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Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

Mixed thoughts on this, all around

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@JasonHambreyReview by @JasonHambrey

17th Aug 2014


Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Before posting my review, I looked into the other reviews of this bottling on connosr. The results seemed to match much of my experience of this whisky - the nose is fabulous, and the follow through isn't quite there - except for some batches. But, some ratings are high, some are low.

I've tasted from four different bottles of this, though I only sat down to formally review one (lot no. 240, which @YakLord also reviewed). All of them were decently good, but only one of them was phenomenal - which was a sample I had during a Forty Creek tasting in Grimsby. It had sat in the glass for close to an hour, so I wondered if this whisky in particular improves with some time to sit in the glass (as Forty Creek Heart of Gold certainly does). @paddockjudge has found that a bottle of his drastically improved with some oxygen in the bottle, which could be a similar effect to sitting in a glass for an hour.

But, my hunch with this one has been that it is subject to some batch variation. It is unfortunately expensive, thanks to the price of the highly in-demand bourbon casks, which detracts many - also why I have never bought a full bottle (though I was tempted after that sample last year). Also difficult when there is a superior bottling (in my opinion) from the same brand at less than half the price (Forty Creek Copper Pot).

Here is my review, for lot no. 240, which reflects my general feelings about this bottling.

Nose: The bourbon creates a nice framework for Forty Creek here - the two go together very nicely. You get earthy corn, dried apricot, and caramel added to the usual forty creek aromas of toasted oak and rye. Honey, green pepper, and some good graininess is also present. 83%

Taste: The bourbon makes its way in here as well. And you have rye, toasted oak, vanilla, a slight sweetness, and cinnamon, a touch of clove, and warm spiciness. There are some dried fruits as well - raisins, prunes, and dried apricots. The toasted oak and wonderful subtle sweetness and spiciness is still present, and is wonderful. There are some strawberry notes too. 87%

Finish: dried fruits, spice, and a bit of oak, with pretty good mouthfeel 87%

Intrigue: the nose on this batch wasn't as good as my wonderful sample in Grimsby, but generally the bourbon has done some good and I like this bottling above Barrel Select every time. The cask is very present, but doesn't dominate the Forty Creek style, which I also like. But, it sits pretty low on the pedestal relative to their other special releases (and even Copper Pot!). 85%

Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 85.

*I have also posted a separate format (with similar tasting content) of this review at whiskywon.wordpress.com/2014/08/…

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