Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky - 2012 Release

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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."
Nose: Aromas of sweet hard candies and Violets appear straight away with gusto accompanied by a dash of cloves, and with time, an earthy sort of rye breadiness, hints of raisins and apples round out the nose.  

Palate: Big fruity rye flavours punctuated by candied cherries and melon salad and intertwined with toffee and vanilla. Zesty orange citrus, cloves and peppery notes add a bit of heat and an interesting, gentle, bitterness to the dram akin to carraway seeds.

Finish: Smooth, long finish that's lightly peppery and a touch astringent. During the fade out, flashes of spice and bitter cherry. 

Overall:  Those who may have negative impressions about Canadian whisky ought to give this one a chance to change their minds about just how good an all-rye whisky can be. Contrary to most of the plonk currently being marketed as Canadian rye whisky, Lot No. 40 is a breath of fresh air for whisky enthusiasts. The all-rye recipe offers good complexity and a range of effusive and interesting flavours. Affordably priced at $39.95 in the LCBO, Lot No. 40 is worthy of becoming your go-to daily dram. Since there are still a few hundred bottles of this release available you can safely pick up a few to drink now and a couple to squirrel away until we see the 2013 Edition Release appear on the shelves. 

4 Comments

This is my favourite Canadian whisky - bottled in Canada - on the market today. The only other Canadian whisky I will buy is Wiser's Legacy (a close cousin that contains some of the same whisky that makes up lot 40). Most everything else is, as you say, plonk.

"...until we see the 2013 Edition Release appear on the shelves."

With 2013 well behind us, are you hoping, or do you have knowledge of another (2013) edition?

Speaking of favourite Canadian whiskies, have you tried anything by Forty Creek? Master Distiller/Blender John Hall has put out some great whiskies lately. I'm a big fan of the Copper Pot and the Heart of Gold releases.

As for the next Lot 40 edition, wishful thinking right now!

I've tried a few other Canadian whiskies - including barrel select, double barrel, Confed oak, port wood, and HoG from 40 Creek. The taste profile doesn't suit me. I find most Canadian whiskies (including 40 Creek) to be too thin and mild with not enough rye spiciness. I was disappointed that HoG did not have the "extra" rye kick it was advertised to have and I found it to have a metallic taste that I just did not like.

I've heard good things about copper pot and will try that at some point.

portwood

The Copper Pot is another regular bottle at my place, in fact my wife (who's just now coming around to whiskey) often enjoys a glass of it. I don't think you'll find the rye kick you're looking for there but you may enjoy the approachability and the fruity, toffee, nutty elements along with the roundness of the palate - then again you may find it too sweet for your liking.

Lot 40, we can agree, is a unique take on Canadian Rye and - I'm hoping - may lead to more rye-forward whiskies in the Canadian landscape.

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