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Lot No. 40 Rye Explorations Release No. 01

Two Lot 40s (does that make it 80?) - Part II

11 3392

@talexanderReview by @talexander

13th Nov 2021

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I believe this expression just came out today. It is the first in a new Lot 40 series called "Rye Explorations" - a cask strength 100% rye whisky finished for 17 months in first-fill peated single malt quarter casks. According to the label, this was bottled in Aug 2021.

The colour is a light toffee. On the nose - OK gimme a minute - there is a lot going on! Very light peating, for sure - but extremely fruity with banana, pineapple and kumquat. You might not think this was a rye if you had nosed it blind, but the pepper, clove and pencil shavings are definitely there in the background. Herbal as well with parsley and mint. Water adds a bit of seashore. I wish I had longer to sit with this but so far, it's quite extraordinary.

Very herbal on the palate, without a lot of alcohol burn. Mild spices (cumin, paprika) and a light blanket of peat. More banana, toasted oak and those unmistakable rye "pencil shavings". Water ups the spice and peat just a hair - but even at 55.5% this is extremely drinkable without water. Oak, spice and peat are in perfect balance.

The finish is minty with freshly mown grass, green banana and white pepper. This expression of Lot 40 is in an entirely new realm - Canadian whisky made for scotch lovers. I have a tiny bit left of their Cask Strength 3rd Release (57%) - let's see how it stands up to that (mind you, that 3rd Release has been oxidizing for a long time): 3rd release is darker in colour, much oakier (and less complex) on the nose; both quite complex on the palate, but the new one has much more power (which could be because the 3rd release has oxidized too much). In any event, the Rye Explorations wins big time. This is one stunning whisky, by any measure.

Related Lot No. 40 reviews

33 comments

@RianC
RianC commented

@talexander - nice review. This sounds lovely. I can imagine rye and peat working well if done right and this sounds like a delicate infusion rather than a sledgehammer approach. I'll look out for this.

6 months ago 0

Astroke commented

Will be picking up a bottle shortly. Look forward to it. I hope that Don does a Port finish version, since he finishes everything else in Port. High West and Sagamore have been very successful with the Port finished Rye.

6 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

The Doc was asked on Instagram how many bottles were produced and he estimated 1800-1950. My first impression is that this is a good whisky, and I don't see it lasting long in the stores...

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@Nozinan yes, I picked one up as soon as they landed in Hamilton.

6 months ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 commented

@Nozinan It is odd that for Lot 40 Peated Quarter Cask Strength bottles are individually numbered yet, their is no disclosure on total bottle production. Some have insinuated that not all of the Lot 40 being finished in peated quarter cask were bottled. Maybe a future release of a "Lot 40 sweet peat"? Then there is also a pending "Black Sea Barrel Finish". My intention is not to fuel FOMO, I think that Dr. Don is competent at feeding the hype wagon.

quebecwhisky.com/23590-2/

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@fiddich1980, the BLACK SEA version of Lot 40 (potentially next year's release) more closely resembles the first and second editions than it does the third, fourth, and fifth editions of the higher proof Lot No 40 releases.

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

MRick commented

@fiddich1980 Black Sea Barrels like those used in Ardbeg Kelpie?

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Megawatt
Megawatt commented

Great review. Really interested in this bottle, but I've seen a few less glowing reviews on the LCBO site, from people who profess to love both Lot 40 and Islay malt, but not this particular combination.

6 months ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@fiddich1980, thanks for this link.

www.malt-review.com/2020/11/…

The Peated QC Lot 40 is an anomaly, an outlier. It is so far off the Canadian whisky grid that it deserves a category of its own.

Spirit of Toronto 2020: Virtual Warehouse Experience Hiram Walker ... I opened my cask strength sample pack this week as I was unable to attend the virtual tasting last year. I like three out of four of the cask strength samples.

Holy Fuck Batman!! I'm not going to call out someone, and ask for their qualifications, when it comes to reviewing Canadian whisky...nor am I going to suggest that someone has shoe leather for a tongue, but I will say this, Jason of MALT doesn't understand C-whisky.

6/10 for Red Letter cask strength??!

4/10 for Lot 40 Peated QC ..... 6/10 for Lot 40 Black Sea Casks?

7/10 for JP Wiser’s 22 Year Old Limited Edition Finished in Port Pipes?! ...I did not enjoy this one. imho the port casks ruined a great 22 YO Canadian whisky (younger clone of W 23 YO).

Cask Strength Red Letter is a flavour bomb and also 70.1% to boot! This is a solid 9/10 in my books, as is the Black Sea Casks (a profile very close to Lot No 40 CS first and second editions). The Peated QC Lot 40 is an anomaly, an outlier. It is so far off the Canadian whisky grid that it deserves a category of its own. I liked this sample, a lot. The colour was light straw. The official release is darker, I think this current for-retail-sale batch may have taken colour from darker casks (yeah, yeah, or maybe some caramel). I like the official release of Peated QC less than the sample.

Thanks again @fiddich1980

DEAR JASON,

I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY to walk you through the labyrinth of Canadian Whisky...and stagger out the other side together.

Sincerely,

paddockjudge

www.malt-review.com/2020/11/…

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@dloewen
dloewen commented

Thanks for the great review @talexander I agree in every respect! I was able to take in a Lot 40 flight with friends last week including the current standard bottling alongside the Dark Oak, the Peated QC, and the first edition 12yo CS. What stood out to me was how well rounded and drinkable it was at 55.5%!!! ...and everything in balance! Dr. Don did well with this one, I'm a huge fan! Now, it should be noted that it did pale in comparison to the First Edition 12yo CS. We decided that might be the very best Rye any of us have had...ever. Too bad it's become unobtainium. This aside, it's nice to know Don is still putting out some bottles like the Peated QC at great value for money.

6 months ago 5Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@dloewen I actually preferred the 11yo Lot 40 CS to the 12 Year, but I might be in the minority on that count. I've ordered a Peated QC Lot 40, so I'm anxious to see where that one fits in.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@dloewen
dloewen commented

@OdysseusUnbound have you had the pleasure of trying rye+peat anywhere else? For instance, the High West Campfire is very good, but based on my first taste, I like this better.

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@dloewen I’ve never had anything from High West. Lot 40 Peated will be my first peat + rye.

6 months ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@OdysseusUnbound, you are wondering where this peated rye fits in relation to first and second edition Lot No 40 CS....it requires a category of its own.

6 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I agree. An excellent marriage of two very different styles of whisky which defies classification. Got to tip the hat to the doc on this one.

6 months ago 2Who liked this?

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

I really didn't like this release. I wouldn't even recommend it. I would agree with Mark - it is so far off the whisky map. Might be closer to Mezcal.... I gave away my bottle.

I am all for exploration and experimentation, but what I don't care for is brands that are trying to just capitalize on fads (peat and CS rye) over something that is actually great whisky, especially given what is in the warehouses in Windsor.

But, I'm fine if I'm in the minority on this one. In general, when I've run this at tasting the response is "wow" followed by "I'm not sure if I like that". I am beginning to wonder if my tastes are getting outdated...

And can we get to some cool, actual innovation? How about some yeasts? Different ryes? A bit more bacterial fermentation? I understand that barrel finishes are easy, and it's hard for such a massive operation like Hiram Walker to put out a batch like that - but I'd rather get a special cask selection of the best 8-12 yr cask strength lot 40s, no barrel finishes needed.

5 months ago 7Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@JasonHambrey I recently picked a bottle of Barrell Seagrass Rye which has 3 different cask finishes. Maybe Don should have a look at that type of finishing for Lot 40 as it is very good IMO.

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@JasonHambrey Although I really like this one, I agree with your general comments about what Hiram Walker is doing - playing around with things to add sex appeal rather than making straight-up excellent whisky. Perhaps this is driven by marketing more than by Dr. Don.

5 months ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@JasonHambrey I suppose it goes to show how different individual palates are. I really like this one. I don't get a ton of peat or smoke from it, honestly. I find it to be a more "banana-forward" offering. But we can all be outliers at times. I think I'm the only one who hated the recent Alberta Premium 20 Year old release. Not "I don't care for this stuff"' but hate, hate, double-hate, right down to loathe entirely.

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound Oh believe me, you are NOT the only person who hated AP20 - actually, I don't know anyone you liked it - everyone I know hated it....

5 months ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I concur, I have yet to meet anyone who will admit to giving AP 20 "the nod of approval". When I drink a whisky, I ask myself, would I be proud of this whisky if I made it? Sadly, AP 20 does not get "the nod of approval" from @paddockjudge.

@OdysseusUnbound, there are two streams of whisky which emerge from ADL, the adulterated liquid: AP 20, Pendletons, CC 100% Rye...and the other stream: AP 25, Masterson's, WhistlePig, Hochstaeder's, Lock Stock & Barrel, and APCS.

Nuff said.

5 months ago 5Who liked this?

@dloewen
dloewen commented

Wow, glad I read these comments, I’ve never tried AP20 and was very close to purchasing...I’ll steer clear of this one!

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@paddockjudge funny thing about the “good” stream; I didn’t care for the WP10 I tried (not bad, just “meh”) but I adored the first batch of APCS. That one is everything a rye should be. Sweet, spicy, rich, just wonderful. After sampling it, someone picked up a bottle for me that they’re still (patiently) holding. As for AP 20, I know at least one Canadian Whisky reviewer/author/cheerleader who called it “elegance in a glass”. And AP20 also earned praise from many a YouTube whisky reviewer.

5 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound

Funny that your friend is holding a bottle of AP CS patiently for you. I would say VERY patiently... and I understand you may be holding a bottle of rum for him as well...

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@OdysseusUnbound, not all WhistlePigs are created equal. There are some batches, especially cask strength releases (13 YO single barrel #20 Mortimor release) that are spectacular. There's no accounting for taste....and it is the "other" stream (yeah, "good").

5 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Getting ready to post my own review. Amazing how two different reviewers come out with such different impressions.

4 months ago 0

@dloewen
dloewen commented

@Nozinan I’m looking forward to reading it!

4 months ago 0

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