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Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple

Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple   82.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 05, 2015

Canadian Club Whisky (owned by BeamSuntory) is the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world. The company has been granted numerous Royal Warrants from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II and it has been reported that Canadian Club was the whisky of choice when Al Capone smuggled thousands of Cases of Canadian Whisky into the USA during prohibition. Today Canadian Club Premium is the flagship brand for the company. In Canada, it is aged for a minimum of 6 years in white oak barrels and bottled at 40 per cent alcohol by volume.

Recently Canadian Club added to their flavoured and spiced portfolio by releasing a new maple flavoured whisky , Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple. According to the Canadian Club website:

Our master distillers have brought together the world’s finest Canadian whisky with the perfect hint of maple flavour.

A few months ago I spoke to Dan Tulio, Canadian Whisky Global Master Ambassador for BeamSuntory and he arranged for me to receive a bottle of the Chairman’s Select Maple for me to review here on my website.

Select mapleIn the Bottle 3.5/5

Canadian Club doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go with respect to their bottle design for its flavoured whiskies. Two years ago I lauded the company for switching to a rectangular bottle for their Dock 57 branded flavoured and spiced whiskies. However I see that for the Chairman’s Select Maple they have reverted back to the cylindrical bottle which houses their flagship whisky. I guess it makes sense, as their new Chairman’s Select 100 % Rye is also housed in this same bottle style, but to be honest the rectangular bottle looks far nicer on my bar shelf, and I struggle to see why the two flavoured brands are being distanced from each other.

I also feel the labeling of their Maple flavoured whisky lacks the professional touch which I would expect to see from Canada’s oldest and most influential whisky producer. I find the colour scheme chosen, and the font selection (especially the giant font used for the word ‘MAPLE’) on the front label lacks eye appeal.

Note: According to that label, the flavoured whisky is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

In the Glass 8/10

When I pour the whisky into my glass, I find the flavoured whisky is pretty straight forward in what it is trying to present. The spirit has a soft gold colour, and when my glass is given a slow tilt and twirl I see thickened legs developing which crawl slowly back down into the spirit. The thickened legs are evidence of the real Canadian maple added to the whisky, and indeed it is that aroma of maple which one notices almost immediately when the glass is poured. As I continue to inspect the breezes above the glass, I notice a ribbon of wood and rye spice as well. These typical Canadian Whisky scents seem to work well within the maple, and I am happy that as I allow the glass to sit and breathe, the whisky scents grow alongside the maple in the breezes.

In the Mouth 50/60

When I steal a sip from the glass, again it is the flavour of maple which one notices immediately (as we should). However, I was pleased to taste a firm whisky presence within the spirit as well. (This experience is similar to that which I observed when I reviewed the Canadian Club Dock 57 (Spiced whisky).) Despite the obvious maple taint, the flavoured whisky still retains its character as a whisky. Sipping at room temperature, the Chairman’s Select Maple is perhaps a touch too sweet for my palate; however, when chilled with either ice or by placing the spirit in my freezer for a few hours the Chairman’s Maple transforms into a pleasant sipping spirit.

I mixed a few cocktails, and discovered that for me, ginger-ale worked better than cola as the added caramel sweetness of cola seemed to be too sweet when combined with the maple. I decided to continue with the ginger-ale and mixed a nice tall cocktail which I have shared at the bottom of the review.

In the Throat 12.5/15

Even though we have a spirit which runs on the sweet side of the fence, there is a surprising but welcome rye-like bitterness in the finish which runs side by side with the sweetness of the maple. Again I am happy that the underlying whisky has not been smothered by the sweet maple.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple is not a complicated spirit. It is pretty much what I expected, a fusion of maple syrup and Canadian Club Whisky. I am happy that the spirit has retained its whisky character, and I suspect that new whisky drinkers will find the spirit very approachable.

My score of 82.5/100 represents a spirit which is not overly complex, but can be enjoyed as a sipper when served over ice as well as in tall mixed drinks with ginger-ale.

You may read some of my other reviews of  Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

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Suggested Recipe

Maple MammyChairman’s Maple Mammy

1 oz Chairman’s Select Maple Whisky
3/4 oz Canadian Club Premium
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
dash of Sugar Syrup (optional)
1/2 cup ice
Ginger Ale
Lime zest

Remove thin strips of lime peel from a fresh lime
Fill a large rocks glass half full of ice
Add the lime juice and the Canadian Whiskies
Top with ginger ale
Add a few threads of lime peel and stir gently.

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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I am always asked what my numbers actually mean. In order to provide clarification, you may (loosely) interpret the scores 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 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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