Forty Creek Confederation Oak

Maker: Forty Creek, Grimsby, Ontario, Canada (Campari)2016-05-20-20.38.49.jpg.jpeg

Style: Blended Canadian Whisky

Age: NAS

ABV: 40%

Michigan State Minimum: $65

Appearance: Light copper.

Nose: Brown sugar, oatmeal, vanilla, a little oak, bubblegum.

Palate: Full bodied. A liquid granola bar. Honey, cinnamon, rolled oats, butterscotch, alcohol, toasted oak.

Finish: Grape soda, stronger oak, alcohol, lavender.

Parting words: Confederation Oak is so named for the old growth Canadian white oak trees that gave their lives to make the barrels that aged this whisky. The Confederation comes in because the trees were over 150 years old when harvested, meaning they were standing when the Canadian Confederation was created in 1867. The makers claim that the Canadian terroir makes a contribution to the taste.

I thought I had reviewed the standard Forty Creek Barrel Select a while back but it turns out I hadn’t. It’s a decent whisky, but it has an off note (similar to spoiled butter) that grows on me in a bad way. It’s not one I’ve found myself going back to. This whisky is a big improvement, as it should be at $44 more in price.

I did not expect this much grain character in a whisky this expensive but it’s not a bad thing here. Like I said above, it’s like a liquid granola bar. Sweet and grainy with a bit of spice, it’s delicious from beginning to end. If I have any gripes with this whisky, you can already probably guess them, dear readers. They are price and proof. At $65, I should be getting more for my money than in the Barrel Select, especially with NAS. Still, this is delicious and I love it. Forty Creek Confederation Oak is recommended.

Glen Grant 16 y/o

Maker: Grent Grant, Rothes, Moray, Scotland, UK (Campari)

Region: Speyside- Rothes

ABV: 43%

Michigan State Minimum: $80

Appearance: Dark straw. Coats the inside of the glass with thick, gentle legs.Glen Grant 16

Nose: Green apple, sherry, caramel pear, lemon thyme. Water brings it together and brings out some light spice like sweet cinnamon and ginger and a firm but unobtrusive oak structure.

On the palate: Medium bodied and a little hot. Custard, butterscotch candy, caramel.

Finish: Hot but rich and sweet. Lingers for a long time.

Parting words: I don’t like sherry. I have tried to like it but I have never been able to develop a taste for it despite my heavily British genetic makeup.

My dislike of sherry has kept me away from Speyside single malts because of their traditionally heavy use of sherry casks and the resulting sherry flavors. I’m starting to rethink my aversion to Speysiders, though. This is a powerful, flavorful and well-balanced single malt. It is now my favorite Speyside single malt. It’s everything anybody could want in a Speyside malt. At $80 it’s not cheap but one could to worse for more. As frugal as I can be with whisky, I have never regretted buying Glen Grant 16. Highly recommended.