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The last two Canadian whiskies I reviewed were flavoured whiskies (or, to coin a friend's phrase, "Frankenwhiskies.") Does this offering from Alberta Distillers fall into that category, given it has 0.5-1% sherry in it? Not from being matured in a sherry cask, mind you, but actual drops of sherry in the whisky? I would say...yes - though this is not mentioned on the label.
Unlike Alberta's other 100% rye whiskies, this has 8% corn whisky in it as well, and is bottled at a higher strength, at 45%.
The colour is dark copper. On the nose is pencil shavings, hot pepper, rye spices, and lots of oak. Fruits like plum, raisin and red grapes. Herbaceous. But the nose is rather thin, and water doesn't do much to bring it out.
The palate is richer, with more vanilla and caramel, and with more bite than most Canadian whiskies due to the high rye content, where you get that grapefruit pith note. Rich and delicious. Water gives it a creamier mouthfeel.
The finish is long and deep, lots of smoke, spice and oak. More wood shavings and a tannic element as well, no doubt from those drops of sherry. This is far and away the best of the "flavoured" whiskies out there (though I'm sure Alberta Distillers would not classify this as such). While I do not prefer it to their standard Alberta Premium offering, it is something a little different and very enjoyable.