Single malt whisky - tasting notes

13 May 2013

Alberta Premium Dark Horse

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * World

Here’s part two of the weekly Twitter tasting that is held around Canadian whisky. This week our host Davin De Kergommeaux talked about the era of Hiram Walker, J.P. Wiser and Alberta Distillers before moving to the tasting sample. Remember you can join in on our discussions (although without the book at hand it may not be totally clear to follow), still two Sundays to go from 21:00 – 22:00 Western-European time.

Alberta Premium Dark Horse (a brand owned by Beam Inc.) is a mix of 12-year-old rye whisky and 6-year-old small pot rye, with an 8% dollop of well-aged corn whisky added to flesh out the body. The whisky is aged in heavily charred American white oak barrels, and is bottled at 45% alc/vol. It’s a recent whisky, presented in 2012.

 

Alberta Premium Dark HorseAlberta Premium Dark Horse (45%, OB)

Nose: overall much sweeter and way more rounded than last week’s Lot No.40, a tad more bourbonny. Vanilla and caramel. Cinnamon. Cedar bark. Also a clear bicycle tube / plastic-like aroma. Some leafy / floral hints. Wet limestone. Hints of dusty rye. Mouth: very sweet again, creamy, with a maple / corn sweetness, candied oranges and a ginger / nutmeg spice mix. Some liquorice and herbal notes. Dried figs. A bit of a cough syrup profile, but the sweetness balances this out. Soft mint towards the finish. Finish: medium long, with a lingering prune sweetness, mint and pine wood.

As Davin said at the end of the tasting: “The beauty of rye in a master’s hands is many different profiles”. Well said. Contrary to Lot No. 40’s harsh profile, this is a nicely balanced rye, with all of the positive rye elements in there, and the possible downsides masked by an overwhelming sweetness. I was unable to find it in common European stores, but it’s around $30 in Canada. Excellent price vs. quality.

Score: 86/100

Alberta Premium Dark Horse 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-05-13
  • Rob Sveen

    Having tasted this for the first time in Tasmania Australia I wonder if this is the taste of things to come for Canadian rye whiskeys. Order of Merit and Crown Royal have an stable mate.

  • Maritimer

    This is an excellent “flask” whisky. Great to nip on or pour a bit into a glass of coke. It travels well.

  • Henry V.

    A clear bike tube/plastic taste? I don’t get that, just got a bottle and can’t taste the plastic nor bike tube, maybe I drank too much of it? Rest of taste notes seem pretty accurate! My rating: 88!

  • WhiskyNotes

    It’s an aroma I picked up on the nose, not a flavour you should taste. I’ve seen other people mention rubbery notes, dust, wet cement… all in the same family of aromas I think.

    As with any whisky, there can be batch variation in which some characteristics are slightly more / less prominent. I can’t double check this – it’s not available here in Europe.

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  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael): Just tasted this one. WOW. i am very very impressed Ruben. Amazing BFYB for 40 euro. this feels much older and so complex. WOW again. dang!
  • bakerman: I will look for the cheaper unpeated Caol Ila as I am interested to compare it with the younger versions released earlier (8 and 12 years). I will als
  • WhiskyNotes: It may be just a detail, but I said "a relatively modest price increase", not a modest price! It's true that the price is heavy, especially because I

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1613 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.