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Gillman
05-21-2006, 11:18
This is a new release from Kittling Ridge Estate Distillery, makers of Barrel Select (part of the Forty Creek line) and Pure Gold. The distillery also made Three Grain but it seems to have been withdrawn (perhaps to make room for Canadian Mountain Rock Whisky (the full name)).

Mountain Rock states on the label it is "smooth, gutsy and flavourful". That covers all the bases. There is no age statement, and the proof is a standard 40% ABV.

The nose seems light with a whiff of grain ethanol. The taste is fruity, grainy, with some oak and chestnut-like depth and a touch of sweetness. The ethanol tags along and dominates the finish. Although the label states that "heavy char oak barrels" are used there is little bourbon-like oak char taste, maybe the barrels are reused (a common practice for Canadian whisky).

This is a good product and good value for the $22.45 (CAN) being asked in Ontario. The name and label design suggest to me the target audience is the younger crowd, say 21-35, not the single malt-type crowd.

I am getting hints of Three Grain in the whisky, Three Grain has a distinctive sherry background. I think there may be some Barrel Select too. Possibly those two are being blended with Pure Gold to pick up the latter's mild, standard-type palate. Maybe Mountain Rock is a purpose-made blend finished in sherry casks. However it is made, the result is good and offers more taste than most Canadian whisky.

From the point of view of finesse and complexity I prefer Wiser's Reserve (Special Edition) 43% ABV and second to that, Danfield's Private Reserve. Crown Royal's line up is good too.

Gary

Hedmans Brorsa
05-23-2006, 08:55
Thanks for this info, Gary.

Locating Canadian whisky in Europe can often be a chore, especially the premium ones but having tried Forty Creek, the desire to sample a relative seems natural.

Gillman
05-23-2006, 09:25
Barrel Select is better in my view than Mountain Rock, fuller in taste and more complex. It is interesting though to taste "what is in" Mountain Rock. If you know their other line-up you can see the connection and as I say some of the other whiskies may be incorporated in Mountain Rock or elements of them. I like to combine Barrel Select and Three Grain because I find one a little too oaky/chocolately and one too sherryish: the combination is ideal however (in the right proportions of course). It is possible KR was aiming to do this for Mountain Rock but if so they have lightened the blending with something fairly neutral-tasting, to my taste anyway. It is a good product, I could see this going down after a good Canadian beer, say a Moosehead. Beer and a shot.

Gary

CrispyCritter
05-26-2006, 20:35
The distillery also made Three Grain but it seems to have been withdrawn (perhaps to make room for Canadian Mountain Rock Whisky (the full name)).
:frown:

Looks like I better go on a hunting expedition - Three Grain has been a favorite of mine (so has Barrel Select, for that matter). Both of them have been pretty cheap in the Chicago area...

Gillman
05-27-2006, 04:30
It's possible Three Grain will still be sold in U.S. markets but I haven't seen it on the shelves in Toronto for some time. It is a good whisky and so is Barrel Select and I enjoy combining them to get additional tastes. The new Mountain Rock is more in their line than Pure Gold which aims for the traditional Canadian palate. It is interesting to take two or three of these and recombine them to get different tastes. I understand KR combines "varietal" whiskies (all-rye, all-barley, all-corn) to make its whiskies and these of course are made up of different ages used in different combinations. By combining them myself (I do this in the glass) I view it as altering the house's vattings to get a different effect. I like Barrel Select on its own too.

Gary

cowdery
05-27-2006, 18:39
Barrel Select was always intended to be the flagship of the Forty Creek fleet and Three Grain was intended to be a limited edition. John Hall has always said he wants to offer these special limited editions from time to time.

None of the Forty Creek products are likely to make anyone swear off bourbon, but they are moderately priced and just as good as the much more expensive premium expressions of the big name Canadians. Also, Hall is a genuine small, craft distiller.