January 2014 Archives
Lot No. 40 is a Canadian Rye Whisky produced by Corby at the Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. in Windsor, Ontario. Unlike most widely available Canadian Ryes, Lot No. 40 is an all rye whisky is distilled from a mash of 90% rye grain and 10% malted rye in small batches in a single copper pot still instead of the traditional column still. While there's no age statement on the label, the whisky is rumoured to be around 7 or 8 years old.
The story goes that the recipe for Lot No. 40 dates back to Joshua Booth, an 18th century miller, distiller, and politician from Millhaven, Ontario. Over a century later, a modern day relative and distiller at Hiram Walker, Michael D. Booth helped revive the recipe in the late 1990s before it was discontinued by Corby's. Thankfully, for those of us who missed it the last time around, Lot No. 40 was re-launched in October 2012. Clearly we can expect some variation between bottlings as the label distinctly references that this 43% ABV whisky is part of the "2012 Edition Release," suggesting that there is something unique about this run that may not appear in successive batches. Regardless, the present release has received high praise from enthusiasts, conoisseurs and writers alike, with Canadian Whisky authority Davin de Kergommeaux claiming that it's "become the Holy Grail of Canadian whisky, the quintessential Canadian rye."
Praised by whiskey enthusiasts the world over, Old Rip Van Winkle, produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery of the Sazerac Company, has been one of the most sought-after Bourbons on the market in recent years. Based in Frankfort, Kentucky the Van Winkle family has been producing spirit since the late 1800's however it wasn't until the 1970's that the pre-prohibition era Old Rip Van Winkle brand was re-launched by Julian Van Winkle, Jr..
The Van Winkle line is characterized by the presence of wheat in the mash bill, in addition to corn and barley. This "wheated" recipe produces a spirit with a softer, less fruity, and smoother taste, than those containing rye instead. If Pappy Van Winkle were still alive he'd probably tell you that a wheated Bourbon ages better and more gracefully than it's rye-forward counterparts but then again that might just be a matter of personal preference and marketing.
Bottled at 45.2% A.B.V. the Lot "B" is aged 12 years in charred, new oak, barrels. The result is a sippin' whiskey worthy of a place on any Van Winkle fan's shelf; should you be lucky enough to find a bottle of course...