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.
- 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.
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
60-69: Better than average
90+: truly exceptional
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