Maker: Corby, Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Pernod-Ricard)
Style: Canadian Rye
Price: $60 (Binny’s)
Appearance: Auburn, with long thick legs.
Nose: Wintergreen, cotton candy, pine, leather.
Palate: Light mouthfeel, but spicy and hot. Butterscotch, oak, clove, curry powder, cayenne.
Finish: Hard candy, more evergreen and potpourri then heat. A little oak and tobacco rounds it off.
Parting words: This whisky is a reboot of a reboot, sort of. The original lot no. 40 was the farm plot of early Canadian and distiller Joshua Booth on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario. His descendant Michael D. Booth created Lot No. 40 the whisky as a tribute to his ancestor as a part of Corby’s ill-fated Canadian Whisky Guild line in the 1990s. It was revived in 2012 and that’s the edition currently on store shelves.
If there’s a knock on Canadian whisky as a category, it’s that it’s dull. The overwhelming majority of them are blends built to provide lots of “smoothness” for little money. As more flavorful styles of whisky like bourbon, rye and single malt Scotch have become more popular, Canadian distillers have begun to release bolder and even unblended whiskies to chase consumers who are tired of bland spirits.
Lot No. 40 is one of the greatest examples of these bolder offerings. It packs a wallop of flavor to rival ea bourbon or single malt Scotch. A lot of that is down to the 100% rye (10% malted and 90% unmalted)
recipe. Many Canadian distilleries make a whisky like this but it almost always gets blended away to add flavor to bland grain whisky in cheap blends. I’m very glad this made it into a bottle as is, and I can’t wait for the next edition.
The price is high for a Canadian whisky but it’s worth every penny. It may actually be cheaper in Canada, so make a run for the border if you can sometime soon. Lot No. 40 is highly recommended.