Depending on the choice of liquor joint, at least here in Spokane, a curious pass through any given Canadian aisle evokes a gentle weeping at the lack of quality choices. It is not as bleak as it used to be, since maybe five years ago I would say this category was circling the drain into oblivion, but is now attempting a comeback. The Canadian category is trying to grow from the top shelf down, and we are focusing our efforts on these new category drivers. Arguably at the top of this very encouraging list is Lot No. 40 from Corby Distillers Limited. Discontinued after a period of dwindling sales, Lot 40 was re-launched in 2012 and has so far received a hero’s welcome. Lot 40 was recently awarded “Canadian Whisky of the Year” at the 4th Annual Canadian Whisky Awards at the Victoria Whisky Festival. This accolade firmly declared Lot 40 to be the quintessential Canadian rye whisky available on the shelf by the nine independent Canadian industry experts tasked with determining the winner. Not a bad way to get back into the game, I’d say.
Lot 40 is single pot still, single distillery rye, and is wholly produced at Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, ON. A special variety of rye is grown for Lot 40’s percentage of malted rye, non-typical in any country for rye, and is blended with a proprietary percentage of un-malted rye for two distillation runs(column still first, then pot still). The resulting spirit is then aged for 6 years in new/used white oak and is bottled at a modest 43% ABV (could be worse). While the American palate seems to seek out sweeter flavors, rye is making a strong armed comeback in the our marketplace, and with it a perfect opportunity for Lot 40 to succeed where it previously failed. Glasses up, Canada.
SWC Group Review
Nose- Rye spice cabinet all over the place. Green apple with clove and pine. Lavender feel. Grassy floral but with time vanilla sweetness underneath. Cherry. Well integrated and one of a kind nose.
Taste – Sharp rye with a viscous, interesting savory feel. Mild pepper with some vanilla and toffee. Very drinkable. IPA like.
Finish– Long. Spice pops with oak and keeps a satisfying metallic tang to it.
Comments– Benchmark quality on the 2012 release. Very much recommended. Canadian whisky’s unconverted can be evangelized, just send them a sample of Lot 40.
SWC Rating – 89/100
Average Retail – $65.00
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Contact us at SpokaneWhisky@gmail.com