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Forty Creek Heritage Limited Edition 2017

Happy Canada Day! - Part I of II

2 587

@talexanderReview by @talexander

1st Jul 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Today is looking like a quiet Canada Day Sunday - Pam has gone back to bed and Maggie is at her mom's, so I'm going to review a couple of Canadians before I properly start my day (which includes hitting the laundromat as my washing machine konked out yesterday...grrrrrr....)

This is the latest (2017) Limited Edition from Forty Creek, dubbed Heritage (Lot 011). According to the packaging, this is an "homage to our first ever, and most sought after release." I presume that they mean John's Private Cask? No idea. By the way, now that John Hall is no longer involved, who is the new "Master Blender" they refer to a couple of times on the packaging? No name is given. In any case, it is a blend of "corn, rye and barley whiskies" (I presume they mean malted barley) that is then finished in toasted American Oak. 16,500 bottles were produced.

The colour is a golden amber. Buttery on the nose, with cinnamon, caramel sauce, icing sugar and marzipan (as you might guess, very dessert-y). Orange marmalade. Thick honey. Pretty oaky. A drop of water only brings out a tiny bit of spice and wood smoke. Very approachable, and not hugely complex - however, it's a little on the sweet side for me.

The palate is just as sweet, with fondant, caramel and vanilla ice cream. Macadamia. Slightly oily mouthfeel. A nice rye bitterness balances out the creamy sweetness, especially if you add water. More complex and balanced than the nose - this is quite delicious.

The long finish is very nutty with some rye spice kicking in, followed by more caramel, toasted oak and apple-cinnamon. I'm glad I'm studying this one in the morning, as it is like a liquid cinnamon roll (not a horrid Cinnabon, I mean a real one!) Normally I'm not big on overly sweet whiskies, but this one has enough bite going on in the background to grab my attention. That mysterious Master Blender With No Name has done quite nicely here. Davin de Kergommeaux scores this a 92, which I think is a bit generous.

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paddockjudge commented

@talexander, nice review! I see we have found some similar notes in this whisky, always a good sign. I was drawn in by the gentle mouth feel of this one, a bit too soft maybe, but something not easily found. Perhaps the new release, chosen by a group of Forty Creek enthusiasts, will step up and grab our attention...for all the right reasons

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

talexander commented

Re: our our text conversation yesterday, @OdysseusUnbound told me that the 2018 Forty Creek LE will have wine as an additive. Do you know if they've done this before (not counting Spike and Cream)?

2 years ago 0

OdysseusUnbound commented

From their website, re: Forty Creek Unity

The ingredients chosen to make Forty Creek Unity are as unique as the fans who helped pick the final whisky. Our Master Blender first selected a blend of Canadian whiskies which were further aged with the addition of high mocha wood staves. This was then combined with an exceptional 10 year old corn whisky which helps give it that smooth Forty Creek trademark taste. To layer additional sweetness and complexity to the blend, he lastly added a small amount of very rare Portuguese-style Starboard wine that had been aged 15 years in previously used Forty Creek whisky barrels.

2 years ago 0

Nozinan commented


Clearly, by using a starboard wine, FC is doing things the "right" way. If they were doing it the "left" way, it would have been a port wine, but they are not allowed to call it port-style anymore. It's probably just wine from their sister winery.

Clearly, they are taking us for a (boat) ride...

2 years ago 4Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@talexander, I've often wondered what goes into some blends. One way around directly adding wine to whisky is by using verrrry wet wine barrels. During the John K Hall era at Kittling Ridge/Forty Creek there were two stunning releases of Port Wood Reserve. I suspect verrry wet barrels were employed. Point of interest for those not familiar with Forty Creek/Kittling Ridge history, John Hall, the owner and founder, was also a wine maker. He made port and used these barrels for the Port Wood Reserve, thus my suspicion for the use of verrry wet port barrels. Forty Creek discontinued their wine operations prior to the sale of FC to Campari....most likely a condition of the sale.

2 years ago 0

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