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Forty Creek Evolution

Niagara Cab Franc Icewine

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

3rd Oct 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Evolution is the 2014 special release from Forty Creek. As explained by the "Creator" of "Evolution", the whisky was originally aged 3 years then re-distilled and aged further, being finished in red wine casks.

This review comes after an initial tasting at the distillery. Tonight I opened a new bottle and reviewed it from a Glencairn Glass. The notes with water are entered in parallel to the neat notes, but occurred after 1-2 cc were added and the dram was left to sit for 20-30 minutes.


Neat - First thing that hits me is Niagara Cabernet Franc icewine. Rich, warm, sweet and fruity. Then I get notes of Chocolate, a hint of almond extract (which I despise but it does not detract here), also a bare whiff of butterscotch and vanilla, and the smell of raspberries that are just starting to ferment (?rot), in a good way...

With water - the nose becomes more one-dimensional with just the icewine nose. After about an hour a whiff of chocolate. I prefer the nose neat.


Neat - chocolate, sherry, sweet red wine, a very predominant wine influence on the palate. Hint of bourbon/vanilla, some fig/prune in the background

Water adds a slight tartness to it and I lose the chocolate. It increases the spiciness. I like the taste with water but I prefer it neat.

Finish - sherry, spice, sweet, Lasts longer than other non-single malts I've tried. Leaves you with some dry wine tannins coating your mouth. Nothing unpleasant here.

Balance: It is a bit heavy on the wine influence and a bit sweet.

In summary this is an excellent result for John Hall. I find it very different from last year's release, and no less or more enjoyable (though it may be helpful to put 2 or more special releases head to head). The more I drink this first dram from the bottle, the more I like it, but unlike the Heart of Gold and particularly the Confederation Oak and the Portwood, this is not a dram to just drink absent-mindedly. I think it asks for and deserves some attention. Sure, read, talk, watch TV, but when you raise your glass to your nose or lips, it's worth focusing on it.

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JasonHambrey commented

I agree. very nice, and you need to take your time with it. Frankly, I didn't expect this one to be that great - but it is perhaps my favorite Forty Creek whisky to date, though some of the Confederation Oak batches have also been marvelous (and I missed out on John's Private Cask, so perhaps that would be up there too). I'll have to post my review soon...it is currently tied for my highest rated Canadian whisky of the 60 Canadians I've rated, and I spent a long time trying to see if I'd put it up that high...but it definitely convinced me.

8 years ago 0

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