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This is a three way H2H with AP25 and standard NAS Alberta Premium (2 unicorns and a workhorse). I received this sample from @paddockjudge 4-5 years ago. I opened it to help prepare for my first taste of Handy Rye at an epic tasting held by @talexander. There were about 20 cc left in the sample bottle (I think it was gassed).
This expression, in a Glencairn, 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. I nosed all the whiskies before tasting them, going from oldest to youngest.
Caramel, vanilla. Hint of pickle juice that transitions to some sort of raw green vegetable (cut cucumber or lettuce). Baking spices. There’s a warmth. Inviting nose.
Sweet. A little thin. Lots of vanilla, some caramel. A little ethanol spiciness. Pepper in the development. With time in the glass it grows in intensity and richness
Medium length Some pepper. Very astringent.
Nice balance between Nose and palate. Not too bold.
Score: Neat - 88/100
Comparing the three:
The standard AP had the strongest but least complex nose. The 25 was more floral and rounded, but a little soft. The 30 was the most inviting, complex nose
The 25 was a bit washed out and thin. The standard was bold but a little sweet and unidimentional, and the 30 had bold flavour and some breadth.
Interestingly, water did not have a significant effect on any of them. The NAS gets a little sweeter.
I always preferred the 30 to the 25, and tonight is no exception. This used to be my favourite Rye, before I discovered the joys of Lot 40 CS.
I’m very grateful to @paddockjudge, who has been very generous both with samples of AP 25 and 30, but who gifted me a bottle of AP30 a while back. It will be a special occasion indeed when I open that.