There really are some great quality Canadian whiskies out there. From the mass-produced to the boutique, the Canadian whisky scene is rich in variety and constantly improving with regular new arrivals on shelves from both corporate and small-scale brands. Distilled by Alberta Distillers of Calgary, a subsidiary of Fortune Brands (who own Jim Beam), Alberta Springs 10 Years Old recently appeared on my local liquor store’s shelves (although the product itself is much older), so I grabbed a bottle.
I was incredibly impressed with this 100% rye whisky, particularly given the price (< $25 CDN). Like most Canadian ryes, Alberta Springs is a blend of a high (90+%) and low (~65%) proof whisky, which are married together and given 10 years in white oak casks until they reach maturity. Honey and caramel dominate the whisky’s nose, with some cream and spice coming on the palate. The whisky has a smooth and light mouth feel, and leaves toffee undertones lingering on the finish. The 10 years in oak is clearly evident in the whisky’s profile, with more fruity (plum, raisin) and nutty tones popping up with a dash of water added.
If you live north of the border, and happen to see a bottle of this on the shelf, don’t hesitate to pick a bottle up. It has paired well with both a PIO Resurrection as well as a Viaje Oro, and I suspect would make a versatile whisky for pairing with all sorts of cigars. You might also try out the distiller’s other offerings, including Jim Murray‘s highly acclaimed Alberta Premium and Tangle Ridge.