||Blend of barley, corn, and rye whiskies infused with grapes|
|Distiller||Forty Creek (Grimsby, Ontario)|
This is the 2022 limited edition whisky from Forty Creek. Very little is actually communicated about the blend, other than that it is made with whisky “infused with grapes harvested in the darkest hours of winter from the Niagara region.“ I assume that means icewine grapes macerated in whisky, rather than maturation in an icewine barrel. I suppose this moves them closer to their “Niagara” rebranding recently. Other than that, not a lot is said about how this is made - though I assume it is blended with the typical corn/rye/barley whiskies of Forty Creek.
Batch: Special Release 16
Bottling Code: N.A
Bottling Date: 2022
The nose is very nutty, with roasted hazlenuts, mixed roasted nuts, cinnamon, toasted oak, vanilla, and a very interesting grape-quality much like grape skins. Citrus peel, milk chocolate, cloves, fuzzy peaches, wet wood, light earthiness – a bit all over the place. Some younger, oily spirits underneath too that have their charm but don’t fully fit here.
The palate is nutty, oaky, and spicy – very flavourful. It has sweet citrus and the nutty/citrus/vanilla reminds me of some flavoured whisky styles that I’ve judged – granted, without the sweetness. The finish is tannic and light.
I loved the 2021 release, Master’s Cut, which was a hearkening back to the early days of the special releases which set the bar for Canadian whisky. This release goes back to the style that we’ve seen for most of the last decade, which I haven’t been a big fan of – while being complex and flavourful, it hasn’t been clean or mature in character, rather it’s been young, a bit raw, and dominated by finishes and additions.
I love Forty Creek, and barrel select remains one of the best buys in Canadian whisky. But, I do wish their special releases would get back to setting the bar.
Value: low at $90.