Old Rhosdhu 1990 Les Grands Alambics

Old Rhosdhu 1990 Les Grands Alambics (2020)

Following the Secret Speyside 1994, another bottling from Les Grands Alambics found its way to our glass – an Old Rhosdhu 1990. Back in the ’70s through the ’90s, Old Rhosdhu was distilled using their straight-neck pot stills (for further insights, refer to our review of a Croftengea, also bottled by LGA). It’s worth noting that Rhosdhu presently denotes their single grain whisky range, a departure from its historical identity. However, for now, let’s return to the 1990s with this Old Rhosdhu 1990.

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Secret Speyside 1994 Les Grands Alambics Bird Series

Secret Speyside 1994 Les Grands Alambics

We’ve previously reviewed just a single whisky from the French off-licence and independent bottler, Les Grands Alambics – a delightful Croftengea. It seems fitting to rectify that by exploring more of their offerings. Operating from Chambéry in Savoie, France (situated to the east of Lyon and south of Geneva), their independent bottlings fall into two prominent lines: one inspired by jazz, and another themed around birds. In today’s review, we delve into a 1994 Secret Speyside that Les Grands Alambics bottled as part of their bird series back in 2020.

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Canadian Club 40-year-old and Chronicles 42-year-old review

Canadian Club 40 & 42-year-old

In the past, we’ve examined a couple of old Canadian Club whiskies. Yet, their age was determined by the distillation year rather than their actual (unknown) aging period. However, in recent times, Canadian Club has been introducing an array of progressively older releases each year. It all began with a 40-year-old age statement in 2017, and from that point on, each annual release would add another year to its age. Today, we’ll be reviewing two expressions, remarkable by their age statement: the Canadian Club 40-year-old and 42-year-old whiskies.

Canadian Club 40-Year-Old Review

I’ve come across two contradictory pieces of information about this whisky and its composition. Hence, I’ll share both versions with you.

The first source says that this Canadian Club is crafted using a unique blend of three different mash bills. The first one is made entirely from 100% corn, while the second is composed of 100% rye. Both of these blends undergo distillation in a continuous still. The third one is created with a mash bill consisting of rye, malted rye, and malted barley. A portion of this blend is distilled using traditional pot stills, while the remainder is processed in a continuous still.

Each spirit is aged using a combination of ex-bourbon casks, American oak casks, and Canadian oak casks. The ex-bourbon barrels typically feature a #3 char, whilst the American oak and Canadian oak casks undergo various levels of toasting, ranging from a deep #4 char to a lighter toast.

Canadian oak casks are particularly noteworthy as they are crafted from locally sourced white oak trees that grow slowly in Canada, resulting in a denser grain. Moreover, these casks contain higher levels of vanillin, which imparts a pronounced vanilla aroma and flavour to the whisky.

The second source, however, says this is pure corn whisky barrelled in 1977.

Which one is the correct one? No idea.

This Canadian Club Chronicles 40-year-old is bottled at a higher strength than the standard, with an ABV of 45%. Information regarding any colour additive or chill filtration, or whether they are absent, remains undisclosed.

Canadian Club 40-year-old was introduced in 2017, and a limited release of 7,000 bottles was made available at a suggested retail price of CAD250 during that time. Sold out as far as I know.

Canadian Club 40-year-old


Deep gold


Neat: Initially, the aroma is somewhat reserved. I can, however, detect the familiar sweetness characteristic of the corn whisky found in many Canadian whiskies. Hints of corn syrup, butterscotch, and a touch of spice emerge, along with delightful notes of vanilla and honey. With aeration, subtle traces of yellow fruits like apricot and peach gracefully unveil themselves.


Neat: The arrival is pleasantly sweet with a subtle spiciness, but regrettably, the mouthfeel lacks some fullness. The flavours of caramel persist, ranging from butterscotch to a hint of diluted cough syrup. There are also notes of pepper and cinnamon, accompanied by a touch of zesty lime juice, vanilla, and a delicate woody essence of oak and cedar.


The finish is warm, displaying a spicier profile and a milder sweetness compared to the palate. Surprisingly, it carries more intensity, providing a pleasant kick, and it lingers for a while.


Normally, I’m not drawn to ‘classical’ Canadian whisky, but the extended aging of this CC Chronicles 40yo blend works well, without getting too woody. The aroma on the nose is somewhat traditional and delicate, but the palate presents bolder flavours with a pleasing sense of balance, despite being a touch thin. As for the finish, it builds upon the palate with an added kick, which is truly enjoyable and welcomed.

Rating: 85/100

Canadian Club Chronicles 42-Year-Old Review

Alright, those accustomed to the European or Scottish whisky regulations are in for a surprise, as the rules governing Canadian whisky are, let’s say … unique.

Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2, known as “The Dock Man,” is a 42-year-old whisky released in 2019. It pays tribute to the dock workers involved in loading sea freighters with crates of Canadian Club Whisky during the American Prohibition, ensuring its delivery to bar owners and consumers. This release follows the initial Canadian Club Chronicles: Issue 1 (Aged 41 Years), which was released in 2018.

At its core, the 42-Year-Old whisky is an aged Corn Whisky, originally barrelled in 1977. Back in 2017, Canadian Club unveiled this 100% Corn distillate as the Canadian Club 40-Year-Old Whisky (so it would mean the second source was the right one?). However, the master blenders couldn’t resist experimenting with this whisky. In 2018, they combined some of this whisky (now a year older) with a small amount of cognac, rye, and sherry, which resulted in the aforementioned Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 1. Then, in 2019, with the whisky now another year older, they blended it with a 16-Year-Old Rye Whisky, a 12-Year-Old pot distilled Rye, and a touch of Brandy to create Canadian Club Chronicles Issue 2 (42 Years Old). Yes, still 42 years old despite some way younger components were added to it.

As a Canadian Whisky, it’s permissible to label the spirit as a 42-Year-Old as long as what is called traditional flavouring spirit (typically flavourful whiskies or wines) represents less than 1/11 of the total whisky volume. It’s safe to assume that most of that 1/11 permitted volume, which could be filled with younger whisky, was used in this blending process. The outcome of this “stretching” of the 42-Year-Old corn spirit will be intriguing from a flavour perspective, but not as intriguing as how they can still say this whisky is still 42 years old.

Anyway. This was bottled once again at 45% ABV, with a recommended retail price of CAD300 at the time. No indication once again regarding colouring and chill filtration or their absence.

Canadian Club Chronicles 42-Year-Old


Old gold


Neat: The impression leans slightly towards bourbon. Notes of wood, vanilla, and cinnamon take centre stage, accompanied by subtle hints of light orange marmalade and a touch of butterscotch. In the background, there are aromas reminiscent of dusty books. As it opens up, hints of marzipan and roasted almonds emerge.


Neat: Similar to the 40-year-old expression, but with a noticeable increase in woody notes and bolder flavours. There’s a stronger presence of pepper, intensified woodiness, and a richer caramel profile, showcasing enhanced depth. The mouthfeel is creamy and satisfyingly full-bodied, in stark contrast to the slightly thinner texture found in the 40-year-old variant.


The finish offers a combination of caramel, vanilla, wood, and spices, with a gentle warmth in the throat.


It feels quite a progression compared to the 40-year-old. Before knowing about how this ‘42-year-old’ was made, I was surprised as I didn’t expect two additional years would have changed it that much for the better. However, knowing now about the tricks used covered by the very permissive Canadian whisky rules regarding age statement, I better understand why it’s more lively and full bodied. In the end, what’s important to remember is despite all the witchcraft used by the blenders, this is a good whisky.

Rating: 87/100

Thank you very much, Tyrone!

SMWS May 2023 Virtual Festival pack

SMWS May 2023 Virtual Festival

The month of May brings with it a vibrant whisky festival season, and the SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) takes advantage of this occasion by releasing special small batches specifically crafted for these festivals. These unique releases feature larger quantities compared to their usual single casks. To ensure that a multitude of whisky enthusiasts can savour these expressions, the SMWS organises a virtual whisky tasting event. They offer a festival pack containing five samples, which participants can enjoy alongside SMWS ambassadors during an online session. Now, let’s explore the selection of five drams that the SMWS has chosen for their May 2023 Virtual Festival.

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Loch Lomond Verticale

A Loch Lomond Verticale

We previously provided a technical introduction to Loch Lomond distillery while reviewing a superb Croftengea whisky from Les Grands Alambics, a French bottler and shop. As mentioned earlier, Loch Lomond is a remarkably versatile distillery employing various types of stills, including pot stills, straight-neck “Lomond” stills, and both short and tall column stills. This diverse array of stills enables them to produce a wide range of malt and grain whisky profiles, providing Master Blender Michael Henry with an extensive palette to work with. While our exploration of Loch Lomond single malts may be limited to affordable options, we shall proceed with a vertical tasting of Henry’s creations nonetheless.

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Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Straight Rye Whiskey

Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye

In the past, Maryland played a significant role in rye whiskey production in the United States. Before the era of Prohibition, the state was home to 44 distilleries, with 13 of them situated in Baltimore. Unfortunately, many of these distilleries were unable to recover from the impact of Prohibition. However, in 1936, Maryland was still able to produce 14.1 million gallons of rye whiskey. Some of the distilleries that managed to reopen during World War II shifted their focus to ethanol production. After the war, only a few distilleries resumed the production of rye whiskey. Fast forward to 2015, and Sagamore Spirit company initiated the construction of a 22,000-square-foot distillery in Baltimore’s Port Covington neighbourhood. This marked one of the first distillery establishments in Maryland since the era of Prohibition. Sagamore Spirit only produces rye whisky, and we’re reviewing today the Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Straight Rye Whiskey.

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Yoichi 10yo (2022) vs 12yo (2015)

Yoichi 10yo (2022) vs 12yo (2015)

In 2015, Nikka declared that due to the depletion of their aged stocks, the renowned Nikka’s peated single malt aged versions, namely the Yoichi 10, 12, 15, and 20-year-old, would no longer be available. They were then substituted with a non-age statement version referred to as simply ‘Yoichi single malt’ (we reviewed it here). However, Nikka made an announcement last year that the Yoichi 10-year-old would be making a comeback. It was scheduled to be released at the distillery in July 2022, and globally in Japan in November. As a result, we can now try out the new Yoichi 10-year-old 2022 and compare it with the 12-year-old, which was last bottled in 2015. Unfortunately, I do not possess the old 10 to make a more in-depth comparison.

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Glenglassaugh Revival, Evolution & Torfa

Glenglassaugh Revival, Evolution & Torfa

We already tried on these pages a Glenglassaugh, but one that was independently bottled, during one of the several Whisky Cellar Tweet Tastings I was able to attend. It’s time to see and learn a bit more about this distillery, by trying their core range. Well, the recent liquid part of the core range, as you’ll learn why below. So let’s have a quick look of the distillery’s history, then we’ll try the Glenglassaugh Revival, Evolution and Torfa expressions.

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Tormore Distillery

Tormore 14 & 16-Year-Old

Tormore Distillery was constructed in 1959 by Long John Distillers, with Sir Albert Richardson as the designer. The distillery began distilling in 1961, and its make was mainly used in Long John’s blends, which were popular in North America. Tormore’s stills were extended from four to eight in 1972, and in 1989, Allied Distillers purchased Tormore, which was previously owned by Whitbread. Pernod-Ricard (Chivas Brothers) took over the distillery in 2005 after acquiring Allied Domecq. Tormore 12 Year Old was released in 2004, and in 2014, it was replaced by 14- and 16-year-old bottlings. Tormore completed the installation of a shared gas pipe with The Glenlivet, Cragganmore, and Tomintoul in the same year. Today, Tormore is one of the malts used in Ballantine’s, which has a long-standing association with the distillery. Finally, Tormore was sold to Elixir Distillers in 2022. We’ll be reviewing both Tormore 14-year-old and 16-year-old.

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Springbank 1969 Signatory Vintage Rare Reserve

Springbank 30yo & 1969 Signatory

Recently, I celebrated my birthday and decided to indulge in some excellent whisky. To start my evening, I savoured my cherished Balblair 1979 OB before moving on to Springbank. Since I plan to visit Springbank for a few days in July, I want to be adequately prepared. Surprisingly, I haven’t yet reviewed any Springbank whisky on More Drams. Therefore, let’s begin with a bang: the 2022 release of the yearly Springbank 30-year-old. I will also compare it to a Springbank 1969 bottled by Signatory Vintage, which I could taste last year and fill a sample.

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