Here’s another Canadian whisky with histroy. According to Davin De Kergommeax’s fabulous book Canadian Whisky, it was first produced at the McGuinness distillery in Toronto, but in the 1980s production was moved to Corby distillery in Corbyville, near Belleville. When this was closed, moved to Hiram Walker Distillery.
It’s produced by the Sazerac company, and even says “aged in oak” (as opposed to?) , with a pouring top – it is designed for the mixing crowd (and perhaps the mixing crowd that doesn’t know anything about whisky!).
The bottles used to have a tassel on them, which is, I assume, where the name came from. I would doubt if the tassels were silk, however…
Nose: Sharp rye with some light fresh plums, some brown sugar, some light molasses notes giving a bit of a rum-like feel to the whisky. It’s a bit harsh, and untamed…and some bitterness emerges over some time. There’s a light caramel scent as well, and eventually a bit of pine, light vanilla, and bourbon notes come through. 22/30 (73%)
Taste: Sweet brown sugar undertones lead to some fruity rye (more plums), prunes,raisins, and dates. Despite a medium body, it doesn’t have a lot of spiciness to it, and there’s a very light tinge of bitterness which doesn’t detract from the whisky but gives it a bit of an edge – as bitterness can to dark chocolate. It’s quite simple, but does its job pretty well. 23.5/30 (78%)
Finish: Lightly sweet, without much flavour but some light grainy, fruity, almond, and molasses notes. I find after some time the finish dries out a bit and a touch of spices come out, but the feel of this is not altogether wonderful. There’s nothing very negative about what is present in the finish (except the feel of it, slightly), but it isn’t complex, big, or long. 14.5/20 (73%)
Conclusion: This is quite pleasant to sip as it has moderate sweetness and doesn’t have any notes on the taste that are very harsh. It’s simple and not very complex – a simple mixer. However, that said, I don’t mind sipping it (though I certainly wouldn’t stock it to sip!). 14.5/20 (73%)