Canadian club premium
combover and the whisky from hell
working for this guy changed my life. the most insane chef I’ve ever worked for. If you’re from the falls, you know somebody that worked for him at one point, or maybe you did, briefly. I worked in his restaurant for maybe four or five months, never called in, always came in when asked for OT, did my best and I was still treated like I was leonard lawrence and he was gunnery sergeant Hartman. The guy would phone me at home on my days off to remind me what a useless pile of shit I was.
This was a shady restaurant, he owned, the less I knew the better. The thing is, I heard too much. There was a lot of coke going around the place. Combover would be on his cell phone saying things like ‘you can get ‘em here for 30.’ I watched a guy have a coke induced heart attack right beside me, right on the line. It was insane. Sometimes I had to wait for people to clear the bathroom so I could get changed after my shift.
These two guys would pop in the back door carrying a box or two sometimes. The two guys would smuggle stuff from over the American border that was 4 minutes away and they would save a good chunk of money off stuff. That’s what they told me anyway, because it wasn’t always cheap cheese or olive oil that got brought over. Sometimes I’d hear wine bottles clinking in the box, plastic prescription bottles with pills, I think I heard brass bullet casings once too, but the one time they came with a shoe box and the one guy looked uneasy. the box made no sound, and I was told to ‘get the fuck out of the kitchen’ when combover looked at the box. I still don’t know what was in it, and I still don’t want to find out. Severed fingers, stacks of blue dyed money, shoes?
Working the lunch rush by myself, combover came in the kitchen to see how I was holding. I told him things were under control as I flipped steaks and snacked on a couple olives.
‘nice, nice. ‘ combover peered over my line, my mise. Clean salt and pepper containers, clean butter and brush, separate tongs for raw and cooked meat, he seemed happy.
‘yes chef? Everything ok?’ I asked, unwittingly walking into his classic trap.
‘I noticed you have four steaks on the grill…’
‘yes chef! I have a couple wells so I started them first and-‘
‘yeah, but you see that steak, that one, near the bottom of the grill? I keep the grill elevated on an angle so the fat drips into the steak as it cooks.’ He droned on, rather deadpan like.
‘yes chef, I noticed.”
‘so, umm, you know that one steak has the fat cap pointed down. SO WHY THE FUCK IS THE FUCKING FAT CAP POINTED DOWN? ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME LOOK FUCKING STUPID YOU FUCKING LOSER? You’re trying to bankrupt my restaurant aren’t you! I should take you outside and fucking drop you right fucking now! You fucking dime a dozen piece of shit!’ he was screaming so close to my face I could feel the heat off him on my face. The chef had turned into mr. hyde on bathsalts in half a second with zero escalation. No warning.
‘yes chef, ill turn the steak.’ I replied, shocked. My ear was ringing.
‘hey, there ya go, buddy. Why don’t you go for a smoke break after this table?’ he smiled and patted me on the shoulder and walked back to the dining room. The bipolar episodes would become the norm.
…and that’s how things were. Long bouts of boredom, punctuated with minor freakouts from the chef. The customers could hear everything too. Every Saturday combover would lose his shit and make a staff member break into tears. I watched him open a door with an employees face, drop kick a mirror off a car in his parking lot and kick a family of four out of the restaurant for asking for ketchup.
The one Friday night, I received my first paycheque. I thought id celebrate with two pints at the bar next door. After chatting up a server I worked with, I paid up and was on my way out, when combover caught me leaving.
‘hey! Party time eh?’ combover grabbed my arm and rushed me back to the bar. ‘you know what day tomorrow is? Saturday! My money day!(just to get things straight, when you work in a restaurant a sick call or coming in hung over on a Saturday is a straight up middle finger to your team and you’re a fucking dick for doing it) Now you aren’t out drinking on a Friday are you? You aren’t going to come in fucking hung over and fuck up my service are you?’ I shook my head and looked at the cocaine residue crusting in his nostril.
‘no chef, just leaving.’ Which I was already half way out the door.
‘bartender! Two shots. Whisky. give me that cc!’ combover handed me two shots of cc. ‘two more! It’s a party night!’
Combover glared at me while he uttered a death threat to me and watched me drink my shot. He drank his. He nudged the other one in my hand instantly. ‘drink, you fucking loser. Its on me.’ He urged me to drink more. ‘bartender! Four more!’
Was this guy insane? Well, clearly, but he wanted to chug four shots of cc with me? This was all to prove some point in his mind, which I still cant grasp. we picked up our third shot and drank. He pushed the fourth in my hand. Let me just point out its been a span of under 2 minutes now. My belly burned a little. Combover stared at me while I did my shot. I watched him wait to down his. He was craning his neck. ‘hmph. hmph.’ combover heaved and his cheeks filled and he swallowed. I know that look, the one where you just caught your own puke in your mouth and swallowed it. I know that look very well. He pushed his drink in my hand and forced me to drink the last shot.
‘don’t fuck up tomorrow.’ He whispered in my ear. I could smell fresh vomit.
Bottle: standard tall sleek brown glass with a plastic twist off cap. Large white label.
grapes, wine and orchard fruit. Cardamom and spiced wood chips. Spirit sprayed cake.
fruits. Cherries and dates. Light rye spice, but rough on the edges. Spirit. Obvious mixer. Minty finish.
This whisky is six years old. It’s a blatant and obvious mixer, by the spirity aftertaste, but that’s a great attribute for a mix.
Canadian club uses a rather famous barrel blending process which takes distillate of all three grains used, blends them into the cc recipe and then ages the mix in barrels, as opposed to most companies aging each component separately. Some say it gives a more fruity profile, but cc also implements a wide range of barrels into their final product, which will also contribute to the classic cc fruity profile.
You’ll find this whisky almost anywhere in the world. Its sold in over 150 countries.
Decent mix. I like it in a manhattan.