Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve 43% alc/vol

April 27, 2013


A New Canadian Handcrafted Whisky From John K. Hall

Rich toffee and searing chili peppers over bursting rye spices, rye grain and bitter orange. Big, rich and hearty. ★★★★

Big things are happening at Forty Creek distillery. For the past several years, John K. Hall’s Whisky Weekend has turned his Grimsby, Ontario distillery into a whisky lover’s Mecca. Each year, hordes line up to sample Hall’s latest creation, take a tour and join the festivities. Whisky Weekend 2012 is just around the corner, on September 15 and 16, and this year, Canada’s best-known whisky maker has created not one, not two, but three new whiskies to reward those who join the annual pilgrimage to Grimsby.

Among these new whiskies is this one which Hall refers to as an “amped-up” version of the best-selling Barrel Select. “Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve delivers a bolder and richer taste profile and is bottled at 43% to complement the depth of flavours,” Hall tells us.

It’s all part of a new strategy. The former Kittling Ridge distillery has divested of its winery in order to focus on making whisky, and has formally changed its name to Forty Creek Distillery. The new focus on whisky may break a few wine lovers’ hearts, but if it means more whiskies like Cooper Pot Reserve, it’s glorious news for the whisky crowd.

Copper Pot forms part of a new core Forty Creek line-up. And the LCBO too, seems to have caught the excitement, for although Copper Pot will not be released officially until mid-September, it has already begun appearing on LCBO shelves across the province. “We’re not complaining,” a distillery rep told me. Well, we whisky lovers are not complaining either.

Nose: Rye grain, caramel, eucalyptus, butterscotch and bitter orange burst into shards of cinnamon, cloves and black fruit. Hints of wet slate, as in a late-summer creek bed, transform into an eye-opening nose tickle, a tip of the hat to the higher flavour (and alcohol) content.

Palate: Rich toffee and hot chili peppers erupt in a lush and stimulating burst. This is such a captivating pairing, and so tightly synthesized, that it feels like a single flavour until slowly, cinnamon hearts elbow their way to the fore. The hearty, big, rich mouth becomes almost chewy and syrup like. Beguiling hot pepper sears the tongue and throat, until a certain graininess overtakes the middle with dark chocolate. Slightly sour citrus notes and burnt caramel signal the arrival of rich and figgy dark fruits.

Finish: Long, sweet and fruity with brisk pepper and a cleansing citrus pithiness.

Empty Glass: Toasty oak, sweet fragrant flowers, hints of maple sugar and an herbal softness.

Highly recommended ★★★★

$28.45 at LCBO

Forty Creek Barrel Select is reviewed here.

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve is reviewed here.

Forty Creek Confederation Oak is reviewed here.

Forty Creek John’s Private Cask No. 1 is reviewed here.


21 Responses to “Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve 43% alc/vol”

  1. Matt:


    Hunting a bottle tomorrow. Shame I won’t be able to dothe weekend of the 15/16th.

    Great write-up as always!

  2. portwood:

    Looking forward to this one and the port wood reserve.
    Glad to see John Hall is coming around to higher ABV releases.

    • Davin:

      Thanks Matt and portwood,
      Hang onto your hats! This is the start of one incredible year for Canadian whisky. And the Port Wood is even better than it was last time. (Five stars – I wish I had six.)

  3. Brian:

    Looks like I’ll have to pick up 2 new bottles when I go to get my Port Wood bottle at the distillery.

    The Forty Creek guys are pushing the Canadian whisky world so far forward@

  4. Darko:

    Sweet!! Called the distillery today, and it’s on the shelf. Going to get some tomorrow. Gonna try this with barrel select & three grain.

  5. Yello to Mello:

    Got my hands one one and trying right now because I cant wait…..yes….exactly how I imagined it! Well done…thats all Ill say for now…will have this head to head with some others such as the barrel select but Im going to the Jays game tonight.

  6. Mike:

    Took a bit to grow on me, as most of their whiskies seem to. But very nice. Similar to Barrel Select but less fruity (no sherry this time?). Not the smoothest stuff in the world, but has a nice rich taste and mouthfeel. I will be buying it again for sure.

  7. Piers Stronge:

    Still haven’t seen this in Calgary :(

    Looking at , it’s in the system but:
    “0 matches found.
    We could not find any locations in Alberta where this product has been shipped recently. “

  8. Sailor Joe:

    Was not a big fan at first. But found myself coming back to it a lot and then realized it grew on me. Can’t put it down now.

    • Davin:

      That is so true of so many great whiskies. New flavours can take time to feel comfortable on your palate.

  9. Piers:

    patience finally pays off and I have a bottle in my hand! why on earth did this take so long to reach Alberta??

    • Davin:

      Greedy whisky lovers in Ontario, I guess ;-)
      I think Kensington Wine Market had it. I saw a bottle in their tasting room.
      Good to hear from you, Piers.

      • Piers:

        I thought they brought that in just for you lol..

        glad to finally have something to contribute ;) I’ve been enjoying your sunday twitter adventure

        • Davin:

          Join us. Two more weeks!

  10. Firas.Lami:

    I’ve just had the chance to try the Copper Pot, and it is good Whisky –if you’re into the whole Scottish taste. However, if you prefer your whisky, a bit Irish, then stick to 40 Creek’s original Barrel Select.
    Comparing The Copper Pot to Barrel Select –being made by the same distiller (Master), is like comparing Johnnie Walker’s “Swing”, to Black Label, with the latter, having more of an ‘oily’ taste to it, just like the Copper Pot does.
    Personally, I’d stick with my 40 Creek’s original Barrel Select :)

  11. [...] Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve is reviewed here. [...]

  12. JDub:

    As much as I try, I just can’t tell the difference between this and the regular Barrel Select. Other than the price. Pretty disappointing.

  13. Gerard:

    How does the Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve compare to the new bottling of the Lot 40?

    I just got into rye a month ago, bourbon last week, after having only started drinking whisky at all last October (Scotch at a friend’s wedding).

    As for rye, I started with the Lot 40 and honestly feel like it is the drink I’ve been working towards since I had my first taste of alcohol. So, I’ve bought up a few of the remaining bottles in my area to be spread out over a couple or few years.

    I’ve also tried Alberta Premium Dark Horse, and while it is fine-tasting stuff, I’m not all that enthusiastic about it. I just got my first bottle of Pike Creek which I like more than the Dark Horse, but like the Horse, it leaves me wanting a little something more that the Lot 40 has, and that is partly the cinnamon hearts taste you mention in this review. I know the Forty Creek Copper Pot is a worthwhile purchase regardless of the existence of Lot 40, but can you offer any commentary on its suitability – or lack thereof – as a whisky to placate a Lot 40 fanatic?


    • Davin:

      Copper Pot bears very little resemblance to Lot No. 40. It’s very god whisky but a different style altogether.

    • Greg:

      It seems you and I have similar tastes in regards to how we feel about Lot 40, Dark Horse and Pike Creek. Lot 40 really tastes unlike any other Canadian Whisky I’ve tried. It has its own unique flavor profile. Truth be told the only whiskies I can think of with a similar taste to Lot 40 are single malt scotches such as Glenlivet Nadurra or Glenmorangie 10 (although I feel Lot 40 is better than both of those)

      Although they do not taste similar to Lot 40, I would recommend trying Wiser’s Legacy and Forty Creek Confederation Oak if you have not already done so. Copper Pot is good, but those are great.

  14. Greg:


    Do you know if Copper Pot is still finished in sherry casks like the Barrel Select is? I don’t seem to get the fruity sherry flavors like I do in the Barrel Select.

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