Lot 40 vs Lot 40 Cask Strength

Lot No. 40 100% Rye Whisky, 43% ABV, $40 CAD

  • Nose: Caramel, rye spice, oak, floral soap, banana, banana bread, icing sugar.
  • Taste: Creamy toffee, rye spice, brown sugar, cooked banana.
  • Finish: Medium/long length, good viscosity.
  • Thoughts: This is what you want in a rye. Great balance of sweet and spicy. Although strong, the rye kick is nicely rounded so it doesn’t completely overpower the whisky. Great sipped neat, and priced well for mixing, I’d be comfortable with this representing Canada as our national whisky. One of our best exports!
  • Score: 86 + 2 value point(s) = 88/100

Lot No. 40 12 Year Old Cask Strength 100% Rye Whisky, 55% ABV, $70 CAD

  • Nose: Fresh baked bread, rye spice, banana, cooked banana, banana split ice cream, cooked apples, apple cider, ginger bread, almonds, a bourbon-like caramel, and brown sugar.
  • Taste: Bananas again, rye bread, vanilla, mint, carrot cake, fruit cake, and caramel.
  • Finish: Long, banana/apple/rye notes linger.
  • Thoughts: THIS is what you want in a rye! Doesn’t drink like 55%. Very rounded and very smooth. Incredibly warming. It feels like wool pajamas and Christmas morning. The rye is more balanced here, and the complexity of the sweeter notes are amplified yet compliment it well. Full body, very viscous, the banana and rye combo on the finish is what sells it for me. There are not many cask-strength, age-statement Canadian whiskies, and non (that I’ve tried) that come close to this quality. Each bottle numbered and labeled from 1 to 4968. A true collector bottle, and probably the best whisky Canada has ever released!
  • Score: 89 + 2.5 value point(s) = 91.5/100

Overall Thoughts: The extra time in the cask, 12 years verses about 7 for the standard release, made a huge difference in complexity and depth. Regular Lot 40 has more of a rye kick, a sharper finish, and isn’t this well rounded. Cask Strength has more body, better mouth-feel, and can probably treat hypothermia. The whisky came out at exactly 55.0% which is a great sipping strength. I didn’t feel the need to add water, but a few drops exaggerate the bread-like notes. It’s great to see Corby and Dr. Don Livermore release expressions that will bring recognition to Canadian whisky on a level that is consistent with today’s demand. Lot 40 Cask Strength can easily compete with Buffalo Trace’s Thomas H. Handy and Sazerac Rye’s. Something you definitely need to buy while you can, but will be available (in some capacity) as a yearly release in Canada.

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Scores:

After my initial score I will add or subtract points relative on how I perceive value (based on what I paid for the bottle). A zero value means I think the price is justified.

0-69.5 – Don’t bother trying, life is too short for bad spirit.
70-79.5 – Worth trying, but you’re not missing out if you don’t.
80-84.5 – I recommend trying.
85-87.5 – Definitely try this!
88-92.5 – I recommend buying a bottle blind!
93-95.5 – Stuff you reserve for special pours!
96+ – The meaning of life.
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My previous scores (including value points):
Ardbeg 10                                                     88.5
Ardbeg Corryvrickan                                 92.5
Ardbeg Kelpie                                              91.5
Ardbeg Uigeadail                                        91.0
Balvenie 15 Single Barrel – Sherry          89.0
Blanton’s Gold                                             87.0
Booker’s (2015-01)                                      89.5
Bowmore 12                                                 84.5
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1                     92.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3                     94.0
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1                     89.5
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3                     90.5
Caol Ila 12                                                     82.0
Compass Box – Peat Monster                    85.5
Eagle Rare 10                                                85.0
Glendronach 12 Original                           83.0
Glendronach 15 Revival                             92.0
Glendroanch 18 Allardice                          90.5
Glendronach 21 Parliament                      91.0
Glenfarclas 25                                              93.5
Highland Park 15                                         87.5
Highland Park 25                                         92.0
Jack Daniel’s SB-BP (16-0574)                   89.0
Kavalan Solist – Sherry Cask (58.7%)       90.5
Kavalan Solist – Vinho Barrique (57%)   89.5
Lagavulin 16                                                 90.0
Laphroaig 10                                                85.5
Lot No. 40                                                      88.0
Lot No. 40 Cask Strength 12yr                   91.5
Macallan 12 Double Cask                           79.0
Macallan 12 Fine Oak                                 84.0
Macallan 17 Fine Oak                                 87.0
Macallan 18 Fine Oak                                 85.0
Macallan 10 Sherry                                     83.0
Macallan 12 Sherry                                     88.0
Macallan 18 Sherry (1997)                         94.0
Macallan Edition 2                                      90.0
Orphan Barrel – Barterhouse                   88.5
Pappy Van Winkle 23yr                             93.5
Sazerac Rye                                                   88.5
Stagg Jr. (Batch 4)                                        83.0
Talisker 25                                                    89.0
W.L. Weller 12                                              88.0

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