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Alberta Premium

Rarified Rye Beam Won't Share

0 2488

@VictorReview by @Victor

15th Mar 2011

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I read about Alberta Premium 100% rye mash whiskey for 2 years before I was able to get a taste of it. Alberta Premium is one of three rye mash whiskeys made by Alberta Distillers Limited in Calgary, Alberta. Alberta Premium is 6 yrs old. Beam Brands Global owns ADL, but has thus far chosen to distribute Alberta Premium, the 10 yo Alberta Springs, and the 25 yo expression of Alberta Premium only in Canada. A few months ago a friend was kind enough to hand-carry a bottle back to me from Canada.

Nose: perfumed nose, with mild pleasant spices, floral notes, cherries, pears, and citrus

Taste: this is a very light and ethereal rye whiskey. The flavours are subtle, refined, and delightful. In the mouth honey is in evidence in addition to the rye spiciness. The various fruit flavours from the nose are definitely tastable here as well. The wood flavours of vanilla and caramel are present, but are subtle here and more in the background.

Finish: the many delicate flavours fade very slowly away together, over a relatively long period of time.

Balance: this is a beautiful little gem, which I gather is somewhat taken for granted in Canada where it is a common and inexpensive home-grown product. Jim Murray has been waxing rhapsodic about this whiskey for the last 6 years or so, repeatedly naming it Canadian Whisk(e)y of the Year and giving it a rating of 95/100 points. This is a beautiful and unusually delicate rye whiskey that is best appreciated when one is in the mood to enjoy a whiskey which is very subtle and refined.

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24 comments

@michaelschout
michaelschout commented

I've had little sips of Alberta Premium here and there but most of the time I've only ever had it in mixed drinks. It always struck me as a very sweet whisky. After reading your review though I'm beginning to think that it was a sin to be mixing it so much and never trying a proper dram.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@michaelschout, yes Alberta Premium is all around you up there in Ontario @about $Can 24 at your corner LCBO store. I really wonder what Alberta Premium would taste like at barrel proof.

8 years ago 0

@RobertH
RobertH commented

What's the idea with our friends to the North keeping all the good stuff for themselves? ;)

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@RobertH, my thoughts exactly, but I suppose that Beam Brands Global is the responsible party.

8 years ago 0

Peatpete commented

I am a big fan of this one as an easily drinkable dram, and here in Alberta it is ridiculously cheap... I pay $23 a bottle for it...

8 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

I have a fondness for Wiser's Legacy, $84/750 ml 45% abv, but Alberta Premium is such great value at $24. This is the staple in my stable. I can't find the 25 yr. old version of this whisky in Ontario, does anyone know if /when it is available? Victor, barrel proof would be welcomed by me.

8 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

@paddockjudge, Wiser's Legacy and the standard Alberta Premium are really different whiskies; at those prices, it's nice to know you an have them both!

I don't think Ontario has ever (or at least in recent years) carried the Alberta Premium 25 year-old. It's even hard to find in Alberta, as it's a rare and valued bottling. If you have someone helpful in Alberta willing to look, though, you might be able to get your mitts on a bottle. I know I'd sure like a taste!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@paddockjudge and @dbk, I am lined up with you both to get a taste or a bottle of Alberta Premium 25 years old!

8 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

Yes dbk, Wiser's Legacy and the standard Alberta Premium are really different whiskies. Golden Ring vs Brass Hoop. Legacy, for a price, allows us a taste of Canadian Whisky tradition as it was intended more than one hundred years ago. Alberta Premium is the Brass Hoop Barrel, the working man's rye whisky and the last of the affordable "100% ryes" that can be sipped straight and still bring a smile to your face. I have stumbled across something else that may bring a smile to many faces - Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition - here is the url, (and no, I don't work for ADL:) stranoandpettigrew.wordpress.com/2011/03/… Let's hope the price will remain affordable. I'm hoping for C$35 per bottle 750 ml; at this price I'll be able to buy it and drink it, instead of just blogging about it. Cheers!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@paddockjudge, if you get more information about which provinces will have distribution of the Alberta Premium 30 yo and the pricing, please let us know! Thanks for posting.

8 years ago 0

@lucadanna1985
lucadanna1985 commented

sure it will be great, but is it not a shame bottling a 30 yo whiskey at 40% ?

8 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@lucadanna1985 - luca, I hope this release will actually take place in my lifetime. The release is reportedly 700 (40% abv) cases, see, that's one hundred more cases than an offering at cask strength - more for you and I ;) Cheers pj

8 years ago 0

Peatpete commented

I was advised that the Co-Op liquor stores were the best place in Alberta to look for this, and I finaly found the chance to check one out. The store that I went into had 8 bottles on the shelf, priced at I think $54 a bottle including tax. I bought one, and having tasted it will be buying another bottlewhen I swing back past there!

8 years ago 0

west77 commented

Just a quick note to anybody looking for the 25 year... there is no point. It was a limited release and I doubt you will find a bottle anywhere. It has been replaced by the 30 year old. There are only 8400 bottles available for the world (actually, 8397 when you subtract my 3.) The suggested retail price was $50 (somebody else wrote that only a Canadian company would give away 30 year old whisky for that price.) It is getting harder to find and was, I believe, only available from B.C to Ontario. I seem to recall that Ontario was the last province to release it, so you may have more luck there. If you can find a bottle or two (or three) it is well worth picking up. I don't know the chances of another release like this, but I am crossing my fingers that they will add a yearly release of old, premium bottles for that price.

8 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@west77 The 25 year old Limited Edition is indeed a rare find. For those.of you in Ontario seeking the 25 yo Limited Edition check the store shelf balance on hand of the standard Alberta Premium - you may find a misplaced bottle of 25 yo mixed in with the current inventory. I managed to pick up one bottle in July at the Major Mac and Jane outlet and one bottle in Nepean the month before - a bottle had been removed from.its sleeve and was mixed in with the standard offering. The 25 year old doesn't have the complexity of the 30 year old, but it certainly is something special.

A.premium offering now and again would be a wonderful treat. Cheers!

8 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

Awww I REALLY want to try these whiskies now. I didn't know about them when I lived in Seattle! I know this means I need to take a trip back to the US and head up to Vancouver for the weekend while I scour Liquor stores!

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@SquidgyAsh, having now sampled several batches of Alberta Premium I can say that most batches of it are pretty sweet, as @MichaelSchout has accurately noted. This reviewed bottle, which I fear I cannot replace, was from an exceptionally dry batch, which I prefer. The typical sweet/fruity batch of Alberta Premium would get a rating of 82 from me. It is a pleasant whisky, but the sweet/fruity does not taste to me to be natural, but to be from additives and/or overdone wine finishing. Side by side tasting of this reviewed bottle with a bottle from a more typical sweet batch of Alberta Premium yields astonishing contrast.

7 years ago 0

Frank1 commented

Victor, if you ever get the chance to try out Alberta Springs 10 year old, it is, at least to my palate, a pretty dry rye compared to the standard Alberta Premium.

7 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

I have made my decision - the 25 year-old wins over the 30 year-old; however, if the 30 year-old was the only Alberta Premium Rye Whisky that I could source, I would consider myself a very lucky man.

As @talexander has indicated, this is definitely a guilty pleasure...lock me up.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Frank1, in responding to your comment 10 months later...yes, your observation is a good one. I've sampled Alberta Springs 10 yo several times in the last 3 years, and yes, I do remember it as being much drier than standard Alberta Premium. So far I just haven't been able to get excited by the flavours in Alberta Springs, though. It seems as though there is something different in the industrial process with Alberta Springs compared to the Alberta Premium products. Did I read something about neutral spirits being part of the Alberta Springs blend? If so, that might explain it.

Ah, an idea for vatting: I suspect that Alberta Springs would vat pretty well with Alberta Premium. Maybe not 50/50, maybe 2 to 1 Alberta Springs in the majority. Now that idea makes me actually consider getting a bottle of Alberta Springs. That vatting might well approach in taste my first bottle of Alberta Premium which I loved so dearly.

6 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Victor - having vatted 100% rye Alberta Premium with the (possibly) 100% rye Alberta Springs 10 YO, in the following ratios of 1:1 and 2:1 both ways, I am able to confirm that I prefer the sweeter - AP 2:1 AS. This seems to be consistent with my fondness for sweet whisky, although I do love them all.

It is my opinion that you would enjoy the AS 2:1 AP vatting. I enjoyed all three expressions of Alberta vatting and would be delighted to have any of the three and/or the original Alberta Distillers standard expressions.

I also vatted the 25 Yo and 30 YO, in varying ratios, and much preferred the vatting of younger expressions; however, I do prefer the older aged expressions, on their own, to any of the above.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Excellent work, @paddockjudge. Thanks much for experimenting with the various vatting ratios. I expect to try some of these vattings quite soon.

6 years ago 0

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