For Canadian whisky, rye often pops up as part of the formula of the mash bill in varying amounts, with one of the most heavy users of it being Alberta Distillers. Usually rye whiskey from the likes of this distillery, owned by spirits giant Beam Suntory, ends up being rebranded by an American whiskey brand when it arrives here domestically from up north, but in the case of the just announced Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky, it is sporting the Canadian pride loud and clear.
The new Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky, pricing around $30 per 750 ml bottle, is a blend of 91% rye whisky, 8% bourbon and 1% sherry. The rather pleasant rich color of this whisky, according to Alberta Distillers, “comes from a combination of factors, including the aging process, which incorporates both new charred American white oak and once-used American bourbon barrels. Other contributing factors include the addition of a touch of sherry and Alberta, Canada’s high altitude, desert-like humidity levels and extreme seasonal and daily temperature changes, which promote maturation.”
The whisky is being positioned as best enjoyed in a variety of whiskey cocktails, such as the one from the recipe below. The brown spirit, bottled at 90 proof, has an official taste profile that “boasts flavors of honey and oak and imparts hints of vanilla, smoke, sweet oak and savory dried fruit, such as plum and blackcurrant, on the palate.”
For those unfamiliar with the distillery behind Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky, Alberta Distillers has been in operation since 1946 and is said to be North America’s largest producer of 100% rye. It location in southern Alberta is noted for its dry climate and high altitude, both of which are ideal for rye crop growth.
1 1/2 parts Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky
4-5 parts ginger beer
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 orange wedge pressed
Add all ingredients to a lowball glass. Fill with ice, top with ginger beer and stir. Garnish with an orange wedge.
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...