Canadian Whisky of the Year – 2012

January 25, 2013


VICTORIA, Jan. 17, 2013

Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve – 2012 Edition – from John K. Hall’s Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario has been named Canadian Whisky of the Year in the 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards.

A jury of seven whisky writers, bloggers and broadcasters selected Hall’s latest special release as best Canadian whisky of 2012, following more than a month of blind tastings.

The results of the third annual Canadian Whisky Awards were announced Thursday evening (January 17, 2012) at the Victoria Whisky Festival in Victoria, B.C.

Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve, a three-time winner, was also named Connoisseur Whisky of the Year in multiple markets, along with taking home a gold medal. Each year Hall manages to outdo himself with a new special release and 2012 was no exception. Port Wood Reserve is, in many people’s opinion, the best whisky yet from Forty Creek Distillery. Given Forty Creek’s well-earned reputation for quality whisky, that is saying a lot!

Forty Creek whiskies won in so many categories that someone at the awards banquet opined that John Hall would need extra luggage to get all his medals and plaques home to Grimsby. Among other recognition garnered by Hall’s distillery, Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve was named Sippin’ Whisky of the year for the domestic market while Canada Gold, also from Forty Creek won Value Whisky of 2012.

Other top winners included Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 year old, and Canadian Rockies 21 year old.

The awards also recognized the 2012, flavoured whisky phenomenon.  All of the major whisky makers have moved to address the growing demand for flavoured whiskies with Gibson’s, Forty Creek, and Kruger Wine and Spirits being given particular mention. Awards of Excellence went to Kruger Wine and Spirits for Sortilège and Diageo for Crown Royal Maple. Flavoured whisky may be anathema to the hard-core whisky crowd, but it is making a huge contribution to the category by drawing drinkers with other preferences, step-wise, into the whisky fold.

Alberta Premium Dark Horse, from Beam Inc. was recognized for taking the already popular Alberta Premium in a new and exciting direction.

2012 – what a year to be a whisky lover. Canadian producers have really upped their game and the results came through clearly in the awards they received.  Canadian whisky sales were up four percent in 2012 with double-digit growth in sales of high-end Canadian connoisseur whiskies. The time has come once again, to recognize the excellent quality of Canadian whisky and that is why the Canadian Whisky Awards have drawn such enthusiastic support from industry and drinks journalists alike.

Each year the Canadian Whisky Awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest standards for making whisky. To be eligible, whiskies must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky writers, bloggers, and journalists selects the winners after blind tasting each whisky. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

It takes a very special whisky come to the fore of such a strong entry. Congratulations to John K. Hall and his Forty Creek Distillery. In 2012, Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve was just that whisky.

For a complete list of all the winners of the 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards click here.

Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve 2012 Edition is reviewed here.


5 Responses to “Canadian Whisky of the Year – 2012”

  1. paddockjudge:

    Bravo, John Hall and Forty Creek for defending the title as Canadian Whisky of the Year!

    That’s a threepeat in the Canadian Whisky Awards and a sweep dating back to the inaugural event in 2010.

    John Hall is the master of meritage, but could 2013 be the year for a single grain expression, or single cask?
    There is no doubt that in September the Grimsby facility will be abuzz with whisky enthusiasts anxious to sample “the next one”.

    Congratulations to a Canadian whisky icon, what an incredible accomplishment!

  2. Paul davis:

    Enjoyed reading on the rewards. Must say I prefer lot 40 far as sipping whisky go’s the renewal and great flavor of lot 40 was my favorite.john k hall is undisputed king of Canadian whisky making. He has said he it not bound by centuries of distilling tradition and branding. While giving us consistent flavor with barrel select. He is able to push himself and Canadian whisky making to new heights. His years of flavor profiling wines have given him a unique approach to aging blending and approach to the whisky palates of Canada.

    • Davin:

      Thank you Paul. I agree.

  3. Nate:

    Hello, If I were to find a bottle of Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve 2012, what do you expect I would be paying? I have not seen this product in stock I think it may have sold out, and where could I find one?

    • Davin:

      I can’t remember the exact price but it was around $70.00, maybe less. John Hall told me there will never be another one so if you do see it, grab it.

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