ALBERTA PREMIUM DARK HORSE
Hints of black licorice, bourbon-like vanilla, bits of ginger, dry fruit, cinnamon, white pepper and oak. A complex arrangement of rye.
Make no mistake, Canadian rye whisky is coming back. Whisky connoisseurs as well as newcomers alike are beating a path to distillery doors. And, if what the folks at Alberta Distillers say is true, it’s super-elite Canadian whiskies that are leading the pack. One the whiskies at the forefront is this engaging, rich take on their very own Alberta Premium. It’s called, “Alberta Premium Dark Horse.”
Dark Horse has the advantage of relying on the reputation of the 100-percent-rye-grain Alberta Premium. Alberta Distillers, one of the few producers of 100 percent rye-grain whisky in North America, makes about 225,000 cases of Alberta Premium annually. An impressive figure considering that regardless of the rye resurgence in North America, all U.S. distilleries combined produce a mere 33% of that amount in rye whisky – 70,000 cases. Add to that astonishing fact, the reality that Alberta Premium is available only in Canada.
Alberta Distillers Ltd. was founded in the 1940’s by two partners, Max Bell and Frank McMahon. At the start their approach was heavily influenced by their combined western traditions and simple country principles. They first produced Alberta Premium over 50 years ago and the company has become Canada’s biggest purchaser of rye grain. Alberta Distillery regularly buys grain straight from growers in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Alberta Premium flaunts all the dynamic flavors you’d expect from a high-rye-grain whisky. It’s a combination of 6-year-old small pot rye and 12-year-old rye whisky, Dark Horse also has a small portion of aged corn whisky that rounds out it’s substructure. Aged in charred American white oak barrels, it’s bottled at 45% alc/vol. Vanilla and caramel flavors allow Dark Horse to have some standard bourbon notes which go hand in hand with all the familiar spiciness associated with rye whiskies – the perfect tipple to pour over one of our handcrafted whiskey stones. So the next time you gallop across the border, make sure you don’t come back empty handed – come back with a “Dark Horse” in tow.