Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wakey Whisky: Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch

by Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone and a happy #WakeyWhisky to you on World Whisky Day! World Whisky Day (#WorldWhiskyDay) was founded in 2012 by Blair Bowman, a university student in Scotland, and has grown into a worldwide celebration of all things whisky and whiskey.

 According to Bowman, "World Whisky Day is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. It’s not about being exclusive or prescriptive. You can drink it however you enjoy it (ice, water, mixer – whatever works for you). We want to be all inclusive and that means any kind of whisky/whiskey from anywhere in the world."

For me, that really meant I wanted to try something that wasn't a typical American whiskey and get into something from somewhere else in the world, so I dug through the Bite And Booze whisk(e)y collection and found something new to me. My pick is the Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch, a blended rye whisky from Calgary, Canada. This is a unique blend, 91% Canadian Rye Whiskey, 8% Bourbon, and 1% Sherry. Alberta Distillers is the largest rye whisky distiller in North America, but they must source their bourbon from the United States, as it's only legal to call a product bourbon if it's from the US of A. I would also assume that the sherry is sourced, then blended with some of their choice barrel aged rye whisky to create this blend. 

Normally, I'm a bigger fan of non-blended whisky and whiskeys, but I do enjoy a good rye, and a blend with bourbon and sherry sounds intriguing, so... let's dig in. The nose is robust, with the typical cinnamon spice from a rye whisky and also a hint of the sweetness coming from the sherry. Honestly, an excellent first impression, and it's a powerful aroma, I could pick it up as soon as I popped the cork on the 750ml bottle. 

The taste, more of the same, but even better. It's a powerful whisky without being obnoxious, coming in at 90 proof and 45% abv. The cinnamon spice is still going strong, with strong charred oak characteristics from all contributors to the blend, and a sweet honeysuckle-esque finish. The spice lingers for a bit, even getting up into my nostrils as I breathe while I write this post.

From what I can find online, this bottle should be somewhere between $30-$40 if you can find it, which I think is an excellent value. It's exactly on the tipping point between easy drinking and robust without finding it's way into the "so strong it's hard to drink," or "so weak it's barely there" categories. An excellent blend, a real eye opener for me, and without a doubt a pleasant surprise.

I'll be enjoying plenty more of this spirit in the future, but for now, CHEERS!, #wakeywhisky, and Happy #WorldWhiskyDay to you all!

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