Alberta Distillers, Ltd, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is currently owned by Beam Brands Global. Alberta Distillers makes Alberta Premium rye whiskey, which derives from a 100% rye mashbill. Because Alberta Premium is currently distributed only in Canada and because I very much like my bottle of it that was hand carried to me from Canada by a friend, I was shocked and curious to see another Alberta Distillers product Tangle Ridge, sitting right on the shelf of my Maryland liquor store. The grain mashbill for Tangle Ridge is 100% rye. Here is how AD,Ltd describes this whiskey: "Our unique double casking process provides the inviting taste that is Tangle Ridge. We start with only the finest small grains, and age our whisky 10 years. After blending selected barrels, we return Tangle Ridge to oak barrels for further aging, allowing the flavors to marry."... and elsewhere "Aged for 10 years in oak barrels, the whisky is dumped and then blended with a hint of sherry and other natural flavors."
Nose: light to moderate sweet sherry
Taste: sweet sherry. Any trace of rye flavour, or anything else, is almost imperceptible
Finish: can't get that sherry off of the tongue...
Balance: Canada allows up to a slight fraction over 9% of non-whisky additives in its whiskies. Alberta Distillers does not declare just how much sherry is represented by "a hint" nor say anything about aging in sherry casks, though that might also have occurred here. In any case, there is really no real rye whiskey flavour to be encountered here. All that is presented is an overpowering sherry flavour which takes over what probably originated as a subtle and nuanced rye whiskey. This could work fine as a wine cooler/sangria type of mixer or additive, but as straight whiskey-- no. As Jim Murray stated about this whiskey in his 2011 Whisky Bible: "...the uncompromisingly grim finish remains its usual messy self. An unpleasant reminder of why I only taste this when its Bible time."
Wow, bad whisky! Bad whisky! No dinner for you!! I'll be avoiding this one like the plague whenever and where ever I see it. Thanks Victor!