Thanks to blaw84 for the sample. Thank you @primetimedinner on Twitter for the image, if you’d prefer I don’t use it, please message me.
Canada: That place you used to think was Northern US Shangri-la, and then we ended up with Trump if he was racist Millhouse. Guess that’s what happens when you genocide a whole bunch of people and downplay them so long that even late 90s kids could visit a running hellscape school. Welcome to the review!
Where was I? Oh, yes, a new Canadian whisky came out awhile back, with a limited run of 130 bottles and released at full cask strength: Lot 40 18, an age stated release of one of my favourite Canadian ryes. For those of you who don’t know, Canada’s whisky market is complicated. Thus we don’t get many single casks, cask strength whiskies, or typically have whiskies like this released for us.
This is the oldest Lot 40 release yet, from a single cask that was picked out by Dr. Livermore himself. I’ve had quite a few of their releases, and this further pushed the limits of what has been released before. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold right out and I can’t find the original price
Number of bottles: 130
Colour: 2.5YR 5/10
Nose: Oak, rye bread, dill, maple
Alright, nice oak note, not surprising. Some spice/cereal, some faint dill, and some maple. It is a Canadian whisky, after all.
That’s… huh, that’s about it. Water doesn’t really bring much else. More of the same. Waiting longer is about similar. Hmm.
Taste: Oak, buttered popcorn, cloves, carrot cake
Nice buttery note. Real butter, with some cereal aspects. Good spice that builds with time, brings the cereal with it. Easy sipping at the moment.
I certainly like the taste better than the nose. It’s not over dilled out like the 12, it’s going in different directions than other Canadian whiskies, and the spice is quite tasty. On the other hand.. It’s not wowing me as much as previous Lot 40 releases.
Finish: Caramilk, cream, cloves, black tea
Creamy, spice, caramel, and some strong smoke/tannic elements. The finish is the nicest part. It differs from previous releases and really starts to show some complexity.
Is it enough? Debatable if it does. I can see people getting happy about that black tea note. Spice and well developed milk chocolate are quite nice too.
Conclusion: Lots of butter and maple notes, some nice spice, but it’s quite muted and lacks the complexity you’d want until the very end. I gave this extra time and extra water. Why? Because I’ve enjoyed quite a few of the Corby releases. Especially the Lot 40 releases, and even more so with the Lot 40 Cask Strength releases. Corby is releasing whisky in a way that we don’t associate with the Canadian whisky market.
But like Canadians adopting terrible political ideas from the south of us, this isn’t great. It’s a fine whisky, and I didn’t hate it. It’s perfectly fine, just not wowing me. I don’t think it has enough going on. I do know that Lot 40 can have some very nice releases: One of the first Lot 40 Cask Strength whiskies I ever tried was a single cask and a lot better. But this one? It’s just nice. Maybe next time.
World Whisky review #441, Canada review #136, Whisky Network review #2326