Review: Last Mountain Cask Strength 100% Rye Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Image courtesy of Last Mountain Distillery.

Image courtesy of Last Mountain Distillery.

~3.5 yrs; Once used bourbon barrels and new 10 gallon barrels
100% Rye
Distiller Last Mountain (Lumsden, Saskatchewan)

A recent release from Last Mountain, coming out today. It was aged for 5 months in 10 gallon barrels and once used bourbon barrels for the remainder of its 3.5 years. This batch is only available at the distillery but more will be available next summer, more broadly. Last Mountain makes some terrific whisky, including the best wheat whisky I have ever tasted - so if they are dealing with rye, my interest is piqued...

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose is spicy, oaky, and still with the great grain and confectionary character that Last Mountain does so well. This is rye forward, with a good amount of caramel and new oak too – it is extremely inviting. Not as sweet or as broad in profile as their terrific wheat whisky, but how often do we see nice rye at a good proof? Back to the nose – oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, raisins, prunes, and green pear. The palate is big – sharp rye notes, caramel-laden oak, toasted notes, brown sugar, light spice, and with a drying and spicy finish with rye bread, clove, caramel, and a creamy texture. Great grain notes throughout – nose, palate, finish. Clean, and doesn’t taste raw like many young whiskies. I’d imagine as it gets older complexity will continue to build and round this out terrifically. Really nice stuff! It will be a great bottle for anyone who likes big, high proof ryes, or smooth and spicy whiskies if you add water.

Not as complex as their wheat whiskey, which is why it is rated a point lower – but I’d probably tend to go through a lot more of this.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average (based on $90).