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Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls

Review: Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls  93.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (aka Arctic Wolf)
Published September 24, 2019

Last year, Corby Spirit and Wine Limited added Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls to its 2018 Northern Borders Rare Collection whisky line-up. The whisky pays homage to William Gooderham act of generosity when he  cared for eleven orphans on their voyage to Canada. According to family accounts, Gooderham is reported to have all but adopted all of these children. In keeping with the tradition of the story of these eleven souls eleven different whisky casks were blended to create this whisky expression These casks were filled with spirit of various distillation methods comprised of five different grains (malted and unmalted rye, Brasetto rye, red winter wheat, malted and unmalted barley and corn) each aged in new white oak, ex bourbon casks or Canadian whisky casks.

Gooderham and Worts was merged in 1926 with Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. (producers of Canadian Club Whisky) by Harry Hatch who at the time owned both companies. Over time, distilling declined at the Gooderham and Worts distillery until 1987 when it was sold to Allied Lyons who chose to close the facility in 1990. The Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery remains in operation, although it now owned by Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard incidentally own a major share (about 46 %) of Corby Spirit and Wine Limited who market and distribute Pernod Ricard’s products in Canada.

The Eleven Souls Whisky is bottled at 49 % alcohol by volume and as indicated is part of the Northern Border collection of premium whiskies produced by Corby Brands.

In The Bottle 4/5

The bottle presentation for Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls arrives in a traditional long-necked tall bottle designed to be easy to grab, easy to pour, and easy to store.I believe the design is meant to look ‘rustic’ as the whisky pays homage to a company and its founders whio created it in 1869.  The roughened parchment label is in keeping with this ‘rustic look and serves the additional purpose of making the bottle less slippery which of course aids in both the ‘easy to grab’ and ‘easy to pour’ categories.

I find myself wishing for more when I see the bottle on my whisky shelf. In Edmonton, I have seen prices for this whisky in excess of $100.00. This makes the spirit a showcase spirit for someone’s whisky bar meant for sharing on special occasions. My feeling is that the presentation doesn’t fit the price.

In the Glass 9.5/10

Whereas perhaps the bottle presentation doesn’t do justice to the price, the nose the whisky presents in the glass certainly does.

The copper hued spirit brings dry spicy scents into the breezes with fine wood and rye spices taking the lead. This is followed with light vanilla and butterscotch aromas mingled with hints of marzipan. As the glass sits the aromas deepen bringing lush corn accents with mouth watering maple and impressions of rich tobacco, canned fruit and yummy marmalade.

In The Mouth 57/60

The initial taste confirms all those wonderful impressions brought forward by the nose, as I taste a yummy menagerie of corn, maple, tobacco, fruit, marzipan and marmalade. The rye grain and wood spice are not lost as they lie make their presence clear within the rich stream of flavours. As I continued to sip the whisky, I noticed a very nice rum-like impression of demerara sugar and more obvious baking spice with tastes of vanilla, cinnamon and hints of nutmeg.

Each subsequent visit to the whisky reinforces my initial impressions. The whisky has character, depth and balance. Most importantly is has a truly lovely flavour that keeps drawing me back.

In The Throat: 13.5/15

The Eleven Souls spirit is medium to full bodied with a smooth finish.  I taste maple and corn syrup melded with rye and baking spices during the swallow with impressions of Demerara rum, rich brown sugar and baking spices lingering on the palate afterwards.

The Afterburn  9.5/10

Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls is very well made indicating that there was much more to the blender’s design than just throwing together eleven random casks. There is too much harmony and elegance on display for this to be merely coincidence. This is whisky is a special indulgence one which I shall reserve for special occasions.

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

Note:  Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls was named the Rum Howler 2018 Canadian Whisky of the Year.


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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