Editor's Note: This article is dedicated to Andrew Barton. Thank you for the review sample sir!
Today we'll be examining quite a popular recent entrant in the Canadian whisky scene, Forty Creek Barrel Select. Forty Creek comes from a recipe that was first commercially produced back in 1992 by John K. Hall, a first generation distiller in Grimsby, Ontario. Mr. Hall is also the owner of Kittling Ridge Wines and Spirits and has worked in the alcoholic beverage industry for over 40 years. He now produces three mainstay products, Barrel Select, Copper Pot, and a Canadian cream liquor along with several experimental bottlings under his "Reserve" series.
The first thing notable in the nose of the whisky is the aroma of cherries and other fruits. Notes of caramel and vanilla are then present likely due to the white oak casks, leading to maple and honey, and fishing with the burn of ethanol. The flavor however is much more complex than the aroma would lead on. The notes of caramel, vanilla, cherries, and fruit are present within the sip, but are quickly relegated to the background by heavier notes of sherry, roasted corn, cooking spices, and milk chocolate.
Now, before a conclusion or rating is drawn, I do want to state to my readership that Canadian whisky is by no means my favorite style. In fact, I do not consider several different brands of Canadian "whisky" to be whisky at all. Now, that all said, I enjoyed this particular one. It hits all of the right notes and the love of the craft is distinctly noticeable while enjoying it. Because of the impressive showing, the plan now is to procure a sample of the Copper Pot bottling next for review. Pick up a 750 ML bottle at your local area Spec's Wines, Spirits, and Finer Foods for around 22 dollars.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Suggested Tasting Method: Neat or in a Manhattan.