Bird Dog, Canadian Hunter, Canadian Club and Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Bird Dog Blended Whiskey
Candian Hunter Blended Canadian Whiskey
Canadian Club
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Bird Dog Canadian Hunter Canadian Club Jim Beam Devil's Cut

Bird dog Kentucky blended whiskey.  Bought it without thinking about what “blended whiskey” meant. Obviously it should mean a blend or 2 or more whiskeys – which is what that phrase means in all other nations – but due to the peculiarities of American liquor labeling laws, that’s not correct. American whiskey can be sold as a “blended whiskey” if it is as little as 20% whiskey – the rest can be neutral grain spirits (basically, junk drinkable ethanol) and flavorings.  There are many different legal categories for American whiskies, and only some correspond to what we would call “real” whiskey. Anything labelled straight whiskey is real whiskey, while “blended whiskey” can be as little as 20%, plus filler. See this source for details Distilled Spirits homepage and TTB.Gov Distilled Spirits FAQs. T

o be clear, this is only true for American law: Other countries use the phrase “blended whiskey” is a more meaningful sense:  In Ireland and Canada, blended whiskies are simply a blend of 2 or more real whiskies, without grain neutral spirit filler.

Back to the Bird dog Kentucky blended whiskey: 80 proof. Medium gold color, with a caramel nose. I’ve never detected such a strong scent of caramel from whiskey before, and I’m pretty sure that it is an added flavoring. Drinks easy, but has a dark flavor that I’ve never experienced on the palate before. A bit too strong. It’s not what I want in a whiskey. It’s more like a flavored liquor, but there’s nothing on the label that indicates flavoring has been added.

Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. While making whiskey, a significant percentage is lost due to evaporation. This is known in the industry as the “angel’s share”; but some of the whiskey is also lost, as it is absorbed into the oak barrels themselves, Jim Beam playfully refers to this lost whiskey as “the devil’s cut.”  Jim Beam developed a way to remove these dregs of whiskey from the barrel, and combine them with the rest of the whiskey, to improve their profits. While many drinkers would find this wood-soaked whiskey “dregs”, when a small amount is mixed with other whiskey, some might enjoy it. The Jim Beam website states:

“Through a unique, proprietary process, we extract this formerly lost liquid from deep inside the barrel wood and put it back into our special Bourbon. The resulting liquid is deep in color, aroma and character with robust notes of wood and vanilla.”

The result? As always, a matter of personal taste. Very light color, a decent nose, very affordable. I’m detecting some of the same citrus flavors I found when I tried basil Hayden’s, but Jim beam’s Devil’s cut isn’t up to that league. This is harsher, less smooth. And definitely very woody, read about the process by which Jim bean extract liquid from the wood in the barrels. Eventually it grew on me a bit, I’m appreciating the woody notes. Would be best paired with food, especially chocolate. See this review for more details. Jason Scotchreviews Jim-beam-devils-cut-kentucky

Canadian Hunter Blended Canadian Whiskey

From Sazerac (US). Region of original distillery: Canada. Category: Canadian whiskey. No age statement, and I haven’t found a mash bill for this.  80 Proof. As for the nose: Not great, had a slight rubbing alcohol scent. Palate: It’s not harsh, was easy to drink, but there was no depth, no meaningful flavor. Had a thin feel to it, I don’t see this as something that I’ll be coming back to.

Canadian Club

Commonly thought of as a bottom shelf offering, I thought that I would give this a try again. From the Walker distillery in Windsor, and part of the Beam Suntory company. Aged 6 years in new white oak barrels. Mash bill is rye, malted rye, barley and corn, aged in new white oak barrels.  80 Proof. Appearance: Deep gold color. Nose – perhaps a scent of barley? Not much else. Palate: Medium body, and perhaps I’m almost detecting a ginger ale-ish quality to it? It’s drinkable and good for a mixed. I’d put this in the same category as Crown Royal.

pointing finger

Here you can check out our reviews of  bourbonScotch,  Irish whiskey,  Canadian whiskey,  ryes or flavored whiskys. And feel free to learn more about me, Distilled Sunshine.


Got to love these vintage ads!

The Men Rode Into The Saloon is Never Followed by Jim BeamJim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey 1961



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s