Let’s say this right off the bat – this is no ordinary Canadian whisky. Alberta Rye Whisky Dark Batch is a blended whisky comprised of 91% rye whisky, 8% Old Grand Dad bourbon and 1% sherry. Sounds interesting, right? How much influence, other than a dark red color, can such a small addition of sherry assert in this whisky? Alberta Distillers create Alberta Premium Canadian Blended Whisky. According to Chuck Cowdery, Alberta Distiller’s rye whisky is the source of WhistlePig Rye Whisky. He’s got a great write-up on this Dark Batch release here.
(Note: a review sample was provided by Beam Suntory.) Even though it composes only 1%, the sherry influence echoes throughout this whisky. It’s quite discernible on the nose along with caramel, toffee, dried fruit and a slight nuttiness. I found the body to be a bit thin for a whisky at 90 proof. There is a rye grain, sherry & toffee sweetness, a tiny almond note and a very slight bitterness. The finish is short and sweet. I wish it were longer.
Overall, this was an interesting whisky. There are nice sweet sherry and nutty notes running through this. It’s not cloyingly sweet, which was unexpected for me. The rye grain and spice was kept in check. Lots of interesting flavors, but nothing completely stood out. It was pretty “smooth”. I wasn’t completely impressed when I tasted this whisky. However, in the couple of days between the initial tasting and the writing of this post (along with a second tasting), I’ve thought about this whisky and the words “interesting” and “different” keep popping up. An easy recommendation, especially at the $29.99 SRP.