On Monday, June 27, my co-worker Josh, business-partner-in-crime Celine and I had the pleasure of attending a Forty Creek Masterclass at Tuc Craft Kitchen in Gastown. Hosted by Forty Creek Brand Ambassador Chris Thompson, we were taken on a journey through the history of Forty Creek as well as a tasting of their Classic, Flavoured and Premium products.
I have been no stranger to their core products (Forty Creek Barrel Select and Copper Pot Reserve), however was pleasantly surprised by their flavoured whiskies and premium blends. Unlike many honey-flavoured whiskies, I found that Forty Creek’s Spike Honey Spiced whisky tasted like real honey/honeycomb and real whisky. At 40% ABV they’ve maintained the strength of a regular whisky but added a touch of sweetness to it. For the ladies who are easing themselves into whisky, this product is definitely for you. Similarly, I was delighted with the Forty Creek Cream (think Baileys, but better). Made with fresh dairy you can definitely tell the difference in quality between this product and some of the other competitive brands that use a powdered milk in their products. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with these products in the future.
While the Spike Honey Spiced and Cream were great, the creme de la creme was certainly their Confederation Oak expression. I really enjoyed this blend and even more so the story behind how it came to be. John Hall, Forty Creek’s founder and apparent Canadian patriot had the idea to experiment with aging his whisky in Canadian white oak casks (as the majority of all whisky in the world is aged in either American or European oak). After searching for true Canadian oak, he found a managed forest in Brantford, Ontario in which the only time they would ever cut down trees were for canopy management. After much back and forth, John finally acquired two trees in which he transformed into staves and eventually charred Canadian oak barrels. After aging whisky in them for 6 months, he tested the whisky and it tasted like sawdust. Disheartened he decided to keep aging the whisky and after two years tried it once again and voila… the Confederation Oak Reserve was born.
Enjoy some of the images from the event below as well as a bit more information about Forty Creek and the tasting notes for their products.
ABOUT FORTY CREEK
John Hall started his distillery in 1992 in the small town of Grimsby, Ontario. Little did he know, more 20 years later, his passion and patience would translate into top selling spirits brands.
John Hall brought new life into the Canadian Whisky category and Forty Creek Whisky became the fastest growing whisky in North America. It’s recognized as the first successfully launched Canadian Whisky brand in over 60 years.
The 2014 acquisition of Forty Creek by the global leading spirits company Gruppo Campari, assures that the Forty Creek family of Canadian Whiskies will now be enjoyed by an audience around the world.
Barrel Select: Aromas of honey, vanilla and apricot fuse with toasty oak, black walnut and spice. The flavour is rich and bold on the palate and is completed in a smooth, long finish.
Copper Pot: Deep copper (amber) colour. Bold aromas of toffee, nuts and spice. Dried stone fruits follow through on a smooth, supple entry. Full bodied with rich brown spice notes and hints of marmalade.
Spike Honey Spiced: Bold aromas of honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar are fused with toasty oak, dried fruit and dark chocolate. The flavour is rich and creamy with flares of brown spices and hints of butterscotch.
Cream: Rich flavours of vanilla, chocolate and caramel. A wonderful, creamy mouth-feel. The perfect after dinner choice, served over ice or in your favourite coffee.
Double Barrel: Wonderful golden roasted aroma filled with deep vanilla notes and highlighted with a rich spice that lifts off the tongue. The finish is very smooth, mellow and extra long.
Confederation Oak: A very full bodied whisky with constantly evolving aromas and flavours. Evolving flavours of maple-raisin-vanilla fig, layers of praline, butter cream, honeyed nuts, marzipan, spice and orange blossoms. Exceptional finish that has great depth.
Have you tried Forty Creek’s products? Which one is your favourite? Have any great cocktail recipes or ideas? Let me know below!