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Forty Creek Double Barrel Canadian Whisky – Lot 271

Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky  (Lot 271)   85/100
a review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on March 23, 2020

This past December, I noticed that Forty Creek Double Barrel Canadian Whisky had undergone a change. At least the bottle had changed. It was no longer sold in the typical tall sleek bottle which Forty Creek uses for all of their Special Edition Whiskies (pictured to the right). It was now sold in the medium tall cylindrical bottle typical of their production whiskies (Pictured below left).

The change made sense as Forty Creek Double Barrel has for quite a while now been in regular production and probably belongs in the main line-up rather than in a bottle which identifies it as a special release whisky.

There was another more significant change though, the whisky is now almost half the price that it used to be ($39.95 in the new bottle vs. $69.95 in the old bottle). The significant price change begs the question, have the contents changed as well making this a less expensive whisky to produce?

So I reached out to the Campari team here in Alberta and asked them about the changes to the bottle and price. I was told that so far as Alberta team knew the whisky was that same as always, but they had no objection to giving me a sample bottle so I could judge for myself.

According to the label on my new bottle Forty Creek Double Barrel Whisky was finished in once-mellowed bourbon barrels. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.


In The Bottle 4/5

The new bottle for the Double Barrel whisky is a standard medium tall cylindrical bottle with a long slightly bubbled neck. The base is slightly smaller than the shoulders which give the bottle a tapered form. The is sealed with a metallic pressed on closure. The label is simple although it draws attention to the fact that this is considered a small batch release and my sample bottle apparently came from batch 271.

Overall the presentation is a full step down from the previous bottle which had much more masculine class. Then again the price of this spirit is now a full step down from its previous price of $69.95 to $39.95 per bottle here in Canada.

In The Glass 9/10

When poured into my glencairn the whisky shows us a nice copper colour. When tilted and twirled the spirit appears to be medium bodied as it leaves a slightly thickened sheen on the inside of the glass, the crest of which drops midsixed leglets which run down the glass as slender legs.

The breezes bring a nice combination of maple and fine oak spice into the air. This is accompanied by rye grain and spice and some light vanilla, almond and canned apricots. As the glass breathes grassy tobacco and baking spices join in as the almond turns to marzipan,and hints of orange liqueur can be found.

I like the aroma a lot, but it does seem to have a different character than the spirit previously possessed.

In the Mouth  51/60

The first sip brings heat from alcohol and grain spice and the spirit seems a little thinner than the nose implied. The flavour however is very nice. I taste a melding of vanilla. almond, butterscotch and oak spice with hints of cornsyrup and maple. There is also a nice fruitiness which brings impressions of canned apricots, peaches and marmalade. A touch of rye-like bitterness and some grassy tobacco round out the flavour.

Sipping is nice, but making cocktails is perhaps even nicer. Old Fashioned Cocktails, Manhattans, and Rye and Ginger-ale Splashes are all on the table each tasting very nice. Down below I have mixed two more libations which are sure to please.

In the Throat  12.5/15

The heat from spice and alcohol which I noted in the delivery is absent in the finish. The spirit is medium bodied and has an exit which features vanilla, butterscotch and rye grain through the swallow and light baking spices with hints of cinnamon and clove glowing on the palate afterwards.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Forty Creek Double Barrel perhaps tastes different than before, but the whisky has a nice structure of flavours which work well together. The barrel regime appears to have changed as those robust bourbon-like notes are diminished. However, it is still a nice elegant whisky ideal for sipping and for cocktails.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipes:

The 1794 Cocktail (created by Dominic Venegas at “Range” in San Francisco) celebrates the US Whiskey Rebellion which occurred in 1794. The libation is an offshoot of the classic Negroni cocktail (which uses equal parts of Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari), and a variation of the lesser known Boulvedier (which replaces the Gin in the Negroni with Bourbon).

1794 SAM_2544

Here is the recipe when served with Forty Creek Double Barrel Whisky:

1794 Cocktail

2 oz Forty Creek Double Barrel Whisky
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Campari
Strip of Orange Peel

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of orange peel

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

And if  you are interested in more Cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for some of my original mixed drink recipes!


The Blinker Cocktail can be traced back to the 1930s where it is found in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s 1934 bartending guide, The Official Mixer’s Manual. Whether Pat Duffy created the recipe himself or drew upon other sources is unknownalthough it should be pointed out that the Blinker is at its heart a ‘sour’ recipe, and thus it is probably one of many such recipes to have evolved from the simple sour recipes of the late 1800s.

This version serving mixes Forty Creek Double Barrel Whisky with Grapefruit Juice and uses Cran-Raspberry Syrup (see recipe here) rather than sugar syrup as its sweetener.

Blinker Cocktail

2 oz Rye Whisky
1 oz Grapefruit Juice (fresh squeezed)
1/3 oz Cran-Raspberry Syrup
Lemon Peel

Add the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel (optional)

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

*Please note: The original Blinker Recipe calls for Grenadine rather than Cran-Raspberry Syrup. In my opinion, the tartness of the Cran-Raspberry works much better for the cocktail.


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:

70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)




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