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After nearly a month of anxious waiting and checking the LCBO website everyday, I finally have a bottle of Alberta Premium 30 year old. In typical Alberta Premium style the bottle is far from presumptuous, in fact, it's the same bottle as the regular 5 year old blend. What's inside of the bottle though is indeed very special.
Nose: Very similar to the 5 year old blend albeit more complex. There are strong floral notes, like orange blossoms and then fresh fleshy plums. Rye notes slowly come out. When the glass was warmed in my hand for about five minutes, the nose opened up with notes of sweet grains.
Palate: Sweet vanilla and caramel are very prevalent at first. It is very sweet but then there is a subtle amount of spice that creeps up on your tongue and balances out the sweetness. There is a lot of rye flavour that is so common amongst Canadian whiskies, but like the nose, there are floral and fruity flavours that somehow manage to be powerful yet stay in the background of the palate. There is a constant oak tinge on every flavour. Texture is medium chewy. It took a few tastings over two days to really understand the complexity of the palate, and it just gets more complex as more flavours are discovered all the time.
Finish: Extraordinarily smooth. The spices grow over the finish and it really becomes quite pleasant. It's not an overwhelmingly long finish and once the remnants of the minimal spice die down there is a lingering oak note on the palate.
Overall: What a blend! It has beautiful rye flavours because it is one of the few 100% Canadian rye whiskies. There is a perfect blend of spice and sweetness. I wasn't sure what I was expecting from this whisky, but in my mind it is exactly a more sophisticated version of the regular Alberta Premium and is quite perfect in almost all ways. Sometimes the flavours seem a little muted to me, but in my mind part of the intrinsic nature of whisky is that it can never be absolutely perfect to everyone.
I should probably talk about the value of this whisky. At the LCBO in Ontario the Alberta Premium 30 year old costs $50. Even if this whisky was half as good this would still be great value. I say thank you Alberta Distillers.