Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Drinks: 8 Seconds Canadian Whiskey

Obviously the name 8 Seconds pays homage to rodeo tradition. But this Canadian whiskey prefers to D up rather than provide a ride worthy of the dirt arena.

While the label promises equal measures of hard work and finesse, the 30 or so oak-aged varieties blended to make up this brand instead yield more of the latter: on the nose a laggard sweetness like burnt honey soaked into a demure wood, to the taste rather gentle.

It begins with a smooth, almost syrupy introduction. Very quickly a soft, earthy dried fruit note sounds, tamed by a something reminiscent of convenience store chocolate—like a memory of chocolate covered raisins.

As you decipher this, however, a woodier bass tone builds, resonating with dry spice bitterness. The finish rises and then lingers, clinging to your throat until a tingle of honey signals the end. It’s an impressively long finish.

Yes, it all sounds deft and intriguing, yet the “finesse” is contained within a light, easy, unchallenging package. An over sweetness lends a thick mouthfeel while softening the sting of alcohol. As a result, 8 Seconds seems more like an after dinner liqueur than a hard riding, knock down cowboy whiskey.

Of course, if you find the peaty depth of single malt scotch or the hewn edges of bourbon too coarse, this Canadian blend will be a welcome amble in the park.