Review: Lot No. 40 Cask Strength / by Jason Hambrey

Lot no. 40.jpg
Virgin Charred Oak
100% Malted Rye
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

Here we have a rarity - a cask strength, 100% Canadian Rye whisky, well matured and released by a major producer. The only other bottle I can think of which fits into this category is Whistlepig's Boss Hog, an independent bottling from Alberta Distillers (though I must note that there are some notable young cask strength ryes from micro distilleries like Stalk & Barrel). Basically, it is the connoisseur's dream - this juice. However, unsuprisingly, you can't buy this stuff. The interesting part is that they have handed it out like candy at whisky festivals, which makes me wonder/hope that they are trying to make this a cult whisky in anticipation of its release. Given the splendor of the standard Lot no. 40, you'd expect this to do some good work too.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: 05 05100 (55.8%)
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: June 2016

This sample was generously sent to me by Mark Bylok of, who also reviewed this batch of Lot no. 40 CS.

Lots of onion pickle, in fact, in this tasting. Dill, floral rye, new wood, and lots of nuts - hazlenuts, walnuts, almond, clove, floral rye, black tea, terrific caramel, cinnamon, dried rose, dried hibiscus, praline, rosehip….

Brilliant tingling spices on the palate, with lots of spice, caramel, orange, clove, blood orange, cola, walnut…immense at cask strength and lots of rye! But it comes easy with lots of nut, tea, and oak notes surrounding. Some terrific dried floral notes too. Dries off in a huge, spicy finish still with lots of nuts and more light rye notes – almost jasmine-like in their floral nature - and cinnamon, tobacco, drying reeds in the fall, arugula, nut brittle, and some orange peel. Not to mention lots of continued floral notes. Not hard to drink and balanced at cask strength.

This is amazing – but I can only imagine a batch version. As it is, you can tell it is more of a single barrel given the profile and doesn’t quite have the breadth of complexity in some lot. No 40s, but it makes up for it with emphasis and magnitude.

Score: 91/100

Value: N/A (not available on the market)