Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Around 10 Years
Blend of barley, corn, and rye whiskies
Distiller Forty Creek (Grimsby, Ontario)

The 2013 special release from John Hall at Forty Creek is certainly fabulous. This is a little different than what is typically done with rye whisky and some may not appreciate it as much as expected - but John Hall spent 10 years developing this whisky, trying to let the rye shine through especially well. It is a whisky worth spending quite a bit of time with, especially as it gets much better as it airs (I recommend, along with many others, to let it sit half an hour and see how it improves!)

Review (2013)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 11G13 11:25:51

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Nose: Sharp, grassy rye in a way that is not usually presented and one which I have mainly found in new makes. there are also aromas of sourdough, leather, and quite peppery grain. The creamy and floral nature of the whisky, I suppose, lend itself to such an aroma. Lots of prunes. It certainly is full of complexity and intrigue, actually similar in the leathery and peppery notes to the 2015 release. Prunes and raisins too.

Taste: Not as sweet as many of the other forty creek whiskies. Again, the sharp, grassy, and spicy rye shines through and it is smooth in the middle of the palate, along with raisins and marmalade. It is floral too, in a sweet nectar sort of way. Maple, too. Some nice toasted grain, too. A bit raw in places – but this is precisely to give the effect which is being sought out. Nice vision for this whisky.

Finish: It is long and lingering, and also unique - not generic. After I had tasted all of the other 8 whiskies in the lineup at Forty Creek, the heart of gold was the finish which remained, and I could tell it was from the heart of gold because of the quality of rye flavour left in the mouth.

I love the uniqeness of this whisky, and certainly it is different from any presentation of forty creek beforehand. I love it for its complexity and uniqueness, but it certainly might be a bit different for many.

My third favorite release, I think, from Forty Creek after Evolution and the original Confederation Oak. Very delicious.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Very High. For a whisky this good at $70, it’s very good value in the whisky realm.