The oldest Canadian whisky ever bottled, The Icon is packaged in a thick-based square decanter-style bottle engraved with the Canadian Club logo, and presented in a black shadow box lined with CC's classic retro-print advertising.
In 1952 someone in New York City's Times Square flipped the switch on the world’s largest neon sign, and for the next 25 years Broadway basked in the glow of Canadian Club. The whisky was already a global icon by then, having grown from its Hiram Walker roots in 1858, to one of the most smuggled whiskies during Prohibition, to skyrocketing popularity as the emblematic Canadian whisky. James Bond drank it with soda and ice in Dr. No long before he made the erroneous switch to shaken Martinis. When Grace Metalious was writing Peyton Place, she kept a Canadian Club and ginger at hand. The whisky was also a favourite of the fictional character Don Draper in the television show Mad Men and bottles featured in Boardwalk Empire.
When Canadian Club’s Broadway neon lights went out in 1977, a light bulb turned on above the head of a Hiram Walker employee named Jack A. Farrell. The man in horn-rimmed glasses astutely filled corn distillate into freshly dumped ex-bourbon barrels that had previously held 10-year-old Canadian rye whisky. The whisky sat in those barrels through decades, with Farrell's successors taking care of it until 2017, when they bottled some at 40 years to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary.
The Chronicles Series was born in 2018 when Farrell’s whisky reached 41 years old. The first release was called Water of Windsor. Each successive year another issue followed: The Dock Man in 2019, The Speakeasy in 2020 and The Whisky Sixes in 2021, each building on the narrative of the Canadian Club's Prohibition-era history. Judicious blending gave each release an identity of its own until this final 45-year-old release, which is all corn whisky proofed to 50% ABV.
"It's an incredible spirit that just kept getting better with age," says Canadian Club brand ambassador Tish Harcus. "Basing our final expression in the Chronicles Series on the cultural and historical significance of Canadian Club is fitting for a brand that has played such a significant role in the collective consciousness over the past 160 years. Canadian Club is truly an icon in and of itself and I believe that the Chronicles Series' journey from [the] 41 Years Old through to the 45 Years Old has shown the incredible legacy of the spirit."
When Canadian Club announced the Chronicles Series in 2018, they hinted that a 50-year-old whisky would follow the 45. And while the series naturally concludes with The Icon, expect an even grander finale in 2027 for Jack Farrell’s whisky, 50 years after he filled those once-used rye barrels. This is whisky, after all, not Stranger Things. But, like the classic television shows of Canadian Club’s past – stay tuned. The Icon is available in Canada and the United States priced at approximately CA$500.