Country: Canada
Type: Canadian Whisky
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 45%
Score: 85 points

Alberta Rye Dark Batch. Image courtesy Beam Suntory.This whisky has been available for several years in Canada as Alberta Premium Dark Horse, but is sold outside of Canada as Alberta Rye Dark Batch. The reason: a Dark Horse Distillery in Michigan and another craft distillery’s Dark Horse whiskey that kept Beam Suntory from being able to trademark the original name for use in the US market. It’s made from a blend of 100% Rye whiskies, a small percentage of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon from Kentucky, and 1% Sherry from Europe — all legal under Canadian law.

The nose has hints of juniper, sawdust, toffee, creme brûlée, and maple syrup. The taste starts off sweet, followed by a good cinnamon burst that fades to reveal grapefruit and ginger notes balanced by a charcoal ashiness and a touch of molasses for a complex and unique palate. The finish is long and smooth with fading spices and a hint of raisins. Very nice. (April, 2015)