Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

September 25, 2015


Mountains of dark fruits and wild flowers, with toffees, clean oak, and citrus pith, erupt into rye spices and hot white peppers. The mouthfeel buffers the spiciness with a round creaminess. Savoured slowly, sip by sip, delicate hints of ginger root, sweet-sour-bitter kumquats and ripe fruits appear. A long, glowing finish resolves itself in sandalwood. Simply delicious whisky. ★★★★★

Forty Creek Canadian Whisky - Three Grain Harmony

Each year whisky lovers wait with bated breath to learn what Forty Creek’s special release will be and each year they are pleasantly surprised. When John K. Hall sold his distillery to Gruppo Campari last year, naysayers and conspiracy theorists predicted the end for these special releases. However, this year’s limited edition, called Three Grain Harmony, proves how wrong they were. This new whisky builds on past successes as previous releases did, while exploring new dimensions of the Forty Creek house style, just as each past special release has also done.

After high school, Hall paid for his continuing education by working as a musician. A Windsor boy, his band played weekend gigs throughout northern Michigan and southwestern Ontario.

“Harmony,” the dictionary tells us is “the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear.” With Three Grain Harmony, Hall has applied  his musician’s sensibility to creating a whisky with chords that are most pleasing to the nose and palate, an organoleptic symphony if you will.

Not the New York Philharmonic, the Forty Creek Symphony has but 30 players. Yes, just 30 barrels of whisky were mingled together to create this new 9,000-bottle release. Some of those barrels were filled as far back as 1992, some much more recently. To his long-seasoned notes of rye and barley, John K. Hall added a chorus of vigourous, sprightly, four-year-old corn whisky. “To give it body,” he tells us.

The result is a whisky with the depth and breadth of flavour that only a maestro of harmony could create. Three Grain Harmony is the 9th special release from Forty Creek and some say, it’s best new whisky to date.

Very highly recommended ★★★★★

$69.95 at LCBO.


10 Responses to “Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony”

  1. I thought I tasted some young corn whisky in there! That wasn’t my favourite touch – but I liked the spiciness and all those years have certainly fed well into the complexity here. The “glowing finish” I cetainly do agree with.

    Quite glad for these releases, and also for their availability in Canada amidst so much competition for good whisky elsewhere.

  2. Rob:

    Simply disappointed in Forty Creeks last three releases. They are slipping to say the least.

    • Davin:

      Sorry to hear that Rob, they’ve certainly taken a different direction. Slipped- I’d say no, just changed. There’s lots of other good stuff out there that might suit your tastes better.

  3. How would you say it stacks up against the masterful previous releases like Private Cask No. 1 and Confederation Oak Reserve?


    What would you give it out of 100?

    • Davin:

      It stacks up well.

  4. Toronto Tim:

    I tried this FCH at LCBO SUmmerhill (“Tasting Tower”), head-to-head vs. Crown Royal 75th Anniversary (which has some really old Coffey whiskies). FCH gains the upper hands both on the nose and palate: longer finish, boomy nose, and weightier body (and a bit more oily). If the Double-Barrel Reserve scores an 8.5, this FCH is a 9.0/10 for sure. But the best nose of all is the Copper-Pot FC.

    • The Summerhill tasting tower is great! Probably my most looked forward to desitnation wheneve Im in TO.

      At Queens Quay on the other hand I had $400-$750 single malts served in improperly rinsed glasses with stale detergent in them. They also adhere very strictly to the 1/4 oz portion size which Summerhill doesn`t.

  5. George Jetson:

    This just hit the shelves in Texas. My expectations were high as the original Three Grain was my favorite 40C expression. I’m certainly no bourbon fan, but the squeezins in the mix achieve their intent; an exceptionally creamy mouthfeel. It’s needed to counter the brittle aged rye which is as pungent as Lot No. 40 in its own rite. In a way this is kind of a throwback CW, the kind I’d happily guzzle in a shanty ice fishing.

Leave a Reply