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Monday, October 19, 2009

Centennial 10 Year Old Whiskey Review

The current LCBO theme is whiskey...well, technically they are trying to push scotch, bourbon and whiskey. Most locations are stocked with various kinds of whiskeys and scotches that I have never heard of or seen there before. I was at an LCBO I don't normally go to when I decided to play the whiskey game and get a bottle of something I haven't had before. The choice was not simple, there were at least 15 different kinds of new, affordable whiskeys and many premium ones. I was debating between the Wiser's Small Batch and Centennial 10 Year Old. I went for the latter for two reasons - it was only $23.95 for a 750 mL bottle and the bottle was much nicer.

The color is a little pale - light gold/copper. The smell is fairly bland, it smells of rubbing alcohol more than anything else. There is a very...very distant hint of toffee that gets lost in the strong alcohol scent. Once you detect it, the scent becomes a little sweet. Lately I have been drinking my hard liquor neat, but I decided to use an ice cube for the Centennial. It did the trick, I detected the sweet toffee scent much quicker and this time the whiskey smelled OK. The whiskey is surprisingly smooth for one that costs $23.95, but the taste is somewhat bland. It does not develop until the finish, which is on the toffee side. The taste lingers briefly and it disappears, leaving a clean aftertaste. I did not enjoy this whiskey too much. It just left me expecting more in terms of scent, taste and finish. After I had a few sips, I dropped a drop on my hand and waited for it to evaporate. Once it evaporated, there was hardly a scent. I have spilled small quantities of scotch/whiskey/bourbon on my fingers before and every time the spill dries up, a pleasant, sweet caramel/toffee scent is given off from the spot for a while...not with this one though.

Since I had no Coke at the time, I made myself a Manhattan to see if I can use the whiskey better. It did not work too well, the sweet vermouth overpowered the whiskey even in small quantities. If it wasn't the vermouth, it was the bitters that overpowered the whiskey. I was not able to find a decent combination between the whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Because there is hardly a taste, I think this might do well in other cocktails where one is not supposed to taste the alcohol. The smoothness I think will help as well.

Cost - $23.95 CAD for a 750 mL bottle
Taste - 5.9/10

Overall - 5.9/10...the smoothness rivals that of premium spirits, but the taste and finish are very bland. I really hope I got a bad batch, because if the taste was a bit better, this would make for an excellent cheap whiskey

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review. I find it really annoying how instead of aiming for personality and character in this country, what is often favored is an on the fence blandness that, it is hoped, will appeal to everyone. The presentation is great, the bottle is great, but if it tastes like next to nothing, then it's a waste of money in my opinion. We are seeing some really good microbrews in Canada nowadays but whisky has to start getting some personality too. I'm sure there are whisky drinkers out there who would appreciate Canadian whisky with strong character...if anyone would care to make it.