Rare Perfection is a brand being bottled by the Preservation Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This company has been in the whiskey business since the 1980s. They sourced whiskey and sold it in the Japanese market for many years before bringing their brands back to the United States. Julian Van Winkle III credits them with helping him get into the Japanese market in the late 20th century. As the whiskey market exploded in sales, it became harder to find Bourbon and Rye whiskeys to fill their bottles, so they built a distillery. It is a small operation and the barrels they have made are still aging, so to fill the gap, they have purchased barrels of Canadian whisky. That is what is in the bottle of Rare Perfection. It is not a blended Canadian whiskey, but would be called a straight whiskey if made in the United States. Matt and I tasted it and here are our notes.

Rare Perfection Canadian Whisky

Proof: 119.7

Age: Fifteen Years Old


  • Mike: Caramel, dates, apricots, cardamom and white pepper spice, oak wood.
  • Matt: Vanilla, dates and apricots, oak wood.


  • Mike: Caramel, apricots, cardamom, leather and oak tannins. Tasted with a dried cranberry and there is less spice but more leather and oak and tobacco notes come forward. Tasted with a pecan and the spice and oak tannins become very strong.
  • Matt: Vanilla, citrus – maybe lemon zest, and a sage or wasabi herbal flavor. The dried cranberry strengthened the vanilla and citrus notes and reduced the herbal flavors. The pecan brought out notes of cotton candy and chocolate.


  • Mike: Long with sweet oak wood, spice and lingering fruit notes. The dried cranberry added some pipe tobacco flavors to the mix. The pecan made the finish very long with lots of oak and white pepper.
  • Matt: Long with flavors of tobacco and wasabi heat. The dried cranberry made the finish sweet with burnt peanut, citrus and oak. The pecan made the finish very long with tobacco, cocoa and spicy nuts.

I would pair this whisky with a cigar that has some earthy tobacco notes and vanilla in the smoke. I would reach for a cigar from the Fuente Hemingway series.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller