Recommended use: Enjoy neat, mixed
Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★★
Type: 100% rye whisky
The term “rye whisky” is often used interchangeably with “Canadian whisky” in the Canadian lexicon, primarily because Canadian whisky historically contained whisky that was made from rye or a mash bill containing rye. Many Canadian distilleries try to maintain the classic sweet, quaff-able and spicy rye laced flavour profile of Canadian whisky. Some distillers might try to achieve this by blending whisky made from corn with a small amount whisky made from rye. Some may add a bit of rye to a mash bill of other grains such as corn and barley, which is then used to make the whisky. Others, however, choose to make whisky from 100% rye.
Lot 40 is a Canadian whisky made from 100% rye. By choosing the make the whisky from rye, the aim – depending on the rye selected – is to give the whisky flavours of spice and fruit often attributed to spirits distilled from a fermented wash of rye.
The nose is full of orange peel, vanilla, dried apricots, apricot jam, biscotti, honey, sweetened coffee and mild menthol, and in the foreground sits the spicy wholegrain aroma of the rye. On the palate the spicy rye, being peppery and jagged, electrifies the taste buds. Soothed by luscious buttery vanillas, the palate then tingles with spices buttressed by wood and wholegrain cereal. A blanket of sweetness then cloaks the spice and grain – find vanilla, full bodied golden honey, caramel, caster sugar, jelly beans and cooked apple. On the finish, the spicy rye and sweet sugars fade slightly and a sourness is introduced – find sour confections, sliced green apple, and, then full bodied crystalline sugar.
The spicy bite of this rye whisky seems to be best enjoyed after “cleansing” the palate with unsweetened espresso. Pairing it with a chocolate/coffee rich dark malty beer accentuates the whisky’s beating heart of rye. In terms of pairing this whisky with a cigar, erring towards a medium bodied smoke with a natural wrapper or more mellow maduro wrapper would guard against overbearing the palate with too much wood and spice – try it with a Nub Cameroon wrapper, which offers earthy notes and flavours of coffee, wood and spice.