There’s a hometown pride goin’ on here right now. I’ve been won over and have fallen in love again. Sort of a backdoor romance, you could say. The good news though…is that my wife knows about it.
Alberta Premium is produced right here in Calgary, and is doubtless the finest Canadian Whisky I have ever tried. Their no age statement flagship expression is a mindblowingly sexy dram, showing maturity well beyond its years (the number of which, of course, a gentlemen would never mention). So the question that logically follows is ‘how does this stack up after a few more years in wood’?
Well…through a newly-forged (though hopefully long-enduring) friendship, I was gifted a bottle of this sadly long-gone whisky. I can, without any hesitation, state on record that 25 years in oak takes this from a sterling rye whisky to something utterly beyond compare.
The nose here has all of the same notes that makes the standard bottling exceptional, but…try this…imagine a lone violin playing in a moonlit amphitheater. Now imagine that lone violin is joined by multitudes more playing the same note in ascending octaves of the most heavenly harmony until your eardrums burst in pure ecstasy. That good? Absolutely. Gorgeous sweet rye…creamy vanilla and hazy light fruits…silky smooth chocolate. At 25 years I should be worried about oak influence. Alas…nada. The woods here are absolutely distant and tastefully restrained.
The palate is alive and vibrant with all the afore-mentioned depth and creamy toffee notes to boot. The arrival is delicate and unpretentious, but develops smoothly into an unbelievably elegant and sensual mouthful. There are distant (very distant) echoes of bourbon in there somewhere as well…though they sort of dance around the tongue a little. The finish is much lengthier than the staple expression, and man…are those lingering flavors lovely. I concur with the opinion that leaving the oils in (ie. no chill-filtration) would have allowed these beautiful flavors to soar even higher. As it is though…dear gawd…my wife should be jealous.
Hard to find flaws here. A well-deserved mark.
One final note…I mentioned in my review of the standard bottle that I was hoping to try this 25 year old. Well…you fine folk made it happen, So I will tempt fate once more by begging that anyone who finds this in the shops either nabs me a bottle (at my expense of course) or tells me where to find it. I’ll be sure to share a dram.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt