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Alberta Premium Limited Edition

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Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Megawatt » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:34 am

Many Scotch and bourbon enthusiasts look down their noses at Canadian whisky. While it doesn't have the full body or the deep complexity of other whiskies, mature Canadians have a lot to offer.

A great example is Alberta Premium Limited Edition. It is a 25 year old whisky made from 100% rye, a rarity in Canada. I haven't tried American straight rye so I can't make a comparison.

This is my favourite Canadian whisky. In fact, it represents the best value in whisky overall in my mind. At just under $30, it really is a steal.

The nose is clean and full with caramel and wet rocks. On the palate there is vanilla, caramel and chocolate with a hint of spice in the background. There is a firm bitterness from the oak which gives it substance. The texture is pure velvet. The finish is somewhat short.

I can't really compare this to other Canadian whiskies. It is softer, smoother, and more well-integrated than most. The sweetness is more subtle. Someone accustomed to more robust whiskies might not find that much to write home about, so to speak. Those with a taste for Canadian and Irish whisky should find much to appreciate.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby OntarioWoodsman » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:54 am

Agreed - this whisky is wonderful. Not sure how any educated whisky taster could "look down" on Canadian whisky.No better nip when you come in from a cold, snowy day!
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:08 pm

Unlike American Straight Rye, which need only contain 51% rye on the mash bill, AP25 contains 100%. I purchased a bottle a few weeks ago and I like it very much. Since Canadian Whisky is based on a grain neutral spirit which is flavoured with rye whisky, this style of whisky for me represents the CORE of canadian whiskies.

My greatest difficulty is in developping taste descriptors, since it is a departure from malt whisky. Any thoughts on taste descriptors...

Oily
Organic
Sweet
Overripe apples, oxidized
peppery
Full bodies
Caramel

Any more...?

There is certainly caramel added, you can smell it in an evaporated empty glass. I'm not sure I like that. That is Canadian's biggest drawback, the adulteration with fruit juice, bourbons, and caramels

AP25 is astounding value nonetheless.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby jmrl » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:41 pm

I'd like a bottle/taste of this. Does anybody know if this is distributed in the UK? And when we're at it anything from Kittling Ridge would be welcome. Forty Creek Barrel Select I think is the main brand.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:36 pm

Forty Creek should be available at a liquorists in the UK...not in supermarkets though!

I`m still waiting to hear back from John Hall regarding whether flavouring additives are added to his whiskies...I suspect not, but I would like to know.

I think that you will find, as with many things, Canadian whisky is always a compromise between Bourbon and Single Malt. I still find single malt to be my first love!
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:12 pm

Just got the word from John Hall. Forty Creek is possibly the ONLY canadian whisky that DOESN't use artificial colouring or flavour additives.

I may go invest in the Double Barrel now!
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:00 am

Bruichladdict wrote:Just got the word from John Hall. Forty Creek is possibly the ONLY canadian whisky that DOESN't use artificial colouring or flavour additives.

I may go invest in the Double Barrel now!


I've read that some Highwood products are also free of additives. Certainly the mild flavour and pale hue of Centennial and Century Reserve suggests the absence of added colours and flavours. The same could probably be said for Glen Breton Rare, though it is a bit of an anomaly.

I wonder, though, how ubiquitous these additives really are. There's a perception that Canadian whisky is just GNS mixed with a bit of rye and fruit juice, and this really doesn't do justice to any of the quality blends out there, some of which consist of more than a dozen whiskies. While I don't doubt that distillers use small quantities of flavouring at times, I think it is overblown and certainly doesn't account for 9% of the average bottle as is often supposed. I've read the regulations myself and I'm not even sure that they allow 9.09% of the total volume of liquid to be non-whisky substance. The wording is quite confusing.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:48 am

I think that you are correct about Highwood, though I've never tasted it. I'm all but certain that there is substantial caramel in AP25. It is still great stuff though.

As for the rest of canadian, it is STANDARD PRACTICE to use GNS as a base , then flavour with more robust single grains. As for additives, Crown Royal for example adds BOURBON to the mix...you can actually pick it out on the nose!

Canadian whisky has a long way to go yet...I wish the industry would take a cue from Mr. Hall...I suspect that the bean counters and marketers will always get their way though!
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:14 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:I think that you are correct about Highwood, though I've never tasted it. I'm all but certain that there is substantial caramel in AP25. It is still great stuff though.

As for the rest of canadian, it is STANDARD PRACTICE to use GNS as a base , then flavour with more robust single grains. As for additives, Crown Royal for example adds BOURBON to the mix...you can actually pick it out on the nose!

Canadian whisky has a long way to go yet...I wish the industry would take a cue from Mr. Hall...I suspect that the bean counters and marketers will always get their way though!


Yeah, I realize that it is standard practice to use GNS as a base, but on other forums people commonly pass Canadian whisky off as cheap vodka mixed with a bit of rye, which I think is an extreme oversimplification. I didn't know that Crown uses bourbon; I'll have to watch for that next time I have it.

As for AP25, there certainly is a lot of caramel when nosed from the bottle, though it dissipates once in the glass. Is it possible that a mild whisky aged for such a long time would pick up such flavours from the wood?
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:51 pm

In my experience, the wood can give off a toffee like flavour, but this is usually associated with European Oak. AP is most certainly matured in ex-bourbon casks, which typify the vanilla, creme brulee, coconut profile. Now have a look at the colour on the AP...I'm not sure that even 25 in a bourbon would convey such colour. I've got a 16 year old Nadurra that is much lighter than that. But without info from the distillery (almost non-existant) it is impossible to know for sure.

The caramel aroma that is given off to my nose seems atypical of a matured whisky, even in European oak...Nonetheless, it is good stuff. I just wish more canadian distillers would take the craft seriously. I would love to try a sample of Highwood 10yo Centennial sometime...the price is right. Have you tried it before?
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:58 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:In my experience, the wood can give off a toffee like flavour, but this is usually associated with European Oak. AP is most certainly matured in ex-bourbon casks, which typify the vanilla, creme brulee, coconut profile. Now have a look at the colour on the AP...I'm not sure that even 25 in a bourbon would convey such colour. I've got a 16 year old Nadurra that is much lighter than that. But without info from the distillery (almost non-existant) it is impossible to know for sure.

The caramel aroma that is given off to my nose seems atypical of a matured whisky, even in European oak...Nonetheless, it is good stuff. I just wish more canadian distillers would take the craft seriously. I would love to try a sample of Highwood 10yo Centennial sometime...the price is right. Have you tried it before?


Yeah, I just finished a bottle last week. I really like it. I think I posted a review on here a little while back. Not incredibly complex, even for a Canadian, but it is warm, easy-drinking, incredibly smooth, and the flavour agrees with me very much. Century Reserve (15yo) is similar but with more pronounced oak taste.

Many bourbon and Scotch drinkers would likely find Highwood stuff too subtle, but it suits me quite well.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Bruichladdict » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:42 pm

Isn't Centennial Rye also blended with wheat and corn whiskies? I thought I read than on the label a while back.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Megawatt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:05 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:Isn't Centennial Rye also blended with wheat and corn whiskies? I thought I read than on the label a while back.


Centennial is winter wheat and rye. I imagine wheat for the base and rye for the flavour. It does have a different character than the corn-based Canadians.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Dramsman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:41 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:There is certainly caramel added, you can smell it in an evaporated empty glass. I'm not sure I like that. That is Canadian's biggest drawback, the adulteration with fruit juice, bourbons, and caramels

I've only had Alberta Springs 10-year as one of the 100% rye whiskies... but I completely agree with your point. I would love to see this lax law changed, to something like the rules for Bourbon: no additives, period.

We need to start appreciating authenticity before mere profitability in this country. But it's going to be a tough change for many to make, I'm sure.
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby Dramsman » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:46 am

My feeling is that to fix the issue once and for all, Canada must adopt a strict no-adulterants-permitted rule as for Bourbon. That would mean no caramel, no adjuncts. It's a respectable thing to do, and would force - yes, force - producers to go the creative route and do what the raw materials and maturing conditions permit.

We are a huge country, and can have a huge diversity of fine whiskies. Who needs caramel and other workarounds? Love of whisky before the balance sheet!
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Dramsman wrote:My feeling is that to fix the issue once and for all, Canada must adopt a strict no-adulterants-permitted rule as for Bourbon. That would mean no caramel, no adjuncts. It's a respectable thing to do, and would force - yes, force - producers to go the creative route and do what the raw materials and maturing conditions permit.

We are a huge country, and can have a huge diversity of fine whiskies. Who needs caramel and other workarounds? Love of whisky before the balance sheet!

In an ideal world, perhaps. :wink:

However, the hard reality of so many well-established brands at comparitively reasonable cost points will, in all likelihood, dictate continuation of small quantities of permissable additives as standard practice.

This fact in no way precludes any distilling enterprise from adopting a 'pure is better' philosophy for some or all of its product line, though. And given the burgeoning number of smaller companies now making such unadulterated whiskies, we may well witness a phenomenon similar to what has taken place in the beer industry (with 'craft' breweries garnering sizeable portions of the marketplace and thereby driving larger commercial enterprises to follow their lead).
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Re: Alberta Premium Limited Edition

Postby gromber » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:48 am

amazing whisky! I strongly recommend it to everybody
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