Seagram’s Waterloo distillery was eventually closed in 1992, a victim of industry consolidations. Since then V.O. has been produced at Diageo’s distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec, with some spirit components coming from other plants. Although flavourful and multi-faceted, V.O. is best served as a mixing whiskey, its spirit whiffs and ginger notes complement a dry ginger ale.
Nose: Closed at first, then slowly opening into mild rye notes with a hint of spirit. Fresh farmyard smells, earthiness, cigarette ashes, suggestions of dry grain, and a vaguely floral essence give it an organic feel.
Palate: Starts hot with pepper and alcohol. An appealing bitterness lingers under the full gamut of classic rye notes, including earthiness, freshwater plants, hints of pickles, a flash of flowers, and lots of baking spices – cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, and then some ginger ale. But there is a contradiction in that it is alternately dry at moments, then sweet and creamy.
Finish: Medium to short. Peppery with some heat, and sweet with a citric bitter zest that fades fairly quickly to nothingness.
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