Canadian Club 20 Years Old Select Whisky
Nose: The nose opens on cloves, nutmeg and sweet rye spices before a truckload of fresh-cut lumber, cedar, and bond paper rolls in bringing with it some rich oaky notes. Smatterings of toffee, sweet fruits and grape drink balance off dry rye grain and almost meaty autumn smells: dry leaves and a hint of wood smoke. The nose is full and complex and so well-integrated that it smells like nothing so much as its distinctive self.
Palate: What starts out woody with some soft oak tannins, but without their harshness, quickly displays a range of tightly integrated flavours. These spread slowly across the tongue, but you have to pay attention to pick out fleeting individual notes. Sweet rye spices including nutmeg, hints of cloves, and cinnamon soon establish their presence, followed by a muted hot pepper. Patience is rewarded as the spiciness intensifies, with lots of complex interactions over constant rye notes until the whole becomes very hot and peppery with hot ginger in the background.
About this time you begin to notice sweet black fruits and prune juice, with a balancing and refreshing bitter citrus zest. The fruity sweetness is underscored by toffee and vanilla notes with hints of burnt sugar. This is a weighty and mouth-filling whisky with a slightly creamy body.
Finish: Medium-long and fading, the finish is warm, sweet and slightly peppery as it disappears into traces of spices, vanilla, fruit, and wood. The flavours remain complex and well-integrated even as they diminish, with no dominant individual notes, but a concluding zing that is sweet and zesty and citric.