Whisky Focus - Alberta Premium Cask Strength Review By Murray Cohen

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Review By Murray Cohen

30th September 2020
Given the recent sexist allegations against whisky writer Jim Murray for the language he has used in his new Whisky Bible 2021 which somewhat has taken the limelight away from the 'World Whisky Of The Year', Alberta Premium Cask Strength Canadian Rye Whisky, named in the book I have asked Canadian based Scotch Malt Whisky Forum Member, occasional SMW guest writer and Companion of the Quaich, Murray Cohen, to review the whisky for us and give us his independent unbiased opinion of the Canadian dram.

Alberta Premium Cask StrengthNo matter what size your bank balance is 'Whisky' is one of those affordable luxuries in life which everyone can spoil themselves with at least once and I am sure you will agree it is always good to get an independent, unbiased recommendation which directs you to something extra special within your budget.

Over the past 18 years Jim Murray's Whisky Bible has firmly established itself as the most comprehensive, independent collection of whisky reviews available to whisky enthusiasts looking for a suggestion as to what would be a good dram to have in their glass and with the ever increasing price of all styles of premium whiskies many whisky drinkers find independent reviews invaluable.

You may not always agree with Jim's rating of every whisky but of course taste is a very personal thing. Every year Jim's 'World Whisky Of The Year' always grabs the headlines and the latest edition of his book is no different, this year, and for the second time in the books history, a Canadian whisky has grabbed the top spot of 'World Whisky Of The Year', this time it is the limited edition 'Alberta Premium Cask Strength' Canadian rye whisky.

What has caused this years winner to grab a little more headlines than usual is the language Jim has used to describe his 'World Whisky Of The Year', such as: "The delivery should be exhibited at the Museum of Canada because even the smallest mouthful simply ejaculates the most rampant toasty rye notes known to mankind”. Lines such as this in the book has lead to allegations of 'sexism' which I disagree with although I would say that the descriptive language used is uncalled for and totally unnecessary and I am sure he will come to regret it.

Sadly these allegations may have somewhat taken the limelight away from the winning whisky and as it is impossible to get a hold of the Alberta Premium Cask Strength Canadian rye whisky here in the UK I asked Canadian based Scotch Malt Whisky Forum Member, occasional SMW guest writer and Companion of the Quaich, Murray Cohen, to review the whisky for us.

This is what Murray had to say about the Alberta Premium Cask Strength:

It does seem fitting that a Canadian should have the opportunity to review the World Whisky of the Year crowned in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2021 since it is a Canadian product. Alberta Distillers introduced this limited release cask strength 65.1% ABV rye whisky, non-age specified in the Fall of 2019. It is made with 100% Canadian rye and mashed with water from the snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountain range and aged in oak charred casks. The whisky was snapped up in Canada even before its award but I have been told that it is likely to surface again at least in Canada hopefully in the not too distant future.

A few words about Alberta Distillers based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada are warranted. It was founded in1946 by Frank McMahon and George Reifel. Word has it that there are over half a million barrels of spirit aging across 10 warehouses. The distillery has more than 30 product and processing tanks and ship many items worldwide. In addition to Alberta Premium they have other brands including Banff Ice Vodka, Alberta Pure Vodka, Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky and Windsor Canadian Whisky. Alberta Distillers have won a variety of spirit awards in the past as well.

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Review

Murray Cohen's Tasting Notes:

Colour: Amber.

Nose: Carrot cake, banana flambé, freshly sliced nectarines, honeydew melon piggy-backing on ripe cantaloupe flow in quick succession. A delectable sweetness encompassing candied yams and parsnips evolves soon yielding to McIntosh apple peel. Fields of Western Canadian grain diffuse aromatically with omnipresent clouds of mild rye spice. As the whisky sits for a while, pumpkin pie with whipped cream folds into the mix with red laces, i.e., red liquorice.

Taste: Full-bodied, syrupy. A quick moment of honey comb sweetness then full-on uncut rye spice with peppery tentacles; a flash of cherry sauce ignites a plethora of paprika, pepper and green chili accents. An oaky “je ne sais quoi” adds to the quality.

Finish: Long, a leathery infusion meets a sweet undertow of berry cough medicine with a mouth-watering component. A thin slice of strawberry rhubarb pie compliments with a wink and a smile. Subtle mocha foam and a cup of hot cocoa are offered late. The aftertaste goes to infinity.

Comment: This cask strength whisky has as many layers as an onion; complexity yet balance navigate through a cornucopia of aromas and flavours on a spirited magic carpet ride.

SMW Whisky Score 96.5/100

Sadly there are so many Canadian whiskies that are only available in Canada but what does find its way out is available  from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Where To Buy Whisky Online

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