Alberta Rye Dark Batch

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Class:  Canadian Blended Rye Whisky

Reviewer:  Brett Mullins

Alberta Rye Dark Batch is an enigma in the global whisky scene, even within the enigmatic Canadian whisky industry, whose rules and regulations would probably give the United State's TTB or the UK's Scotch Whisky Association an aneurysm.  Suffice it to say for this review, Canadian whisky laws are lax.  As long as 90.91% of the final product is Canadian made distillate aged at least 3 years in any kind of cask, the final 9.09% of the product can be essentially anything.  It can be wine, caramel coloring, or another spirit (if its been aged at least 2 years).  Alberta Rye Dark Batch makes full use of these leniences.  Let it be stated however, that Canadian whisky should not be automatically avoided due to these rules.  But, any consumer should be made aware of them, and in turn they may make their own decision based upon their own moral principles.  At WBSE, ultimately the product in the bottle is the greatest determining factor on where our dollars will be spent.  Until the liquid inside is judged, no whisky is disqualified.

Notes:

  • Produced by Alberta Distillers (who interestingly supply Whistle Pig with the majority of their stock)
  • Blend of Canadian pot still whisky aged 12 years, Canadian column still whisky aged 6 years (these two forming 90.09% of the final product), 8% high rye bourbon (allegedly Old Granddad) and 1% sherry (yes, the actual wine is blended in).
  • Bottled at 45% ABV.

Nose:  Dark fruits blend with flowers for an unexpected nose. There is also noticeable spice element which is predominantly clove.

Palate:  Buttered bread and a hint of raspberry jam. Cinnamon and clove enter mid palate, but don’t drive away the sweetness. None of the florals from the nose carry over to the palate.

Finish:  Now the floral notes return, blending with brown sugar, cinnamon, and clove and fading into a long oaky finish.

Score:  78/100

Buying recommendation:  Worth buying a pour.  A unique rye that I enjoyed very much. Undoubtedly polarizing. Due to the unique profile, Im not sure about mixing with this. Its probably best appreciated neat. I recommend trying this but not buying until you’ve had a taste.

The Rating Scale

At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92). This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys. Here is how the scale breaks down:

1-49: Varying degrees of bad

55: Average

60-69: Better than average

70-79: solid/good

80-89: excellent

90+: truly exceptional

All thoughts and opinions expressed are original to the author of the review or article. We are in no way paid to express any specific opinion about any specific company or product.

mm
Scotch & World Whisky Specialist, YouTube Channel Manager

All Time Favorite Whisky: Talisker 18 year

Daily Drinkers: Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Old Forester 1920

Brett is a musician and singer with a passion for whisky that began in 2010. He began his journey with scotch and it remains his first love. His first experiences with scotch, Glenlivit 12 year and Johnny Walker Swing, only fed a desire to try more. Brett also drinks rye, bourbon, blended whiskey, cognac, and occasionally, rum. Although he enjoys them all, none ignite him like scotch. Brett follows a philosophy of experiencing whisky in as many different expressions as possible and sees every taste of whiskey as worthwhile, regardless of his ultimate opinion of it.

As a lifelong history buff, the historical aspects of whiskey, both in Europe and America, are fascinating to Brett and only add to this fulfilling hobby. Brett resides near the center of the U.S., where bourbon is more common than scotch. None the less, he seeks out new and different scotch whisky daily, in order to expand his knowledge and to find those most interesting drams worthy of sharing with other enthusiasts around the world.

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