The fourth and last whisky in the Davin de Kergommeaux series of tasting on Sunday nights in May. Where’s the third, I hear you think? Well, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. That Sunday I was not available (a weekend away with friends in Belgium, poor me) and have been rather ill since.
Anyway, the discussion yesterday before we tasted this dram was mostly about the modern era of Canadian distilling with a focus on why their industry is so much unlike the American and Scottish industry. There’s barely any tourism and single casks are all but unheard of.
The tourism is thanks to the USA and a weird law that since it took effect after 9-11 prohibits any food trucked into the USA to be made in a facility open to the public. If it comes by ship or plane there’s no problem but since Canada has a fairly sizeable border with the USA they usually truck everything in.
The single cask problem is mostly there for large distillers and their factories are just not set up to do such things. An argument was made (I believe by Steffen Brauner) that you just need the cask, a hose and a funnel to do a single cask but that bit of knowledge hasn’t seeped through yet.
Anyway, the dram:
At first I got window cleaning spray on the nose, but that diminished quickly. It doesn’t fade entirely though! Then I got small rye notes, toffee and caramel. Rye bread came later, as well as basil, balsamic vinegar and acidic sherry. Also some dates. A lot of this sounds nice but there was something in the scent that put me off.
It tastes like a dry Pedro Ximinez sherry with some sharp alcohol edges. Quite some dark fruits like currants, blackberries, maybe even raspberries. All in all, forest fruit. The sweet balsamic vinegar is here too with oak. It’s incredibly sweet and rich, but at the same time it also has a slightly hearty, savory note in it.
The finish is long with the bucketloads of forest fruits again. The PX sherry notes are back too and there’s quite a bit of oak present.
A strange whisky. There are some aspects that I really enjoy, like the fruit-rye combination. I can sometimes appreciate balsamic vinegar notes in booz too, but this whisky isn’t one of them. So this whisky is more in the ‘interesting’ bracket than in the ‘nice’ bracket for me. I believe a lot of tasters were rather thrilled with it, but I wasn’t one of them.
I want to thank Davin de Kergommeaux and Johanne McInnis for organizing this series of tastings. It was very interesting to get to know a lot more about Canadian whiskies and taste some drams that never cross the borders. They keep a lot of good stuff for themselves!
I loved to be part of it and will do my best to review the third dram soon!
Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve, OB, 45%, available in Canada for CA$ 69.95 (some € 53)