It seems as though the decision makers at ADL or at Beam Suntory (ADL's corporate overlords) are finally giving us what we want. In late 2019, Alberta Premium released Alberta Premium 20 Year Old and Alberta Premium Cask Strength. Both are 100% rye whiskies and both caused quite the stir in the Canadian whisky community. Rye fans channelled their best Daniel Bryan impersonations and gave Alberta Premium a resounding "YES!!" chant by scooping these expressions up by the case. (For those who don't follow WWE as closely as my 9 year old, Daniel Bryan is a professional wrestler who makes his way to the ring while the crowd chants "YES!")
- 65.1% abv
- Bottle opened November 3, 2019
- 7/8 full when the sample was poured November 21, 2019
- Sample provided by @Nozinan
Neat from a Highland Whisky Glass
- Nose: sweet butterscotch jumps out right away, followed by peppermint, dark brown sugar, salted butter, this smells like dessert, there's an "almost rum" note in here that's really interesting.
- Palate: rich, rich arrival, salted caramel, toasted and buttered rye bread, brown sugar, something slightly vegetal and "green", then black pepper
- Finish: long and warming, rye bread, toasted oak, cloves, brown sugar, a touch of peppermint lingering
- Rating, neat: 91/100
- Nose: even sweeter and "rummier" with the addition of water. I may become diabetic while nosing this. Maybe it's the "rum, brown sugar, and butter" combo working through the power of suggestion, but I think I'm smelling raisins here. Did I mention butter and brown sugar? Also more oak, cloves, and a bit of spearmint (or peppermint, I can't really differentiate the two)
- Palate: not as sweet with water, slightly spicier; cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, oak tannins, black tea, rye bread, orange zest, red apple skins
- Finish: long yet somewhat drying, rye spices, cinnamon, red apple peels now, oak tannins, a hint of peach or apricot, peppermint appearing like a depth charge. The finish goes on and on and keeps developping with time. There may even be a hint of banana at the tail end of the finish. Just wonderful. I think I might actually like this one better with a touch (1/2 teaspoon) of water. Maybe. This is excellent either way. Just wow.
- Rating, with water: 93/100
I think I'll split the difference here and score it a 92 overall. I hope this isn't the last time we see an Alberta Premium Cask Strength.
- Would I accept a glass of this if it was offered to me? Gratefully
- Would I order this in a bar or pub? Without hesitation
- Would I purchase a full bottle? Based on this sample, I did.
Thanks again to @Nozinan for his generosity.