Forty Creek Barrel Select Review


Apparently, we Yanks in the US have a sweet tooth like you wouldn’t believe. We put sugar in things where it most certainly does not belong. We put sugar in bread. We put sugar in Wheat Thins. We even sweeten up water when we can. Naturally, we like our beverages this way as well, including our spirits (how else can you explain maple infused whiskey everywhere?). Exceptions abound, no one is saying we do not love our Ardbegs, but take Canada: their collective palate seeks the sharper, drier, bolder flavors of rye versus our leanings towards the buttery sweet flavors of bourbon, for example.

While we are starting to see those fun, bold ryes more and more in recent years (WhistlePig, Lot 40), it’s fitting that we happen to have VERY sweet Canadian whisky here in the states. Forty Creek Barrel Select is a fine example. Launched initially in Texas and now widely available due to its success and affordable price point, Barrel Select is the flagship bottling produced by Kittling Ridge Distillery. John Hall, Forty Creek’s Master Distiller, creates Barrel Select with his innovative “Meritage” method of individually distilled and aged rye, barley and corn whiskies married together. While it is labeled a blend, 100% of the whisky is produced at Kittling Ridge. On to it…


SWC Group Review

Nose- Confectionary. Salted caramel, toffee, chocolate. Corn is upfront with some nice maple notes. A bit of nuttiness with rye spice underneath.

Taste- Candy Corn. Sweetness is big, a little too syrupy. Some grain notes with slight rye pepper. Oily body.

Finish- Short caramel sweetness and then…gone.

Comment- To say this works well as a dessert whisky is an understatement.  Love the price point. We’re split on the sweetness as a turn off or a positive, but it is a tad bit one dimensional with a disappointing finish. Regardless, a sweet spirit at an affordable price is certainly worth the occasional try.

SWC Rating – 79/100


Review by SWC Member Jim Briggs

Average Retail – $23.00

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.

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