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Since almost every review (some of my own included!) of Forty Creek seems to go into their unique "meritage" process, I will spare the reader this time. However, a few unique things about Forty Creek: they only distill their line of products once in a pot still, they use a climate controlled warehouse, and most of their grain they don't mill themselves.
Barrel select is composed of a mix of 6-10 year old single grain malted barley, corn, and rye whiskies. These whiskies are then blended together and set in sherry casks for further maturation.
Nose: Spicy rye, vanilla, and a very distinctive toasted oak smell as well which I don't find in places beyond Forty Creek. A bit of lighter tropical fruit, almost like guavas and perhaps marmelade. Oak also comes through, with heavy vanilla notes and caramel. The spiciness in the rye is very inviting. Additionally, it's quite creamy, even with scents of buttercream. The vanilla, the rye, the toasted oak are all quite prominent and well balanced. Black currants, plums, and orange peel are wonderfully present and seem to lift the nose to be fresh and light - in some ways, the fruitiness is reminiscent of port wine. Cinnamon is present in the nose too, which builds as it sits. 88%
Taste: Slightly viscous, with a dry rye spice build up, which dies down and subsides to vanilla and a reasonably complex grain taste and toasted wood. in the middle, malt seems to come a tiny bit forward with a bit of a grassy note, and creaminess from corn also comes in. Fruity, with a bit of a sherry note, and a few dried berries seem to emerge at the end with some of that marmelade from the nose. the spices tingle slightly at the end, with touches of clove and ginger. The toasted oak plays center stage, with the rye vying heavily for it. The sweetness is at a great level, I think too, for this whisky - just enough, but not too much for the profile. 83%
Finish: A bit dry...light with a bit of rye and the oak, but it's not very complex or engaging. I find that as I drink more the spices come out a bit more, which I certainly don't mind, with come cinnamon and ginger and white pepper. A bit of the creaminess comes through as well, as well as a bit of black currant after some time...I did hope for a bit more than this after the nose and taste. 73%
Intrigue: The value for this whisky is great, and it stands up well as a sipper and is one of my favourite mixers. It's not too bland, sweet, or light as can be the case with some Canadian whiskies - but it's still very approachable. 80%
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 81.
*I have also posted a separate format (with similar content) of this review at whiskywon.wordpress.com/2014/08/…