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Kittling Ridge is a young distillery. John K. Hall, who made a career in the wine world, bought the Rieder Distillery in 1992, an eau-de-vie factory, and transformed it into today’s Kittling Ridge Distillery. Hall had first turned it into a winery, but soon started distilling as well. Hence, both whisky and wine casks are maturing side by side in the warehouses. The whisky is brought to market under the Forty Creek label, with the Barrel Select as the flagship. We taste the Double Barrel Reserve, a mix of virgin American oak and first fill bourbon casks from Kentucky.
The nose is very creamy like a butter croissant with extra butter, a hefty helping of maple syrup on top. Deliciously sweet as from brown sugar, quite some pecan and coconut. Freshly cut grass. Something sourish like lemon tart. A lot of caramel, butterscotch and hints of sweet corn. Toated oak, rye bread and dill. Mustard seeds! Wood shavings. This is very complex. Every whiff offers something new.
It is light, but spicy, on the palate. Pepper and vanille. Mustard. Quite alcoholic, honestly. Slightly bitter on walnuts and lemon zest. Then becomes sweeter on violets (the hard, purple candy). But it cannot fulfil the promise of the nose.
The finish is very long, honeysweet and spicy.
The nose is truly magnificent, but on the palate it does not follow through. Pity. But still a wonderful whisky. With thanks to my Canadian friend Jean-Francois for the sample.