I HAVE been on the hunt for Forty Creek for the last six months - and it's certainly not easy to find here in Scotland. This Canadian whisky isn't for sale at retail in the UK, although I certainly hope that changes in the near future. But last week while on my way to an old work colleague's leaving bash, I thought I would nip into a nearby pub as I was running a wee bit early and didn't want to be the first to arrive at the party.
While scanning the scores of bottles aligning the wall, I
caught a glimpse of a bottle of Forty Creek. My heart skipped a beat and
I immediately ordered a dram of the Forty Creek Barrel Select. I paid
for the drink and retired to a quite corner to sample this highly
anticipated whisky - and I wasn't disappointed.
The Barrel Select
is a blend of rye, barley and corn, which are distilled separately in
small batches before being aged in American white oak barrels for
between six and 10 years. The trio of spirits are then brought together
and aged in sherry cask barrels for an additional six months to round
off the spirit. The result is a whisky full of character and one I'll
definitely be looking out for again.
On the nose I got a smack of rye, sweet toffee, marmalade, juicy pears and a lovely toasty nutty quality. On
the palate the Barrel Select is sweet and warming, with plenty of
caramel, spice, honey, cherry, orange and buttered popcorn. The finish
is lovely with an edge of dry wood and flashes of creamy vanilla. It was
so good that I bought myself another two drams from the bar before
heading off to the party in a rather good mood - but the night was about
to get even better.
At the bar at the next pub, I saw - slightly
hidden behind several other bottles - a beautiful bottle of Forty
Creek's Heart of Gold. This stunning whisky is limited to only 9000
bottles and is rare as hen's teeth in this part of the world so I felt
incredibly privileged to have the chance of buying a dram - and I also took the picture on the right to prove I wasn't dreaming!
the Barrel Select, the Heart of Gold also uses rye, barley and corn, but
in this case the rye is the dominant force - and I do love rye! As I
was in company - and good company at that - I didn't have a chance to
get my tasting notes down, but I tried to memorise what was in the glass
and here's what I found.
The nose had a woody spiciness to it,
with ginger, butterscotch, freshly cut grass, orange, dark fruit and a
floral flourish. I even found the Heart of Gold to have some rum
qualities to it.
In the mouth, the whisky was fruity, with
delicious brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, thick, chunky orange marmalade
and a lovely nuttiness, while the long, lingering finish was full of
lively pepper, citrus, vanilla, and a wee drop of golden syrup.
was blown away by both these excellent whiskies and I really hope it's
not too long before I can finally buy a bottle of Forty Creek to call my
own as I really think spending some quality time with this fabulous
Canadian product would open up more flavours and aromas.
The odds are sadly not in my favour, but just having the chance to try two of Forty Creek's products in one evening was a dream come true and it left a huge smile on my face for days afterwards.