A 20-Year-Old, $80 Whiskey That is the Perfect Gift

And bonus: it's Canadian.

People often ask me what’s my fave bottle in my whisky collection and there’s never an easy answer. I’m by nature a scotch drinker so that’s where I spend the bulk of my time, but if you up to the top right of the cabinet there’s a tiny spot reserved for Canadian Whisky and in there lies the a bottle that’s as rare as anything I own.

Alberta Premium 30-Years.

I bought it about seven years ago and at the time I recall it was about $170—a big number for  Canadian Whisky and correspondingly a pittance by Japanese or Scottish standards. The bottle’s a disaster—it looks like they gave some intern 45 minutes to make it so it looks almost exactly like the regular Alberta Premium, with “30” slapped on. But inside it’s a wonder of spicy understatement, like the third son of a famous Earl who’s never going to inherit the title but puts his breeding to good use raising hell and having fun at every turn (and burnt caramel and sweet charred cherry wood too).

In the years since this was released there’s been a renewed interest in Canadian Whisky, but I wouldn’t actually call it a stampede of love. Americans will lay down big $$$ for rye, made and aged by Canadians and then bottled by Americans (cough, Whistlepig, cough), but shy away any time we put out our own prestige bottles. All of which leads us to this gem of a bottle priced like an everyday sipper.

It’s that 30 years old’s younger sibling and weirdly it seems way underpriced at $80. Like the 30, it channels some lovely orange and brown sugar notes, but it has a far more aggressive stance on the palate. It absolutely out the boots to American imports like the $95 Michter’s or the $90 Knob Creek  in every category but marketing budget and bottle design (evidently that same intern is still kicking around). But you’re a whisky drinker – what do you care for such fluff anyways?