Alberta Premium Dark Horse Whisky has received some mixed reviews online. Some swear it’s the second coming of Canadian whisky. Others downright think it’s unholy due to the unorthodox methods to create it. The whisky is a blend of 90% Canadian rye whisky, 9% American bourbon & 1% sherry (yes the wine). Unlike Scotch that is sometimes finished in wine casks for flavouring, Alberta Premium decided to take a shortcut and add the actual wine itself into the blend. Innovative to some. Blasphemy for others.
Being Canadian, I decided to be patriotic and give this bottle the benefit of the doubt. Besides, at $25CAD/bottle, it wasn’t much of a risk to begin with. Boy was I wrong.
Type: Canadian Whisky
Presentation: Neat in a Canadian whisky Glencairn glass. Waited 10 minutes before nosing the whisky.
Colour: Rusty red & amber.
Nose: Dark fruit. A strong whiff of grapes, then comes the scent of plums & raisins. Likely because of the added sherry. Although it was only 1% of the blend, the sherry comes out strong. 15/25
Palate: Initial sweetness on the tip, a bit of brown sugar, then BAM there’s the spicy rye hitting the back of your tongue. [Side story] I was watching a review on YouTube from Whisky Wednesday and mid-way through the tasting you can visibly tell from his startled facial expression the point when the rye hit his palate…hilarious, but true. The spice comes out of nowhere and busts down the sweetness door arresting your taste buds, eventually taking over your mouth. After a bit of time the sweetness comes back and trails off with some liquorice flavour. 12/25
Finish: Medium warmth with a liquorice & cola aftertaste. With this aftertaste I wish the finish was shorter. It tastes a bit like liquorice cola cough syrup. Clearly not a positive attribute. 5/25
With unorthodox methods, comes unorthodox flavours and not in a good way. It’s a frankenstein patchwork of flavours that don’t work together for my palate. It took several swigs of water to get the nasty liquorice/cola aftertaste out of my mouth and even that wasn’t enough. If you’re into dark fruits, this might be your thing. But if you’re a whisky purist, this might be one you’d want to pass. 15/25
Buy? Try? Or Avoid?: Avoid