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Forty Creek Rye (aged 22 Years) Named CWA 2019 Whisky of the Year

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 21, 2019

This year I was once again honoured to be part of the judging panel for The Annual Canadian Whisky Awards and the results are in. The Canadian Whisky Awards – Whisky of the Year is an all-rye whisky, distilled 22 years ago at Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario.

After blind tastings of well over 100 whiskies, 10 independent whisky experts have declared Forty Creek 22 Year Old Rye as Canadian Whisky of the Year in the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards.

Held each January at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC, as part of the Victoria Whisky Festival, the Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best whiskies produced in Canada.

Awards founder, Davin de Kergommeaux described Forty Creek 22 year-old Rye as:

“A huge, yet elegant rye whisky, just bursting with complex flavours.”

Other top accolades went to whiskies from JP Wiser’s, Canadian Club, Crown Royal, and Gooderham and Worts.

Forty Creek founder, John K. Hall was announced as the first member of the Canadian Whisky Hall of Fame, while Dr. Don Livermore was named Blender of the Year.

According to de Kergommeaux:

“Every year the whiskies are just that much better than the year before. Top whiskies from five or six years ago might earn a silver medal today.  The competition is that intense.”

As the Canada’s pre-eminent Canadian whisky competition, the independent judging panel, served up some surprise honours to relative newcomers such as Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Distillery which took home top spot as Micro-Distillery of the Year.

If this year’s record setting submissions are an indication, Canadian whisky fans have an extremely exciting 2019 to look forward to.

Note: About the Canadian Whisky Awards: The Canadian Whisky Awards, held annually in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival, recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.



3 Responses to “Forty Creek Rye (aged 22 Years) Named CWA 2019 Whisky of the Year”

  1. whisky6345 said

    With only 102 bottles available, why bother with the award, Very few will be able to purchase it. Plus at $225 per bottle.

    • Entrants for the annual CWA Awards are placed into various different categories depending on the market for which they are intended. As jurors we judge all of the whiskies blind not knowing what we are tasting or what category they belong to. In this blind judging, the Forty Creek 22 Year Old won its category (Best All-Rye Whisky) and as such qualified as a finalist for the top award. According to the blind scores, it was deemed the best of 2019.

      I understand that with only 102 bottles the whisky is not generally available, however, perhaps winning the award will encourage a larger production of this whisky style in the future.

      • whisky6345 said

        Fair enough.

        FWIW, the LCBO had listed this on their site as an online purchase only. Then it disappeared from the site and of course no one ever saw a bottle.

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