Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve


Today is my countries 147th birthday. Happy Canada Day folks. At least, I’m assuming you’re folksy. None the less, other than taking a 5 day holiday (which has been pretty calm and filled with booze and chocolate), I thought I’d do something special and review some Canadian whisky I have sitting about.

Thanks to /u/muaddib99 for swapping me some of this one.

I’m a fan of Forty Creek. Personally, I think, with Forty Creek, some small companies, and Wiser’s, Canadian whisky is slowly becoming something worth ordering again. We can be proud of more than just our Cheese, Maple Syrup, Desserts that no one knows about, Vast Tracks of Land, and our spotty worldwide mining reputation.

Part of the appeal of Forty Creek is their Reserve line. Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve isn’t just a mouthful, it also makes some sense when you read about it. This whisky is aged entirely in selected Canadian Oak barrels from trees that predate the country.

Kinda interesting, even when you ignore that American and Canadian Oak are the same species. I mean, the difference in temperatures should mean something, as the weather in Grimsby is different than the weather in parts of the US where American Oak may be selected (or is the same, given Vermont’s weather).

Anyway, let’s see how this specialty Canadian experiment turned out.


Price: $69.95 (CAD)

Region: Grimsby, Ontario, Canada

Abv: 40%

Colour: Oak (from Canada, of course)

Nose: Orange, cedar/pine, maple syrup, harsh alcohol, pastry, tiny bit of floral

Starts out with a ton of citrus. Like more than you’d expect, which is different. At that point, it starts bouncing between good and bad things, left and right.

Oh! Universal Healthcare! Ouch! Doesn’t include Dental! Oh! Butter Tarts! Ouch! Lack of any proper political parties! Oh! Amazing Nature! Ouch! General Separatist attitudes throughout the country!

You get the idea.

Taste: Caramel, sea salt, orange, nutmeg, rose water, red grapes

Better on the taste, less of the odd moments of bad and more smooth than others I’ve had. This reminds me of a few blended Scotches I’ve had, with nice, distinct notes throughout.

Finish: Oak, sour cherry, mustard, vanilla, dry wheat

Didn’t think I’d have both Mustard and Sour Cherries in my mouth at the same time. New things every day. Just like going to the World Pride Parade.

Conclusion: Canada’s an odd place. I mean, we have a Queen. Odd, eh?

Wait, Conclusion on the Whisky. Yes.

The best way I can describe this whisky is to say that it reminds me of Johnnie Walker Black Label. That’s not a bad thing, save the Black Label has a nicer nose, less interesting notes, and both are as smooth. Also the Black Label is cheaper here. It’s a decent part of the lineup, however I’d probably buy the Copper Pot instead, just because it’s cheaper and just as good.


World Whisky review #47, Canada review #24, Whisky Network review #238

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #134

One thought on “Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve

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