Review: Forty Creek Three Grain Canadian Whisky 20th Anniversary / by Jason Hambrey

Forty Creek Three Grain 2.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
Blend of rye, corn, and barley whiskies
Distiller Forty Creek (Grimsby, Ontario)

This whisky is made according to the original recipe of Forty Creek Three Grain, a whisky which was released as part of the initial core range of Forty Creek but then discontinued in favour of marketing barrel select. This, now a 20th anniversary release, includes some of the original liquid which went into those original blends. It has been re-released as a tribute to the original bottle.

Lots of fans have clamoured over the old Three Grain release - I even recall an unopened bottle selling for $1000 second-hand between two Forty Creek enthusiasts in the parking lot of Forty Creek during a whisky festival. I respect the enthusiasm… I’ve always preferred barrel select which remains one of the best Canadian whiskies for the price.


Review (2020)

  • Batch: 20th anniversary

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

The nose actually has a decent influence of corn, nutty grain, and light floral and spicy character – three grain, indeed! It has a different feel than the recent special releases, with a much softer and subtle character. It does hearken back!

It is classically Canadian – the nose has corn husks, lilac, orange peel, vanilla, baking spices, sugar caramel. The palate starts sweet with orange, baking spices, vanilla, toffee, caramel, and slowly leads to a dry spicy finish full of dried fruit.  It is a bit less fruity, and a bit more grainy.

It is very similar to the old three grain whisky – but is different in a few respects. While similar in profile, this one has a sharper character, more depth, and vibrancy.  I like it more than the old bottle, and it is quite a bit less brash than many of the latest special releases.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average at $60. Higher if you are a Forty Creek fan….perhaps significantly. It’s one of the few releases that has really hearkened towards the initial style of the distillery.