Alberta Premium Dark Horse, 45%

Yesterday was the second of four Canadian Twitter Tastings in which Davin de Kergommeaux’ book is discussed, followed by a one-whisky Twitter tasting. The whisky is kept a secret until after the tasting so everybody goes in blind.

The added fun for me is that you can barely get anything else from Canadian Club or Crown Royal in The Netherlands which means we don’t have a clue to what Canadian whisky is about. This series remedies that a little bit.

Yesterday’s discussion was mostly about the current state of Canadian whisky based on history. What would have happened if the Americans weren’t so in love with Canadian whisky and if prohibition had not happened. Also some other questions came by, of course, and it turned out to be a very interesting evening.

The whisky then:

Alberta Premium Dark Horse

Alberta Premium Dark Horse

It has a weird scent at first, overly sweet and rather cloying. Then I start getting plums, minerals, some rubber and basalt. Also spent matches, thick brown sugar with hints of bitter lemon and lemon curd. There’s also a bitterness that tastes a bit plant-like. Someone said hops, but that didn’t quite cut it for me. After a while I get some licorice and salmiac.

The sweetness is really thick, almost liqueur-like. There’s also some spice but at first, it’s mostly syrupy with caramel sauce, brown sugar and molasses. Plum juice, vanilla and red cinnamon, and maple syrup. It builds up some added heat after a few seconds.

The finish throws the plums around a lot more still, and has the first real note of rye for me. Very typical. Here I start getting more floral hints that others picked up earlier. It’s fairly long and very different.

I don’t think I have had a whisky before that tasted like this, which makes me kind of like it. The combination of regular (column still) rye and pot still rye, the mix of ages and the high use of rye might have something to do with this all.

The thickness and sweetness makes it taste like a liqueur, but it still has enough depth and kick to make it very interesting. I like this one a bit better than last week’s Lot No. 40. Add the fact that this stuff is $ 30 in Canada and it’s even more incredible.

Alberta Premium Dark Horse, 45%, Alberta Distillers. Not available outside Canada.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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2 Responses to Alberta Premium Dark Horse, 45%

  1. portwood says:

    In the review you say: “… and the 100% use of rye might have something to do with this all.”

    You may want to review the tweets by Davin. He said: “@The_Casks Not sure what you are asking. Lot 40 90% rye grain 10% malted rye. AP Dark Horse 40% 6yo pot rye 51% 12yo column rye.”

    He also said “@The_Casks #DavinTT Lot 40 – 100%; Dark Horse 92 or 93%”

    So, Dark Horse contains ~92% rye. The rest is a combination of Straight Bourbon (from Beam) and ~1% sherry.

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