Review: Canadian Mist Canadian Whisky

Canadian Mist 1This whisky is distilled at Collingwood Distillery, a town about 150 km north of Toronto. It is a distillery owned by Brown-Forman (who also own Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve) which was developed to create Canadian whiskies tailored to American palates. Initially, Canadian Mist was formulated for one market and made in this single distillery. The distillery now also produces Canadian Mist Black Diamond and Collingwood. According to Davin De Kergommeaux’s excellent book, Canadian Whisky, Canadian Mist is made from a single base nearly 100% corn whisky and a flavourful rye whisky (which we tasted the likes of in Collingwood 21 Year Old). The corn is fermented for a shorter time (about 3 days), bringing out cereal and nutty notes, and the rye is fermented for about 5 days, which enhances floral and fruity flavours.

Though this bottle was bought in Canada, it even says “Imported from Canada” on the label – it is all bottled in Kentucky. The bottle says it is at least 36 months old on the label, which means, for sure, that there is a good bit of young spirit in it. In Canada, the definition of “whisky” is that it is aged at least 36 months, so this doesn’t really add much to the value.

Bottle + Presentation: 4/5.

Nose: Fruit comes nicely off the nose, with some white grape, granny smith apples, and gooseberries. A bit of this “whitish” fruit is similar to that found in Collingwood, the premium brother to this whisky also produced at the same distillery. It’s a fairly light nose, with some bourbon nods and some corn aromas. There’s also a slight bit of malt coming through, and a good amount of dry oak as well. It’s a bit spirity, and has a bit of a meaty character, which detracts a bit. Vanilla, as usual, comes out increasingly as the glass sits. It has a bit of a spicy edge (which doesn’t meld too well with the harshness of the nose), though it doesn’t resemble clear spices to me. 22.5/30

Taste: Still a decent amount of fruit, with some young corn flavours and rye spiciness coming in with more force than noticed on the nose. There is some movement, as the palate starts largely with fruit and moves towards more oak, maple, cedar, and vanilla near the end, with a bit of spice. It tastes quite young, which lends some harshness and raw-ness which doesn’t help the effort. Because I get many of the harsher, young notes, and still a decent amount of wood, I wonder if they blended some old whiskies into a generally young whisky blend to give some backbone. There’s also a really interesting flavour, perhaps from the yeast, that is reminding me of plain greek yoghurt, interestingly enough! At the end, there’s a bit too much undue bitterness – but it doesn’t detract as much as it might. Overall, as well, it is a bit sweet. 22/30

Finish: The flavour does a good job of continuing on the palate after swallowing, but is a bit flat and fairly quickly fades off to a bit of bitterness, but doesn’t die out for some time. The finish is fruity, but a bit darker than the nose and the finish with some earthiness and a bit of rye spiciness. 11/15

Canadian Mist 2Conclusion: One thing I like about this whisky is that there’s a bit of movement – the nose is light and fruity, and the palate goes a bit heavier and darker until, I find, the finish is the darkest and heaviest of all. However, it’s a bit raw and unpleasant – despite some promising elements of light fruitiness and some decent bourbon notes on the nose. 14.5/20

Overall: 74/100

My Top 15 “Mid-Range” Canadian Whiskies (Sept. 2014)

I recently posted a list of my top 10 Canadian budget whiskies, so now begs the question – what happens if you find 10 dollars on your way to the liquor store and have $40 to spend? Of course, the definition of “mid-range” could be widely varied, but, because at this point there aren’t too many whiskies over $50, if I increase the price much more the list will start to look like my report card.  I spent much of the summer doing head to head tastings of my top 31 Canadian whiskies available in Ontario costing less than $40. Here are the top 15, of whiskies which were available in Ontario in 2013:

Top “Mid-range” Canadian Whiskies

  1. Pike Creek 10 Year Old, $40

Fruit and spice, juxtaposed together brilliantly – this is Pike Creek – a spicy rye finished in port barrels. To be honest, whether this or Lot no. 40 hits the top of this list is likely more dependent on my mood than anything else. If I want a slightly sweeter, more overtly fruity whisky still with some good rye spice bite- I take Pike Creek. If I want a more broadly spicy, bolder whisky – I pick Lot no. 40. In fact, some days, I might arrange my top 3 as lot no. 40, forty creek copper pot, and then pike creek. But, today, I give it to Pike Creek.

  1. Lot no. 40, $40

A 100% malted rye whisky full of complexity, spice, and fruit.

  1. Forty Creek Copper Pot, $30

Spicy, Fruity, Complex, Elegant…much like the ones above. This was number one on my budget list, and you can see that even with an extra 10$ added to the cap, this whisky still holds its own very well.

  1. Century Reserve Lot 15/25, $33

A 100% corn whisky from Highwood Distillers which includes stocks between 15 and 25 years old – yet it’s still surprisingly spicy and reminiscent of rye.

  1. Hiram Walker Special Old, $25

A wonderful spicy rye coming from Hiram Walker distillery – forgive the tacky bottle and you’ll find some pretty great stuff inside.

  1. Alberta Premium Dark Horse, $30

This dark, fruity whisky comes in at 45% and has some controversy associated with it due to the small amounts of sherry added to the whisky during blending – regardless, it tastes pretty good.

  1. Crown Royal Limited Edition, $40

This whisky is light and elegant, and packed with fruit. It’s always one I often introduce to people just starting with Canadian whisky, and I quite like it, though it’s quite a bit lighter than the previous 6 whiskies on this list.

  1. Canadian Club Small Batch Classic, $28

A 12 year old “small batch” offering from Canadian Club, it has a wonderful combination of earthiness and spice.

  1. Wiser’s Small Batch, $30

A wonderful spicy offering with a bit lacking on the nose and finish, which it well makes up for in its delivery on the palate.

10. Schenley Golden Wedding $25

Serving you good rye since 1856.

11. Stalk and Barrel Special 1+11 Blend, $40

This whisky comes out of the Still Waters craft distillery near Toronto, Ontario – a true “blended” Canadian whisky from different distillery sources, bottled without added colour or chill-filtration in the truest craft sense. It’s in great demand and they can’t keep up with it at Still Waters.

12. Royal Canadian Small Batch, $40

A whisky made from a blending of barrels from a large stock bought by Sazerac a few years ago. Well done, complex, and subtle – done in line with the Canadian style.

13. Centenniel 10 year old, $27

A wheat whisky from highwood distillers in High River, Alberta, consisting of wheat and rye – from the Canadian distillery which specializes in production of wheat whisky.

14. Crown Royal Black, $33

A bit of a “bolder” Crown Royal, though still holding to their elegant and rich style. Though not that much larger in body than the usual Crown Royals, it treads the line between bold and delicate pretty well.

15. Seagram’s VO, $25

Also a whisky that has been in production a long time, since its initial production for a wedding in the early 20th century and a key illicit whisky during American prohibition.

 

*it should be noted that $40 is an arbitrary number and there are some fabulous whiskies just a few dollars more than this, including Danfield’s 21 Year Old ($45, which would easily top this list if $45 were the mark), and Century Reserve 21 Year old at $48. But, then, it’s a unforgiving cycle and we’re fast approaching the even better Wiser’s Legacy ($50), and Crown Royal Reserve ($53).

The whiskies evaluated in this tasting series were: Alberta Premium, Alberta Premium Dark Horse, Alberta Springs 10 Y.O., Canada Gold, Canadian 83, Canadian Club, Canadian Club Reserve, Canadian Club Small Batch Classic, Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask, Centenniel 10 Year Old, Century Reserve Lot 15/25, Crown Royal Deluxe, Crown Royal Black, Crown Royal Limited Edition, Forty Creek Barrel Select, Forty Creek Copper Pot, Gibson’s 12 Year Old, Gibson’s Sterling, Hiram Walker Special Old, Lot no. 40, Pike Creek 10 Y.O., Proof, Royal Canadian Small Batch, Schenley Golden Wedding, Schenley OFC, Seagram’s V.O., Stalk & Barrel 1+11, White Owl, Wiser’s Deluxe, and Wiser’s Small Batch.

My Top 10 Budget Canadian Whiskies (Sept. 2014)

One of my hopes ever since I started the blog was to release a list of my favourite budget Canadian whiskies, for a number of reasons:

  • There are a number of quite decent budget Canadian whiskies
  • It is a great way to start appreciating Canadian whiskies, and there are certainly some budget Canadian whiskies that are not very good, and won’t bring you back wanting much more from Canada
  • For those just learning to appreciate whisky in general, there is no need to break the bank – there are good, complex whiskies that cost less per serving than a decent beer or glass of wine

Over all my tastings of Canadian whiskies i selected my top 20 generally available (in Ontario) “budget” whiskies , defining “budget” to be less than 30 Canadian dollars in Ontario in 2014. All 20 are listed at the bottom of this post. I created this list by a series of head-to-head tastings involving 2 of each of these whiskies (a lengthy project!). Listed below are my top 10, listed with the Ontario price per 750 ml. As a reference for those not in Ontario, the cheapest 750 ml bottles you can get here are $24.

 Top Budget Canadian Whiskies

  1. Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve, $30
  • Spicy, Fruity, Complex, and even at 43%. I can’t really recommend this whisky highly enough, particularly because of the price. It has all the elegance of Forty Creek Barrel Select, but with added complexity and boldness. This is the Canadian whisky I offer to guests – and it is just good drinking.
  1. Hiram Walker Special Old, $25
  • A wonderful spice-loaded, but not too heavy, rye coming from Hiram Walker distillery – forgive the tacky bottle and you’ll find some pretty great stuff inside.
  1. Alberta Premium Dark Horse, $30
  • This dark, fruity whisky comes in at 45% and has some controversy associated with it due to the small amounts of sherry added to the whisky during production- regardless, it tastes pretty good.
  1. Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12, $28
  • A 12 year old “small batch” offering from Canadian Club, it has a wonderful combination of earthiness and spice.
  1. Wiser’s Small Batch, $30
  • A wonderful spicy offering with a bit lacking on the nose and finish, which it well makes up for in its delivery on the palate.
  1. Schenley Golden Wedding, $25
  • A “marriage” of three whiskies of different ages to capture the characteristics of each. They’ve been making this one a long time (since 1856!)
  1. Seagram’s VO, $25
  • Also a whisky that has been in production a long time, since its initial production for a wedding in the early 20th century and a key illicit whisky during American prohibition.
  1. Centenniel 10 year old., $27
  • A wheat whisky from highwood distillers in High River, Alberta, consisting of wheat and rye – from the Canadian distillery which specializes in production of wheat whisky.
  1. Canadian Club Reserve, $27
  • A nine year old offering from Canadian Club with more rye grain in the recipe than other Canadian Club offerings, resulting in a bit of a spicier character in places.

10. Forty Creek Barrel Select, $27

  • This whisky is fabulous, accessible, with a brilliant nose. It’s the bottom of the lineup at Forty Creek, but it’s a good one.

*It should be noted that if the “budget” threshold were $33, then Century Reserve Lot 15/25 would have been the number 2 whisky on this list.

 

I recommend all of the whiskies on the list, though I don’t think they’re all equally approachable. The distribution of Canadian whiskies isn’t great to countries beyond the US (and even that is limited), so if you are from elsewhere and are looking into Canadian whisky hopefully you can find one or two bottlings to help you start.

The whiskies evaluated in this tasting series were: Alberta Premium, Alberta Premium Dark Horse, Alberta Springs 10 Y.O., Canada Gold, Canadian 83, Canadian Club Premium, Canadian Club Reserve, Canadian Club Small Batch Classic, Centenniel 10 Year Old, Crown Royal Deluxe, Forty Creek Barrel Select, Forty Creek Copper Pot, Gibson’s 12 Year Old, Gibson’s Sterling, Hiram Walker Special Old, Schenley Golden Wedding, Schenley OFC, Seagram’s V.O., Wiser’s Deluxe, and Wiser’s Small Batch.

I also included whiskies up to 40$ in my tasting competitions, and I will post a “mid-range” list soon. For a non-cost constrained opinion, see my report card.

Review: White Owl Canadian Whisky

White Owl 2 (Large)Here is a rarity – an aged white whisky. Highwood Distillers in High River, Alberta crafted this one for the premium cocktail market, to compete with premium vodkas and mixing drinks. It is made from wheat and rye whiskies, aged for as long as 12 years, with a particularly high rye content. After the whisky is aged, it is filtered through beds of charcoal, stripping it of colour, and removing a lot of flavours – lightening up the spirit and changing it. A lot of rye is used in the whisky because much of the flavour gets stripped out, and the blenders want some of the rye to come through.

This is not crafted to be a sipping whisky, so I hesitated for a while to post a rating because it is not a sipping whisky, in the traditional sense (much like the last one I reviewed, Proof Whisky). However, I will post it, with the qualification that this is an absolutely fabulous whisky to mix – and is one of my favourites to use. While that is said, I still don’t mind sipping this – it’s just quite a bit different. Also, it is a wonderful tribute to Canadian whisky – which is largely mixed. Indeed, much of Canadian whisky is made not to be sipped slowly neat, but to be sipped as a component of a cocktail. It is thanks to this fact that Canadian whisky, until very recently, was the most consumed whisky in the US, even above bourbon and scotch (I think it was overtaken within the last year or two). As I myself have had a growing appreciation for good cocktails, I will be returning to write some more on cocktails and in particular cocktails with this whisky once I have done some more research and experimentation.

The oak has done its good work on this one, and the effect is similar to the work of good oak on a well aged whisky (a good 18 year old, honeyed, viscous, and balanced) compared to a 12 year old version – but on a vodka or white rum as a base, not a whisky. Complexity, body, finish, and grip are all added. I compared a diluted vodka and diluted White Owl (both to the same strength), and the white owl is much softer, rounder, with much more flavour, body, and richness – even diluted. It shows why all the cocktail folk are buzzing about this one….

Bottle + Presentation: 5/5. One of my favourite bottles – it looks really impressive. It’s much more in the style of a premium vodka than a whisky,  but that’s fine by me.

Nose: This one, of course, is quite different. Quite spirit-like – with lots of vapours coming off the nose in the style of a vodka rather than a whisky. There’s a buttery note, with a bit of vanilla, almost a bit like some rum-flavoured candies or buttery caramels, and a hint of light honey. There’s also a bit of negative bitterness and meatiness with some rye whiskies that I find – but it isn’t that prominent and isn’t really that much of a detraction. It’s very simple – the light, buttery caramel is quite nice though. 21.5/30

Taste: Clean, and distinctly buttery, with some light vanilla, caramel, a touch of molasses and brown sugar, and a slight sweet edge (though not that sweet). It is quite clean, yet it is quite rich despite being not overly complex. It reminds me of many of the sweet and honeyed notes of Jack Daniel’s, and, indeed, I have tasted Jack Daniel’s in a comparitive tasting and found it strongly reminded me of this – I suppose that charcoal filtration in both whiskies does unearth certain flavours to the surface. 25/30

Finish: Very clean, with some rye spice coming through – cinnamon, clove, and a bit of the buttery, rich taste on the palate – which remains for some time, with a touch of oak even coming out from time to time. Surprisingly spicy, in fact – spicier than the whole experience so far, I think. 11.5/15

Conclusion: As I said earlier, I feel bad rating this as a sipping whisky, because it is not. It’s still pleasant to sip, though the nose isn’t great. However, really, if you have a bottle of this it White Owl 3 (Large)needs to be mixed – that’s what it was crafted for and that’s what it’s really good at. From what I’ve heard, Highwood can’t keep up with demand for this, because of all the mixologists. It would provide a great twist on white rum cocktails, as well as give some depth and breadth to many vodka cocktails. 15.5/20

Overall Score: 78.5/100

 

Review: Proof Canadian Whisky

ProofThis comes from a Canadian company, Proof Brands, which makes a whisky, vodka, and a white rum. Proof brands is based out of Toronto, but this whisky was produced (distilled, aged, and blended) in Alberta (though I don’t know where).  It is targeted to the cocktail community. The whisky is made from rye and wheat (no barley), and aged in charred oak barrels, and bottled at 42%. Centenniel 10 Year Old is also made from rye and wheat, but it is altogether different.

On some level, I hesitate to grade this because it is produced for the upscale cocktail community (which I have consistently gained more respect for), and I grade for sipping whiskies. Regardless, I am giving this whisky a sipping score, and I have heard many enjoy to just sip this one, often on the rocks. On one level, to fully appreciate Canadian Whisky, you need to know cocktails, which I have less authority speaking about (though I am gaining some experience there too!). Mixing is a different world from plain whisky, and it is much more than a consolation prize for bad whisky, as it seems to be at times in the whisky world. For Canadian whisky, I value whisky blogs which also have some knowledge of cocktails, as does The Rum Howler Blog, which I recommend.

Bottle + Presentation: 4 /5. A bit different, but the bottle would look good on a bar shelf. However, it is only 500 ml, which is fine, but means you might be fooled into thinking it is cheaper than other economy brands when it is only 2/3 of the volume.

Nose: Very interesting – quite citrusy, fruity and different – it reminds me both of fruit brandy and tequila. Grapefruit, pear, caramel, wine gums, and an almost medicinal cough-syrup type aroma, orange, orange peel, guava – quite bright, and off the nose seems sweet and sour. This seems to be well crafted for cocktails, based on the nose. I do like the bright fruitiness, and I am not quite sure whether I don’t mind or don’t like the medicinal quality. Doesn’t have a lot of the typical notes of rye spice found in Canadian whisky – but this bottle is certainly packed with fruit. 25.5/30

Taste: Orange, and a bit of candy-like fruit punch to it, more touches of cough syrup, blackberry flavoured hard candy – the flavours are mostly surface level, and underneath there is a hint of the grains involved, along with a light bitterness, similar in feel to what is found in grapefruit juice. It’s a bit too candy-like for sipping (though not overly sweet), I think – though it is still very interesting and unique in what I’ve tasted. 22.5/30

Finish: A hint of rye comes through lightly at last, along with lots of orange (much like the chewy orange-flavoured vitamin C pills), blackberry, blackcurrant, and even a touch of dry wheat which outlasts the other flavours, though the slight fruitiness sticks through all of it. There’s a nagging touch of slightly sour bitterness. 11.5/15

Conclusion: This whisky is so different than any other that I have tasted that it almost seems more in the category of a brandy or tequila. It’s very interesting. It seems destined for good cocktails, and the fruity kick and bright profile would fit in very well in many cocktails, I think, and could even be substituted with tequila I imagine for a different take on them -but it doesn’t have the strong peppery and vegetal tones and would likely get overwhelmed in a drink like a tequila sunrise, but, substituting this in an el diablo (ginger beer, lime juice, black currant liqueur, and some of this) really brings out both the spiciness of the ginger and the fruitiness of the black currant – Proof (2)and I like it better than the tequila version. Their recommended cocktail, the urban, is also quite wonderful (see proofbrands.com for the recipe). As a sipping whisky, I’m not sure what to think, but as a mixing whisky – this is where my mind is really getting interested. So far, this is the only whisky I have decided to regularly keep on my mixing shelf. 16/20

Overall: 79.5/100

Review: Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky

Forty Creek Confed OakWhisky is a fascinating process, packed with flavour, partially because of the amount of time it takes to make whisky. Not only does whisky spend years in a barrel, the flavour for whisky really starts with the wood – which takes years upon years to form before being put into a barrel. This whisky pays homage to that fact in name as the trees from which the barrels come were around 150 years old – meaning that they started to grow in the 1860s – sometime around the time of the Canadian Confederation, which was the process by which Canada was formed into an independent nation in 1867. Hence, it is called “Confederation Oak”, and the the batches are labeled 1867.

John Hall, the whisky maker at Forty Creek, always wanted to see what whisky would taste like which is aged in Canadian Oak, as most whisky is aged in either American or European oak – different species which yield different flavours. Canadian oak is still the same species as American oak, but, because of the harsher winters it tends to be more dense resulting in a slightly different chemical composition interacting with the whisky. At present, this is the only whisky aged in Canadian oak.

Sourcing Canadian oak was not easy, and it happened nearly by accident – John Hall noticed some trees being cut down near the distillery, and went over and ended up buying the three trees. 90 barrels were made out of the trees, and, if my memory serves me correctly, the staves made from the oak were air-dried for 2 full years before being dry enough to make into a barrel. The trees were taken down to the US and made into barrels by the same supplier which makes most of the barrels used to make Kentucky Bourbon. John Hall says they are perhaps the most expensive barrels ever produced with all the work he had to put into them.

This whisky is made in line with the Forty Creek process, with aged, single grain barley, rye, and corn whiskies being blended together before being finished in the Canadian oak barrels for two years. (For more information on the Forty Creek whisky-making process, see my review for Barrel Select). It was originally a special, limited release, but it has been put into the regular lineup. This review is from batch 1867-B, the follow up batch from the original.

Bottle + Presentation: 5/5

Nose: The nose is complex, and multifaceted – there appears to be a grain, cream, fruit, sweet, wood, and spice component all in this one nose, brilliantly integrated together. On the grain side, rye shines through brilliantly, with a fresh bread element – like fresh and hot rye bread. The rye is slighly grassy, reminding me a bit of a an irish pot still type grassiness. On the cream side, there’s wonderful creamy butterscotch and brilliant sweetness in the nose. The creaminess is fascinating – there’s butterscotch, whipped cream, caramel, and vanilla all shining through. On the sweet side, there’s honey, with some floral hints of lavender, and maple, which takes its place ahead of the oak that is present in the nose as well. In terms of spice, there is slight, subtle cinnamon spice and some pepper. I also get some stewed, slightly sour fruit like apricots or plums along with a bit of tartness as with blackberries.The nose evolves, with a bit more smokiness and fruitiness coming out as it sits and I incredibly enjoy appreciating all that is going on. It’s wonderful too, that it changes as you continue to sip through the bottle. On this, my third evaluative tasting, navel orange peel is rising like mad out of the glass. An absolute pleasure. 28.5/30

Taste: Silky smooth, with sweet citrus entry with some orange, as rising rye spice is balanced with beautiful vanilla sweetness which gives way to more vanilla and some nuts. A bit oaky as well, not too much, but just enough. it’s fruity, sometimes even showing some brandy character, as well as some raisins – a touch of a fruitcake comes in at times. A touch smoky, with the signature forty creek toasted oak present in the middle. The sweet/spice dynamic is brilliant, and the fruitiness is just about perfect to compliment the two. And even with that, there’s some intriguing tartness. 28.5/30

Finish: Long, slow, tingly, warming, slightly dry, and sweet. Very pleasant – you can chew on the flavour for some time. A bit earthy, with good depth and some maple syrup, nuts, vanilla, and some grassy rye. The tingly spice is also brilliant, with a touch of clove, and it is one of my favourite mouth experiences. Also, the tartness is also ever so slightly present just asking you to take another sip. As I sip, I find the finish has a bit more and more oak. 14/15

Forty Creek Confed Oak (3)Conclusion: hugely enjoyable with a fantastic (and approachable) flavour profile and brilliant balance. The soft, sweet flavours sit beside the spicy and bolder flavours, and a remarkable amount is going on. This is one of my absolute favourite Canadians, if not my favourite. 19/20

Overall Score: 95/100

 

 

Fast Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky

double_barrel

An image from Forty Creek’s Website

This whisky was originally a special release of Forty Creek, but is now a part of their regular line. Every year John Hall, the whisky maker, drives down to Kentucky to hand-pick the bourbon barrels that go into this whisky – and he doesn’t accept just any old cask – it must match the profile he wants. In the style of forty creek whiskies, the barley, rye, and corn are distilled and aged separately in different casks, and then married together and combined into a bourbon barrel. My sample is from lot no. 240.

For more information on the unique whisky making process at Forty Creek, please see my review for Forty Creek Barrel Select.

Bottle + Presentation: 5/5. fantastic bottle, as with all the other forty creek bottles.

Nose: It’s forty creek with a bourbon edge! there is the Forty Creek signature toasted oak, alongside bourbon aromas of earthy corn, dried apricot, and caramel. Honey and rye comes through very nicely, as well. A nice graininess comes through as well, reminding me of white flour and oats, and, interestingly, hot green pepper. 25/30

Taste: The bourbon flavours make up the base to this one, upon which sit rye, toasted oak, vanilla, a slight sweetness, and cinnamon, a touch of clove, and warm spiciness. There are some dried fruits as well – raisins, prunes, and dried apricots. The toasted oak and wonderful subtle sweetness and spiciness is still present, and is wonderful. There are some strawberry notes too. 26/30

Finish: Dried fruits slowly fade to a slightly dry spiciness and oakiness. Nice mouthfeel as well, with the whisky coating the inside of the mouth and slowly breaking down as well. 13/15

Conclusion: This is quite a wonderful player in forty creek whiskies – and I’ve found the more I have it, the more I like it. The bourbon cask wonderfully complements the forty creek style, and the style is still very much present – the cask does not overwhelm it at all. However, it’s not as deep or as rich as some of the other releases (and I find the price point a little difficult when it’s so much cheaper to go with copper pot or barrel select, which are both fabulous whiskies). 17/20

Overall: 86/100