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Naff title, yeah, I know, but there is definitely more than an ounce of truth to it. I very much enjoyed the standard Lot 40 and @cricklewood very kindly sent me a sample of this so I could taste its big brother. Again, your kindness is very much appreciated my friend!
I've had the sample open a while now but I felt allowing it to get a little air after a couple of small pours was probably prudent. Review is neat.
Nose - First thing I notice is that despite the abv there is little to no alcohol burn here at all - it's very clean and inviting. It has a noticeably rye grain and vanilla creaminess to it that reveals big spices - a little white pepper, ginger and other assorted baking spices. There's a touch of floral about this too with some toffee and fruity notes - red apple for sure. Herbal as well with menthol standing out. Excellent and by far the best nose of any rye I've tried so far.
Taste - Having just had a nip of the standard to get in the mood this is immediately richer, spicier and fuller. Similar, yes, but much more complexity and power. This arrives with those huge rye spice notes then unfurls into more toffee and some dense fruit notes - red apple and sour cherry - with some menthol emerging. Clean, like the nose, but rich and full also on the palette. Superb mouthfeel.
Finish - Long. It's as if all the above flavours kind of hang in there for an age then the bold spice and some drying oak kind of take over. Very warming.
I've tried with water and it increases the floral and sweeter notes but something in the body and complexity is lost - I much prefer it neat.
I don't how much this sells for in Canada but I'd guess it's cheaper than an equivalent Scotch? Suffice to say, if I were Canadian I would be very proud of this whisky and would try to get a case of it - it's that good! Much more power and 'in your face' character than the standard and it weighs in much more heavily on the spice. Perhaps the standard is a touch more floral and fruity though? Both very good but I'd have to opt for this given the choice.