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Question for Canadians

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Question for Canadians

Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:08 pm

My friend has just come back form Canada and has brought me a bottle of Crown Royal which is described as 'Deluxe Canadian Whisky'.

Who, here on the forum, has tasted this stuff and is it any good?
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Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:35 pm

Crown Royal is pretty good stuff as Canadian Whisky goes. If you want to spend a lot of money around Christmas you can get various reserves which are much more and are supposedly a little better but at nearly double the price I don't think it is anywhere near that much better bang for the buck. For a gag gift there are 3L bottles available!

My favorite Canadian is a locally produced dram called Forty Creek Barrel Select by Kittling Ridge (there are even tastings of it here at Whisky Mag). Even cheaper than Crown Royal too (they don't pay for TV and magazine ads I guess, as I've never seen any marketing for it). Both the Forty Creek Barrel Select and Crown Royal Special reserve got gold recommendations here at Whisky Magazine.

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:08 pm

Bruce:

Crown Royal comes in basic, limited edition, and special reserve. Each blend costs more and is (supposedly) better quality. The basic Crown Royal is one of the most popular - if not the most popular - Canadian whisky on the domestic market. Much the same as Power's Gold label is the best selling Irish whisky in their domestic market. Most people make it a point to drink it "straight" as opposed to mixing it.

My opinion is that I don't have to hold my nose when a friend offers me a glass, but it doesn't exactly work over my tastebuds. I consider it bland, boring and not worth looking foreward to. The top level is not bad, but not worth the money.

I agree with Harry that I'd much rather have Something by Forty-Creek although I prefer their Three-Grain brand myself. Perhaps it's because kittling Ridge uses a pot still... I dunno. :o

I'd save the bottle for friends who want something less challanging, or something to mix with cola or ice. You could always re-gift it - it is "delux" whisky after all :lol: :lol: :lol: .

Regards
Frodo
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 17, 2004 5:55 pm

As long as it isn't as bad as the Australian Whisky that I had a few years ago.

Sullivan's sock it was called. Disgusting. :(

My mate only grabbed it because the selection in the duty free shop wasn't up to much.

Canadian whisky is hard to find over here, apart from Canadian Club.
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Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:54 pm

Sullivan's Sock, eh? At least they described the taste, then?

I find Crown Royal much better than Canadian Club, taken neat. Wisers Very Old 18yo is even better and is a good competitor for the Forty Creek, though it is more expensive. I sent some samples abroad and most actually prefered the Wisers 18yo to the Barrel Select and Three Grain.

Harry
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Postby SasquatchMan » Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:21 am

I agree with most of what's been posted. Crown Royal is real easy to drink, and it's good neat, on the rocks, or mixed. Very gentle stuff, with lots of almost ethereal qualities. Smells very fruity.

As said, there are much "whiskier" whiskeys around, and Wiser's is very much an underpromoted product. The whole line is good, and the special editions are very good. But this all within the tradition of Canadian whiskeys. You can't compare Gibson's or Wiser's to Cragganmore. It just doesn't work that way. Canadian whiskey may actually take a finer palate than scotch, to get the subtleties.

There have been lots of postings regarding canadian whiskey and the merits or lack thereof. the good stuff is usually pretty light, fairly sweet, and extremely smooth. Good for a flask on a cold day. But it's no match for malt whiskey. Just different products.

"Bad" Canadian, like Canadian Club (or Royal Reserve, or Black Velvet, or Schenley Golden Wedding, or any of the other million or so brands that actually exist) is bad. Tastes GOOD in coke. Make very drunk. End of story.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:28 am

:D Sullivan's Sock????!!! :shock:

Actually Bruce, it was Sullivan's Cove.

And yes, it is pretty vile stuff. :)
(And horribly over-priced here in its own country!)

There's a story behind it - basically, they used some very poor quality casks that had previously held all manner of beverages. Which is a pity, because the new make spirit had everything else going right for it.

Jim Murray has a small bit to say about it in his 2004 Bible, and I think (from memory) Michael Jackson scored it around 66 or something in his 4th Edition Companion.

But please don't judge all Aussie single malts on the Sullivans Cove - if you can get a hold of anything from Bakery Hill or Angastons, I think you will find a more satisfying dram.

Jim Murray also scored "The Great Australian Outback Whisky" around 93 or 94 in his 2004 Bible. This was a once off bottling, and stocks are pretty hard to come by now. (Personally, I think a score of around 80 is more in line with this particular malt, but Jim was quite taken by it).

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:52 pm

Sullivan's Sock :shock: :shock: :shock: . Now that's a name that would entice me to rush out and buy their product. :P :P :P...
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Postby Admiral » Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:24 pm

I dunno......sales of Sheep Dip aren't doing too badly! 8) :D
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Postby Frodo » Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:18 pm

That's because Sheep Dip is actually drinkable (although not my choice...)
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Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:28 pm

Admiral wrote: :D Sullivan's Sock????!!! :shock:

Actually Bruce, it was Sullivan's Cove.


Yes, I know.

Admiral wrote:And yes, it is pretty vile stuff. :)


Yes I know.





Admiral wrote:But please don't judge all Aussie single malts on the Sullivans Cove - if you can get a hold of anything from Bakery Hill or Angastons, I think you will find a more satisfying dram.


I've had Cradle Mountain whisky. A couple of Swedish friends of mine sent me a picture of me tasting it while the husband looked on. He is wetting himself laughing while my face is contorted to about one fifth of it's normal size. :(

I'd rather vault a fence in a Saab at 40 mph than drink Australian Whisky again. :cry:
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Postby Admiral » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:18 am

Bruce,

I might have to replace your Saab, but I'm sure there's an Aussie malt out there that you'll find nice. :)

I've actually tried both expressions of Cradle Mountain. I thought the single malt was OK. The double malt (which is actually vatted with Springbank) is noticeably better. I would score both of them around 6.6-6.8, which is the same as plenty of dull Speysiders and Lowlanders that I've tasted.

Can you remember which expression of Cradle Mountain you were tasting?

The biggest mistake anyone can make when trying a foreign whisky (e.g. an Australian malt) is to expect it to taste like scotch. We have different water, we use different barley, our stills are a fraction of the size, and the malts usually mature in considerably smaller barrels for only 3 to 5 years.

Earlier this year, one of the newer distilleries, Bakery Hill, launched their three whiskies onto the market. Their range consists of an unpeated malt, a peated malt, and a malt matured in two different woods (like the Balvenie Double Wood). I could be wrong, but I believe the peat used was imported from Scotland.

In any event, these three whiskies are all very, very drinkable, and stand head and shoulders above the Cradle Mountains and Sullivans Coves of this world. National pride aside, I find them far more palatable, flavoursome, and enjoyable than anything I've tasted out of Canada! :lol: 8)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby SasquatchMan » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:44 am

Sure, Admiral. But do they taste good in Coke? :lol:
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:00 pm

Admiral wrote: Bruce,

I might have to replace your Saab, but I'm sure there's an Aussie malt out there that you'll find nice. :)


I'm still haunted by my facial contortions from my last tasting



Admiral wrote: Can you remember which expression of Cradle Mountain you were tasting?


No. I tried to forget as soon as possible.

Admiral wrote:The biggest mistake anyone can make when trying a foreign whisky (e.g. an Australian malt) is to expect it to taste like scotch. We have different water, we use different barley, our stills are a fraction of the size, and the malts usually mature in considerably smaller barrels for only 3 to 5 years.


Sullivan's Sock was ghastly and I wasted a can of coke trying to drown it before I gave up. :(



Admiral wrote:In any event, these three whiskies are all very, very drinkable, and stand head and shoulders above the Cradle Mountains and Sullivans Coves of this world. National pride aside, I find them far more palatable, flavoursome, and enjoyable than anything I've tasted out of Canada! :lol: 8)


Apparently Australia exports the stuff that it considers terrible and saves the good stuff for itself. :lol:

Sullivan's Sock does nothing to dispute that view.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:43 pm

Geez, was I rude to you in another thread or something?? :lol: 8) :D

Ah well, you can't defend the indefencible.

Sadly, despite what you might think, not enough Sullivans Cove was exported. I can assure you, plenty of it was left on these shores for us to have to deal with. :)

If we meet up on your turf one day, I'll re-imburse you the can of coke. :D

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:31 am

Not really, it was a friend of mine who told me that Australians don't drink Foster's beer for example. They export it because they consider it rubbish apparently.

I don't care in that case because I don't drink beer.

Should Cadenhead's or some like that ever bottle a good Australian whisky then I will look forward to drinking it but, until then, I shall avoid Sullivan's Sock
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Postby Admiral » Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:31 am

(Sorry to have hijacked this thread lads, I realise this has nothing to do with Canada!)

Yes, Fosters is our exported beer, and yes, we don't drink much of it because it we think it's crap!

But that's not why we export it. In the mid-1980's, Fosters was owned by a particularly entrepreneurial businessman who realised the world market did not have nor recognise an Australian beer.

Afterall, the world was familiar with Guinness (Ireland), Budweiser (USA), Heineken (Holland), Steinlager (NZ), etc, etc. So there was a market readymade for an Aussie beer.

Now Fosters is a particularly mild lager - it is certainly less full-flavoured (?) than most of the beers we brew here - and this made it less challenging and more attractive to the international palate. (This is the same reason why Glenfiddich continues to be the world's biggest selling malt, long after others have become so widely available).

Also, Fosters is a reasonably marketable name, whereas I don't think you'll ever see "Cane Toad Lager" get worldwide acclaim.

So in summary:

1. An entrepreneurial businessman who saw a market
2. A beer which isn't too challenging to the average palate
3. A name that is simple, distinctive, and marketable.

THAT'S WHY it is Australia's top exported beer.....nothing to do with the fact that we hate it! :)

I know you're active in the whisky festival scene in the UK Bruce, so why not have a great holiday next August and come and join us here in Sydney for our second Whisky Convention! There'll be an absolute smorgasboard of scottish single malts, masterclasses run by John Grant of Glenfarclas, Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail, and - best of all - you can try a decent Australian malt! :wink: :D

Cheers & beers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:10 pm

2 things:

Any idea what this Urquhart fellow is like? He's coming to toronto next week to do a (I guess master class... I don't really know).

Also, Don't be too sure about the name "Cane Toad Lager" being a disincentive to purchase. A Canadian beer (almost back on thread) called Moosehead Lager is making waves internationally due (in part) to it's odd name. Names like this can be used as gimmiks for advertising.

Regards
Frodo
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Postby Admiral » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:14 pm

Actually, Moosehead has been available here in Oz for quite a few years. I don't mind it....it's a bit sweeter than other beers I prefer, but still very refreshing.

Cheers & beers,
Admiral
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Postby hpulley » Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:21 pm

Start the rumour that Cane Toad Lager contains real Cane Toad extract (a hallucinogen I think) and you'll see good sales in the young drinkers market :wink: What with wormwood extract-containing Absinthe being available again (even comes with a slotted spoon) it would be all the rage.

Harry
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:26 pm

Admiral wrote:I know you're active in the whisky festival scene in the UK Bruce, so why not have a great holiday next August and come and join us here in Sydney for our second Whisky Convention!


Or I could just go to the Whisky Fringe in August instead. 8)



Admiral wrote: There'll be an absolute smorgasboard of scottish single malts, masterclasses run by John Grant of Glenfarclas, Michael Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail, and - best of all - you can try a decent Australian malt! :wink: :D

Cheers & beers,
Admiral


Maybe Whisky Live can do something like that at their events. If it's all the same to you, I'll stick to my own back yard.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:10 am

Oh well, let it never be said that I didn't try.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:32 am

Admiral:

Maybe you would be willing to reimburce Bruce for the Sullivan's Sock. Perhaps Bruce's memory of "flushing money down the sewer" wouldn't provoke such a reaction if you did. You know, national pride and all...

I just remember my own reaction to spending $60 cdn on a bottle of Cardu. I can't say the brand name anymore without kicking myself. Perhaps Bruce's reaction is something like mine...??? :idea: :?: :oops: .

Regards
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Oct 24, 2004 11:14 am

Sullivan's Sock was something my mate brought back from his holidays.

I'm glad I didn't pay for it and his dad ended up drinking it anyway and rather enjoyed it.

Besides, I can't afford to go to Australia at the moment so I'll stick with events in my own backyard.
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Postby burgoyne » Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:16 pm

Admiral wrote:Bruce,


The biggest mistake anyone can make when trying a foreign whisky (e.g. an Australian malt) is to expect it to taste like scotch. We have different water, we use different barley, our stills are a fraction of the size, and the malts usually mature in considerably smaller barrels for only 3 to 5 years.

In any event, these three whiskies are all very, very drinkable, and stand head and shoulders above the Cradle Mountains and Sullivans Coves of this world. National pride aside, I find them far more palatable, flavoursome, and enjoyable than anything I've tasted out of Canada! :lol: 8)

Cheers,
Admiral


I've had the NZL Lammerlaw, definitely not as good as expected.

As for Canadian Whiskey, being Canadian and growing up with it, I must say as a group it is pretty awful stuff. It is meant to get someone drunk as cheaply and quickly as possibly, nothing more. There are some exceptions.

Crown Royal, even the generic stuff, is a sublime whiskey that is very drinkable. There is definitetly a strong taste of honey in it (Candian whiskey can add 1/11 of anything else, such as the orangle juice in Canadian Mist). Unfortunately, the crown royal today is not what it was 5 years ago. It was a blend, and the whiskeys they used for flavouring were from shut down distilleries and the stocks have apparently run out. There is a definite difference in crown royal over the last 5 years, and not for the better.

I have a bottle of 21 yr old century reserve which is quite smooth and nice. Again, the exception rather than the rule though.

There have been some distillers going out on a limb lately (Glen Breton, Pike Creek, Alberta Springs) and while their whiskey is palatable, and in many cases far better than the common Canadian Whiskey, it quite simply is not good enough to win over the true whiskey drinkers in Canada, and too expensive to win over the people looking for the most alcohol for the buck.

For most drinkers outside fo Canada and the US, it will have to be Canadian club, absolutely disgusting stuff unless mixed.
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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:04 pm

I respectfully disagree with your characterization of Alberta Springs as paletable. In my opinion, it is just as disgusting as the myriad other Canadian house blends such as Crown Royal, Canadian Club, Segrams VO, etc :x .. At least I could drink Cape Breton (a BIG ripoff for the price) or pike creek. I will concede that Alberta Springs does have a differant flavour profile - more pronounced, spicy (rye I'm guessing). To me though, It just tastes like spicy **** :roll: .

I bought a bottle of Century Reserve once, lured by a reduction in price ($30 cdn for a 21yr old whisky). My responce was that I felt like I was chewing on a tree without a lot of other flavours to balance :evil: . A lot of others have given this whisky good reviews though including my father who usually drinks Scotch. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle :( ?

Respectfully
Frodo
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Postby hpulley » Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:14 pm

Not sure about Alberta Springs Rye but Alberta Premium Rye is a good Rye whisky, quite enjoyable I think. Otherwise I like Wisers Very Old 18yo and both the Forty Creek offerings. Most other Canadian whiskies are best in coke or ginger ale, I'm afraid and even the good ones I mentioned above do not hold a candle to a decent scotch. I'm Canadian but I much prefer scotch over my native whiskies, american whiskies, irish whiskies, etc. Just my opinion of course...

Harry
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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:59 pm

Yea, I"ll agree (if pressed) that for a cheap blend, the Forty-Creek products aren't bad. I tried the 18yr Wisers, didn't like (smooth but bland) :( .

Frodo
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Postby hpulley » Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:44 pm

Unfortunately, it seems that 'smooth and bland' is what many whisky drinkers want :?

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Postby Frodo » Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:57 pm

And I feel duty-bound to expose to those who haven't tried others that scotch doesn't always mean JW red. BTW if less challanging whiskies are what someone looks for, I tend to recommend that they try Irish whisky as in a comparison of whiskies of equivilant prices, Irish seems to always win out over Canadian in my opinion. And Irish tends to be less aggressive than scotch or bourbon...

The catch seems to dealing with being given the fish-eye when sugesting that they cheat on a brand they have given their loyalty to. :roll:

Regards
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Postby SasquatchMan » Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:33 pm

Agree w/hpulley that alberta premium is just about the best tasting mixing rye. The Alberta springs is as far as I can tell, a ten year old version of the same, and Tangle Ridge being a sherried and recasked version of that. I don't know what Frodo is looking for - you have to take each style of whisky on its own and judge within a style. If you don't like Canadian, well, I guess a guy can't change that.

For me, I would take a glass of Gibson's, Wiser's or Crown Royal over a Jameson any day.
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Postby ncassidy » Sun May 01, 2005 10:33 pm

I find myself picking up Crown Royal a lot because it's distinctive: dry nose, toffee note, sweet, oily feel. I suppose it's one of my prototypes for whisky because it's unique. The other major labels don't taste as distinctive to me. VO, CC, and Gibson's have a note that bothers me which I can't really describe, I don't have enough experience. My best stab is "cold, wet aluminum". At any rate, not something I like, reminds me too much of Jack Daniel's.

I really like Alberta Springs, but I don't think it's an apples-to-apples comparison to CR because it's a true rye.

I picked up the limited edition CR last week, haven't got around to opening it yet, will post first impressions here.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon May 02, 2005 8:17 am

Crown Royal used to be one of my favourite ryes, it has i find, just a small, friendly bite when drank neat. Price is premium but somewhat less than the smoother "Special Reserve"@ $52cdn. In any case a far better Canadian whiskey is the Gibson's "Finest Special Old" aged 18yrs.at $37.20cdn. Big toasty oak nose and hints of green-apple and custard; palate very very oaky-sweet, smooth and warm,followed by a long finish with cedary-spice nuttiness.
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Postby Frodo » Thu May 05, 2005 1:07 am

Yea, I second the Gibson's 18yr. The problem is the price point. For C$38 I could get Jameson 12, Redbrest, chez vek ( or however you spell it), or Buffalo Trace. Elmer T. Lee is C$40. I'd much rather have any of those. But if someone offered me some Gibson's 18, I wouldn't accuse them of trying to poison me.

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Canadian whisky

Postby Seelbach » Sat May 07, 2005 8:15 am

Hi,
I'm new here, I'm a relatively new whisky drinker(been interested in it for a little over a year). I started out with scotches, single malts and blends, then Irish whisky, and then settled into bourbon for a good number of bottles. As for Canadian whisky(btw I am Canadian), I at first thought it pretty much tasted like sin, though this was based on Canadian Club for the most part. CC is really only for mixing I guess. Anyway, I just assumed Canadian whiskies were just too bland and alcohol-y for a long time. Then a few influences got me to give them a chance. One influence was the book The Whisky Bible, by Jim Murray, who I am sure everyone is familiar with, which I appreciate for his widespread appreciation of whiskies, and he assesses a drink for what it is, not influenced by price or hype etc. The second influence was my friends, who tend to drink Canadian ryes because they are not actually bad at all, and they are inexpensive.
So, my bourbon phase gave way, and lately I have been enjoying various Canadians. I have found that there certainly are many in the class of CC, like Alberta Premium, Golden Wedding.. too many to name. There are some that are quite delicious, I guess I'd say my favourites have been Wiser's Deluxe(white label) and Wiser's Very Old. It's unpretentious stuff, that is refreshing and easy to drink. I think I might agree with a previous post by SasquatchMan, which suggested that to appreciate Cdn whiskies may take a finer palate. It is subtle and does not bombard the way scotch and bourbons do, more in common with Irish whiskeys I suppose.
Let me also say, I think Crown Royale is pretty tasty too.
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