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I've had some time adjusting to this, and now here it is, my official review. I'm drinking it out of a Glencairn Canadian Whisky Glass with a single ice cube, for those that want to know.
Nose: rich, spicy, with dark chocolate, cherries, butterscotch. Such an intense nose, one of the most expressive Canadians I've had.
Taste: almost bourbony off the bat. Rich, full, and smooth. Becomes very earthy mid-palate, with a dank, musty flavour like an old cellar. This is the only part of this whisky that doesn't always sit right with me. But it is tempered by the addition of water or ice. Remains a thick, heavy whisky; even at 80 proof it can withstand some water.
Finish: the earthy flavour persists and melds with dry oak taste. The finish is long and unobtrusive. It lingers but doesn't draw attention to itself.
Balance: brilliant nose and palate entry but the whisky seems close to collapsing under its own considerable weight. The funky middle flavours are almost assuredly a characteristic of its extreme age. Needs some massaging to get the most out of it.
Overall, this is everything I would expect and hope a 30 year old pure rye whisky to be. In head-to-head comparisons it stands out very distinctly. Bears little resemblance to the standard Alberta Premium. Tastes almost like a fine old brandy compared to Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve. At this price point, you might want to grab a few bottles of this. It only gets better as you become better acquainted with it.