$$$ — 43% ABV — No age stated
Oft-heralded as the shining example of a Canada-that-could, Lot 40 is a rare but worthwhile find. The lack of legislation and the buying-frenzy that occurred during Prohibition has left Canada's premium price point brackets in a state of disarray. Even 80 years later.
Guess they were too busy passing universal healthcare.
The distinguishing factor for Lot 40 is that it's made with both malted and unmalted rye. And being marketed as a "Single Copper Pot Still" whisky, the parallels with Irish whiskies like Red Breast, which uses both malted and unmalted barley, are very apparent.
The result makes Lot 40 thematically similar to other ryes, but actually very weird. There's little 'rye spice' here. Instead, there are strong notes of mint and maple candy. This is definitely julep territory, but also quite good in a Manhattan! Especially with orange bitters to coax out that note.
Rye malt was a common ingredient in 18th century Pennsylvania, but today's American ryes are almost always treated with 5% barley malt. Lot 40 shows rye malt has a lot to bring to the table, though a 2013 or 2014 release of Lot 40 is alarmingly absent from shelves. Fans of rye malt should remain worried.