About This Dram
As you probably know by now, we’re in the middle of our three-month-long celebration of blending. Having tried a single malt that blends many casks together with the Octomore 08.2, and then Douglas Laing’s “With a Twist”, a special blend of malts from every region in Scotland – it’s time to try something a little closer to home. It is launching the day before Canada after all!
Traditional Canadian whisky is all about blending, and here in Canada we do things a little different from the Scots or even the Americans. Canadian whisky is typically a mix of several grains, which are distilled separately and then blended together afterwards. Usually, the base whisky is a corn distillate and then other “flavouring whiskies” are added to create a harmonious profile, usually rye, wheat and barley. In this case, those flavouring whiskies were chosen by five lucky Forty Creek fans, under the watchful eye of master blender Bill Ashburn. This custom blend of flavouring whiskies was vatted together in “high mocha stave” casks for a while before being carefully blended with a 10-year-old corn base.
There’s one other trick that Canadian whisky has up its sleeves however – the 9.09% rule. This rule allows, blenders to add up to 9.09% (up to an eleventh) “non-whisky” to your whisky and still call it whisky. Now before we get too outraged with this obscure rule – there are restrictions. The additive must be “… any spirit or wine, domestic or imported…”, plus if it’s a spirit, it must be aged in oak for at least two years. So definitely no adding of neutral grain spirit (I’m looking at you America and India…). In this case, we have a wine added to the Forty Creek Unity. However, not just any wine – but a 15-year-old port-style wine. That should add an interesting dimension!
Earthy, spiced caramel on the nose. Almost like a herbal remedy that’s been infused into candy to trick a kid into eating it. Smells great, though – I’d be tricked for sure!
The palate revealed the port’s influence right away with a blackcurrant jam flavour – or maybe more like welches grape juice. There’s a touch of apples and plentiful rye spice. A little drier than the nose would suggest, but still on the sweeter side. The caramel became creamy, and more like fudge.