Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony
Mountains of dark fruits and wild flowers, with toffees, clean oak, and citrus pith, erupt into rye spices and hot white peppers. The mouthfeel buffers the spiciness with a round creaminess. Savoured slowly, sip by sip, delicate hints of ginger root, sweet-sour-bitter kumquats and ripe fruits appear. A long, glowing finish resolves itself in sandalwood. Simply delicious whisky. ★★★★★Each year whisky lovers wait with bated breath to learn what Forty Creek's special release will be and each year they are pleasantly surprised. When John K. Hall sold his distillery to Gruppo Campari last year, naysayers and conspiracy theorists predicted the end for these special releases. However, this year's limited edition, called Three Grain Harmony, proves how wrong they were. This new whisky builds on past successes as previous releases did, while exploring new dimensions of the Forty Creek house style, just as each past special release has also done.After high school, Hall paid for his continuing education by working as a musician. A Windsor boy, his band played weekend gigs throughout northern Michigan and southwestern Ontario."Harmony," the dictionary tells us is "the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear." With Three Grain Harmony, Hall has applied his musician's sensibility to creating a whisky with chords that are most pleasing to the nose and palate, an organoleptic symphony if you will.Not the New York Philharmonic, the Forty Creek Symphony has but 30 players. Yes, just 30 barrels of whisky were mingled together to create this new 9,000-bottle release. Some of those barrels were filled as far back as 1992, some much more recently. To his long-seasoned notes of rye and barley, John K. Hall added a chorus of vigourous, sprightly, four-year-old corn whisky. "To give it body," he tells us.The result is a whisky with the depth and breadth of flavour that only a maestro of harmony could create. Three Grain Harmony is the 9th special release from Forty Creek and some say, it's best new whisky to date.Very highly recommended ★★★★★$69.95 at LCBO.