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Lock, Stock, & Barrel 13 YO Straight Rye

One More Older Alberta Distillers Ltd US Rye

5 589

@VictorReview by @Victor

14th Dec 2016


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Lock, Stock, & Barrel
  • ABV: 50.65%

Cooper Spirits in Pennsylvania procured the 13 yo 100% rye content whisky from Alberta Spirits Limited in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to bottle Lock, Stock, % Barrel. I do not know whether this was aged in Alberta, Pennsylania, or both locations. I suspect this was aged in Alberta due to the age of the spirit. Like other US bottled and sometimes US aged ADL imports, Jefferson's Rye, WhistlePig Rye, and Masterson's rye, Lock ,Stock,& Barrel Rye was made to US Straight Rye specifications using only new charred oak barrels and without any additives. It is reported that the rye grain used for this whiskey was sourced in the US Pacific Northwest. I thank @paddockjudge for the reviewed sample

Nose: yes, this smells like ADL rye, which is often very fine indeed. This one shows both good dark fruitiness and good rye grain spiciness. Moderate intensity of the nose, which becomes quite strong with 15 minutes in the glass. Very good sweet/dry balance. You can smell the 13 years of age in the depth of the fruit flavour here. Very high quality rye nose. Score: 23/25 points

Taste: very piquante spicy in the mouth, more so than the nose. The fruit is there too on the palate, with some of the "dusty" quality which tends to pretty common in Canadian produced rye whiskies. For me "dusty" in rye whisky detracts from the overall enjoyment of the whisky. Older oak flavours with natural caramel are quite noticeable also. The quality of the grain flavours is very good, whereas the quality of the wood flavours is only good. Score: 22/25

Finish: long finish, with the flavours gaining bitterness and a little sourness. Still nice, but the shortcomings of the wood show a bit by the death. Score: 21.5/25

Balance: excellent balance in the nose, good balance thereafter. Score: 22/25

With water added: 1) brings out high-pitched sweetness in the nose and bundles the flavours, and 2) sweetens the palate. Water added lessens the experience of the nose for me, but is a good variant for the experience of the palate

Total Sequential Score: 88.5 points

Stength: strong flavours throughout. Score: 23/25 points

Quality: excellent grains flavours; good wood flavours. The oak is a little tired. Score: 22/25

Variety: very good selection of flavours available.Score: 22.5/25

Harmony: excellent in the nose; good to very good in the mouth. Score: 22/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 89.5 points

Comment: well, this is a nice rye, and one of the relatively uncommon ones to be found above 10 years of age. Comparing it to WhistlePig, Masterson's, and Jefferson's Alberta Distillers US straight rye whiskey products, I like Lock, Stock, & Barrel more than Jefferson's 10 yo, but less than both WhistlePig and Masterson's. For me WhistlePig and Masterson's give a cleaner rye whisky than Lock, Stock, & Barrel. Lock, Stock, & Barrel did receive a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2014, and 94 points from the Ultimate Beverage Challenge. Yes, it is pretty good, but also quite expensive


Nock commented

This bottle is still on shelves near me for $99.99 a bottle. I have considered it in the past. Had you given it a 92 or above I might have jumped on it. But at this score (and knowing our similar proclivity for flavors) I think this must be a pass for me. Thanks for the review. It is illuminating.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

Correction: second line should read "Alberta Distillers Limited" and not "Alberta Spirits Limited".

@Nock, yes, it is my overall assessment that Lock, Stock, & Barrel Rye is in the current US market too expensive to compete in value for money with some of the other rye whiskey products. For similar money I would always choose Willett Family Estate 7 or 8 yo Rye, or WhistlePig or Masterson's in the ADL category. Knob Creek Rye or Rittenhouse BIB are almost as good (and cleaner) for much lower costs. Pikesville 110 proof is also much less expensive in the US.

The only real adavantage to Lock, Stock, & Barrel 13 YO Rye compared to Knob Creek Rye, Rittenhouse Rye, or Pikesville Rye is that you can taste and smell those deep fruit flavours from the extra years of aging in the Lock, Stock, & Barrel. I gave Lock, Stock, & Barrel the same rating number, I believe, as I gave to the Van Winkle 13 YO Rye. There is a huge caveat here, though. Van Winkle 13 YO Rye becomes UNGODLY GOOD after it takes a huge amount of air. Leave a bottle of VW 13 Rye open a couple of years and it elevates to a 95 point whiskey. The fruity beauty will knock you over. I was reminded of that at @Benancio's house in Albuquerque in September. Wow! Heavenly. Lock, Stock, & Barrel, by contrast will likely always have that bitter/sour thing nagging you at the end. Van Winkle Rye is very clean and very dry, whereas Lock, Stock, & Barrel introduces dusty, bitter, & sour as it sits in the mouth.

6 years ago 0

jeanluc commented

Is this classified as a Canadian whisky @Victor?

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@jeanluc, it is distilled in Canada, but bottled and sold in the US as US Straight Rye. I don't know for sure where it is aged. In style of production, it is US straight rye and neither Canadian blended NOR Canadian-style 100% rye,...but it IS distilled in Canada. Either country of designation will be misleading. If you are designating by location of the company brand, then it is US. If you are designating by location of the distillery, then it is Canadian. As administrator you have to decide which way you want to classify things.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

@jeanluc, another point: Lock, Stock, & Barrel 13 yo Rye is currently almost unavailable in Canada, with wine-searcher.com showing one store carrying it in the entire country, with no mention of additional sources if you subscribe to the paid version of wine-searcher.com. In the USA, 24 stores are listed and 111 are mentioned as being available to a paid subscriber. Which country is this whisk(e)y from? Well, if you go to Canada, where it was distilled, you will have a very hard time finding any.

6 years ago 0

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