To make the Forty Creek Barrel Select master distiller John Hall starts by distilling three different whiskies. A rye whisky, a barley whisky and a corn whisky that he puts into separate casks and allows them to age in their own right. Once they’re “ready” he blends the three separate components together to create the style and character he has in mind. This is fairly standard practice in Canada.
Forty Creek Barrel Select is a highly lauded, highly esteemed Canadian Whiskey by those who enjoy Canadian Whisky. Folks who spend their waking hours exploring this category have given it quite high marks and so it was with bated breath that I opened this bottle to see what magic it held inside.
Forty Creek Barrel Select Info
Region: Ontario, Canada
Distiller: Forty Creek
Mashbill: Rye Whisky + Barley Whisky + Corn Whisky
Cask: ex-Bourbon Barrels
Forty Creek Barrel Select Review
Butterscotch, vanilla, caramel corn and Rice Krispies with a touch of espresso, spice and nuts that all comes across incredibly sweet with a grainy undertone.
Butterscotch, caramel corn, waxy candy corn, toffee and a touch of spice and toasted bread. Again it’s candy sweet and that is my biggest issue. I’m not a sweets person and this is very sweet.
Med. fade of butterscotch, vanilla, candy corn, maple and toffee that dies down to an ambiguous grainy sweetness.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not well balance (needs more spice!), a medium body and a light syrupy feel.
Forty Creek Barrel Select is an avalanche of butterscotch followed by a grainy sweetness that floods the senses and follows through the finish. There is complexity under the sweetness, but it’s nearly buried. Even after letting it sit for 30 minutes and, reluctantly, adding some water it was still a cavalcade of sweet notes with only light hints of anything dark or earthy attempting to balance it out.
I feel like I should throw out a couple of caveats though to those reading this and considering a bottle of the Forty Creek Barrel Select. First, I’m not a sweets person. I’m the salty / savory type; the only sugar I have in my house is some Baker’s Sugar I use for my humming bird feeder and a small jar of honey that’s lasted nearly 6 years. Second, I should note that on the whole I’m not a fan of the Canadian style of whisky – mostly because of the previous point. However, if you do like Canadian whisky then it’s quite possible you’d enjoy this.
SCORE: 79/100 C+
*Disclosure: This sample of Forty Creek Barrel Select was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Forty Creek Barrel Select Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose -
- Palate -
- Finish -
- Balance, Body & Feel -
Forty Creek Barrel Select is cloying butterscotch bomb, but I’m also not a huge Canadian Whisky fan… take that for what it’s worth.