Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 [The Dam Pub Flight Review Set #1]


Back with another review, this one also from The Dam Pub. You need to go there, because not only is the food good, the ambiance distinctly Celtic, but there are over 700 whiskies available. And if that doesn’t get you there, then the Bread Pudding or the Chocolate Pate will. Or the monthly whisky club.

But enough about giving them free time in my reviews. I have to say, I’m really excited to try this dram. You see, Forty Creek started bringing out special John K. Hall casks back in 2007, to celebrate 15 years of whisky making. And they sold out. Quick.

Thus, when you find both in the wild that you can’t find, and when you’re like me, a Forty Creek Fan Boy, you jump on them like a Smart kid on a Fattie.

Wait, do I have that wrong? Too late now.

Up first, the “newer” one, from (as far as I can tell) 2011, Forty Creek John Private Cask No.1. From the website, “It is a blend of rye, corn & barley whiskies, which have all been copper pot distilled and aged as single grain whiskies.”

I mean, that sounds like a lot of other Canadian whiskies. But this is John’s Private Cask, right? That evokes visions of him having it in his house, fighting off frothing whisky lovers.

Or perhaps I’m just a little under the weather while writing this.

Price: All sold out.

Region: Canadian

Bottle No: 00205

Abv: 40.1%

Colour: Walnut

Nose: Rich caramel, plum, violets, light stewed carrots

It’s initially a huge blast of strong, 50% fat caramel, cooking on the stove. And for the first little bit, that’s all. Eventually (with patience and time), there’s some floral notes and a little bit of earth.

Initially I really liked the rich caramel, however.. well, it’s a little one note after awhile, kinda like Butterscotch snaps. Or the beginning of Song 2 by Blur. Or dating a crazy girlfriend.

Taste: Caramel, cardamon, black pepper, orange, peach drank, rose water

Again with the Caramel John! Oy vey!

Seriously though, it’s mostly citrus in flavour. A little bit of floral from the rye, yet it all tastes quite thin and a little cheap.

Finish: Caramel, smooth, mace (nutmeg), fennel root, zucchini

And again with the smooth caramel. I mean, don’t get me really, this is a smooth, somewhat complex finish, but it’s mostly caramel.

Like sucking on a caramel candy.

Conclusion: A tad bit of a let down on this one. Just let me start by saying this is better than Barrel Select or Copper Pot, which are both good in their own rights as well. But seriously, why make it so low Abv? Why aim for a blend of blends and use this method just to end up with a ton of rich, rich caramel.

There are better Forty Creeks out there, only aim for this one if you can try it as a dram or if you’re a collector. The Copper Pot is almost as good or the Double Barrel is better.


World Whisky review #44, Canada review #22, Whisky Network review #229

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #130


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