The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • Copyright

    Copyright is inherent when an original work is created. This means that the producer of original work is automatically granted copyright protection. This copyright protection not only exists in North America, but extends to other countries as well. Thus, all of the work produced on this blog is protected by copyright, including all of the pictures and all of the articles. These original works may not be copied or reused in any way whatsoever without the permission of the author, Chip Dykstra.
  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Industry Interviews


    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Rum Reviews

  • Whisky Reviews

  • Gin Reviews

  • Tequila Reviews

  • Vodka Reviews

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,067 other subscribers
  • Subscribe

  • Visitors

    • 14,374,776 pageviews since inception
  • Archives

  • Follow The Rum Howler Blog on

Introducing: Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2010

Forty Creek Whisky has for the last four consecutive years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle. And to have the bottle signed by their own Master Distiller and Whisky Maker, John Hall, when you arrive to pick up your pre-ordered bottles.  The bottle numbers are assigned on a first selected, first given basis through a posting on the Forty Creek Website each year when the special release product is announced. This is the third year in which I have participated, and my numbered bottles (0055,0056,and 0057)were picked up from the distillery this past Monday.

I think you can guess that since I have picked up my bottles, the Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Whisky has just been released in Canada. As I stated above, this is a special  limited release bottling (16,800 bottles) of Forty Creek Whisky. What makes it special is that this whisky has been finished in Canadian Oak Barrels. The name “Confederation Oak” is a reflection of the oak trees which began their growth in Canadian soil approximately 150 years ago at the time of Confederation (The birth of Canada as a nation).

The result should be a new taste experience for the whisky enthusiast.  Perhaps I should let Whisky Maker, John Hall tell you in his own words….

“Over the years, I have worked with many types of oak barrels, first as a wine maker, and then as a whisky maker. Every wood, whether it is from a bourbon barrel, port barrel, sherry cask, French, Balkan or American oak, creates a distinctive taste expression. As a proud Canadian whisky maker, I have always been curious what a Canadian whisky would taste like aged in a Canadian oak barrel, because most Canadian whiskies are aged in American oak.

To my delight, I discovered some massive Canadian white oak trees that were growing in Brant County only 40 miles from the distillery! They must have started growing just before confederation in 1867 because they were 4 feet in diameter and over 150 years old.

The selected trees were harvested from a sustainably managed forest employing the principle of “no tree before its time.” This forest has a mixture of young trees coming up in the understory, mature trees in full reproductive and productive vigor, and old trees whose growth has slowed. These older trees block sunlight and rainfall from the younger trees and when over-matured, need to be removed. I thought I could give them a second career as whisky barrels.”


If you are astute you might point out that Canadian Oak is actually the same species of oak as American Oak which has been used for years.  Why all the Fuss?

The difference, as the say, is in the details. The Canadian climate being harsher and colder than the American climate produces a thicker heavier tree. This higher density causes a different nuance in flavour to be imparted into the whisky. According to Davin de Kergommeaux,

Slow growth in the harsh Canadian climate imbues the oak richly with vanillins.

Davin is a certified Malt Maniac, and trained sommelier who has been analyzing, writing, and talking about whisky, as an independent commentator, for more than a dozen years. If you are interested in Davin’s tasting notes for the Confederation Oak Reserve, I would like to refer you to this review he posted on his website, Canadian Whisky:

Butterscotch, fresh-cut wood, toasted oak and wood smoke.  Sweet vanilla, berries, barbeque sauce, mash, granola. Restrained, but full-flavoured. Rich & Round…” (click the tasting notes to link to his full review)

As a final note, I have it on good authority that the Forty Creek Distillery expects to be sold out of their stocks of Confederation Oak Reserve by Christmas.  So although you probably do not need to rush out this minute to get your own numbered bottle, you maybe don’t want to wait too terribly long either.


2 Responses to “Introducing: Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Canadian Whisky”

  1. DavindeK said

    Hi Chip!
    Thanks so much for pointing people to my review of Forty Creek Confederation Oak.
    I am glad we share the same enthusiasm for John Hall’s whiskies. He really seems to know how to push all the right buttons.

    • Hi Davin

      Welcome to my Blog! I never have a problem directing my readers to good information and your your Canadian Whisky website is a veritable treasure trove of great information on the outstanding nature of Canadian Whisky!

      Keep up the great work!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: