Review: Schenley OFC Canadian Whisky

Schenley OFCThis whisky has also been around forever. According to the bottle, OFC stands for “Original Fine Canadian”. The back of the bottle references 25 gold medals in 27 competitions of Monde Selection, dating back all the way to Paris in 1973. Impressive. However, I did wonder what monde selection was – it’s an international quality competition that evaluates everything from wine, spirits, and beer to soft drinks and other food products. Online, it was hard to find exactly how OFC did, and when they last won – and, frankly, how prestigious those awards are as I don’t often see mentions of the competition.

Regardless, Schenley has been making a product that many people have enjoyed over the years, and still today – though, at least in Ontario, it seems to be getting harder to find – no longer, at present, available in regular 750 ml bottles. Originally this was produced at the Valleyfield distillery in Quebec, but now it is produced in Lethbridge at the Black Velvet distillery.

Nose: Wonderfully bright and fruity, yet still carrying the spiciness of the rye well. There’s a nice bit of cinnamon on the nose, with an underlying light citrus note and some cola aromas. Overall, the nose is a bit light which is interesting because it carries the touch of spice. And, it is a bit shallow. Some vanilla eventually emerges. 23/30 (77%)

Taste: Slightly syrupy with some fruity rye, some light corn, and sharp grassiness, finishing with a little bit of puckering and warm spice. The sweetness seems a touch too much, but it’s quite sippable, and there aren’t major flaws in what is presented, except perhaps their lightness. I think beyond my preference for bolder whiskies, the subtleties in this one aren’t quite big enough. 24.5/30 (82%)

Finish: The spice comes in, but eventually gives way to some light almond, vanilla, nutmeg, corn oil, a touch of pineapple, and caramel, after which point it drops off reasonably quickly. 16/20 (80%)

Schenley OFC (2)Conclusion: This is very pleasant, and is nice and light while still showcasing the spice and bite of rye. Perhaps a quintessential Canadian, with the lightness, unaggressiveness, and touch of rye. I think I am often tempted to look at a rating as “low” as this, and interpret it wrong – this is still a good sipper in my opinion and would be a great mixer. It’s too bad OFC appears to be getting harder to find, although I heard they’re upping production again – it is a solid whisky. 16/20 (80%)

Overall: 79.5/100

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7 thoughts on “Review: Schenley OFC Canadian Whisky

  1. Pingback: My Top 10 Budget Canadian Whiskies (Sept. 2014) | Whisky Won

  2. Pingback: My Top 15 “Mid-Range” Canadian Whiskies (Sept. 2014) | Whisky Won

  3. We have enjoyed OFC since the 70’s, now in New Brunswick, we can only buy the 750 ml size and it’s not even available in Nova Scotia, why is this? Why is the larger bottles not available in N.B.?

    • Yes – strange. You can’t get the 750 ml bottles in Ontario anymore – I heard they were slowing production for a bit but are increasing it again. However, regarding distribution – to an extent, it’s what is being bought, and to an extent, it’s a mystery and dictated by what is actually being brought in. Contacting the distributor would give more/better info

  4. I bought a couple of 1L bottles last evening at the Duty Free store in Sarnia, Ontario, on my way to the U.S. (CAN$10.99) They had perhaps 20 bottles on the shelf; don’t know how many behind the scenes. The onsite “expert” did not endorse the quality, and was more enthusiastic about Gibson’s Finest (CAN$11.00 at Duty Free). So, I bought two of each, and lied to U.S. Customs upon re-entering that great republic. (Oh, wait, did I type that out loud?)

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