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This whisky is an offering from Forty Creek with a bit bigger flavour in mind - and they even put it in the bottle at 43%. A stock of carefully selected aged single grain rye, malt, and corn whiskies is blended together and then re-barreled for some time to marry before being bottled.
Nose: Much bolder than the barrel select; the signature forty creek toasted oak comes forth, and port-like fruit, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins...fairly complex - even with a touch of mint! Develops caramel as the glass airs. I also get traces of chocolate and a bit of earthiness, and even a few wisps of smoke. 88%
Taste: A smooth citrus entry with some good nice oakiness (lots of toasted oak!), then spicy rye which builds up, followed by a vanilla fade, followed by warming dry rye once again. As you can likely tell, I like the "plot line" of this one. There's still lots of fruit reminiscent of port wine. Also, I find, the whisky seems to change as you drink it, as if you are drinking a different one every time. Toasted oak, cloves, honey, and a bit of nuttiness also feature as well. There's some good underlying sweetness throughout as well - not too much - but the right amount. Pretty nice mouthfeel as well...quite brilliant. 92%
Finish: A long dry lingering spicy rye finish, with some nuttiness and a touch of grape juice. Eventually the spice dies down to vanilla, particularly if one drinks some water after. After some time there is even some black olive coming through...which to me is a manifestation and development of some of the earthiness found in the nose. I found even that the finish improved the water I drank after the whisky....87%
Intrigue: This is my favourite budget whisky, and I would stock it even if it came in at a more hefty price. I find it wonderfully complex, interesting, and tasty. It still holds well to the house style at Forty Creek - but it is bigger and bolder which works really well.90%
I am a big fan of this whisky. If you haven't had it, try it when you get the chance!
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 90.
*I have also posted a separate format (with similar content) of this review at whiskywon.wordpress.com/2014/08/…