Jan 08, 2015

Black Velvet Reserve Review

I remember the first time I had Black Velvet Reserve....

Black Velvet Reserve Review
I remember the first time I had Black Velvet Reserve. I was in a casino in Wendover Nevada 7 or 8 years ago for a buddy’s birthday and when I asked what he wanted to drink he said “Black Velvet 8″ so I grabbed a bottle from the casino store and by the end of the night the bottle was empty. I can’t say if I liked it or not then, but when you’re bouncing between shots and beer pong in one of the rooms and black jack in the casino it’s really difficult to stop and make a full assessment of a whisky. But hey, I’m doing it now.

Now owned by Constellation Brands this whisky was introduced by the now defunct Schenley Industries and originally went by the name Black Label. In the 1940’s it’s name was switched to Black Velvet and during WW2 it was the only whisky/spirit available to submarine officers at Midway where it acquired the not-so-positive name Schenley’s Black Death. Sounds like it hasn’t changed much in the last 70 years.

Black Velvet Reserve Review

ABV: 40%
Age: 8 years
Price: $15
Distiller: Black Velvet / Constellation Brands


The experience of smelling this is akin to shoving a caramel coated swizzle stick made of butterscotch up my nose and then trying to wash it out using maple scented rubbing alcohol.

It’s like drinking maple syrup flavored cough medicine with a butterscotch and vodka chaser from a glass rimmed with brown sugar.

Alcohol, caramel, alcohol, butterscotch, alcohol, maple and alcohol in a finish that lasts way too long.

Balance? We don’t need no stinkin’ balance. Med body with watery texture that runs a bit hot.

Not something I’m fond of at all. It’s cheap enough to work as a low grade mixer in punch bowls or mixed with coke (if you’re into that sort of thing) and that’s about it. There is a strange cloying nature to it neat that gets almost completely swept away once it’s been mixed and being a light Canadian whisky it seamlessly melts into the background of whatever you’re mixing it with unless it’s water. That just seems to make it angry and it gets even more offensive with harsh grain notes showing up and no one enjoys that.

SCORE: 71/100

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tagged canadian, 8 years, black velvet, reserve, review, whisky