(Thanks to /u/Devoz for this dram.)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: We all have biases, and we all fight to at least quell them a little bit. We all also have a moral code, made up of prejudices and annoyances of things we do ourselves or have had done to us that we avoid.
One of such meeting points that cross at /u/TOModera‘s Hypocrite boulevard is the fact that I typically don’t bash or recommend something I’ve never drank myself, and hate it when people do. Where is my biggest blind spot? Why that’s Masterson’s 10 year old Straight Rye.
Yes, I typically argue that it’s not great. And if you check my past history, I’ve advised against people buying it. And I based that all on a 1/2 oz I had at a LCBO tasting tower a year ago.
So today I fix that issue. I sit down and review it properly. And I take back (or uphold) any comments I’ve had after trying it.
I also avoid the price while reviewing it. Please keep that in mind, as I have done the same throughout.
Masterson’s 10 year old Straight Rye is sourced and aged in Alberta, Canada. It’s made by Alberta Distiller’s, and sold by 35 Maple Street Spirits, who are located in California. From what I can understand, they source all of their Whisky products from Alberta.
Take a second to think about that: In order to buy this, I, a Canadian, have to wait for it to be shipped to California, bottled and labeled, and then shipped back to Canada.
Suffice to say this is the same juice as Whistle Pig, Alberta Springs, Alberta Premium, and other rye products, most too numerous to name.
Let’s see how it tastes.
Price: $75.50 (CAD), however I did walk into a LCBO that had it at $107, so it may be going up again.
Region: Canada (You can pretend like it’s California if you’d like)
Nose: Maple, cloves, ginger, orange liqueur, nail polish remover, candy corn
Initially this reads exactly like so many other Canadian rye I’ve had before. There’s a lot of spices and maple. Giving it more time, it’s quite light, and there’s more citrus than normal.
Then, given time, there’s a heavy scent of nail polish and candy corn that doesn’t do it any favours. They nearly had something slightly interesting going on here.
Taste: Corn syrup, maple, cloves, arugula, oregano
It’s sweet. And sweet. Kinda sweet too. With some spice.
Okay, you’ve had Canadian Rye before, you know that. Otherwise, there’s a herbal/earthy note and some pepper that’s nice. Adds something.
Beyond that, it’s thick and sweet, like all the fine honeys should be (Editor’s Note: I actually mean honey here, not being sexist)
Finish: Earth, chemically, lemon, pine, basil
Wow that finish sucks.
Okay, need to say more than that.
Wow that finish is short, uncomplex, young, and sucks.
Yeah, that’ll do.
Conclusion: So after writing this up, and then writing my comments (so just now as I write this), I looked up my review of Alberta Springs 10 year Rye.
The difference between the two products? 5% Abv. Masterson’s 10 year old Straight Rye has the edge there. And if I were a betting man, I would have said just that would put it ahead of Alberta Springs 10 year Rye.
It didn’t. And I don’t know why. Could be the last of a bottle, could be my mood, could be I rated Alberta Springs higher at the time, could be I wanted to be proven right about what I’ve said in the past.
Here’s what I can say: The finish wasn’t good at all, the taste and nose were similar to Alberta Springs. By itself, I’m not impressed with this rye, and I stand by my earlier comments to avoid it.
A special note on price in Ontario: You crazy. Seriously, let’s think about this: We’re paying 3 times as much for a product that is only 5% more alcohol. I can’t say this enough: That alone makes this product not worth buying unless you just love it.
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