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. Also, they’ve added some actual sherry wine to the blend (instead of using sherry casks for maturation). 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 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.