|Distiller||Gooderham & Worts (Toronto, ON)|
This whisky was bottled to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the distillery, in 1957, composed of a mix of whisky 10-35 years old (i.e. this has whisky distilled as early as 1911!). The cork disintegrated when it was opened, but it did not suffer any corkage (thankfully). I don’t know much about this, except that there was also a version released with a tax stamp of 1948 and 1951. I’ve had the 1951 – it’s smooth, easy, and perhaps a bit simple. This vintage is better, if you like more than just smoothness...but they are all nice whiskies, if undamaged
As far as I know, or can guess, this whisky is the oldest gooderham 125th anniversary decanter release - either released in 1957 (the 125th anniversary) alongside the 1947 release or preceeding it. Then, evidently, the popularity drove this to be released again with a 1951 release in 1961 or later (since they all say the whiskies are at least 10 years old).
This could have had stocks from Hiram Walker, too, since both distilleries were owned by the Hatch family at the time - and my friends who used to work at the distillery don't know anything about this bottling. It was a remarkable distillery - huge, ambitious, and with many stories to tell. Much of it still remains, though with little history remaining as it's turned into more of a real estate/tourist attraction - but you can still go down to see some of the outsides of the old brick barrel warehouses, or the distillery, or the offices, or the stables, or sit in Blazac's coffee, which used to be the old boiler room (still having the original mahogany trim), and think about how times have changed...
Batch: Tax Stamp 1946
Bottling Code: None
Bottling Date: 1956
The nose is rich, full of dried fruit and caramel – rich and buttery. Clove, apple juice, and light cork (not in a bad way – not corked, but does smell a bit like an old cork). Corn husks, prune, raisins, currants, dried apricot, lots of grape, dusty earth, oak, and a bag of mixed spices. The palate is big and full of fruit, spice, and toffee along with rich charred oak and herbal undertones. Loads of dried fruit, and loads of spice. Balanced, interesting, well blended, and delicious. The finish has spices, loads of dried fruit, and enough brown sugar that it might be confused for an aged rum that isn’t too sweet. The rich spices underpinning everything are remarkable – I rarely see that – in that way it reminds me of Hiram Walker special old but this is on another level with all the dried fruit and toffee in the mix. Remarkable.
Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).