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Posts Tagged ‘John Hall’

#35 Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 20, 2015

A few years ago, I had lunch with Whisky Maker, John Hall (then Owner of Forty Creek Whisky) when he was in town for the Edmonton Whisky Festival. One of the things we talked about was Mr. Hall’s penchant for saving his best whisky barrels for his own private use. You see, every once in a while when John was testing and tasting his barrels of whisky to see how they were coming along, he would hit upon a barrel that was absolutely exceptional.

Forty Creek Private Stock SAM_1882These barrels would be squirreled away and earmarked for his own private stash. John admitted to me that this had kind of gotten out of hand, and he had accumulated far more of these ‘Private Casks’ than what he would ever need, or be able to consume. It turns out John figured out what to do with these exceptional casks as in the fall of 2011 he released his new special release, John’s Private Cask No. 1 Whisky.

Here is a link to the review of the #35 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#35 – Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 Canadian Whisky

“… A bevy of oak and rye spices quickly heat things up; but, the mouth feel is eased by the softness of vanilla, maple and caramel. The flavours I taste include fresh-cut cedar planks, and a strong dollop of rye. There is also a bit of orange peel which evolves into marmalade as the glass sits, and just like on the nose,the oak and baking spices build and build in the glass …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 26, 2013

Heart_of_Gold_bottleForty Creek Whisky has for the last number of years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let the consumer choose their own numbered bottle. This year, reservations for Forty Creek’s 2013 Limited Release, Heart of Gold, will open at noon (EST) on Monday, May 27th, 2013 (and end June 21st, 2013). If you live in Ontario, and can make it to the distillery to pay for and pick up your numbered bottle, then you may choose any number between 00003 and 9,000 to be your own uniquely numbered bottle. The numbers are offered on a first come, first serve, basis and no two bottles will have the same number. (Complete details and the reservation form are available at the Forty Creek Whisky website.)

This year’s special release is a whisky with an emphasis on Canadian Rye Grain. Heart of Gold is not a 100 % rye grain whisky, as the whisky blend also includes a barley whisky, which adds some nutty flavours, and a corn whisky, which adds weight and body. But make no mistake about it, the intent of John Hall in creating this whisky is to showcase the spicy, fruity and floral notes of Canadian Rye.

You may click on the link to read my pre-release review:

Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

“… The initial nose reminds me strongly of rye whisky as I remember it from my youth (seventies/early eighties). The breezes above the glass are full of wood spices (cardamom, ginger, sandalwood, sawdust and white pepper), and those breezes remind me of autumns past when the ripened grain in the fields was being combined. The air all around the farm would be full of the scents and smells of the harvest, complete with the straw left behind in windrows and the separated chaff and grain dust floating in the air above the fields and granaries …”

Please enjoy this preview of John Hall’s newest Special Release Canadian Whisky!


If you are interested, here are the links to the other Forty Creek Special Release Whiskies I have reviewed :

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Forty Creek Heart of Gold (2013 Limited Release)

Review: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2012

The Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve, (like all Forty Creek Whiskies), is built upon Whisky Maker, John Hall’s, foundation of three separately distilled grains: barley, corn and rye. Each grain is distilled and aged in oak separately. When each whisky is ready, the three finished whiskies are blended together and ‘married’ in oak once more allowing the three to become one.

Indeed, John Hall’s flagship whisky, the Forty Creek Barrel Select is a perfect example of that concept of marrying three separately distilled and aged grain whiskies into one. The Copper Pot Reserve is a more ‘premium’ version of the Barrel Select. Mr. Hall chose his best grain whiskies as the base for the Copper Pot. He aged these best whiskies a little longer to bring in more flavour from the oak, and then he chose the best of these whiskies to marry together in oak once more to complete the final blend. The Copper Pot Whisky is bottled at 43 % abv (rather than the traditional 40 %) allowing this premium whisky to showcase its robust flavour.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial nose of the whisky brings oak and rye spices into the breezes above the glass with an effervescent orange peel zest riding the coattails of the spice. As the glass sits, green tobacco and orange marmalade jump in with a soft punky caramel tainting their scent. I detect some cinnamon and ginger rising up from the glass and my sense is that the Copper Pot is going to be a very interesting and complex whisky… “

You may read the full review here:

Review: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding whisky!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 4, 2011

Last month, Wednesday, January 19 to be exact, I was invited to attend a private luncheon at Bistro la Persaud, in Edmonton with John Hall, the founder of Forty Creek Whisky. It was a small gathering with only a few of us ‘media’ folk invited. The purpose of the luncheon was to allow the invitees to have an informal question and answer with Mr. Hall taking advantage of his attendance at the 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival and the launch of his new whisky Forty Creek Confederation Oak.

I kind of sat back and let the others (who are more experienced at this sort of thing) do the questioning and interjected only a few queries here and there. It seemed better just to listen than to speak…

You may read the complete story on John Hall and his unique Canadian Whisky by clicking the following link:

John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage

In case you are interested, I have reviewed a few of the Whiskies from Forty Creek and have provided links to these reviews below:

Review Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky

Review: Forty Creek Portwood Reserve

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Extras, Howls, Interviews, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage


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