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Alberta Premium Rye 25Yr Old

Review: Alberta Premium Rye 25 Yr Old  (100% Rye Whisky)  95.5pts
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 1, 2009

Alberta Distillers the distillers of Alberta Premium 25 year Old Whisky is owned by Fortune Brands whose stable of whiskey brands includes, Jim Beam Brands, Canadian Club Whisky, Knob Creek, Makers Mark and Laphroig just to name a few.  The distillery is in the heart of the City of Calgary.  This is a true Canadian rye whisky, made from 100% prairie grown rye. It is quite unlike anything else produced by any Canadian distiller (or anyone else for that matter).

Alberta Premium 25In the Bottle  (4.5/5)

This has to be the most understated presentation of a 25 yr old spirit found anywhere in the world.  What Alberta Distillers got right was the black protective sleeve which protects the spirit and quite rightly quotes Whisky guru Jim Murray’s assessment that this is the finest Canadian whisky currently produced. What Alberta Distillers got wrong is the bottle itself. The 25 Year Old whisky is packaged in an identical bottle to its five-year old sister. Only the Label is changed. The whisky deserves a better presentation. But at less than $30 a bottle for a 25-year-old spirit, I can be very forgiving.

In the Glass  (9.0/10)

Once poured the whisky begins to show its character. A hint of prairie meadow rises from the glass with a full barrel of spicy rye. What is so inviting is the incredibly clean nose. This is all about rye. The aroma is not harsh, rather it is invigorating.

In the Mouth   (58.0/60)

I love a paradox, and here we have a beauty. Rye is spicy, and grabs your taste-buds and won’t let go. Here we all that rye flavour; but, instead of burning your mouth with spice, this sits gently and smoothly on the palate. In fact this is one of the smoothest whiskies I have ever tasted. Earthy, spicy rye flavour first, second and third, and only the lightest hint of toffee sits in the mouth. This is rye whisky as it is meant to be. No off-notes of thick bourbon to spoil the parade.

In the Throat   (14.5/15)

Again I marvel at the smooth profile the whiskey displays. No harshness, just clean and nice all the way down. Again the rye is foremost, but in the slide down the throat other flavours leave their haunting presence as well.  Nothing distinct, just slippery vestiges of chocolate, cinnamon, toffee, and honey that finally leave their mark on the exit.

The Afterburn  9.5/10

There was a time thirty to forty years ago when Canadian whisky was the in thing. A time before the mad rush to bourbonize the spirit for the sake of the American palate. I like to imagine that I can remember that clean taste. Unfortunately about 25 years ago the whisky began to change. Distillers were increasing the corn in the mash to save money (or to appeal to another palate), and then increasing flavouring ingredients (Canadian whisky is allowed 9.09% flavouring) to compensate for the loss of the rye flavour. But now, another change seems to be underway, which is bringing Canadian whisky back to its roots in rye. Alberta Premium tastes like Canadian Whisky is supposed to taste, with no compromise to the false Gods of Bourbon and Single Malt Scotch!

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)



24 Responses to “Alberta Premium Rye 25Yr Old”

  1. Felix eboms said

    i like your whiskey i am from Nigerian living in Gambia i will like to be your Distributor in West Africa if you will be happy to work with me in Nigerian i will like your Whiskey to sell in Africa i like it and i belive it will move in market in Africa


  2. folymyss said

    Cупер статья.Очень хорошо и подробно вы описали, спасибо.

  3. bidou said


    This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at

    May I use some of the information from your post above if I provide a backlink back to this site?


    • I looked over your site link and you appear to have a strictly commercial site. Therefore you may not “use’ my information on your web site unless we negotiate a fee for such use. You may however ‘refer’ to my information with a link. But copying any portion of my efforts for your commercial intentions is not allowed.

  4. rob said

    i have rencently got 4 bottles of rye 18, 16, 12, years old dating back to 1938-1953 . if interested contact back i am in alberta.

  5. Mariam Stubblefield said

    Good Post. Thank you.

  6. Shawn said

    I had a bottle of this I purchased about 2 years ago in Calgary. It is a great product but I can not find it anymore. I still have 1 bottle in the cedar box unopened but might never open it if it is never made again 🙂

  7. J Wheelock said

    With respect to Chip, I thought to help with the needs from some seeking Alberta Premium 25 YO. There is some available at the following locations in Edmonton:

    Liquor Gallery
    North Edmonton
    780 406 5477
    Mgr Sam Johal

    Ramada Inn (South)
    Whitemud Crossing

    • Thank you very much sir.

      I was hoping you would spot this and help out my reader. Your reply is very much Appreciated!

      Take Care and Kind Regards!

      Chip (Aka Arctic Wolf)

    • Ray G. said

      Thanks for the info! I called up 2 of the above mentioned stores but they both said that it’s not legal for them to ship it (even within Canada). Is there anyone out there who’d be willing to ship a couple of bottles to Winnipeg? I could reciprocate by sending something of equivalent value that’s not readily available in your city (perhaps some version of crown royal as there’s a Seagrams plant here). you can see what’s available in Wpg at:

      • Your Welcome Ray
        I would love to help you out, but we live in a country with archaic tax laws. Believe it or not, it is illegal to ship whisky across provincial borders. Maybe you have a friend in Alberta who can pick it up for you, and drop it off when they visit you next time. Or maybe someone else has a solution to this dire circumstance.

  8. Ray G. said

    I have been unable to find this on any Canadian website…can anyone help?

    • Mike D said

      What websites would you expect to find it on? I don’t think there is much of an online booze business in Canada as in some other countries. Maybe there is in provinces other than Ontario, I don’t know. I do know that Ontario has run out of this stuff, so maybe stocks are disappearing.

      • Ray G. said

        Most canadian provinces have their own liquor website (possibly due to regulations I know that rye can only be purchased from liquor commission in Manitoba). so for example, on these provincial websites i can find crown royal 16 in manitoba, and wisers red in ontario. Thought i would find alberta premium 25 in alberta, but no such luck. anyways, if anyone spots some alberta 25 (either in store or on a website), could you post a message? thanks!

  9. Wolfgang Bucher said

    Dear Arcticwolf,

    thank you very much for this interest review about the Alberta Premium Rye!
    Rye whisky is beside the Irish whiskeys, my favourite whisky. One of the best Canadian available here in germany is the Lot No.40
    But the Alberta ryes are made to 100% of rye and I guess the Alberta Premium 25y
    would have a special taste!
    Unfortunately, not one of the whisky stores could supply it, also beamglobal in germany.
    The same result contacting the canadian liquor shops.
    I am glad for any assistance in providing these Canadian Rye Whisky.
    Best regards,

  10. Mike said

    Centennial 10 year old is good, extremely clean. From the same distillery I prefer Century Reserve. Their 21 year old is exceptional, and another outstanding value at $39.95 from the LCBO.

    • My favourite (although I have not reviewed it yet) is the Century 15+ a blend of 15 to 25 year old whiskies. In the next couple of weeks I will be reviewing their brand new White Owl Whisky, a well aged clear whisky.

      • Mike said

        The 15+ blend is definitely nice. Can’t complain about the bottle either. Never heard of White Owl. I’d be interested to see how clear whisky goes over

  11. Mike said

    Surely one of the best whiskies at any price, and especially at $29.95! Too bad that the LCBO has dropped it. One has to wonder how (and why) any distillery would sell a 25 year old whisky at that price. I once got a bottle on sale for $23.95

    • George S. Watts said

      Can’t get it in BC at all and have to settle for just the Premium – try Centennial Rye … George S. Watts

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