Drink Review: Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

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Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve sees the whisky finished in bourbon barrels from Kentucky. This has led to a whisky with a creamy texture; full of notes of vanilla, pecan and toasted spice.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Review:

Thoughts on Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is an absolute smash hit amongst whisky drinkers because bourbon is a flavoursome spirit. You always get a dose of warm and spicy notes with bourbon too.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve has a light and bold palate of vanilla, vanilla, oaky and chocolaty notes. It is a well-finished whisky which is complex but still carries a distinct identity.

My initial review of this hot new bourbon on the market – and I’ve tried a fair few of them – was that it would be a whisky best served neat, with plenty of ice. I am happy to say that you don’t necessarily have to like bourbon this watery – this was a success ‘navy style’.

It is an excellent whisky to enjoy after dinner, with a healthy slice of lemon in the glass. But if you are anything like me, you will want a lot of ice.

Great value and a restrained sweetness. If you want a bourbon with an exotic and expressive character, this is a drier, more classically strong bourbon which has enough to keep you occupied without being sickly sweet.

If you’re looking for a cheap bourbon, this is hard to beat.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Review:

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is my bourbon of choice and I am keen to see how it develops and matures in future years, over the years. This one is still very new but this review will be useful if you are looking for a top bourbon that has all the right balance.

Nose: Generally on the nose, the bigger and showier the better for this kind of Big Kahuna bourbon. Cloves, lemons, vanilla, balsamic butterscotch and other oaky notes, with some of the spice of the bourbon.

Palate: Spicier than the nose, but still sweet and moderate with a vanilla backbone and a slight chalkiness.

Over time: This one doesn’t get better with age, in fact it gets dry and soapy, but it does get a little smoother and better rested.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Review:

Nose: Bold and concentrated but not hugely oaky or spicy. Cloves, lemon, vanilla and leather. Nice.

Palate: Pale and elegant, almost soapy or lemony in character with a sweet vanilla, oak and hints of toffee.

Over time: It loosens up a bit, but always retains a sweetness of character, some freshness, some fruit and a very dry, pencil-hard oakiness. Not massively lithe, but much nicer below room temperature.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve:

Taste: On the tastes, it’s vanilla and oak but not as oaky as you might expect. Minty, slightly sharp and dryish.

Smooth and buttery and very sweet, but not too heavy. This is a big, spiced bourbon.

Under room temperature: None of these flavours stand out that much and it’s a bit of a one-taster wonder, but it’s still good.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve:

A lot of oak, a mix of sweetness, oaky and spice, some of the spiciness being from the bourbon rather than the barrels.

Well balanced and overall that element of dry spice and sweetness that makes up a decent bourbon. That oak is still with it, at least a little.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Review:

Nose: On the nose, the bigger the better. Smells great, but a little dry and a little woody.

Palate: On the palate, bigger on the palate, more concentrated and cleaner. Oakier, more oaky. Spiced.

Over Time: The vanilla starts to get a little weird and it’s definitely getting woodier. It’s better after two or three months, but definitely getting dry and a bit run down.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve Review:

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is not a balmy spirit. It is not very spiced. It is surprisingly high in alcohol, but that’s because it’s from a bourbon recipe. In fact it’s well worth the effort to get 40% in your glass.

Having said that, this is a great bourbon. Half a bottle when it’s fresh will be enough for a night with friends. 


Written by Mark Adams


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