Next on my lineup of bottom shelf liquors, I decided to try out Gran Legacy’s Canadian Whiskey. Now, to be clear, this isn’t the “Blended Whiskey” version of their lineup. Apparently, they have a separate one called Canadian Whiskey. What’s confusing about this is that the vast majority of Canadian Whiskeys are, in fact, blended. And, according to my research, Canadian Whiskey and Rye Whiskey are considered one and the same and are used interchangeably. I don’t know if it is, in fact, the same but for simplicity sake, let’s just go with that.
I’ll be honest with you. After trying out Gran Legacy’s Blended Whiskey and having had a pretty negative experience of that (I didn’t even get drunk or even close to a buzz when I had chugged the whole bottle within a couple of hours), I wasn’t expecting much out of their Canadian Whiskey. I can say, however, that their Canadian Whiskey is better than their Blended Whiskey but at the same time, I also realize that this is purely subjective. Maybe this bottle of Canadian Whiskey had just been put on the shelf recently and hadn’t been sitting there for months on end absorbing the plastic and the plastic imparting its “plasticky flavors” into the whiskey. I don’t know. I do know, however, that the Canadian Whiskey is a bit stronger in taste (I got the Asian glow within the 4th shot!) and smell but, like any Canadian Whiskey, it’s still pretty smooth. And that’s if you drank it neat. (Did I ever tell that I was a lightweight when it comes to drinking? Anywho…….)
Adding a few ice cubes to it definitely diluted whatever flavor that was there to almost nothing. Adding water also has the same effect. Renders the whiskey practically flavorless. On the other hand, adding one ice cube and pouring about a shot into a cup was definitely the way to go with this whiskey. it mellowed out the harshness that you would get if you had completely chilled the whiskey with several ice cubes. That’s pretty counter-intuitive, right? Ice is supposed to help mask whatever harshness in just about any other whiskey but again, for CVS branded whiskeys, excessive ice cubes seem to be bane of this whiskey.
Regular price is $7.99 at the CVS pharmacy in Los Angeles. Sale price is $6.97 for one bottle and $6.49, if you buy 5 or more.
Last few notes, adding club soda seemed to make the whiskey taste a bit better. Whether iced or neat with club soda, it just seems to work really well together. I don’t really recommend mixing this with Red Bull or Monster or Rock Star, whether the regular ones or the sugar free version. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but whatever the natural flavors of these energy drinks are when mixed with this whiskey, they seem to repel each other. It might just be me though. For the sugar free energy drinks, very few folks can taste the “metallic” flavor of the sugar substitutes and unfortunately, I’m one of those people that can taste them. My guess is that when Gran Legacy makes these whiskeys and adds the caramel color and other “artificial flavors” to it, part of those artificial flavors is quite possibly some kind of sugar substitute because when I tried mixing Monster’s Absolutely Zero, which has a pretty distinct metallic flavor in and of itself, the carbonation that gets added on top brings out the metallic flavor inherent in the whiskey at the same time. It tastes weird is about all I can say. Me personally? I can deal with weird tastes but for most other folks, I would suggest not trying this out.
However, Monster’s Ultra White energy drinks seem to go well with it. The Red and Blue version, not so much. Rock Star’s White energy drink also seem to go well with this drink but their other sugar free cans don’t really go that well with it.
Lastly, always, always, always, carry some ginger ale in your house, if you decide to drink bottom shelf whiskey or liquor. This magical potion just makes terrible tasting bottom shelf whiskeys taste pretty alright. Would I suggest this bottle? Well, like Gran Legacy’s Brandy XO, if you want a cheap buzz, go for it. It’s cheaper than most of the other blended whiskeys by $5 at CVS when there’s a sale (this happens often at CVS) and the taste, while a bit harsher, is still bearable. The closest comparison that I have under my belt is CVS’s “Wicked River” Blended Whiskey (I think?). Granted, it’s not a rye, and I’m comparing apples with oranges here, but personally think it’s superior in terms of taste and smoothness compared to this whiskey. But, then again, Wicked River is also $10 bucks more than Gran Legacy’s Canadian Whiskey so that might just have something to do with it.