Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky – 2012 Release | 43% (86 Proof), $57.99/bottle (BevMo)
Color/Appearance: Golden orange sunset, luminous shimmering liquid. Something about this whisky’s color allows me to know it’s a rye right away. It just doesn’t look like bourbon. Not sure why, maybe I am wrong, but it could be the 100% rye mash bill. It seems to draw its darkness from an overabundance of warm hues rather than from molasses and scorched wood. The bottle is modern and yet also pays tribute to the past with its drawings of the pot still and its description. The askew label and modern style allow it to stand out in a newly crowded rye market. Smart packaging that honors rye’s long history while giving its modern resurgence its due.
Nose: Apple cider, dill brine, peppermint, black pepper, molasses, oak, cotton candy, pizza dough, rye bread and cream soda. Waking up after an evening at the carnival with no memory of the night before, but you are quite sure you had your first kiss.
Palate: Restrained rye spices merging with creamy pot still character. The smoothness here is unexpected for a 100% rye. All the complex rye notes from the nose are here but expressing themselves with a light touch. Creamy and delicious. It’s like a rye version of Redbreast. Unabashedly rye yet balanced and complex with warm fruit, dried apricots and cinnamon over French vanilla ice cream. Butterscotch pudding with a touch of sea salt. Hard Italian ribbon candy. Peppermint Christmas bark.
Finish: Endless. This will linger around in your mouth for a long time. Spicy, woody and sweet dying out in such glory. Dry warmth and clover honey.
Overall: Lots of hype out there on this one. Now I understand why. This is a great, great rye that expands what a rye can be. Now I know ryes complex blast of spice can be married to an ultra smooth and sophisticated core. It all goes down so effortlessly. This bottle is going way too fast. For too long Canadian whisky has been under appreciated. Its recent resurgence has caught the eye of some U.S. Non-Distiller Producers such as Whistle Pig and Jefferson’s selling fine Canadian Whisky that is marketed as if it is from America. Lot 40 can be the rye that opens your eyes. This fine whisky has really wet my palate to experience more quality products from our fine northern neighbors. This is a no age statement whisky and from all I can glean seems to contain a range of ages. This is said to contain a good proportion of older rye, but there is certainly some fun younger rye elevating the mixture. Young rye seems to be so vibrant and wonderful that once you blend some young stuff in with your older stocks you don’t want to go back. This type of age blending done right can really make for a fine product, but has been abused by many unscrupulous profit driven distillers to give no age statement whisky a bad name. No hint of that here. This is such a great product that I truly don’t care about the age. Lot 40 was a rye that caught the attention of many whisky afficionados in its original iteration. Lets hope this first new batch is just one of many.