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Canadian Club Barley Batch Limited Edition Whisky

Review: Canadian Club Barley Batch Limited Edition Whisky (86/100)
a Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 13, 2019

In the fall of 2018 Canadian Club released a special Limited Edition Whisky which celebrated Canadian Club’s 160th anniversary in the fall of 2018, the Canadian Club Barely Edition. Just as the name implies this is a whisky which relies heavily upon the influence of barley grain as the whisky is a blending of six-year-old barley malt whisky (produced in Calgary by Alberta Distillers) with Canadian Club’s flagship Canadian Club Whisky (produced in Windsor Ontario  at the Hiram Walker Distillery.

This Canadian Only release recently became available in my home Province of Alberta, and I manged to secure a bottle for tasting. I found it interesting that Canadian Club has chosen to bottle this expression at 42 % alcohol by volume rather than the traditional 40 % abv. which is more typical of the Canadian Club Family.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

The Barley Batch Limited Edition Whisky arrives in the familiar clear cylindrical glass bottle which houses the Canadian Club 20 Year Old Whisky. This is a step up from the bottle which houses the Flagship Canadian Club 1858. The foil wrap at the top adds perhaps a little pizzazz to the presentation as does the attractive white and blue label which Canadian Club has chosen to represent the whisky. The label speaks to the heritage of the Canadian Club Brand and highlights its 160 year history.

Of course the most important aspect of the presentation is whether or not it stands out from the crowd such that it can entice a purchase decision in the retail setting. This is one of the few reviews I am penning from a purchased bottle. So it is obvious that the presentation of the spirit moved at least myself to the cash register.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Barley Batch whisky has a pleasant amber hue in the glass and when I gave that glass a slow tilt and twirl, I saw medium droplets form at the crest which dropped as long slender legs.

The initial aroma is filled with herbal grass and menthol accented by butterscotch, almond and vanilla. I begin to notice scents of burlap and barley pushing their way through with some wood spices in the background. The herbal nature of the spirit is intriguing; this is quite a departure for the Canadian Club brand.

In The Mouth 51.5/60

The first sip reveals spicy grain and woodspice which freshens the palate. Again I find obvious herbal flavours in the whisky led by grassy alfalfa hay and menthol. There is a light malty sweetness as well with both butterscotch and maple. This is filled out with firm barley grain (burlap and leather) mingled with almond and vanilla. The second sip brings indications of canned fruit (apricot and peaches) and nice ribbons of milk chocolate. Although the spirit does not show more evolution on furhter sips, the light complexity and firm herbal nature appeals to me.

I mixed a few cocktails beginning with a simple whisky and ginger-ale highball followed by a whisky Old Fashioned. Both cocktails appealed to me demonstating that the Barley Batch spirit has good versatility in terms of mixology. I decided that the highball style suited my mood the best and so I created a somewhat fancy tall serving which I have shared below.

In The Throat 13/15

The spirit is medium bodied with a shortened lightly sweet vanilla and almond finish. I can taste both barley and some lightly bitter rye flavours during the exit with perhaps a touch of chocolate lingering briefly at the end.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I think Canadian Club has done a great job. The Barley Batch Limited Edition Whisky is a intriguing whisky which serves a a nice diversion from their regular line-up. The whisky is also quite versatile as it is able to slip into delicious highball cocktails as well as more elegant short servings like the Old Fashioned.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Servings

Barley Batch Highball

1 1/2 oz Canadian Club Barley Batch Limited Edition Whisky
1/4 oz Bols Triple Sec
dash or two Angostura Bitters
Splash of Ginger-ale
Slice of Lime

Fill a medium sized tumbler with ice
Add the Canadian Club Barley Batch Whisky with a pinch of Bols Triple Sec
Add a dash or two of Angostura Bitters
Finish with a dollop of Ginger Ale
Garnish with a lime slice

Please 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!


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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