Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky is a Corby branded spirit, which hit the market in the 1990's as Lot No. 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Whisky, and was touted as a connoisseur's item. Despite the lukewarm reception at the time, it was re-launched in 2012. Simply put, this whisky is a brute in terms of alcohol content. It is made in small batches, out of rye grain, and then aged for at least 12 years in barrels made of oak.
In the Bottle: 9/10
The bottle is tall and dark brown, with a metallic label placed at an angle over a distillation diagram. The bottom part is hard to read, which is bad when you need to be sure of the contents. On top of that, there is no mention of whether the aging was done in new or ex-bourbon wood. Lastly, this is a Canadian Whisky, but they have hidden that information in the fine print.
In the Glass: 9.5/10
Pouring this whisky shows you that it is bronze-colored, and a twirl of the glass reveals a thickened sheen that leaves slow legs running back down to the bottom. The breezes you get speak of rich malt, chocolate, and rye bread. You also get treated to aromas of cedar and oak, combined with sap and wood spice. That is rounded out by the smells of cigar tobacco, rich caramel toffee, prunes, dates, maple, canned fruit, and old leather, altogether managing to intimidate the light drinker.
In the Mouth: 9/10
One sip and you know this drink does not mess around. The taste is hard and heavy as a sledgehammer, themed with cedar spice and oak, propelled by heavy rye bread, dark chocolate and alcohol heat. Mixed in as well are cloves, black pepper, tobacco, fresh leather, burlap, almond, and marmalade.
Throw in ice and the taste gets more woody and bitter, bringing out dominating aspects of timber and rye kernel. It is best to add a bit of water to retain the creaminess.
In the Throat: 9/10
You get a really long exit tasting like bittersweet chocolate, hot peppery spices, treacle, and bitter rye kernel. Some more sweetness may have helped.
The Afterburn: 9/10
This is not a whisky, you will forget soon afterward; if its right-hook intensity does not leave a mark, at least its flavor complexity will. All it lacks is a bit of sweetness, and little else.