Rare, Smooth and Completely Canadian

By / Wine + Drinks / June 6th, 2011 / Like

Starting this week, and just in time for Father’s Day, Canadian whisky lovers in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are in for a rare and special treat. Calgary, Alberta-based Alberta Distillers Ltd., the producer of Alberta Premium, will release a limited amount of its rare Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition. Alberta Distillers is one of the few remaining 100% Canadian rye whisky producers.

Age, and of course limited availability, is what makes this whisky particularly unique. Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition has been aged for 26 years in charred oak casks until its smooth and unique taste emerged, decanted and then casked again for four more years. According to Rob Tuer, Director of Operations at Alberta Distillers, whisky fans can expect Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition to deliver a unique blend of wood, spice, chocolate and a hint of smoke. Tuer describes the rare liquid as having rich, fullbodied, extremely smooth and mellow taste with distinctive rye notes.

“Alberta Distillers is proud and excited to introduce this rare, top quality whisky to Canada,” says Tuer. “This small batch 30 Year Old Limited Edition is an exceptional opportunity for Alberta Premium lovers and whisky connoisseurs to enjoy.” Whisky connoisseurs consider Alberta Premium a top quality rye whisky. It is heralded for its flavour, bouquet and value, and is one of the few 100 per cent rye whiskies still made in North America.

In his 2011 edition, whisky expert Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, calls Alberta Premium a “throbbing, pulsing rye on a variety of levels: full and juicy, dull and dusty, firm and flinty. Unique and unmistakable; the first whisky of my day – and it needs to be.” Alberta Premium has been awarded “Canadian Whisky of the Year” by Murray in his 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Whisky Bibles. The 25 Year Old Limited Edition bottling won “Canadian Whisky of the Year” in the 2008 version. Alberta Premium also won the 2010 San Francisco World spirits competition Gold Medal.

Wondering how much  indulging in a bit of whisky-buying might set you back? How does $49.95/750ml sound?

Tasting Note

The snappy rye notes haven’t disappeared, but have been given additional complexity via smoky/charred wood, vanilla, tangerine, fruitcake, toffee and clove nuances. Spice and vanilla reappear on the palate combining with characteristic rye dryness. The finish is long and warm with suggestions of butterscotch and caramel. Has bite but without too much edge. In other words, a great balance of power and grace. At under $50.00/bottle, this is an amazing 100 per cent Canadian rye.


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