If you’ve been to the LCBO lately, you’ll see the whisky companies are going gangbusters with their displays so it makes perfect sense for the iconic Canadian Club  to be joining the race in the latest trend of spiced dark liquors, started by the likes of Sailor Jerry Rum and piggy-backed by  brands like Kraken and Cruzan 9.

The taste of blended scotch is not one that people tend to flock to, so why not step up the game a bit with some new dimensions.  Dock No. 57 was inspired by the historic Prohibition era shipping dock where Canadian Club’s export manager Bill “The Real” McCoy shipped the Canadian Club whisky that quenched the thirst of Americans during the dry years.

With a nod to Canadian Club’sProhibition roots, Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Spiced and Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry infuse spice and flavour respectively, with the classic smooth character of Canadian Club. The regular “Spiced” version is a Canadian whisky take on the trend that has captured the imaginations of rum drinkers over the past decade while Dock No. 57 Blackberry offers a unique new fruit flavor profile in the brown spirits category.

I’m quite a fan of most spiced rums. finding the sweet vanilla and berry undertones to be quite balanced and delicious, but the spiced whisky category is entirely new to me and Dock 57 is the first that’s come across my palate.

I really wanted to like it, but I’ve found the flavour profile to be more on the sugary, syrupy side of the alco-pop market not leaving much room for subtelty, unabashedly geared more towards female newcomers to the liquor store aisles (as stated in the press release) “The brand is poised to capitalize on recent growth trends in ready-to-drink and flavoured spirits that are giving Canadian whisky a boost and helping to open the door to new consumers – namely younger adults and women – while bartenders are also coming to value flavoured spirits for cocktails.” 

After all, I can’t imagine too many dudes making mad dashes for Blueberry whiskey. However, in all fairness, I did not get too crazy with my mixes involving Dock 57, and it could add some interesting character to classics like a Caesar, or the suggested Maple Manhattan (Dock 57, maple syrup, dash of cherry bitters).

The sugary formula makes sense for their (also) new line of pre-mixed cola and ginger ale cans, but for a premium bottle, they might want to re-jig things a bit.

As I’m not an expert on these things, I’ve lifted the flavour profile from CanadianWhisky.org.

Nose: Rye spices and all the old familiar Canadian Club whisky smells. Black fruit, then licorice cigars and vague hints of vanilla but this is clearly Canadian whisky. Suggestions of citrus fruit underlie a surprisingly well balanced potation. This is no one-dimensional concoction, but rather the first spiced whisky that still puts the whisky aromas out front. The nose shows fewer toffee notes than the standard CC Premium 6 year old and develops some elements of artist’s canvas after a few minutes in the glass.

Palate: Sweet, very spicy, and peppery with slight hints of pulling oak. Full bodied but with a feeling of citrus pith though not a lot of citrus notes. Hot cinnamon hearts and hints of vanilla with more toffee than on the nose along with suggestions of sour rye. The blenders have managed to resist the urge to overdo the spices so it retains a pleasant whisky flavour, that with the added sweetness strays vaguely into liqueur territory. The nose is more complex than the palate.

Finish: Short to medium with pepper, hints of white grapefruit, and a nice warming glow.

Empty Glass: Dry grain, clean oak.

$25.95 at LCBO.

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