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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Wow! A new whisky that sings out the pot still advertised on the label! Big flavours of cassis, sweet wood, slate and petrol, with a soft finish that seems to show new charred barrel influence. I always "wanted" the real flavouring whisky, and I finally got it. True enough, it's a blend, apparently of 12 year old whisky and a younger pot still element, but again the pot still is very forward. Not at all like U.S. straight rye or even Whistle Pig. No age is mentioned on the label. Closest to this in the past is Lot 40 but that's only approximate.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-22-2012 at 12:38.

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Any idea where one might find this one? Is it a Canada only bottling?
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    So far I believe Alberta and Ontario in Canada, but most Canadian bottlings seem to get to the U.S. now and some get there first, e.g. Crown Royal XR Lasalle.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    So far I believe Alberta and Ontario in Canada, but most Canadian bottlings seem to get to the U.S. now and some get there first, e.g. Crown Royal XR Lasalle.

    Gary
    I don't think Alberta Springs sends anything to the US.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2011
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    I picked up a bottle...i found it has some similar flavour notes to Mastersons. Definately way better than Crown Royal Black. For the price it's a great deal no doubt.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Having a glass of this now. I should point out that it is Alberta Premium, not Alberta Springs. Therefore, pure rye. It is quite nice indeed, and very smooth for 90 proof. It definitely has the slate/flint elements of normal Alberta Premium but also much more fruit. For me this falls under the "dangerously drinkable" category.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Here are the actual current rules as I understand them: Since July 1, 2009 the 9.090% limit does not apply to Canadian whisky sold in Canada.

    You can add, theoretically, any amount of any domestic or foreign wine or spirit to Canadian whisky provided the bottle contains at least 40% ABV and the spirit is at least 2 years old.

    Actually, there were before July 1, 2009, and still are, two references to 9.090% in Canadian whisky regulations. Under changes to the law that took effect from that date, both references are now contained in a regulation passed under the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act, a law under the aegis of the Federal Minister of Agriculture.

    Before July 1, 2009, for any whisky sold in Canada, if more than 9.090% of the absolute alcohol derived from “flavouring”, i.e., from any added domestic or foreign spirit or wine, the whisky was deemed to have the age of the youngest element in the blend. If the mentioned percentage threshold was not exceeded, the whiskey could be stated at the age of the whisky to which the flavouring was added. Say 10% or more of the alcohol (the ethyl alcohol itself) in a bottle of Canadian whisky was derived from bourbon 8 years old, and it was added to Canadian whisky that was 10 years old. The resultant blend had to be labeled 8 years old. If the same bourbon was added but with the result that only 9% of the alcohol came from that source, the blend could be identified as 10 years old. The rule, therefore, was age expression-related, it did not prohibit as such adding more than 9.090% flavouring to Canadian whisky whether by the measure of absolute alcohol or otherwise. But we must recall another rule that states that Canadian whisky must have the taste, aroma and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky. Setting aside for a moment what that means in practice, this was and is a control on adding too much flavouring.

    The other reference to 9.090% in the Canadian whisky regulations stated (before JUly 1, 2009) that not more than that percentage of “imported spirits” (here referring to the original drink, water and all, as I read it) could be contained in Canadian whisky exported from Canada in bond unless Canadian excise authorities, i) stated that percentage in a certificate, and ii) did not refer to the product as Canadian whisky, rye whisky or Canadian rye whisky in the certificate. Where an importer outside Canada wanted the certificate, and perhaps in any case for various reasons, one can see that distillers would have ensured that the whisky in the bottle was not comprised of more than 9.090% imported bourbon or straight rye, say.

    Basically, after July 1, 2009, the position is as mentioned above except that both 9.090% rules mentioned now apply only to exported Canadian whisky. The age-related 9.090% rule no longer applies, therefore, to Canadian whisky sold in Canada.

    It may well be that not more than 9.090% of any domestic or foreign wine or spirit is added to Canadian whisky even where it is sold only here (Dark Horse is only sold here I understand at this time) because so much Canadian whisky has always been exported and presumably therefore was made to that standard whether exported or not. And indeed - it should be said - some Canadian whisky has never had such flavouring added, it depends how the maker wants to put it together.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Yup, it appears they are taking full advantage of the (DUMB) Canadian Whisky rules:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Novice
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    I tried some Dark Horse earlier this week and really enjoyed it. Finally a sipping whisky from Canada! My everyday swill is Jim Beam or Teacher's, which lead me to this forum and this thread, but I'll probably start reaching from Dark Horse a lot more often.

  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Alberta Springs Dark Horse 45% ABV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    Here are the actual current rules as I understand them: ...

    Gary
    Additional Canadian requirements: By Canadian law, Canadian whisky must be produced and aged in Canada, in oak barrels for a minimum of three years (although most spend from six to eight years in the barrel.) (No distinction is made between new and used barrels in the regulations.) The age statement on a bottle of Canadian whisky is that of the youngest whisky used. They must "possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky" (per Canadian Whisky Regulations).

    Shell

 

 

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