Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Whisky

For those from the Toronto area, the name Gooderham & Worts name should sound familiar – it is still prominently displayed in the city’s trendy and historic distillery district.  Of course, the distillery itself – once the larger distiller of alcoholic spirits in Canada – has long since closed.

Canadian whisky connoisseurs will know of Gooderham & Worts from Corby’s limited release “Canadian Whisky Guild” series of the late 1990s. These were meant to showcase earlier styles of whisky making, apparently using older recipes and approaches. While short-lived at the time, two of the other members of this series – Lot 40 and Pike Creek – have both returned in recent years, apparently as modern staples of Corby’s craft whisky line.

Completing the triumvirate is the return of Gooderham & Worts – a “four grain” whisky blend of corn, rye, wheat and barley, now bottled at 44.4% ABV.

Let’s see how it does in my Whisky Database:

Gooderham & Worts: 8.61 ± 0.34 on 6 reviews

That is an above-average score for my database, with below-average variance – despite the limited number of reviews. Currently, my database Meta-critic average is ~8.55 ± 0.56, for all whiskies, world-wide.

To put that in perspective, let’s see how some of the other popular blended Canadian whiskies in the same ~$40-50 CAD price range compare. The Gooderham and Worts is currently $45 at the LCBO.

Century Reserve 21yo: 8.78 ± 0.20 on 9 reviews
Highwood Ninety Rye 20yo: 8.96 ± 0.25 on 7 reviews
Lot 40: 8.89 ± 0.43 on 14 reviews
Pike Creek 10yo: 8.32 ± 0.43 on 9 reviews
Stalk & Barrel 11+1: 8.28 ± 0.41 on 14 reviews
Wiser’s Legacy: 9.06 ± 0.25 on 12 reviews

The Gooderham & Worts seems well within the typical score range for Canadian whisky at this price point.

Here’s what I find in the glass:

Nose: Very sweet up front, somewhat floral, and surprisingly fruity for the relatively high ABV.  Notes of pear, cherries, oranges, peaches and apricots. Bubble-gum too. There’s a sweet creamy texture to the aromas, like condensed milk or creamed wheat, which is quite distinctive. There is a noticeable solvent smell initially, with acetone particularly prominent (i.e., nail polish remover). Fortunately, this fades once you let it sit in the glass for awhile – so I recommend you pour yourself a dram, and leave it alone for at least 5 mins before sampling.

Palate:  A real Canadian rye blend, through and through. The sweet floral and fruity notes show up first (and that bubble-gum again), then waves of the classic rye “baking spices” of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and all-spice. These notes really dominate and persist for a good while, drowning out almost everything else in the blend. A bit of the wheat persists throughout, but it’s subtle below the rye (and the corn is nowhere to be found). Odd that I wasn’t really getting all that much rye on the nose – too much else going on, I guess. You get some of the classic vanilla and caramel flavours as well – along with a slightly woody character.

Gooderham.WortsFinish: Medium long, with cinnamon hearts and cloves all the way to the end – a very nice spicy finish. Somewhat drying on the tongue, there is a bit of the wheat sweetness persisting for a good while as well. This makes a nice change from the bitter finishes of some of the cheaper Canadian blends (with their up-front corn sweetness).

As you can tell from the above, I quite liked this whisky. I do think the overall meta-critic score is fair, given the unfortunate initial solvent note (that mercifully dissipates over time). This is a likely a sign the young age of the grain whiskies in the blend. I would also have expected a bit more of the wheat and barley to shine through – although this does make a very decent Canadian rye blend as is.

Although Lot 40 has been a success for Corby, I don’t know if the resurrected Gooderham & Worts will catch on and persist as long. So if you are curious to try G&W, you may not want to wait too long.

For some additional reviews of this expression, I recommend you check out the reviews by Jason at Whisky Won, Ryan at, Beppi Crossariol of the Globe & Mail, and Davin de Kergommeaux at Canadian Whisky.


  • I cannot speak in such recondite terms about whiskey or wine. Nevertheless I have found this whiskey to be of absolutely outstanding quality. I search for it every time. It has replaced my favourite Dalwhinnie single malt because of the quality/price ratio.

  • Though I am not a fan ofwhisky for long time, but Gooderham taste wonderful. I would like to have a bottle of it all the time while I’m try others.

  • Just tried this whiskey a short while ago. I’m not impressed. But in all fairness, I’m not a fan of any Canadian whiskey. Maybe it’s just my palate but I got very little flavour from it and a whole lot of burn. I’m definitely more of a bourbon guy.

  • This may be the finest rye whisky I have ever had. I freely admit that I am a person who sincerely believes that all such opinions are subjective; someone else might think it the worst, and, to them, it therefore is. But for me, well, I’m smitten. I will continue to drink others for the simple reason of variety, but they will probably be measured against this.

  • Can you still buy this anywhere?

  • I tried the G&W whisky when I took the Wiser tour at the Walker Distillery in Windsor. I enjoyed it so much I had to buy a bottle!

  • I have tried the G & W Little Trinity and enjoyed it so much bought two more bottles to have on hand. I just picked up the Eleven Souls and 49 Wellington but haven’t opened them yet. I love the fruity notes and sweeter taste of the Little Trinity neat but also makes a wicked Old Fashion. I also replaced Dalwhinnie 15 with Gooderham and Worts.

  • The original or 1st reproduction of Gooderham & Worts is absolutely one of the best Canadian Whiskeys available in LCBO in Ontario.
    Little Trinity is good as a 17yr blend but in my opinion not quite as sweet or smooth as the 4 grains batch A1129
    3rd 49 Wellington is good as well but the 4th year of Eleven Souls in my opinion is by far the best, you will likely not be able to find this rare blend anymore in Ontario.
    Therefore back to the original first offered four grain that sales for $39 per bottle.
    You and your friends will certainly not be disappointed with this find blend from the past.

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