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Thread: Alberta Springs

  1. #1
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    Alberta Springs

    I haven't been in my local liquor store in a while (due to their usually higher than normal pricing) but I thought I'd just pop in to see if they still had that bottle of Single Barrel Benchmark Bourbon. Unfortunately that was gone , but I did find a tax-stamped 1984 bottle of Alberta Springs Canadian Sipping Whisky ($19.70 plus sales tax) . Anyone have info on this? Most discussion of Alberta Springs refers to their current bottling of 10 y.o. rye with a white label. This bottle has no age statement, is 90 proof (45% abv)and looks designed to impersonate JD. In addition to the year, the tax-stamp has this number: A44063234 Any info? Gary?

    I also saw 3 bottles hiding behind Alberta. They are Bush Pilot Private Reserve ($31.40?). This was at the time the only single-cask canadian whisky, aged 13 years. I couldn't reach the bottles, they were up too high. I'm hoping no one notices them so I can get one Friday (payday). This stuff disappeared after lawsuits were started (or threatened) by a certain beer company with similar sounding name.

    Another interesting bottle was 8-year old Littlemill Scotch. The review made it sound like not my type of thing, but I thought I'd mention it since I believe Tim (TN) is a fan.

    -Matt
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  2. #2
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    Re: Alberta Springs

    Thanks for this query. That Alberta Spring would be ten years old (that type bottle always was), thus distilled probably in '74 and sold in about '84. (Although in the old Canadian tax stamp system, the date on the stamp was always that many years before the year of sale that was the advertised age on the front label, e.g. if the stamp said 1984 in Canada that meant, if it was ten years old, it was sold in 1994, but this bottle was sold in the U.S. so I assume 1984 was the year of sale). Probably a good buy. Alberta Springs uses all-rye to form its mash but recall that most of the distillate is high proof (circa 194 proof) spirit and only some of it is low-proof (presumably under 160) true rye whiskey; still, the resultant blend is very good and like most things, it was probably better 30 years ago. (Chuck Cowdery can give you more info on that ).

    Littlemill sounds cool, a true Lowlands malt, there aren't many left and I believe that distillery is now closed so it may be a taste of history reflecting the stylish smooth "civilised" taste of Lowlands whisky (vs. the full-flavored Highlands never mind the unreconstructed taste of good Islay) yet still flavorful and single malt to be sure..

    Oh re the Bush Pilot I heard that's really good, I've never had it but single barrel Canadian is a rarity and likely to show off the merits of Canadian in a unique way, and I am sure they chose well for this bottling.

    Gary

  3. #3

    Re: Alberta Springs

    ...I believe Tim (TN) is a fan.
    A would-be fan perhaps -- I've never had it, but read/heard good things about it. And, I have enjoyed some Lowlands malts. The distillery, long closed, burned last fall, so there is now no hope of any more in the future.

  4. #4
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    Re: Alberta Springs

    The only bottle of Bush Pilot I had seen had a price tag of around $55 if I remember correctly. I was picking up a bottle of Hirsch 16 blue wax there that day and was already WAY past my budget with that one bottle.

  5. #5
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    Re: Alberta Springs

    I've heard that the whisky in Littlemill 8yo bottles is actually older than that---12 or 13 years. Littlemill bottled an 8yo and a 17yo, and I suspect that towards the end as the younger stocks of whiskey aged beyond 8 years they were just bottled using the existing trade dress rather than work up a new label for a pretty limited release of 9yo, 10yo, etc.

    It doesn't get a whole lot of respect, but I'm a fan of Littlemill. The bottles I've had have shown more of the "grassy" Lowland character than Auchentoshan or Glenkinchie. I'd say snag that bottle---even if it does not become a favorite, it is certainly an interesting dram, and handy for demonstrating the range of flavors available in SMSW. Tough to believe that this stuff and Laphroaig (e.g.) are the same category of spirit.

 

 

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