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Heart of Gold is Forty Creek's 2013 annual limited release. Only 9000 bottles exist of this whisky, which is more rye-forward than distiller John K. Hall's other releases, and is matured in toasted oak barrels. This is not 100% rye though, but is also made from corn and malted barley. The lot number for all 9000 bottles is 1972 (the year Neil Young's single "Heart of Gold" came out). I was at Forty Creek's annual Whisky Weekend when this was released, where we tasted it alongside other expressions, toured the distillery and warehouse and generally had an amazing time! The after parties, where we sat around drinking whisky and shooting the shit with Johanne McInnis, Mark Gillespie and Davin de Kergommeaux, among others, will not be forgotten...
The colour is a reddish copper. On the nose, extremely fruity with raspberries, peaches and apricots. Very nutty too, with hazelnuts and almonds. Some patchouli: you're in a hemp store in Kensington Market. Cardamom. A little floral, but not too much. Strangely, water seems to do little with the nose here.
On the palate, much spicier than the nose, with more Canadian rye notes coming forward. Creamy mouthfeel. Lots of ginger and toasted oak livening up the vanilla and butterscotch. Water makes it even creamier and spicier.
The finish has more nutmeg and cinnamon, and some dry mustiness, with late-arriving pencil shavings. While not quite on the level of Confederation Oak or John's Private Cask #1, this is another excellent annual release from Forty Creek, well worth seeking out, especially if you are a rye fanatic.