Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Forty Creek Barrel Select is the basic mass market product of the Forty Creek Distillery. The reviewed bottle has been open about 13 months, and is 80% full. This review is in non-sequential format (SQVH)
Strength: the flavours of all of the component elements, grain, oak, and wine, are intensely powerful from nose to palate to finish. They are almost too strong, and this is at 40% abv. Score 23/25 all whiskies; 24/25 Canadian Category
Quality: for the first 5 months this manifest incredibly strong rye spicy flavours, very strong very sweet vanilla/caramel wood flavours (from new oak, I believe), and, this being Canadian blended whisky, strong wine flavours, as well. I liked the whisky during this time and would have rated it at 87 overall.
At about 5 months after the bottle was opened, sulphur drowned out everything else and made this bottle undrinkable...
...but, in the last couple of months, for reasons which I do not understand, the sulphur, which can still be tasted to a small degree, has receded in intensity and the whisky is once again drinkable, albeit softened, compared to the experience of the first 5 months.
Jim Murray reports in his 2013 Bible that Forty Creek has gotten the Sulphur out of Barrel Select with his more recently sampled batch. I am scoring this on the first 5 months, and on the supposition that Mr. Murray has it right for the more recent batches. Score 21/25 all; 23/25 Canadian
Variety: there is tons of variety in these flavours. The mouth pops with their intensity. Score 23/25 all; 24/25 Canadian
Harmony: the intense flavours together make a slightly strange brew. Not refined, not sophisticated, but highly entertaining and very robust. A bruiser. Score 20/25 all; 21/25 Canadian
Total Scores: 87 all; 92 Canadian
Comment: I like this whisky. I am enthusiastic at the prospect that my next bottle of Forty Creek Barrel Select will likely not have an issue with Sulphur flavours. Personally I prefer the Barrel Select over what I have sampled of the Forty Creek Confederation Oak, which is to me dull and washed-out by comparison