For the third time I am ringing in the New Year with a Canadian 100% rye. This year it is from Alberta Premium.
I was not around in the whisky world the last time AP released something exceptional. Thanks to @Paddockjudge I was able to taste the AP 25 and AP30. In 2018 they released a 20 YO (bottled at 42%), and a NAS cask strength bruiser at 65.1%. My B-I-L snapped up a couple in Calgary for me but then I lost my patience and ordered one from Zyn to try.
The box says that they use “the finest locally grown rye from Canada’s Heartland”, and “glacier born” water. I am not sure what that last part means.
This expression, assessed primarily in a Highland whisky glass, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Sweet. Spicy. Some floral and fruity notes. This is a bold, strong, rich nose. Nothing underpowered here. I get caramel and hints of vanilla as well. There is a freshness, and a dustiness to it. I wouldn’t call this overly complex. Its appeal is, in my opinion, its richness of aroma. The nose is completely muted in the Canadian Glencairn glass. Water doesn’t seem to affect the nose in the highland glass but seems to enhance it in the Canadian glass. (22.5/25)
Hot! Hot! HOT! - On the first sip. But it subsides in the development into a butterscotch/vanilla sweetness before a slight peppery finish. The second sip explodes with flavour. WOW! Rye spice. Fruity. The back of the box suggests black current and I can agree. There’s so much there I can’t pick apart all the flavours. Incredibly rich! Water definitely makes it hotter, and it is different, but still delicious.
The finish is tannic, peppery and medium short. It fades quite quickly leaving an astringence. Very nice finish.
The nose gives a hint of the palate and the palate delivers.
Score: Neat - 90/100 With Water: 90.5/100
Interestingly, warming the glass (Ashok Manoeuvre) brings out even more flavour and brings the score up to a 91-92.
This is powerful rye. This is excellent rye. I’m glad I have a couple of spares.