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Canada Gold Whisky

Review: Canada Gold Whisky   80.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 09, 2013

Canada Gold Whisky has proven to be a hard whisky to get my hands on.I first encountered it when I was one of the judges for the Canadian Whisky Awards, but all of my attempts to retrieve a bottle for review seemed thwarted as the product appears to have only a limited production in the Province of Ontario. It is produced at the Forty Creek Distillery (formerly Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits), the same distillery that produces Forty Creek Whisky, but I have noticed recently that the Forty Creek website no longer mentions this brand as a core product. My persistence finally paid of a few months ago, when a friend of mine in Ontario emailed me and said that he had found a bottle and was willing to share it with me. I received my portion of the bottle when another mutual friend was travelling and brought me 200 ml which had been drawn from the bottle.

Canada Gold is a value priced whisky produced at 40 per cent alcohol by volume (mainly for the Ontario Market).

Canada Gold

In the Bottle 3.5/5

The Canada Gold whisky is sold in the plastic (PET) bottle shown to the left. It is a typical presentation for a ‘value’ whisky. I have mentioned it before, but I am not enthusiastic about plastic (PET) bottles. I often see these bottles being advertised as “environmentally friendly”. The truth is that plastic does not decompose; it remains pretty much as it is for thousands of years. Other than the extremely small amount of plastic that has been incinerated, all of the plastic ever produced on earth is still in the environment. I find this fact hard to reconcile with the notion of plastic being ‘environmentally friendly’. I admit that glass is troublesome as well, but all of the research I have done seems to support the idea that glass is inert chemically, whereas (in my opinion at least) the jury is still out on these plastic (PET) containers.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The whisky displays itself as a pleasant golden spirit with light orange hues when held up to the light. When I tilted my glass and twirled it I saw the an oily sheen dropping small droopy leglets back into the whisky. The aroma rising up out of the glass surprised me by its moderate complexity. Butterscotch and wood spice mix with dank tones of corn in the breezes above the glass. I sense some spicy tobacco and pleasant rye spice drifting into the breezes as well. Within all of this is a gentle sweep of vanilla. A light astringency resides in those breezes as well giving me the impression that the whisky is probably younger than other Forty Creek expressions I have tasted. Despite the light astringency in the air, I am quite content with the overall aroma.

In the Mouth  48/60

The initial entry into the mouth is smooth with flavours of butterscotch and woodspices. The spiciness builds giving us tantalizing flavours of rye spices (ginger), tobacco, and orange zest. Bits of honeycomb, maple and vanilla are apparent as well as an underlying nuttiness which seems to provide a little body to the whisky. I am quite pleased with the overall flavour which tastes quite delicious. There is however a light harshness running through the whisky, which keeps the score down somewhat.

I decided to mix just a little with ginger ale and then cola and I am pleased to report that the light harshness disappears. In addition I noticed that the whisky is robust enough that it pushes through the soda impressing its flavour onto the bar drink.

In the Throat  12/15

Butterscotch and maple flavours seem heightened in the finish as do the oak and rye spices which heat the palate and the throat. The finish is not long and there is a bit of burn which seems unrelated to the spice.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

It is this light burn or harshness which has kept the scores from climbing and although all of the flavour characteristics of the whisky are sound, I think that this whisky will only be sipped occasionally. However, the strong relatively complex flavour of Canada Gold makes this a great mixer.

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Suggested Recipe

Free SpiritFree Spirit

1 1/2 oz. Canadian Whisky
2 to 4 oz Coca Cola
Lime slice
2 – 3 Large Ice Cubes

Build the The Free Spirit over ice in a rocks or highball glass
Rub the lime over the edge of the glass
Drop a lime slice in and stir

And remember, the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits, not more spirits!

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As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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