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This is an abridged version of a blog post I'll be publishing tomorrow
If the Internet is correct, the original Lot 40 (circa late 1990s) was the brainchild of then Master Distiller Mike Booth. It was an attempt by Hiram Walker to create three different premium whiskies known as the Canadian Whisky Guild. The success of these whiskies was limited, probably owing to the snobbishness of consumers when it comes to premium Canadian whiskies. Lot 40 was discontinued, much to the chagrin of Canadian whisky enthusiasts. In 2012, Corby spirits (which had acquired Hiram Walker) re-released Lot no.40. To ensure that they weren't just selling a venerated name and capitalizing on the (recent) past, Master distiller Dr Don Livermore consulted with the retired Mike Booth to ensure the recipe was authentic. Lot 40 is produced in a single, 12 000 litre copper pot still at the Hiram Walker facility in Windsor, Ontario. Lot no. 40 won Canadian Whisky of the Year in 2015 (Canadian Whisky Awards) as well as Connoisseur Whisky Of The Year Multiple Markets and a Gold Medal in 2017 (Canadian Whisky Awards). So I guess you could say it's kind of a big deal.
- Nose (undiluted) : rye bread, oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper
- Palate (undiluted): medium-bodied, rye spice, toasted oak, lots of baking spices, cinnamon hearts, hints of apple and caramel
- Finish: medium-long, spicy, slight vanilla note, black pepper with oakiness lingering.
Adding water allows more complexity to shine through. Lot 40 may seem like a one-trick pony at first, but it deserves your full attention. With water, more herbal notes come through and some tobacco makes an appearance. There is also a citrus note that becomes more evident with water, perhaps oranges. This whisky is even great in an Old Fashioned tumbler on the rocks. Hey, not every whisky needs to be sipped from a Glencairn all of the time. Honestly, I like this whisky almost as much as Dissertation. Highly recommended.