I had to take a couple of days off my Canada series, as we went up to a Bobcaygeon cottage for Canada Day weekend (with some Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve)! But today I look at another Forty Creek whisky, and one that is much rarer.
John's Private Cask is a bit of a misnomer - it actually comes from 23 casks, each containing rye, corn or malted barley whiskies. Whisky maker John Hall then blended them into 9,000 bottles which by now are impossible to find. Only time will tell if a Private Cask No. 2 awaits us in the future. A huge debt of thanks and gratitude to @paddockjudge for this fantastic bottle.
The colour is deep copper. The nose is a powerful mix of sweet corn and rye spices: butter, clotted cream, white pepper, chilli powder, mint, sage and pencil shavings. A touch of freshly-squeezed lime. Extremely complex and quite oaky. A wee drop of water brings out more oak - caramel, vanilla, raisins.
The palate is creamy, bourbon-like, with rubber boots, wet slate, spices (ginger, cumin) and more pronounced oakiness. Also complex, and truly delicious. As with the nose, a mere drop of water brings the wood to the front. Very interesting.
The finish is dusty with more pencil shavings. A bit of sawdust and a saltiness right at the end of the finish. This is a stellar whisky, beautiful and complex, and incredibly enjoyable. Last week I opened this with a friend, and we smoked whisky-infused cigars (also from Forty Creek) as we enjoyed this. If you can find it - get it!
I'm willing to bet auction houses are your only source at this point - and given how seldom Canadian whiskies end up at auction - good luck!
Are you still seeing John's Private Cask No. 1 floating around in stores in Ontario? Very good stuff, indeed.