I’m somewhat behind on my reviews these days, what with being busy as all hell. So I held up some of my sample reviews and decided instead to review a bottle I have kicking around.
I like Forty Creek. I like what they do. They try different things, which is a hell of a lot more than some other larger distilleries do. You get the feeling they like what they are doing.
Also they are run by a guy with a name that starts with J, which can only mean good things.
Forty Creek Heart of Gold was made to be different than other Forty Creek offerings. Yes, they still aged different whiskies and then mixed them together (rather than using a mash bill).
This whisky is meant to hearken back to old Canadian whiskies. You know, the ones that are very Rye-forward, with lots of spice and fruit in them. Which is pretty cool. And he aged it for about a decade, waiting until it was just right.
Now I differ with whisky nerds on Forty Creek offerings. I liked Small batch reserve, and wasn’t as big of a fan of John’s Private cask. I liked the Port Wood Reserve (second one) while others had some issues with it. Now I have a Forty Creek offering that is beloved by whisky nerds.
So maybe I’ll like this? Maybe I won’t? Let try it and see, shall we?
Price: No Longer Available
Bottle #: 3455
Colour: 2.5YR 4/6
Nose: Floral, plum, varnish, mint, oak, light caramel, cinnamon
Well, this is more of a floral rye, that’s for certain. Actually reminds me of a stronger Lowland Scotch. Not cask strength level, but lighter.
It’s not all flowers and puppies though; the rye aspect has spicy notes to it that levels it all out. Needed to be manly and all that.
Taste: Raspberry, oak, rosemary, butter, squash, light honey, cream
Fruity, spicey, and buttery. Honestly really nice dram. It has a good amount of earth and creamy notes. Not too hot.
I somewhat wish they had gone to 45% for this one like the Port Cask (2012). It’s not overly lacking, however I think it could have been teased up a little bit.
Finish: Oak, ginger, butter, caramel, maple candy, floral, liquorice hard candy
Spice. Lots of spice. Falling into a Bulk Food store amount of spice. And caramel and maple. Really nice and consistent.
Somewhat short finish, though nice.
Conclusion: I like this whisky. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles… because why would you add that to a whisky? No it doesn’t have a cask finish, or hops, or different oak. It’s a rye forward whisky that’s nice to sip and has great notes throughout.
All in all, worth picking up, in my case. I liked it even better than John’s Private Casks, and about as much as the Port Cask. Still not blowing my mind, but consistently good enough to be proud of as a Canuck whisky drinker.
World Whisky review #98, Canadian review #36, Whisky Network review #511