Monday, 23 February 2015

Alberta Springs 10 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Alberta Springs 10 Year Old Canadian Rye whisky is made by Alberta Distillers, the same people who make the famous Alberta Premium and of course the Alberta Premium Dark Horse that featured in my last post. I don't know much about them, as the web has limited information but I can say that they are a huge seller up here in the Yukon. The bottle says that the whisky is aged in oak casks blended and then re-casked.

For musical pairing I felt this classic Canadian whisky was crying out for some dusty country music. I have chosen Gillian Welch's album Soul Journey. Gillian's voice emotes perfectly both the loneliness and romance that are expressed in her stories. I find listening to her music like looking at old sepia photographs of the turn of the 20th century. The look of sadness that is often found in the eyes of the subjects depicts a hard and miserable life, yet there is sometimes a glimmer of hope or love there too. I can't help but be filled with feelings of curiosity about what is causing the glimmer and soon enough that is all that I can see... I'm not sure if that will make sense to anyone other than me, but at least I know what I mean (I think).  

Nose: Butter, vanilla and baking spices. The nose is soft and creamy.

Palate: I notice a woody quality right away. There is also loads of sweetness that blends with some spice notes and a touch of leather.

Finish: Very smooth, the spices seem to hang on and then are suddenly gone leaving me with notes of dusty wood.

I don't think Gillian's music is any stranger to whisky. Down to that last dusty wood note the pairing works perfectly. In fact I will be pairing her again very soon. As for the whisky I find it lacks a bit of intensity and complexity but makes up for this in its approachable warmth and simplicity.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Alberta Premium Dark Horse

Today I am picking my whisky based on the music. I have chosen Bob Marley's 1970 release African Herbsman. This is a really beautiful album that has a fluidity to it. The groove in each song seems to have a forward momentum that keeps you moving but never gets too heavy. It's just nice and mellow, perhaps even a bit thoughtful.

What whisky could we possibly savour with this delightful album? How about Alberta Premiums Dark Horse. Not necessarily because of Bob Marley but rather because of Jamaica. In particular I am thinking about The Jamaican bobsleigh team. I can't think of a time that I have cheered more for a dark horse as when the Jamaican Bobsleigh team made their debut at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta.

The Dark Horse is a stronger expression of the Alberta Premium rye that is aged in charred oak barrels. These charred oak barrels are I am assuming where this whisky gets its gorgeous colour. I can't think of another Canadian whisky that has this depth of colour.

Nose:  sweet vanilla, toasted raisins and some fruity notes swirl around with shades of wood and a distinct tartness.

Palate: A mellow smooth sweet splash at the beginning is like sugared molasses. Their are notes of pepper and the slightest smokiness. The mouth feel is almost creamy save for the prickly spice notes. All together it is like creamy smoked molasses with ground pepper. Delicious.

Finish: The finish is not long but very smooth. Notes of pepper and smoke linger a short time and when they fade sweet and spicy notes are left for a brief moment.

Overall I really enjoyed this whisky. It is definitely a Canadian whisky but adds different characteristics that I would not normally associate with the style. As for the pairing, I just can't imagine anything that Bob doesn't go well with.