Bought: Best of Whisky, Holland, 2nd February 2015
I’d given my only example of Canadian whisky away as a gift, so I was on the lookout for a replacement. The obvious choice was a full 70cl of Canadian Club, which a couple of supermarkets stock in the UK. But that seemed too easy! With a good selection on the Dutch online shop ‘Best of Whisky’ I spotted the Seagram’s VO for £11.50. With a good review from Ralfy and scoring 91/100 in the Whisky Bible, it sounded like an interesting buy.
91/100 is a great score for a whisky that has been through quite a change in the last 10 or so years. In the Whisky Bible 2006 it scored 85/100 where the author, Jim Murray, was detecting a decline where the whisky had “lost both its distinctive rye character and its claim to greatness”. By 2009 the Bible score had gone down to 80/100 where Mr Murray was saying the ‘VO’ now stood for ‘Very Ordinary’. By 2015 the review begins with “the king of rye-enriched, Canadian, VO, is dead. Long live the corn-dominant VO”. The author laments the loss of the rye-based VO but concedes that Seagram’s new corn creation “is a playful affair, full of vanilla-led good intention, corn and complexity”. Mr Murray goes on to say “thoroughly blended and with no little skill, I am impressed”. He looks forward to seeing how it develops in future years. So do I!