...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, January 2, 2012

NOT Single Malt Report: Windsor Canadian Whisky

How I have mock'd thee,
Thou plastic-bottled whiskey.
For that, I'm sorry.

My in-laws make a pilgrimage to their homeland of Ohio every December 26th.  I have joined them on this excursion for three out of the last four years.  Westerville, outside of Columbus, marks the first stop.  At the second stop, North Canton, Grandpa Bob Perry always has a bottle of Canadian whisky on the liquor cart, without fail.

Seven & Seven is his drink.  Classically it's a mix of Seagrams 7 and 7-Up.  But presently that can encompass any Canadian whisky and ginger ale.

Often I spy his Canadian Club (6yrs) and splash some on the rocks while everyone else enjoys their gin & tonics, wine, and American beer.  Upon this year's arrival though I found two big plastic handles (1.75L) of Windsor Canadian.  Mr. Perry offered it up and I accepted.  Tried it neat, on the rocks, with club soda, and with ginger ale.

Windsor is distributed by Fortune Brands, which is aligned with Beam Inc.  It has ZERO online presence.  One Windsor fan created a Facebook page...and that's about it.  Here's a marketing blurb that I found:
A connoisseur's whisky of incomparable quality. A supremely smooth whisky made with waters born in the clean, clean Canadian Rockies. Blended and distilled under strict supervision of the Canadian Government. Supremely smooth. Made with only premium Western Canadian grains and glacial born waters.
Now let's get to some clean, clean reporting:

Producer: Fortune Brands, with Beam Inc.
Brand: Windsor Canadian
Region: Alberta, Canada
Age: minimum 3 years
Blend: corn, barley, and grain whiskies
Alcohol by Volume: 40%

I'll start off by saying that Windsor + ginger ale is scrumptious.  Windsor 'n Ginger.  Dessert in a glass.  Like sugary pastries.  Must have something to do with the mingling of corn whisky and corn syrup.  A Windsor highball (club soda & ice) is very smooth and inoffensive.  But on the final night in North Canton, I did a proper tasting.

The color is very light, like a chardonnay with a little bit of amber.  The nose is surprisingly punishing: varnish, rotten cream, nail polish, old sweat, more nail polish.  It's like sniffing Prohibition-era smuggled Canadian moonshine.  Then a sip to try the palate...

Mmmm.  Ladyfingers (the cookies, not the digits).  Moist angel cake, cinnamon, vanilla custard.  And something else.  I can't put my manfinger (sorry, that sounds wrong) on it.  Another taste.
Nillas!  This tastes like Nillas!  Suddenly, I have Nilla Wafers on the mind.  Even the finish notes say, "Brief w/ more Nillas!"

It doesn't cloud (chill-filtering!), but does look oily.  The nose shifts a little, sideways.  Weird sweet old cream, reminiscent of bad Scotch noses.  Very sweet wine.  The palate = soggy Nillas.  The finish still brief and Nilla'ed, but a little bitter at the end.

I'm really glad that I had a chance to try this.  Thank you, Grandpa Bob Perry!

Now how do I rate this?  The palate is much better than the nose.  I'll give the palate a little more weight since it mixes pretty well.

Pricing - 750mL = less than $10; 1.75L = $13-$16; Bargain! (and also, Nillas!)
Rating - 74