we both like the original CC better. You can often find the original in the 1.75 ml jug for under $20. This tastes more like varnish or paint than a Rye. We both had to wash out our glasses and mouths before we enjoyed a real Rye on our second pour (you will have to read our next blog to find out what it was).

Our recommendation to you, avoid! Our recommendation to CC, use Canadian Club 100% Rye for its original purpose, as an ingredient in the original Canadian Club.

Short Reviews of Some Bottom Shelf Dwellers

We decided to roll several reviews into one. These will be shorter and in a different format from our normal reviews. All of the following Whiskey’s Or Whisky’s are more or less on the very cheap end of the price spectrum, and generally not to our liking. By cheap, we mean around $10 for the 750ml and some times in the low teens for the 1.75ml. We decided to review them anyways because they are well known names,  some of which you will probably recognize, and are pretty popular.

We are not against inexpensive spirits, those who follow our blog know that we are fans of JTS Brown, and Heaven Hill Old Style. Both go for just over $10. For a few dollars more there is Rebel Yell and Evan Williams.

Most of these are not Bourbons. That means they can have additives and don’t have to follow any of the Bourbon rules.


Neither of us had ever tried this, even in our misspent youth. The bottle says it is 80% neutral grain spirit and 20% 2 year old Whiskey. So essentially a flavored vodka. 8 Star is 80 proof and widely available.

8 star has a nose of paint/lacquer. Very very sweet taste, sickeningly sweet, probably because of additives. No finish. It is so sweet you could probably mix with a diet Coke and have it taste like the regular cola.


The front label says “100% Blended American Whiskey”, that sounds a lot better than saying it is 70% neutral spirits mixed with 30% Whiskey. CE is bottled at 80 proof and pretty easy to find.

We both got slight whiffs of Rye but not much else on the nose. Reminded us in some ways of a Canadian Whisky. The taste was not much different, a little Rye but not much else. Not a real pleasant drink.


A blended Canadian Whisky that has no age statement.

Strange nose of ethanol, sweetness and a rotten caramel like smell. Not good. Very sweet taste, too much so with a terrible taste of varnish. No finish. We both threw this out, couldn’t even finish 3/4 of an oz.


Early Times has a somewhat strange slogan, ” For a Taste worth the Wait”. We say strange because we would be surprised if it has been aged for more than a year. It is 80 proof and found just about everywhere.

We both had to strain just to get a nose of plastic, musty medicine and a slight cooked vegetable smell. The taste was surprisingly hot considering it is only 80 proof. Flat with no character that reminded us of drinking vodka with a tablespoon of sugar. No finish to speak of, if possible maybe even more sweetness.


J W Dant is by far the best of the super cheap. A Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which means it is at least 4 years old and it is 100 proof so you are getting less water and more bang for your buck. Plus, J W takes us back to our youth and some found memories.

A decent nose with a touch of caramel. Very hot and somewhat rough on the tongue with a bit of the caramel we got on the nose. With some effort we got a little bit of a fruit taste. Not much finish, just a little sweetness, definitely better with some water.


Kessler says it is an American Blended Whiskey, which sounds like a blend of different Whiskies. No, it is 72.5% neutral grain spirit, again think vodka, with 27.5% Whiskey.  Bottled at 80 proof and sold almost everywhere. We will put to the test their motto  “Smooth as Silk”.

The aroma was not as terrible as expected, getting a little grain, alcohol and a slight medicinal smell. Not much flavor , maybe a little grain and definitely some sweetness. It is smooth but hell, so is water. No real finish except a little more sweetness. Not the greatest stuff but it beats the Canadian cheap stuff.


Seagram’s 7 Crown American Whiskey, most of us probably remember ordering a “7 & 7” sometime in our lives. It seemed cool to order that drink, and as our memories serve, wasn’t all that bad. How will it taste without the 7 Up?

Seagram’s 7 is bottled at 80 proof and sells for around $13 for the 750ml, making it a little more expensive than the others on this list.

Decent nose, though nothing extraordinary. A little caramel, maybe a little vanilla and a slight bit of cocoa. Fairly smooth neat with some of the tastes we got on the nose along with a hint of Rye. Finish was short to medium with not much going on. All and all, not a bad drink. Probably best used as a mixer with a soda, 7 Up anyone?


A blended Canadian Whisky that is 3 years old and bottled at 80 proof. Like Seagram’s, Windsor sells for a couple of dollars more than the others.

A nose of paint, varnish and some Rye. Sounds strange but is smells Canadian. A “flat” taste of the same things we got on the nose with a little bitterness thrown in. Medium to short finish with no character.  Use as a mixer only.