This whisky is made at Forty Creek Distillery, under the supervision of John K. Hall like other Forty Creek whiskies. When I was there a year ago, John Hall said that it was their “budget whisky”, which he deemed important for a whisky brand – likely because barrels can be re-used beyond their normal life. However, it is 24.95 vs. 26.95 for barrel select, in Ontario, so the difference is not that large. It can be difficult to find, and is getting harder and harder to find in Ontario – so we’ll see what happens with this one.
Nose: A bit of sharp rye comes through on the nose, a touch of sherry, and I get some other dried fruit – mainly prunes, both in the scent and the slight tartness. I get some raspberries as well, with vanilla emerging more with time. There’s a touch of slight astingency in the nose as well. 22/30 (73%)
Taste: Quite sweet, with some honey notes and a nice balance of tartness and spice, and I also get a bit of sherry. Goes down quite easily, with some tingling spices as well. It’s a bit raw still, but it isn’t bad at all. There are some berry notes of raspberry as well and a few touches here and there of vanilla, ginger, and toasted oak. The balance is good, the acidity is enticing, and the spiciness is compelling…I’m impressed! The astringency from the nose is slightly present in the taste, but less than I expected. 24.5/30 (82%)
Finish: Finishes with some grainy notes, with the slight sweetness carrying through – which is actually a wonderful support for the light oak which is also present. The spices are slight, but slightly present. It’s short, and could be bigger – but it’s well done. 15.5/20 (77%)
Conclusion: There really isn’t much that is “off” with this whisky. It is straightforward, a bit simple and raw, but enjoyable. Not one that would detract from mixing, and certainly one you wouldn’t mind casually sipping though it’s not one to command your attention as the best do. 15.5/20 (78%)