Maker: Alberta Distillers Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Beam Suntory)
Style: Blended Canadian Rye
Michigan State Minimum: $27
Appearance: Dark (not surprisingly), ruddy copper.
Nose: Big, high-toned rye. Lemongrass, tarragon, alcohol, coriander seed, ginger, butterscotch, toffee.
Palate: Full bodied and creamy. Toffee, caramel, coffee grounds. A bit of bite on the back end.
Finish: Big herbaceous finish. Cilantro, curry.
Parting words: This whisky is essentially a rebranding of the Canada-only Albert Rye Dark Horse whisky. Why they thought “batch” would sell better in the US than “horse” is anybody’s guess, especially since horses are all over many high end bourbon labels.
At any rate, it’s a blend of Alberta-distilled rye with high-rye bourbon (Old Grand Dad) and a little sherry. Many palates I respect have been able to taste the bourbon in the mix, but I confess that I cannot. Perhaps some of the butterscotch and toffee flavors are from the OGD, but it seems more likely that they hail from the sherry than the bourbon.
Whatever is coming from wherever, this is a wonderful whisky, one of the best Canadians readily available. It’s a great value at this proof and price. It mixes surprisingly well too, at least in the Manhattan I just finished! Alberta Rye Dark Batch is highly recommended.