Dark Horse


It has been a while since my last whisky review…if it can be called that, so I thought it was time for another. I don’t pretend to be an expert at evaluating whisky but I do drink it and I know what I like. During the winter months I tend to drink whisky. During the warmer times of year I drink ale or gin. After a few years of experimenting with Canadian ‘rye’ whisky I found Alberta Premium to be a nice spicy rye at a great price. I still prefer bourbon or brandy to Canadian rye but that may soon change. Recently I discovered another offering from Alberta Premium called Dark Horse and was thoroughly intrigued by the review on CanadianWhisky.org, especially after reading one of the comments below the review:

Dark Horse is 91% rye-grain whisky, between 8 and 8.5% bourbon and between 0.5 and 1.0% sherry…

Canadian ‘rye’ is notorious for lacking RYE! I have read that Alberta Premium (AP) was the only Canadian rye that was consistently made from 100% rye until recently. With AP’s commitment to offering a true rye to the Canadian consumer I just couldn’t wait to buy a bottle and have a sip. The local LCBO was sold out the few times I tried to purchase a bottle but earlier this week I picked one up and sampled it.

Notes from the review found on CanadianWhisky.org :

Alberta Premium showcases all the spicy, peppery notes of high-rye-grain whisky. And now those whisky drinkers seeking richer, more robust, and more sophisticated flavours can reach for Alberta Premium Dark Horse. It’s simply an extraordinary symphony of rye. A mingling of 12-year-old rye whisky and 6-year-old small pot rye, Dark Horse has an 8% dollop* of well-aged corn darkhorse01.gifwhisky added to flesh out the body. The whisky is aged in heavily charred American white oak barrels, and is bottled at 45% alc/vol. Rich oak caramels and vanillas imbue Dark Horse with classic bourbon notes which complement the signature spiciness of Canadian Prairie rye grain.

When trying a new whisky I always try to get the nose of the beast and then taste it without water or ice (ice? anathema!). The nose on Dark Horse is that of strong alcohol that quickly fades to a pleasantly sweet smelling whisky. As the reviewer pointed out, spicy with some pepper and it is more robust then most of the Canadian ‘rye’ I’ve tried. This is a sipping whisky. You could sip the 5 year AP but this is truly a whisky that can be sipped. I added a few drops of spring water and let it sit a while before finishing the dram. This is a good great tasting whisky. If you are new to the wide world of whisky this is a good place to start. I think I paid just under $30 for a 26er. If you are an experienced whisky drinker definitely try Dark Horse, you will be pleased.

Instead of going for Jim Beam or Wild Turkey I think I’ll start heading to the shelf for Dark Horse instead.



A 26er is slang for 26oz bottle of alcohol.(750mil or what US citizens call a fifth)


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