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Posts Tagged ‘Forty Creek Whisky’

Forty Creek Evolution!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2014

Forty Creek Evolution is the eighth of the yearly special Limited Edition Releases from Forty Creek Whisky, and there will be only 9,000 bottles produced! Of course, once again Forty Creek is offering (for a limited time) Canadian Whisky lovers an opportunity to reserve their own bottle number of Forty Creek Evolution. Customers can reserve any number between 0003 and 9000. The Reservations are being offered between May 21st and June 16th, 2014, and you can choose a number that has special significance for you. Maybe it is a special birthday, an anniversary of significance, or perhaps something whimsical like the date that your favourite hockey team last won the Stanley Cup, it is really completely up to you!

Reservations open at noon on Wednesday, May 21 at 12:00 p.m. EST, and the numbers are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. More information about the Reservation process can be found using this link:

http://www.fortycreekwhisky.com/whatsnew.html

You may reserve more than one bottle. However, due to provincial and federal regulations Forty Creek cannot ship whisky bottles. They must be purchased and picked up at the distillery in Grimsby, Ontario after the whisky is released later in the fall. (The whisky release weekend is scheduled for Saturday, September, 27th and Sunday, September 28th, 2014.)

johnhallHere are some notes on Forty Creek 2014 Evolution Limited Release from John K. Hall, Whisky Maker:

“Every year I look forward to introducing a new limited edition Forty Creek taste expression. This year is no exception. I am so proud to introduce Forty Creek Evolution to you and our family of Forty Creek Whiskies.

Forty Creek Evolution is my 8th limited release. Each of my limited whiskies has a taste of its own, yet remains characteristically true to the Forty Creek family. The limited releases have provided me with a canvas to grow as a whisky maker. This year’s release is an evolution of not just the whiskies that I have made but as I have evolved as a whisky maker.

I am very excited to share Forty Creek 2014 Evolution with you as it offers a glimpse into this journey. After all, that is what whisky making and whisky tasting is all about. It is a journey of discovery and evolution.

Most of the whiskies in this bottle began their journey 12 years ago. Initially, these whiskies were aged in American White Oak for 3 years. I then selected the barrels and re-distilled the aged whiskies in my copper pot still to further concentrate their wonderful flavours. This whisky was then re-barreled into French Oak casks that had previously held my Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for an additional 9 years! Finally, I introduced some of my favourite personally held barrels to the mix for balancing.

Evolution starts with fig, dates, anise, blackberry, black currants and bell peppers and then evolves into deep forest notes, cinnamon spice flares, cloves, nutmeg, chestnut and tobacco. There are wonderful hints of vanilla, sweet clover and butter, evolving milk chocolate, soft roasted oak, peach and apricot. Then comes a comfortable earthiness to this whisky that just constantly evolves. So, I have appropriately called it Evolution.

This whisky’s journey will become very clear to you as you discover the ever evolving complexities, subtleties, aromas, tastes and flavours that Evolution has to offer. “

PS: Once I have a bottle shot, I promise I will share it with everyone!

Cheers!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

# 10 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 16, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYForty Creek Whisky (as you know if you have been following this countdown) has for the past several years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in its release by offering to let those who pre-order the whisky to choose their own numbered bottle(s). These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are actually versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in certain selected oak barrels. Last year’s special release was the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve – 2012 Whisky.

PortwoodWhat makes this whisky special is that this edition of Forty Creek Whisky has been finished in Port Wine Barrels. The whisky was produced at 45 % alcohol by volume and was limited to only 6600 bottles.

I almost decided not to include the Portwood Reserve in my Countdown, not because I felt it wasn’t worthy (it definitely is); but rather because this particular bottling is almost gone. When I checked the AGLC and LCBO listings, I discovered that the Portwood Reserve is only available in very limited quantities as this whisky is almost sold out. My suggestion to those who are fans of Forty Creek Whisky is that if you do not have this whisky or if you want to gift a bottle this Christmas, you had better act fast. The Number 10 Canadian Whisky in my Christmas Advent Countdown, the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve (2012), will be all but gone by the end of this year.

You may read my 2012 review here:

# 10 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012

“… The scents and smells rising into the breezes above the glass remind me of dark ripe BC cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Some dry fruit sensations (reminiscent of raisins and prunes) are part of the overall fruit and berry aroma. Subtle but firm impressions of cinnamon and cloves join in with a bit of sweet Demerara sugar thrown in for good measure …

Glowing embers of cinnamon and cloves seem to take hold of the whisky in the exit. Rye spices, ginger and cardamom join in with vanilla and Demerara sugar chasing them.This is a beautiful sipping whisky!

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

# 13 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Confederation Oak

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 13, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYForty Creek Confederation Oak was built upon the foundation of John Hall’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and is basically a version of this whisky which has been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. These oak barrels were made from oak trees (growing only 40 miles from the distillery) which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (the birth of Canada as a nation), hence the name chosen for the whisky, Confederation Oak.

Confederation oakWhen I spoke to John Hall (Forty Creek founder and Whisky Maker) about this whisky, he mentioned that Canadian oak trees are heavier and more dense than American oak due to the harsher Canadian climate. As a result, the oak barrels made from these trees impart a different flavour characteristic to the whisky. The vanillans are more pronounced, and the wood tannins seem to be slightly stronger. In fact, John told me he almost scrapped this whisky altogether when after the first and the second years of ‘finishing’ in the Canadian oak barrels, the whisky was, to him, harsh and unappealing. But rather than scrapping the whisky, he allowed time to take its course. To his delight the whisky mellowed considerably after the third year of finishing, and the desired flavour profile for his whisky was achieved.

And what a flavour that was, John Hall’s Forty Creek Confederation Oak ranks Number 13 in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown. Here is a link to my review:

# 13 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Confederation Oak

“… The aroma from the glass begins with typical Canadian Whisky notes of light rye and oak.  Soon, however, I begin to notice caramel corn and light baking spices building, then a strong indication of the new oak barrels imparting their fresh tannin into the liquid as fresh scents of honeycomb, vanilla, cedar and toffee rise into the breezes above the glass. As the glass breathes, the oak becomes firmer and a certain smokiness from dried fruit develops. Fresh sap, raisins, dried apricots and spicy toffee are all apparent in the fully decanted glass …”

I am very happy that Forty Creek is a distillery that believes in patience. The extra time this whisky spent in the new oak barrels has paid handsome dividends. The result was not just a good whisky. Rather it is a whisky that is so good I shall be hoarding it, and I will dole out a dram here and a dram there just for special occasions and just special friends.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

 

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

#17 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYJohn Hall opened the Kittling Ridge Winery & Distillery in 1992. The whisky he developed, named Forty Creek, is like none other on the landscape of Canadian Whisky. For starters, John has chosen three grains as the base of his whisky. He distilled a corn whisky and aged it in heavily charred white oak barrels; he distilled a rye grain whisky and chose to age it in a lightly charred white oak; and he distilled a barley grain whisky to age in medium charred white oak. Interestingly, Mr. Hall chose to distill each grain only once, as by distilling only once, he believes the distillation captures the best that each grain has to offer in terms of flavour. The blend is then married in John’s own sherry casks to create what he calls his meritage. This serves as the base for the family of Forty Creek  Whiskies.

double-barrel-heroWhen Mr. Hall makes his Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve, one more step is taken in the maturation process. The final blend is set down in first run bourbon barrels for a final period of aging. This Double Barrel Whisky was introduced in the fall of 2008. As a collector, I purchased and saved a few bottles from the first release, and eventually selected one of those (Bottle number 0043 from Lot 240) to review. It is a few years later now and my Christmas Advent Countdown has given me a good excuse to review a more current bottling from Lot 247 (Bottle Number 05089). This is because Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is the Number 17 Whisky in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown.

Here is a link to my review of that bottle from Lot 247 (Bottle Number 05089).

#17 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

“… my nose detects the scent of maple syrup and rye spices with a nice rich oak and cedar woodiness from both glasses. This is a very bourbon-like nose complete with light indications of corn and almond as well as a honeycomb and vanillans …”

The use of young first rum Bourbon barrels (for the final stage of maturation) brings more fresh oak flavour forward creating a more complex (although perhaps also a slightly rougher) final spirit. I see this as a step forward for Canadian Whisky …

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 5, 2013

Heart_of_Gold_bottleForty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle. As well you can have your bottle signed by their own Master Distiller and Whisky Maker, John Hall, when you arrive to pick up your pre-ordered bottles. These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are basically versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in selected oak barrels. The 2013 Special Limited Release Canadian Whisky, Heart of Gold, is a spirit with an emphasis on Canadian rye grain.

According to Whisky Maker, John Hall:

“This project started nearly a decade ago, focusing specifically on Canada’s noble rye grain. I have always brought out the spicy, fruity notes of rye in my whiskies, but this time, I wanted to perfect how to capture the underlying delicate floral notes of the rye that too often get lost in the process.“

Heart of Gold is not a 100 % rye grain whisky, as the whisky blend also includes a barley whisky, which adds some nutty flavours, and a corn whisky, which adds weight and body. But make no mistake about it, the intent of John Hall in creating this whisky is to showcase the spicy, fruity and floral notes of Canadian Rye.

I was given a pre-release media sample a few months ago and from that small sample I constructed a review of the spirit which roughly coincided with the numbered bottle offering upon the Forty Creek website. At that time the whisky was just being bottled, but as is John Hall’s way, these bottles are ‘rested’ for up to two months before the whisky is released to the public.  Now that the whisky has been released I have had an opportunity to sample the spirit from a full sealed bottle. I decided to revisit the review to see if this resting period had had any effect upon the spirit or my review.

Here is a link to my newly revised review (which incidentally contains very few changes):

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

“… The breezes above the glass are full of wood spices (cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, sawdust and white pepper), and those breezes remind me of autumns past when the ripened grain in the fields was being combined …”

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 26, 2013

Heart_of_Gold_bottleForty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let the consumer choose their own numbered bottle. This year, reservations for Forty Creek’s 2013 Limited Release, Heart of Gold, will open at noon (EST) on Monday, May 27th, 2013 (and end June 21st, 2013). If you live in Ontario, and can make it to the distillery to pay for and pick up your numbered bottle, then you may choose any number between 00003 and 9,000 to be your own uniquely numbered bottle. The numbers are offered on a first come, first serve, basis and no two bottles will have the same number. (Complete details and the reservation form are available at the Forty Creek Whisky website.)

This year’s special release is a whisky with an emphasis on Canadian Rye Grain. Heart of Gold is not a 100 % rye grain whisky, as the whisky blend also includes a barley whisky, which adds some nutty flavours, and a corn whisky, which adds weight and body. But make no mistake about it, the intent of John Hall in creating this whisky is to showcase the spicy, fruity and floral notes of Canadian Rye.

You may click on the link to read my pre-release review:

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

“… The initial nose reminds me strongly of rye whisky as I remember it from my youth (seventies/early eighties). The breezes above the glass are full of wood spices (cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, sawdust and white pepper), and those breezes remind me of autumns past when the ripened grain in the fields was being combined. The air all around the farm would be full of the scents and smells of the harvest, complete with the straw left behind in windrows and the separated chaff and grain dust floating in the air above the fields and granaries …”

Please enjoy this preview of John Hall’s newest Special Release Canadian Whisky!

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If you are interested, here are the links to the other Forty Creek Special Release Whiskies I have reviewed :

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Announcing: Forty Creek – Heart of Gold

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2013

Heart_of_Gold_bottleForty Creek Whisky has just announced Heart of Gold as their 2013 limited release whisky.

According to the information from Forty Creek, Heart of Gold is a whisky that was inspired by both the heart of the distillation and the heart of the maker, and was created with an artist’s palette of noble grains, unusual yeast selection, copper pot stills and delicately toasted oak barrels, mixed with passion, innovation and patience. The project began almost ten years ago with a particular emphasis on Canadian rye grain.

According to Whisky Maker John Hall,

“I have always brought out the spicy, fruity notes of rye in my whisky, but this time, I wanted to perfect capturing the underlying delicate floral notes of the rye that too often get lost in the process. I decided to use a wine yeast strain for the fermentation because I felt this approach would allow the floral aromas and flavours to prevail.”

“I aged this rye whisky in lightly toasted barrels to ensure the oak did not overwhelm the subtle flavours captured in the heart of the distillation. Yes, my Heart of Gold is a rye forward whisky. But, it is not 100% rye. I believe the art of blending adds a complexity and creativity to the final whisky. The final Heart of Gold blend includes some barley whisky for nuttiness and some corn whisky for weight and body. Yet, the fruity, floral rye whisky notes are the star of this show!”

This special release will be limited to only 9000 individually numbered bottles. It will be bottled at 43%  alc./vol with a retail price of $69.95. Customers in Ontario may reserve any number between 00003 and 9,000.  These on-line reservations for numbered bottles will begin exactly at noon on May 27th and end June 21st. For more information follow this link

What’s new at Forty Creek?

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Review: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2012

The Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve, (like all Forty Creek Whiskies), is built upon Whisky Maker, John Hall’s, foundation of three separately distilled grains: barley, corn and rye. Each grain is distilled and aged in oak separately. When each whisky is ready, the three finished whiskies are blended together and ‘married’ in oak once more allowing the three to become one.

Indeed, John Hall’s flagship whisky, the Forty Creek Barrel Select is a perfect example of that concept of marrying three separately distilled and aged grain whiskies into one. The Copper Pot Reserve is a more ‘premium’ version of the Barrel Select. Mr. Hall chose his best grain whiskies as the base for the Copper Pot. He aged these best whiskies a little longer to bring in more flavour from the oak, and then he chose the best of these whiskies to marry together in oak once more to complete the final blend. The Copper Pot Whisky is bottled at 43 % abv (rather than the traditional 40 %) allowing this premium whisky to showcase its robust flavour.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial nose of the whisky brings oak and rye spices into the breezes above the glass with an effervescent orange peel zest riding the coattails of the spice. As the glass sits, green tobacco and orange marmalade jump in with a soft punky caramel tainting their scent. I detect some cinnamon and ginger rising up from the glass and my sense is that the Copper Pot is going to be a very interesting and complex whisky… “

You may read the full review here:

Review: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding whisky!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012 Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 13, 2012

Forty Creek Whisky has for the past several years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in its release by offering to let those who pre-order the whisky to choose their own numbered bottle(s). These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are actually versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in certain selected oak barrels. This year’s special release is the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve – 2012 Whisky.

This is the actually the second edition (lot 061) of the Portwood Reserve; the first edition (lot 060) was a very limited bottling released only in Ontario in 2009. As you have already determined, what makes this whisky special is that this Forty Creek Whisky has been finished in Port Wine Barrels. I am one of the lucky few who managed to buy a few bottles of the first edition 3 years ago, and as you can see by my 2009 review (see review here), I found this first edition of the Portwood Whisky very much to my liking. Of course, this means that I am delighted to have been sent a pre-release bottle of the second edition such that I can share my thoughts here on my website. This whisky is produced at 45 % alcohol by volume and is limited to only 6600 bottles and will be available in limited markets across Canada.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…  The scents and smells rising into the breezes above the glass remind me of dark ripe BC cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Some dry fruit sensations (reminiscent of raisins and prunes) are part of the overall fruit and berry aroma. Subtle but firm impressions of cinnamon and cloves join in with a bit of sweet Demerara sugar thrown in for good measure. There are strong impressions of oak and orange peel in the air as well as hints of rye spice… “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2012 Whisky

Included with the review is a very nice cocktail, the Portwood Manhattan. Please enjoy my review and the included cocktail, cheers!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Introducing: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 20, 2012

Forty Creek Distillery, formerly Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits, has announced the September release of their new Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve. Made in the same style, as the Forty Creek Barrel Select (See my write-up here: John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage), Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve is blended to be bold, complex, and flavourful. In fact, with the Forty Creek Copper Pot whisky, Master Distiller and Whisky Maker, John Hall has promised that he has ‘amped up’ the flavour to deliver a deeper and richer taste profile through patient extra aging in white oak barrels, and careful selection of whisky stocks.

The Copper Pot Reserve Whisky will be bottled at 43% alcohol by volume to complement the depth of flavour in this bold Canadian Whisky.

Here are the tasting notes from the distillery:

“… Deep copper (amber) colour. Bold aromas of toffee, nuts and spice. Dried stone fruits follow through on a smooth, supple entry.  Full bodied with rich brown spice notes and hints of marmalade. Finishes with a long, sensual fade. A whisky worthy savouring…”

Sadly, it seems this may be an Ontario only release.  I may have negotiate a road trip!

For those who are interested, here are my reviews for some of the other Forty Creek Whiskies from John Hall:

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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