Canada is a land of whisky: Whisky makers and whisky drinkers. Rye is their muse. But for so long they seem to have struggled to put their best foot forward. All of that is beginning to change. Case in point is Beam Suntory's new release from Alberta Distillers based in British Columbia. Bucking the trend of using a high percentage of near-neutral rye blended with a small percentage of lower proof, higher character rye for that classic, soft, mellow flavor, Dark Batch is close to 50/50. In addition, Canadian regulations allow for up to 9.09% of any other alcohol to be blended in while still being allowed to call the spirit rye. Weird, but in the most awesome sense. Beam wisely takes full advantage here with the addition of 8% Old Grand Dad Bourbon and 1% of Sherry blended in. The result is an intoxicatingly aromatic and full-flavored whisky with notes that include, raspberry, Cheerios, pine sap, Madagascar vanilla, chocolate wafers, candy apple, and cinnamon. The palate is soft, smooth, seamless. Everyone needs to try this whisky.