I like several Canadian Whiskies, among them is Forty Creek Barrel Select, an excellent whiskey with Canadian softness, delightful sweetness and smooth, smooth character with a slice of rye spices.
Now comes Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve to my attention at my whiskey mongers. Nought for it but to give it a try. To say that I am not disappointed in this whiskey is a gross understatement. It is a first rate whiskey.
The aromas are soft, subtle, delicate, sophisticated and diverse. There is vanilla, apple, orange, apricots, malt, and rye......... the alcohol being quite subdued, due to what I would call an excellent distillation. Slowly revealing themselves are a host of soft spices such as nutmeg and allspice. The taste has the richly refined sweetness of a premier cognac or superb Belgian chocolate....... sweet but not thick nor cloying. It is a sweetness beholding to corn, malt, rye, and the grape......... except there are no grapes in this whiskey. It has the subdued but significant bite served up by rye grain and the backbone that comes with it. All is held beautifully in check by the moderating influence of oak, which adds a bit of dryness, a smidge of tannin, and its own vanilla, maple, and caramel sweetners. I cannot overstate the extraordinary quality, delicacy, and sheer beauty of the sweetness in this whiskey.
To produce a whiskey of this quality and sophistication requires a master distiller of great knowledge and experience, because one does not 'luck' into such a product. This whiskey is not cheap at $59, but for my money, worth every penny. It has a lively depth and balance lacking in Crown Royal XR and a moderately long finish which gives it weight.
On my whiskey (spirits) shelf, this one belongs beside the Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old, Midleton's Irish Whiskey, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Johnny Walker Blue Label, and Jack Daniels Single Barrel spirits. It really suits my palate perfectly.
A deep bow is in order to John Hall, the man behind the whiskey at Forty Creek in Grimsby Ontario.