Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve 43% alc/vol
A New Canadian Handcrafted Whisky From John K. HallRich toffee and searing chili peppers over bursting rye spices, rye grain and bitter orange. Big, rich and hearty. ★★★★Big things are happening at Forty Creek distillery. For the past several years, John K. Hall’s Whisky Weekend has turned his Grimsby, Ontario distillery into a whisky lover’s Mecca. Each year, hordes line up to sample Hall’s latest creation, take a tour and join the festivities. Whisky Weekend 2012 is just around the corner, on September 15 and 16, and this year, Canada’s best-known whisky maker has created not one, not two, but three new whiskies to reward those who join the annual pilgrimage to Grimsby.Among these new whiskies is this one which Hall refers to as an “amped-up” version of the best-selling Barrel Select. “Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve delivers a bolder and richer taste profile and is bottled at 43% to complement the depth of flavours,” Hall tells us.It’s all part of a new strategy. The former Kittling Ridge distillery has divested of its winery in order to focus on making whisky, and has formally changed its name to Forty Creek Distillery. The new focus on whisky may break a few wine lovers’ hearts, but if it means more whiskies like Cooper Pot Reserve, it’s glorious news for the whisky crowd.Copper Pot forms part of a new core Forty Creek line-up. And the LCBO too, seems to have caught the excitement, for although Copper Pot will not be released officially until mid-September, it has already begun appearing on LCBO shelves across the province. “We’re not complaining,” a distillery rep told me. Well, we whisky lovers are not complaining either.Nose: Rye grain, caramel, eucalyptus, butterscotch and bitter orange burst into shards of cinnamon, cloves and black fruit. Hints of wet slate, as in a late-summer creek bed, transform into an eye-opening nose tickle, a tip of the hat to the higher flavour (and alcohol) content.Palate: Rich toffee and hot chili peppers erupt in a lush and stimulating burst. This is such a captivating pairing, and so tightly synthesized, that it feels like a single flavour until slowly, cinnamon hearts elbow their way to the fore. The hearty, big, rich mouth becomes almost chewy and syrup like. Beguiling hot pepper sears the tongue and throat, until a certain graininess overtakes the middle with dark chocolate. Slightly sour citrus notes and burnt caramel signal the arrival of rich and figgy dark fruits.Finish: Long, sweet and fruity with brisk pepper and a cleansing citrus pithiness.Empty Glass: Toasty oak, sweet fragrant flowers, hints of maple sugar and an herbal softness.Highly recommended ★★★★$28.45 at LCBOForty Creek Barrel Select is reviewed here.Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is reviewed here.Forty Creek Confederation Oak is reviewed here.Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 is reviewed here.