- DISTILLER: Alberta Distillers
- MASH BILL: 100% Canadian Prairie Rye
- AGE: Minimum 5 years
- YEAR: 2021
- DISTILLATION: A blend of both pot still and column still distillation then aged in:
– New White Oak barrels with #4 Char, Independent Stave.
– Ex-Bourbon Barrel #4 char, sourced from Jim Beam Distillery.
– Canadian Barrel – ex-bourbon barrel secondary use (multi-used barrel)
- PROOF: 127 Proof (63.5% ABV, proof may vary by batch)
- MSRP: $74.99
SHARE WITH: This is a classic rye and as such, it should be shared with experienced enthusiasts who would appreciate the full-on rye character. Particularly, people who are more interested in drinking whiskey than buying whiskey (better known as my friends).
WORTH THE PRICE: At $75 for a rye from a major distiller (not craft) is a lot for me. It is a unique product with a very attractive bottle, and is also a “limited” release which is reflected in the price.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: All things considered I would give this a Bottle rating. If you are taken back by the price, BAR would also be appropriate (if you could find it). As a rye, a slightly lower price would get the attention it deserves. That said it is a fine drink, and while at a high proof it drinks very smooth.
OVERALL: I enjoy rye and drink it regularly both neat and in cocktails. Also, I claim to be almost Canadian, having grown up in the Detroit area watching Hockey Night in Canada and Curling on TV. Alberta Distillers is a major Rye/Canadian Whiskey distiller, with a large contract distillate presence (not unlike MGP in Indiana).
Alberta Premium is a fine rye with a deep flavor and a very long finish. The color is tan, but not too light, and has the long legs you would expect at the 127 proof. On the nose, you don’t get an intense alcohol burn, and I found forward rye spice, pepper, and sweetness with a hint of mint and oak. The taste followed the nose with a comfortable burn, more sweetness, the expected spicy flavor with dark fruit, and the mint coming along later and in the finish.
This rye did not benefit from a few drops of water, and as such, I would not recommend it for cocktails.
While a little pricy it is a unique product, distilled from 100% Canadian Prairie Rye, with multiple distilling and barreling processes. Also, they use proprietary enzymes, during the mashing process (to eliminate the need for barley in the mash bill). As mentioned above I think it is pricy, but whether you bought it or received it as a gift, you should not be disappointed in the product.
BRAND TASTING NOTES
Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye is made from 100% Canadian prairie rye grains grown by local farmers, and nutrient-dense glacier-fed spring water from the famed Rocky Mountains. The result is a perfectly balanced liquid that reflects the brand’s unique natural surroundings, Canadian heritage and expert whisky craftsmanship.
TASTE: Exceptionally smooth with notes of caramel, vanilla and a hint of chocolate balanced with the spiciness of rye and black currant.
FINISH: Smooth and lingering with the complexity of spice, warm vanilla, and dark fruit.
"WHEN ALBERTA PREMIUM DEBUTED IN 1958, WE WERE ONE OF THE FIRST DISTILLERIES TO CREATE A TRUE 100% RYE WHISKEY, AND THIS CASK STRENGTH RYE IS THE CULMINATION OF OUR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION TO CRAFTING EXCEPTIONAL RYE WHISKEY."
GEORGE TEICHROEB, GENERAL MANAGER OF ALBERTA DISTILLERIES
Disclaimer: Alberta Distillers provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.