Forty Creek is a brand of Canadian whisky produced by John K. Hall, first generation whisky maker, and owner of Kittling Ridge Wines & Spirits. John Hall started making Forty Creek in 1992, beginning with Forty Creek Barrel Select and Forty Creek Three Grain. In 2007 the first of the Forty Creek Special Reserves were released - limited edition Forty Creek Whiskies that vary with each lot. In 2012 Forty Creek Copper Pot and Forty Creek Cream were introduced. Malt Advocate magazine named John Hall "Pioneer of the Year" in 2007 because of his contribution to new lines of thought and new methods in the world of whisky. The distillery is located in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada (between Hamilton and Niagara Falls).
In March 2014, Forty Creek Distillery Ltd. was purchased by Italian beverage company Gruppo Campari for $185.6 Million Canadian Dollars. The sale included 100% of the distillery, including all Forty Creek facilities and whisky stocks.
Forty Creek Barrel Select
Forty Creek Barrel Select is a blended Canadian whisky, 40% alcohol (ethanol) by volume, 80 proof. It is made with rye, barley and corn (maize). Each grain is fermented, distilled, and aged separately to produce a "méritage" of single grain whiskies. After distillation using a small-batch, copper pot still, the whiskies are aged separately 6–10 years in small cask 40-gallon white oak barrels of varying toasting levels. Vintage sherry casks round off some of the aged whiskies after they are blended, for an additional six months.
Awards and accolades
Forty Creek has garnered a number of awards at Spirit ratings competitions and from rating organizations. The awards include:
- Tier 1 Status – Proof66 Liquor Ratings Aggregator.
- One of the Top 5 best tasting whiskies in North America - Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago[when?]
- Double Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2006.
- Gold Medal – World Selection (Monde Selection), Brussels, Belgium
- Gold Medal – 2010 International Review of Spirits, Chicago
- Gold Medal – 2011 International Review of Spirits, Chicago
- Gold Medal – 2012 International Review of Spirits, Chicago - Rating: 90 points (Exceptional)
- 5 Gold Medals – San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013
- Highest Award - International Spirits Challenge, London, England[when?]
- Best Canadian Whisky - New England International Whisky Festival, Connecticut[when?]
- Editor's Choice Gold Award - Whisky Magazine, London, England[when?]
- First Canadian whisky to be articled in Whisky Magazine, London, England
- Highest score for a Canadian Whisky – Whisky Magazine, London, England[when?]
In the 2008 Icons of Whisky Canada competition held by London England's Whisky Magazine, John K. Hall was awarded Ambassador of the Year and Kittling Ridge was deemed Best Distiller.
Forty Creek Special Reserves
While Forty Creek Barrel Select continues to be the main whisky produced under the Forty Creek brand name, the production of limited edition Forty Creek whiskies began in 2007. Typically, the bottles are individually numbered; the public has a period of time in which they can reserve a particular bottle number; and the whisky is released in September, followed by a special weekend of events at the distillery.
|Forty Creek Evolution - 2014 Release - Lot number to be announced
|Forty Creek Heart of Gold - 2013 Release - Lot 1972|
|Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve - 2012 Release - Lot 61
|Forty Creek John's Private Cask No. 1 - Lot 2011
|Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve - Lot 1867
|Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve - Lot 60
|Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve - Lot 240*
|Forty Creek Small Batch Reserve - Lot 104|
- Forty Creek John K. Hall Barrel Select Canadian Blended Whisky, www.proof66.com
- Forty Creek Web Site
- Malt Advocate Whisky Awards "Canadian Whisky of the Year": Forty Creek Confederation Oak, February 19, 2011
- John Hall, guest blog on Whisky Advocate Web Site, October 2009
- Forty Creek Barrel Select Review from The Art of Drink
- Whisky Magazine article: Up on Forty Creek, the whisky sends me, by Charles K. Cowdery, issue 47
- Forty Creek Barrel Select - Tasting Notes and Scores from Whisky Magazine (Michael Jackson & Dave Broom)