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Lengthy an beneath the radar producer for a lot of North America’s sourced rye (not less than for U.S. shoppers), Beam Suntory-owned Alberta Distillers has been leaning into their home manufacturers beneath the Alberta Premium banner since 2020. That yr marked the primary American launch of Alberta Premium Cask energy, and in 2022, the model’s 80 proof customary providing additionally turned obtainable south of the forty-ninth parallel.
Lately, Alberta Premium introduced its 2022 Cask Power batch for U.S. shoppers, the third straight of the yearly launch.
We’ve reviewed each the 2020 and 2021 American-release Cask Power choices. Like its Cask Power predecessors, the 2022 launch is produced from 100% rye grain and is marketed as a restricted version launch. Whereas Alberta Distillers operates each column and pot distillation, the liquid utilized in Cask Power releases is 100% pot distilled.
With a number of different spirits writers, I used to be capable of pattern this newest batch months forward of time on a visit to Alberta Distillers’ headquarters in Calgary. Whereas I took tasting notes on the time, I needed to attend till I had a basic launch bottle readily available for a overview. As many whiskey followers can attest, sampling on the batching supply versus the retail bottle may be vastly totally different experiences.
Alberta Premium’s newest Cask Power Rye clocks in at 127 proof. (It’s price noting that earlier American releases have tended to fluctuate barely in proof inside a given yr’s bottles.) Let’s dive in.
Instantly, I discover the nostril right here is extra paying homage to some lower-proof Alberta merchandise — together with the 80 proof launch and Canada-only 20 yr previous — than earlier Cask Power batches. There’s a well-recognized sweetness (a lot of sweetness for a 100% rye), recent oak, and high-octane vanilla extract. A little bit of almond extract shines although, although a lot lower than their lower-proof choices.
There’s extra happening right here than I anticipated from earlier batches. After just a little extra time, the nostril opens as much as a reasonably conventional caramel that hits at the side of the ethanol, and neither is overpowering. There are some mild natural notes reminiscent of some 95/5 ryes I’ve tried, however not almost as a lot dill as usually comes with that mashbill. Going again but once more, I get extra cinnamon on this than I’ve nosed on Alberta’s different merchandise. The nostril right here is way superior to earlier Cask Power batches I’ve tried, together with a 66% abv model I sampled towards this.
On the tongue, I get caramel after which scorching and spicy cinnamon, a bit hotter on the alcohol kick I used to be anticipating after the nostril. Then comes a particular chocolate be aware, a bit like a malted milk ball, that covers the tongue on a second sip. It’s a special kind of sweetness in contrast with caramel. I virtually want it was extra pronounced, and it tangles with the rye spice; there’s a small battle occurring right here. It’s general nice however feels simply barely inconsistent from sip to sip.
Alberta’s branded tasting notes emphasize extra fruit than I get right here, although a bit comes by way of on the end: darkish/black cherry, perhaps some grape, coupled with a warming traditional rye spice and caramel sweetness. The end is nice after some grappling on the palate between candy and spicy.
With a number of drops of water, the alcohol’s warmth dies down a bit, and the feel and flavors each get a bit extra buttery whereas sustaining that chocolate be aware. I’d extremely suggest maintaining a dropper shut by when sampling this.
In comparison with an earlier Alberta Premium Cask Power launch I had readily available at 132 proof, the 2022 model is markedly improved. The nostril is richer and extra complicated, the warmth is toned down, and chocolate is extra pronounced on the tongue and end. It’s a continued enchancment on the American releases, although inconsistencies within the palate are nonetheless holding this again barely from the place it might actually fly, and it’s not hitting the heights of the 84 proof, 20 year product I reviewed earlier this year. (Which, sadly, remains to be not obtainable in the USA, not less than for now.)
Nonetheless, as a noticeable enchancment on earlier United States releases, Alberta Premium’s 2022 Cask Power Rye is a promising step in the fitting course and may enchantment to extra drinkers in comparison with earlier iterations. I’ve discovered it good to have readily available to match with American rye releases, and it’s particularly enjoyable to toss in a blind tasting lineup with associates. In any case, who doesn’t like nerding out a bit?