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Forty Creek John's Private Cask No. 1

Subtle and sophisticated

0 289

@MegawattReview by @Megawatt

16th Jan 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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From the description on the website, it is not immediately clear what sets John's Private Cask apart from other Forty Creek whiskies, or other Canadian whiskies in general. The impression I get is that this is a "reserve whisky", the distiller having set aside casks deemed to be of above-average quality. Also, no fancy wood finishing was implemented, allowing the grains to show their full character.

The nose is subtle. It is not the sweet toffee and vanilla of typical Canadian whisky. Rather you get toasted walnut, hints of fresh oak, dried fruit (dates, apricots). Definitely smells like Forty Creek.

The whisky is silky in the mouth but it quickly hits you with a bracing tartness and then a whole load of spice. The sweetness is mostly of a dried-fruit variety, as well as orange peel. The spices peak quickly and then fade, leaving toasty nut flavours. For a soft-spoken whisky there is a lot going on here.

The finish is long and leaves traces of that dried fruit flavour. There is not a trace of unwanted sourness or bitterness.

True to his word, John Hall showcases the component grains in this bottling. One gets the feeling that a higher than normal proportion of rye was used, but traces of creamy malt also make their presence felt. This is a different style of Canadian whisky; subtle and sophisticated.

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Victor commented

Thank you for a very nice review. Your description sounds to me like a more refined, somewhat less sweet, and toned down version of Canadian Club Classic 12 yo. How would you compare those two whiskies to one another?

10 years ago 0

Megawatt commented

Hmm, interesting observation. There may be some similarities but I think there are more differences. Forty Creek has a different flavour profile and this whisky really showcases it, subtle though it may be. I think the range of flavours, from earthiness to toasted nuts to dried fruits, is much more diverse than you would find in CCC. Also given the burst of spiciness I wouldn't call this a toned-down whisky. When I say "subtle" I guess I mean that it takes time to get the full benefit of the aromas and flavours. The only thing I can really compare it to are other Forty Creek whiskies. For what it's worth, I liked Confederation Oak Reserve just a little better.

10 years ago 0

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