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This whisky used to be a 100% rye offering, but at present it contains some corn. With all the rye that is distilled at Alberta, I imagine putting corn in may be a cost consideration as it is a cheaper grain.
This is one of the big staple mixed whiskies from Alberta, which produces incredible rye which they blend down into a Canadian style. This whisky is distinctly in the style of ADL (Alberta Distillers Limited), but is a bit different - I find it to exhibit a bit more of the medicinal character found in many Alberta products - from Alberta Premium to Masterson's Rye.
Unfortunately, this whisky has a bit of a story with me - I strongly disliked it for 2 years after getting food poisoning shortly after sipping this (not from this! from some beans...), so for the longest while I would get sick while sipping this and ended up giving away my first bottle. However, now, I am able to enjoy this fully again...this review was written 2 years after the food sickness incident...
Nose: Very unique - I get seaweed, vanilla, rubber tires...and a bit of a meaty aroma I find with many Canadian (and some American) ryes. There is some spice reminding me of the floral component of cloves. As well, I also get some brown sugar and soft rye, with hints of cacao as well. The nose is somewhat oily and buttery. 82%
Taste: There's a nice underlying sweetness to this, with some nice brown sugar and light honey notes and a touch of corn here and there. The rye does come through in the end, and is quite grassy/fresh - it's just sharp in its spiciness and feels more like what I expect fresh rye to taste (though I've never had it) like rather than dried and crushed grain. There are some of those unique notes of the nose- the seaweed and rubber - but it's quite light. These notes are more interesting than bad - though at first it took me a little getting used to. There's a slight bit of engaging acidity which I also find compelling. 83%
Finish: The finish has good feel, a nice amount of sweetness, with a tinge of rye and licorice root. Vanilla is present as well as some oak...and there is a slight bit of tanning drying out the mouth. Some of the grains come out in the finish as well, and a slight bit of black pepper. After some time, some slight bitterness comes through, but it is very light. 80%
Intrigue: The sweetness is just about right for sipping, I think, and this would be a great mixer as well - it has the depth and profile of one that will complement other flavours very nicely. I know of some bartenders in Toronto who swear by it. I imagine that this is a whisky that could grow on you as you sip, though it still wouldn't transcend the "good not great" category. 80%
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 81.