Apr 9, 2012

Alberta Premium...

Alberta Premium (40.0%): Finally, after reading all those hard to believe reviews with crazy high scores online and offline I managed to lay my hands on a bottle of Alberta Premium during my short Toronto visit. It is distilled by Alberta Distillers Ltd. from 100% rye, aged minimum five years and sold only in Canada. The tacky 80's bottle design, the very cheap looking plastic screw cap and its ridiculously low price make everything more mysterious. Color: Generic amber for classic caramel coloring. No excitement here. Nose: Unmistakably rye... Syrupy and mouth watering but also alarmingly sweet. A little toasted oak but more in the form of polished wooden vintage car console I remember from my childhood. Furniture polish spray, simple syrup and amber rock candy. Palate: Juicy and oily. The warning at the nose was right: very sweet, almost liquor-like. I would say honey but it's more like honey flavored artificial sweetener or cheap toffee. Hard to believe that it is 100% rye. Where is this syrupy sweetness coming from? Black pepper is trying to make an attempt to fill-in but the spiciness is not quite enough to balance the overall sugary palate... Nothing else is coming out; that's it. By the way don't add water. It made it even sweeter. Finish: Very short with some vanilla notes attached. More like a quick fade out what we already got from the palate. Overall: I don't know exactly what I was expecting but I am afraid I set the bar too high. Pretty much one dimensional and way too sweet for my taste. I have to admit that it was quite a letdown. I didn't get what the big fuss was about at all. I shouldn't say anything more because of its unbeatable price tag around $23 but I wish I carried something else all the way back from there. Maybe I have to taste their 25yo and 30yo expressions sometime...