Tuesday, October 14, 2014

There's a chill in the air, time for autumn warmers!

It's really nice having "go to" whiskies. We just celebrated a lovely Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and after the guests went home, the kitchen was cleaned and I was able to put my feet up for a few seconds I wanted a nice whisky I could sip on quietly while I read. I instinctively reached for Copper Pot from Forty Creek. It was so good, I had two drams. Reminded me how much certain whiskies are really appealing when it comes to the different seasons we experience here in Canada.

Thought I'd repost from my days of blogging as "Perfect Whisky Match"...

For those who read my blog regularly you must know by now how much I love Canadian whiskies. Of course I do have my favorites and Forty Creek is one of them. Prior to tasting John Hall's whiskies, there were very few Canadian whiskies that I owned more than one bottle of. I like Wisers and Gibsons, I have 2 bottles of each. However I have almost all of the Forty Creek releases because John Hall opened my eyes to a new avenue of whisky that many still refuse to believe exists in Canada. 

Like most other master distillers in the world, John works very hard at maintaining the quality of his award winning whiskies while constantly developing new products for future markets. Copper Pot was his release for 2012. I and many other fans have gone through several bottles of this particular release and I am never without a bottle in my collection.

Autumn here in Canada is one of the most beautiful times of the year. People from around the world flock to our country to experience the brisk morning air, warm sunny afternoons and the long shadows cast by the sun by day's end. The red maple leafs, yellow birches and copper oak leaves are abundant and breathtakingly beautiful. I am in awe every year as the transition from summer to fall takes place. Out come the warm wool socks and gloves and the fall/winter whiskies too! Copper Pot Reserve is an autumn whisky for me. The bottle even has an orange hue and golden highlights while the elixir within a rich deep golden amber to match.

One of the great things about John that sets him apart from the other distillers in North America is that he's a trailblazer and a perfectionist in his craft. 

Pot still distillation is not the most efficient or easiest to use but John swears by it for some of his whiskies. The pot stills transfer characters to the whiskies that is not readily created over and over again. This likely means each batch is somewhat unique. I like that. It's truly what I think being Canadian is all about. We don't aim to look like everyone else and to be "Canadian" means we are all individuals with our own distinct personalities. You will find no melting pot mentality here. 

No wonder I like Forty Creek so much, it represents what I feel being Canadian is all about. This dram has such a wonderful warmth that I always have a very content feeling after finishing it. It has a hugely satisfying, full bodied and spicy profile. 

I think releasing this at 43% ABV was a great idea. Some people describe this particular release as Forty Creek Barrel Select on steroids. Although I can still taste the Forty Creek profile, I tend to think it's more like the NEON version. It's Barrel select but MAGNIFIED in amplitude when it comes to the aromas and flavors. It's a much bolder version and yet another great example of how John thinks outside the typical Canadian whisky box to create something that is exciting, different and surprising.
A Danish blogger friend of mine was in Canada the summer this was released and I helped arrange a tour for him to visit to the distillery. Copper Pot wasn't quire ready yet so when I got my first bottle I asked him if he wanted to try it: YES ->Was the resounding answer heard across the Atlantic. So a sample was sent and he nosed, tasted and reviewed it. He rates his whiskies and gave it an 86 out of a 100. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself. Here is his website in case you would like to read:

And there's also this guy "Ralfy" that you may have heard of :)

And if you are still reading my blog, here is what I thought the first time I tasted it.


COLOR: Golden sunshine in a glass. Hues of deep amber with flickers of orange. When my glass was coated it was somewhat viscous and the legs although plentiful slow to travel down the glass.  

NOSE: Peppery!, Very nice level of spice. A sweet butterscotch creaminess, and then it hit me. Kraft Caramels I used to get in my Halloween bag! WHOA! I let that memory sit for a moment. At the back I could detect some very bitter grapefruit pith. Once I added water, it tamed a bit of the spice and black cherries or rich black berries (very sweet) appeared. The water opened another familiar fall item of my childhood: Date squares. 

PALATE: The spice grabs your whole mouth so hold on! Nice mouth watering feel and explosion of flavors immediately. Cloves and a handful of cinnamon candies or maybe closer to the hot tamales candy I also use to get at Halloween, fiery! Once I added the water it toned down the spicy and a beautiful flavor of dark cocoa and bitter oranges came to the forefront. If Terry's Chocolate Orange made one with dark 85% cocoa and Seville oranges - This is what it would taste like I'm sure of it.
FINISH: So sweet. I had anticipated a long lingering burn because of all the spiciness on the nose and palate, but got just the opposite. The burn was there: instantaneous on the swallow BUT then this glorious silky sweet finish took over and lasts.   

EMPTY GLASS:  So sweet, almost bourbon like. Next morning reminded me of maple sap with a hint of vanilla.

John Hall successfully creates interesting and complex whiskies year after year. Copper Pot, not expensive - Less then $30. Available across Canada (except Québec - sorry)  Value for money - YES. Nice sipping whisky - YESS. Forty Creek brilliance in a glass - YESSS! (Sorry, I'll stop screaming from the soap box now.) 

The point is if you want to sip a whisky that warms you to the core on a cold autumn evening, I would strongly recommend you consider getting a bottle of this.

Now if you'll excuse me it's time to rotate spring/summer to the back of the closets and take out the fall/winter clothing to the front. Same goes for my whiskies too!   

Later, this could take awhile...


No comments:

Post a Comment