Maker: Hiram Walker, Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Wm. Grant & Sons.)
Age: 12 y/o
Style: Canadian blended whisky
Michigan State Minimum: $28
Appearance: Medium gold.
Nose: Spicy and dry. Fresh lumber, chipotle, hay, cardamom.
On the palate: Medium-full bodied and spicy. Butterscotch, red pepper, curry powder.
Finish: Big and buttery with a touch of oak and butterscotch candy. Fades quickly, unfortunately.
Parting words: Gibson’s is an old Schenley brand that has traveled a lot in its long history. For now, it is made at the Walkerville plant in Windsor and belongs to Grant & Sons, Scottish distillers best known for their blended whisky Grant’s and as the owner of the Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries. In Canada, an NAS and an 18 y/o version are also available.
At any rate, in its current incarnation, Gibson’s 12 y/o has long been a popular duty-free brand and it’s easy to taste why. Unlike many of its Canadian siblings, it packs a lot of flavor into 40% ABV. It’s bold but not brash, and offers a healthy dose of oak, always a pleasant surprise in a Canadian blend. It’s now available in Michigan at a very reasonable price. Gibson’s Finest is recommended.