A while back, shortly after Alberta Premium Dark Horse was released, I went through a phase of really enjoying this whisky and, probably for a year or so, I usually had a bottle of it around. I guess I found other drams that won the competition for my attention but, on another visit with my Pops, I wasn’t too surprised that he busted out a brand new bottle of Dark Horse… It checks off all of his priorities: Canadian whisky, check! Alberta distillery, even better! High rye profile, perfect!
Needless to say, I was thrilled to share a drop and find out if Dark Horse was still as good as I remembered.
An extremely rich coloured, deep copper dram, I kept thinking how much bourbon-like character to this whisky. The appearance reminds me of Four Roses Single Barrel. The nose oozes with caramel corn and vanilla and, as far as actually drinking it, it’s the thick, heavy mouthfeel that reminds me of some of the better corn whiskeys I’ve enjoyed. In terms of flavour, there’s quite a lot going on – burnt sugar and toasted oak, a herbal, menthol flavour and some nice rye spicy-sourness near the end. In the finish, I also found a distinct sherry theme.
By now I think most people who care about whisky have heard that Alberta Distillers went way outside the box to construct their Dark Horse. Yeah, it’s made with an unconventional mixture of approximately 91% rye whisky, 8% corn whisky (bourbon-style, they say) and 1% sherry… But who cares? ABD are completely up front about how they make this whisky, it’s made within the rules that have been set for Canadian whisky and, most importantly it’s a delicious sipper. Grab a bottle… Alberta Premium Dark Horse has interesting flavours and qualities that are rarely found in Canadian drams.