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Forty Creek Founder's Reserve - 2016 Ltd. Ed.

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@Nelom
Nelom started a discussion

I just received a newsletter update from Chip Dykstra about this year's Forty Creek limited edition whisky. Here's a quote:

"It’s that time of year again, each year in May or June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve, and the distillery is once again inviting the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle."

More here: therumhowlerblog.com/2016/05/…

And from Forty Creek's website:

"On Thursday, June 2, 2016 at noon, we will be giving you the opportunity to reserve your own bottle number of our 2016 Limited Edition, Forty Creek Founder's Reserve...

With only 12,000 bottles produced, we are inviting Canadian whisky lovers, like yourself, the opportunity to reserve your own bottle number. You are welcome to choose any number between 3 and 12,000 and can choose a number that is of significance to you – perhaps a birthdate, an anniversary or even a lucky number...

This whisky is an artful blend of rye, corn and barley whisky stocks. Barley is the dominant whisky with rye and corn whiskies added for further complexity. The whisky stocks have been aged from four to nine years in a mixture of both lightly toasted and heavily charred American White oak barrels. Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve is blended and bottled at 45% alc./vol. to impart a bold aroma and flavour profile."

Reservation and pickup details, and other stuff, can be found here: www.fortycreekwhisky.com/whatsnew.html

8 years ago

14 replies

@Nelom
Nelom replied

Has anyone reserved a numbered bottle from Forty Creek before? It sounds like it could be a fun thing, not just to get to pick your own number, but also to go down there on whisky weekend and pick it up.

According to the website it'll retail for $74.95. Once the reservations open, should we expect the asking price to be more, less or the same? I honestly could see all three being reasonable. More, because you get to pick your own number and reserve a bottle. Less, because you're buying it directly from Forty Creek. The same, because that's the market price for that whisky.

8 years ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire replied

@Nelom So, where are you registered to receive the newsletter? I guess I'll check your link.

8 years ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire replied

Ah yes, Canadian alcohol laws raise their head once again. The reserved bottles must be picked up at the distillery in Ontario on a specific weekend in September. It may be a spectacular bottle, but I won't be spending $1200 on airfare to get it. Hopefully, some will make it's way to BC (although I'm having a hard enough time finding their regular production Conf. Oak Res. here).

8 years ago 0

@Nelom
Nelom replied

@Spitfire

On the right-hand side of his website there's a small form called "Email Subscription" where you can subscribe to updates to his blog. Be warned, he does a lot of writing that's not about whisky, so depending on your interests you may not care for most of his updates. Then again, he doesn't update multiple times daily or anything, so it shouldn't end up being a nuisance.

As for the difficulty in picking up one of these reserved bottles, that is indeed unfortunate. Did Three Grain Harmony (which was last year's Special Edition) make it out to your neck of the woods? That may be a good indicator for whether you'll get this one.

I'm not suggesting you do spend that $1200, but just so you know, the Special Edition bottles are always picked up during Forty Creek's "whisky weekend" when they have some festivities at the distillery with tours, BBQ, live music and stuff. I've never been, but I hear it's a good time. If you Google "Forty Creek whisky weekend" I'm sure you'll find some write-ups about the whole affair.

Here's Forty Creek's website about it. It's empty now, but they should add some details later: fortycreekwhisky.com/Whisky_weekend.html/

It's always the last weekend in September, which is a good time to come to the NIagara region, so perhaps something to keep in mind for future vacation planning. Combining the whisky weekend with some sightseeing and other fun stuff doesn't sound like a bad way to spend a week, if you ask me. :)

8 years ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire replied

@Nelom Yes, actually I was able to buy a bottle of 3GH this past fall, although it took some effort (it was part of the BCLDB's Premium Spirit Release, which of course didn't make it to my local outlet and you aren't allowed to purchase from another outlet...).

So, I assume some of the 2016 release may make it out here, but whether I will be able to actually get any is another question. I will speak to the BCLDB and perhaps a few independents.

8 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

A few things that may dampen (or increase) your enthusiasm:

  1. You have to get in early to get your favourite numbers. All the really special ones seem to get taken quickly.

  2. You or a designate have to pick up the bottle...you have until the end of October generally. Unclaimed bottles are then distributed for sale.

  3. This limited edition is 3000 bottles more than the last one. The price (I did not see this myself) appears to be $5 higher than all the previous releases from Confederation Oak onward. When I saw the 3 Gran Harmony in BC and the Private Cask #1 in Alberta they were cheaper than the Ontario price. The list price is what it will cost at the LCBO.

  4. The whisky contents are all less than 10 years old (I think they said 4-9), diluted to 45%.

  5. John Hall is likely not responsible for this release. At SOT it was reported that he is no longer present at the distillery.

  6. Whisky weekend is fun, but it has become a circus. It is very busy and loud and the only upside is free samples at the bar. Just like SOT, if you go with friends it might be worth it.

Forty Creek Confederation Oak, the original batch, was one of the first whiskies I tried and I have always given the distillery more latitude out of patriotism. But to be honest I feel they peaked at Heart of Gold. Evolution was interesting but not as good, and the Harmony was probably not worth $70 a bottle compared to the quality of other similarly priced whiskies such as (at the time) Booker's.

The composition (barley forward) is appealing, I will probably reserve my numbers, but will need to try before I buy heavily into this stuff, especially with the price increase.

8 years ago 0

@Nelom
Nelom replied

@Nozinan Thanks for all that info, much appreciated.

I didn't know John Hall wasn't there anymore, but now the past tense of their announcement makes sense:

"As the 10th Annual Limited Edition, Forty Creek is excited to introduce Founder’s Reserve – a special, rare whisky and a tribute to our founder, John K. Hall. John was a pioneer in the Canadian Whisky industry and after 10 years of special editions, it is only fitting we pay tribute to his legacy."

At first I thought he had died, I even Googled on it.

8 years ago 0

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey replied

I would expect John Hall to retire, formally, soon. There have been a number of rumours going around about Campari and what they are doing, but no good to spread gossip on a public forum. But, from a consumer standpoint, let's say we have seen some decline recently in the special releases (particularly, in my view, far too much young corn whisky). Nonetheless, last year's Copper Pot was better than the previous year, and Barrel Select has stayed of consistent quality. Confed Oak has declined from batch A and B but the new casks in the F releases are showing a bit of improvement from D, which in my opinion is the worst of the lot. Double Barrel these days is full of potential but also full of immature whisky.

This release is barley-focused, so I imagine more of the older (9 y.o.) whisky will be barley, with younger corn and rye whisky (probably far too much 4 y.o. corn in this release, as last year). They also, at Forty Creek, are pushing the barrels a bit longer ("until they fall apart"), so they need to age them quite a bit longer, and I am skeptical that a 4 year now is the same quality as a 4 year of 5 years ago.

However, I have some hope - maybe this is a similar vatting of some favourite casks. The nice part, really, about going to the distillery is getting a few minutes with John Hall and getting some bottles signed. It's really quite respectable that he spends most of the day spending 2-3 minutes with hundreds of rabid consumers.

8 years ago 0

Astroke replied

Like a Whiskey Lemming I will jump to pick up a bottle

8 years ago 0

@SKEPTIC
SKEPTIC replied

@Astroke

Sadly, that's a very apt description of a lot of consumers.... case in point the disappearance of thousands of bottles of a mediocre whisky over a weekend after some guy with jaundice (see his picture on the book) says it's the best world whisky of the year...

8 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Spitfire
Spitfire replied

@SKEPTIC I, too, will purchase a bottle of FC FR--if I can. But I understand your point--one wonders how much "outside influences" have coloured certain reviewers, at least in the case of certain recent proclamations in the industry. (To date, I have yet to even see a bottle of CR NHR on local store shelves, and I live in Canada...).

8 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

You'll be hard pressed to find a bigger Forty Creek booster than me. I might just take a step back from Forty Creek until the Reserve Release is re-established as a world class whisky.

8 years ago 1Who liked this?