During a recent excursion to the Société des alcools du Québec, a particular bottle of rye whiskey caught my attention. The product in question intrigued me, not because of its age statement or rarity, but rather its provenance. The whisky had been produced right here in Quebec. Never having consumed a whisky of local origin, I immediately purchased the bottle and can now share with the world my impressions of a local product.
The product is brought to us by Sivó, a company claiming to be a master distiller. The product is called “Le Rye Whisky”, presumable the only rye produced by Sivó.
Sivó states that this rye “is distilled from local Quebec rye (2/3) and malted barley (1/3) and aged patiently in new oak casks, before being finished in Port casks.”. Sivó, based in Franklin, Quebec, notes that it won the New York International Spirits Competition in 2017 as best Quebec distillery of the year. I assume there was limited competition in that narrow category, but still, it’s something.
This rye is bottled at 42% and has a deep amber appearance. There is no age statement anywhere on the bottle.
On the nose, I am introduced to notes of ripe grape, honey, a hint of lemon, and clove.
The palate starts off with a tart, woody taste before turning to roasted nuts and black pepper. Eventually, it turns slightly sweet, but one must let it linger for a few seconds before arriving at this pleasant twist. The finish is long and satisfying, leaving peppery notes dancing on my tongue and reintroducing a light taste of honey and lemon.
Adding a bit of water opens up the nose, keeping the original scents but enhancing them. The palate adds some more spice and a faint memory of fruit. The finish remains the same.
Overall, I would rate this as a decent whisky at a reasonable price of $46 before any discounts at the SAQ. However, there are others in this price range that are better. If you are curious, definitely a bottle to try, especially if there is a promotion at the SAQ.