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Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve

Happy Birthday, Maggie!

1 794

@talexanderReview by @talexander

7th Apr 2013

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    24
  • Overall
    94

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nine years ago yesterday was the greatest day of my life: my beautiful daughter Maggie was born in Belleville ON. Back then my life was very different than it is now: I was heavier, not-so-happily married, and whisky was little more than something I never gave more than a second thought to. Maggie came to me like a warm bright light and has shone through the next nine years (and continues to), and each year after that has made me happier and happier.

Last year I ordered a bottle of Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve, Bottle #0406 (April 6, get it?) I had planned to open it on Maggie's 9th birthday, but I ended up procuring another bottle (#0703, the number is of no significance) to enjoy with some friends last fall. So I've decided to taste this from the open bottle - and I'll save #0406 for her 10th.

Forty Creek distiller John Hall is also a winemaker - and port maker. His vintage ports are from Niagara grown grapes and aged in heavily charred white oak barrels. This whisky, after being matured (each grain being matured in separate barrels) is then married together in these used port barrels for another two years. Note that this lot (#061) is Forty Creek's 2nd release of Port Wood Reserve (6600 bottles were produced).

The colour is dark red copper. The nose is extremely fruity: blood oranges, raspberries, cherries, apricots and some tropical fruit. Behind that is sweet cotton candy (a prominent note in Forty Creek's Confederation Oak), caramel and vanilla. Rye notes are popping out as well. Milk chocolate spiced with cinnamon and cloves . A rich, luxurious nose. As is often the case with Canadian whiskies, a little water brings out the rye grain.

The palate is silky soft with dark dried fruit, spices as above but with some pepper as well. Turkish Delight, more orange and vanilla with a background of oak. Water brings out more spicy rye notes, with cumin and black cherry. Delicious!

The finish is long but not overpowering, with crisp rye spices, gentle caramel and hints of delicate port, with lingering wood smoke. This bottle has been open since the fall, and this dram comes from the last fifth left. When I tasted it back then, I enjoyed it but now it is really pretty incredible. Beautifully rich and luxurious, and sweet enough to make it seem natural to taste it at 10:30am on a Sunday morning. Note Jim Murray scores this a 95.5, if that interests you. It's the perfect whisky to celebrate that incredible day, nine short years ago. Happy Birthday Maggie!

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7 comments

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@ talexander -a great review for all the right reasons.

A great big whisky that is absolutely perfect for special occasions; no doubt 04-06-14 will be one of those special days.

Happy Birthday Maggie!

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Thank you! Absolutely.

4 years ago 0

@cpstecroix
cpstecroix commented

Happy Birthday dear Maggie...Tom, save the numbered bottle for a few more years and share a dram from it with your lovely daughter. Even if she hates it, the fact that you've saved it for so long will make it pretty special. Just a though...

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

There are only a few dozen bottles of the Port Wood Reserve remaining on LCBO shelves yet we are still 5 months away from the annual Forty Creek Limited Release. I've tucked away a few of these gems for a rainy day.

4 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Good call! Myself, am on a buying hiatus until Scotland (which didn't stop me from buying a Talisker a couple of weeks ago...sigh)

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

The perfect dram apr├Ęs Holiday Feast. I'm looking forward to this one.

11 months ago 0

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