Forty Creek Canadian Whisky – Review

Forty Creek Canadian WhiskyForty Creek Premium Barrel Select Canadian Whisky

80 Proof

Price Point: $20 – $30 for 750 ML

Distiller: Kittling Ridge Distillery



My first experience with Forty Creek was in November of last year at Whiskey Fest.  I chanced upon their booth, which was one of the more modest at the show.  A quiet man stood behind the booth and politely asked me if I would like to sample his whisky.  I obliged, of course, as I had not tried Forty Creek or even heard of it up until then.

When you’re used to the spiciness of a bourbon or the peaty taste of an Islay Scotch, most Canadian whiskies seem to get dull.  I used to enjoy Canadian whisky several years ago, but I think I just appreciated how easy it is to drink.

Forty Creek is not your typical Canadian whisky.  After my first sip, I glanced back at the man behind the booth in admiration of his whisky.  He introduced himself as John Hall, the master distiller for Forty Creek.



The nose on this one is Canadian, without a doubt.  But it’s not quite as flat as some of its countrymen.  There’s a little more to it, but you won’t be able to tell from the nose alone.

Forty Creek surprises on the first sip.  There’s a distinct nuttiness to it, unlike anything I have ever tasted in a whiskey.  There’s also a lot of honey in this, both in the mouthfeel and the flavor.

The finish is just great.  It’s relatively brief due to its low proof, but the oak really shines here.


Rating & Recommendations

I was pleasantly surprised by Forty Creek.  I give this whiskey a rating of 84 out of 100.

Because it’s pretty cheap relative to other whiskeys on the market, feel free to experiment with some mixtures.  It’s just as good neat, though.

Forty Creek really stands out as something unique in the Canadian section of your liquor store.  If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it.




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  1. Awesome review. I’ve heard very good things about Forty Creek – particularly Double Barrel and some of the other limited special barrel finished versions (Confederation Oak, Port Wood) and small batch. They just aren’t stocked by the stores in my area – (but I’ve heard there are other stores in NYC I could travel to). The Canadian I’ve been drinking lately is Royal Crown Cask No. 16. It’s way better than most of the Canadian’s I’ve tried (which are mostly the low end ones – admittedly)

    Thanks for putting this on my radar.

    1. It seems that a lot of us have been conditioned to link “Canadian” with “boring” when it comes to whiskey because we typically think of the cheaper, or low-end, expressions. There’s definitely some good ones out there – including Forty Creek. I also happen to really like Caribou Crossing, although it’s a bit expensive. Haven’t tried Royal Crown Cask No. 16, but I’ll have to track it down based on your recommendation.

      Thanks for the comment!


  2. Part of the stigma against Canadian whiskeys is earned. Interesting variations are few and far between. Sweet and simple seems to be the dominant form. Canadian law allows adulteration of up to 9% by volume so additives and flavorings are allowed.

    That being said, things are changing. It’s nice to see attempts at the high end like the Forty-Creek, Sazerac (Caribou Crossing), and fancier Royal Crown offerings. Of these the Royal Crowns are probably the least interesting. The RC Cask No. 16 expression at $60+ is their second most expensive regular expression. It received secondary aging in Cognac casks. It has a dark hazelnut shell color that is probably augmented with caramel color but the nose and flavor are packed with fig, date, and plum flavors and sweetness. It’s different and quite tasty. I reviewed it on my fledgling blog – my only Canadian review so far. I intend to do more – because good Canadian whiskey can be tasty indeed.

      • Alfred Luff on November 12, 2018 at 6:15 am
      • Reply

      Hi Josh,
      could you please send me the Canadian Law allowing up to 9 % blending materials in (Canadian) Whisky. Thanks a lot.
      Alfred (Master Distiller from Germany)

    • Andrew on March 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    • Reply

    Does Forty Creek Barrel Select use additives or colouring? Thanks.

    1. Hi Andrew.

      I’m not entirely sure – I can’t seem to find the answer to your question. Although Canadian whiskies are allowed additives and coloring, I can’t find anything that states that Forty Creek does this. Perhaps they are the exception which is why this brand is held in such high regard.

      Thanks for the comment. Cheers!


    • Hugo on September 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm
    • Reply

    My cousin told me about Forty Creek about two months ago so I decided to try it out. I’m normally a Crown guy, but after trying Forty Creek, I was hooked. The taste is very smooth and quite tasty! I’ve always drank my whiskey with some soda, but I can honestly say that Forty Creek has gotten me to drink it on the rock because of the smooth taste. I highly recommend you to try it out. You might just switch like I did.

    • Richie on November 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm
    • Reply

    I am hook and sold on Forty Creek. I have been a Crown drinker for years, but since I have sampled Forty Creek my choice has changed in whiskey. Very smooth and he as the last person stated, I drink it on the rocks. I partner dropped me off 5-1,75L last night.

    • Scott on August 17, 2014 at 8:33 am
    • Reply

    John Hall distills and ages the wheat, the rye and the corn separately then blends. Each year he puts out a special release all of which I’ve had the pleasure save for one. I was poor. The Port wood is great and the confederation oak is actually aged in Canadian oak from trees that were around in 1867 – Canada’s founding. As growing seasons are shorter our oak is a little denser.

    • Ken Ferrill on April 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm
    • Reply

    In the beginning you had a small bottle of your Double Barrel hanging on bottles on every shelf in every store.( great promotional idea) As a long time user of Crown Royal I was immediately sold. It was almost imposable to find in any stores. I had terrible arguments with several large store Managers to get them to stock this product. I had to order a case. I love the product. Now someone in your organization has decided to make it imposable to open a bottle with out a knife. Don’t now how much this dumb idea saved you. I do now that it cost you this customer. Although it was embarrassing to do so, I told my local store manager to certainly not stock this product any longer on my account. To bad for me because although it is very expensive, I really did enjoy it. You have just made it to difficult. Penny wise and pound foolish.
    My usual purchase around four cases annually.

      • Jery Morris on October 22, 2017 at 8:34 pm
      • Reply

      Are you saying that you really enjoy the product, but since it’s hard to open, you’re giving it a thumbs down?

    • fred on November 23, 2017 at 8:43 pm
    • Reply

    Forty Creek and copper pot have changed their label. They have also changed their taste! I will not be buying either product again. Both products have a strange butterscotch flavour that makes the product taste like crap!

    • bill on September 29, 2018 at 10:04 pm
    • Reply

    love the product but would like the older cap brought back

    • Tim Golling on June 19, 2019 at 11:20 pm
    • Reply

    Given to me as a gift from a Canadian friend—Forty Creek makes a perfect Manhatten –Has a unique taste that I have yet to receive in any whisky that I have tasted to date–Normally a VO drinker–Very good—-Available in Cleveland Ohio?????

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