Schenley OFC Whisky
Review: Schenley OFC Canadian Whisky (89.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Revised December, 2014
Schenley OFC is currently produced at the Lethbridge, Alberta Distillery by Schenley Distilleries. The Distillery in Lethbridge Distillery usually referred to as the Black Velvet Distillery, as this is where Black Velvet Canadian Whisky is produced, and, as well, it is referred to as the Palliser Distillery, as it is also where brands such as Danfield’s Canadian Whisky (a Palliser Brand) is produced.
Alas, the Schenley OFC brand seems to have disappeared from the shelves of many liquor stores stateside, and I suspect that this is related to industry consolidation where for reasons beyond my understanding, solid money earning brands are dumped in favour of the economy of scales which are achieved by promoting fewer brands names across a portfolio.
Thankfully, the Schenley OFC is still found on the shelves of many liquor stores here in Alberta. It is a whisky which I hold in high esteem, and one which I felt I ought to re-visit this year on my website.
In the Bottle 4.5/5
Schenley OFC arrives in the typical tall long-necked Canadian Whisky bottle. The labeling is professional on beige paper with black gold and red lettering. But I will confess my disappointment with the pressed metal cap. These flimsy caps always cause problems with evaporation of spirit, and the cardboard liner under the cap seems to break down over time and impart a bit of cardboard and glue flavour to the spirit.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The OFC is a rich amber/brown whisky with nice orange and red highlights in the glass. The aroma is typically Canadian with a rye like nose coupled with a touch of bourbon. The bourbon note is very soft and gives way to caramel and vanilla. The initial alcohol rising into the air with these notes smells aggressive and demanding, but given a minute or two these demanding notes settle down and the whisky reveals itself as a more accommodating spirit.
As you allow the glass to breathe, the air above the glass becomes enriched with dusty grain fields, sandalwood and oak spices, hints of cinnamon and clove, and a touch of almond-like marzipan. If you like a typical dry Canadian Whisky, you will like the nose very much.
In my Mouth 54.5/60
I would call this zesty as the OFC has a real bite in the mouth. A light butter coats the tongue with hot rye spice and light corn syrup. I should note that the OFC blend is heavy on the corn, and although I can taste the rye spices, the taste of sweet corn and vanilla is predominant. As a sipper the whisky has a real kick to it which I find quite engaging and refreshing, and as a mixer it slides easily into any style of cocktail.
In my Throat 13/15
The buttery texture of the whiskey gives a longer finish than one might expect. The entry in the mouth is of a dry rye; but the exit is of a honeyed bourbon with trails of buttery caramel.
The Afterburn 9/10
This is a very satisfying Canadian whisky. We have that light bourbon influence which has become all the rage in whisky today, but the makers did not forget that this is a Canadian whisky first. That nice rye flavour works well in combination with the vanilla and honey bourbon aftertaste.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
a cocktail by Arctic Wolf
1 1/2 oz Shcenley OPC Canadian Whisky
1/2 oz Yukon Jack
Splash of Ginger Ale
Fill an Old-fashioned glass with Ice
Add the whisky and Yukon Jack
Complete with a splash of Ginger Ale
Garnish with a lemon Slice
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)