I did an about face on this one. Not that I didn’t initially like it,quite the contrary actually, but I was quite certain that the earlier limited release of the 25 year old was better. Hmmm…not so sure about that one now. As brilliant as the 25 was, I think this actually pips it.
Rumour has it that in the days following the release of the 25, the remaining old stock was recasked and left to mellow for a few more seasons. I questioned the decision to shift mature spirit from its familiar ol’ home into casks that would likely be a lot more active. Would this lead to too much young oak influence?
Nup. Not a worry. The result was quite the opposite really. It was the fruits that were reinvigorated, like a date with a defibrillator. What we end up with is a little more bottled magic from Alberta Distillers.
Word of the 30 year old’s pending release came to us early on when a few of The Collective were granted the opportunity to spend a few hours at the distillery. We were asked to keep hush hush, and of course had to respect that. Tough one though. Following on the heels of the stellar 25, expectations were high. Zipping the lip was a formidable obligation.
The wait was well worth it however. Here we have the oldest 100% rye whisky I know of, and what a treat it is.
The nose manages to impress as both older and younger than the 25. How is that possible? Cherry and orange, maybe a whiff of ruby grapefruit are second only to the pine-fresh woodiness. Familiar smells of a dunnage warehouse. There are faint char notes, almost as in a recharred cask. Pleasant…adding a degree of sophistication and hinting at the depth here. The characteristic spice notes found in rye are warm and familiar. Vanilla pod and clove right up front and something quite unique here as well: there is a pancake syrup (treacle for my friends o’erseas) we buy occasionally that is cinnamon flavored. The mix of butter, cinnamon and maple syrup is niftily captured here. Great nose.
The palate…mature, smoky, waxy and oaky. In essence…tasting of all those charming subtleties that only develop through the patience of letting a cask mellow in the warehouse. A smidge of tart citrus. And again…back to the rich cloves. The fade is oak and grapefruit.
Man, this is a great distillery. I only wish they had the confidence to try a little experimentation. With a spirit this good, I can only imagine the possibilities, and dare to dream of the heights they could reach. Imagine…this in a refill sherry butt? At cask strength?
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt