- Brand: Corby's
- ABV: 55.5%
- Batch: L21202 (2021)
I’ve developed a tradition of posting a review of a Canadian whisky on January 1st. This will be my fifth such review. I have a small backlog of Canadians I want to review, and originally I was going to do a H2H2H of three ryes, but time and palate did not permit.
The first two editions (2017 and 2018) of Corby’s Lot 40 CS were excellent. Unfortunately the third in 2019 was less so. Last year there was no CS rye release. This year Dr. Livermore came back with a CS rye, the first of what will presumably be a series of “Rye Explorations”. Though it is NAS, we can see on the bottle that this one was finished for “17 months in 150 L First-Fill Peated Single Malt Casks”. Initially hard to find, @fiddich1980 was kind enough to source one for me in November. Rye and peat? How will that go?
First opened November 13 (about a month and a half ago) and gassed, when I reviewed it the bottle was 80% full (a couple of tastes and a 60 cc sample having been drawn off).
This expression is reviewed in a Brilliant Highland whisky glass in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. My palate has been a little off the last few days but it seemed back on track today so let’s give it ago.
(December 30, 2021)
Sweet and spicy (baking spices) with some sour notes. Some vanilla and caramel. Some fruity gummy candies. The peat is not very prominent. More a suggestion than anything else.
With water the peat is a bit more noticeable . The nose is sweeter, a little richer (almost like syrup was added). More savoury notes replace the gummy candies. A little more complex. (21.5/25)
Bitter and peppery on the first sip. Sweet and sour in the development. There is caramel and vanilla and something savoury I can’t pin down. I get some menthol freshness.
With water the peat is much more prominent. Initially hot on the arrival, I get a mouthful of peat, and the pepper is less prominent. Vanillas and some caramel, along with less sweet spices. A little fresh apple in the background. More complex with water.(22/25)
Peppery astringent and warm. Maybe a hint of peat on the breath. Some ash. The finish attenuates over a long time.
With water the finish is sweeter, less peppery. I get butterscotch on the exhale, as well as some ash. (22.5/25)
The nose and palate complement each other. The pepperiness overpowers what might otherwise be a more complex whisky.
With water the whisky is a bit more balanced and more complex. (22/25)
Score: Neat - 85/100 With Water: 88/100
This is unlike any of the other cask strength Lot 40 releases. The rye and peat combo may not be for everyone. I’ve certainly experienced it differently each time I’ve tried it. When I first opened it I was impressed. The second time my palate said “nope”. I would classify this as a mood whisky. But with the right conditions and the right mood, this is a good whisky.
I’m glad I have a spare to keep the set complete, but I suspect this first bottle will be with me for a long time.
Happy New Year everyone!