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2019 Rum Howler Favourite 20 Canadian Whiskies: #11 – Alberta Premium

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2019

Alberta Premium is a brand that doesn’t get a whole lot exposure outside of my home Province. It’s not that the brand is unknown, Jim Murray did name it the Best Whisky in Canada for about five years in a row in the mid to late 2000’s; but after that initial hype died down the brand has sort of settled back into the rear view of the consumer’s consciousness.

And that is a pity, as Alberta Premium was, for the longest stretch of time, one of (if not the only) 100% pure rye grain production whiskies in the entire world. The recent rediscovery and popularity of the rye grain is largely because of the Alberta Premium brand.

I think the reason why the brand gets so little love, is the terrible bottle (and label) which houses the whisky. The entire presentation screams bottom shelf and retro 70s.

Frankly, whenever I grab a bottle to pour for friends who have never tried the spirit, I am greeted with dismay as they believe I have chosen a sub par economy brand to share instead of some of my good stuff. My explanations of the quality within usually falls on deaf ears, and this reinforces the fact that if ever there was a spirit in need of an image change, it is Alberta Premium.

Despite all of this, I almost always have a bottle on hand. Although there are now quite a few other 100 % rye grain whiskies being sold right now. For myself this is the original, and because of its enormous versatility, it is my favourite 100 % rye whisky.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Alberta Premium 100 % Rye Whisky

 ” … The breezes above the glass bring me the scents and smells of a fruit-filled rye with additional notes of vanilla. Fine oak spices and a touch of citrus zest mingle within the fruity rye smells …”


Note: We are just past half way through my list of favourites. Understand, these are ‘favourites’ which does not necessarily the ‘best’ Canadian Whiskies. Economy and versatility have played an enormous role in my choices this year. The wonderful cocktail I suggested at the conclusion of my review of Alberta Premium illustrates just how versatile this economy whisky is.  And it has all that versatility without sacrificing flavour.


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