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Gillman
10-28-2006, 15:03
On the shelf at the Summerhill, Toronto LCBO today I saw two new whiskies from Gibson. I did not catch the age expressions if any but one said "Bourbon Cask" and the other said (I can't recall the exact title) that it was finished in new oak wood.

The Bourbon Cask one said that the casks had previously held whisky in Scotland, so they were bourbon casks once removed. Canadian whisky normally uses ex-bourbon casks, so I am not sure what is intended by this expression.

I did not buy these but I might later.

I also saw and bought Three Grain, a brand from Forty Creek that had disappeared from the shelves for the last two years or so. Nice to see it back. I tasted it and found it excellent, showing an evident sherry effect (from sherry cask aging of some of the constituents). The sherry married well the various whiskies used (barley, corn and rye whiskeys). I plan to add a dash of Pikesville to a glass of same, or Rittenhouse, and this I think will produce something close to the old Maryland fruity style of rye whiskey. The Three Grain is quite nice on its own however yet at the same time it never reminds me of a straight whiskey.

Gary

FlashPuppy
10-28-2006, 15:15
I also saw and bought Three Grain, a brand from Forty Creek that had disappeared from the shelves for the last two years or so.

I have seen this on several shelves down here Gary. Is there any differentiation between the old and new versions? I want to say that they also had a four grain on the shelf next to it. Is this correct?

ThomasH
10-28-2006, 19:09
It appears that Forty Creeks Canadian whiskey brands have disappeared from quite a few areas in the last few years. Ohio closed it out around 10.00 a bottle about a year ago and Binnys closed out on of its versions for about the same price. On the website, it said that this brand was a top seller in Taiwan so maybe it has lots of sales steam overseas. Does anyone here know? Personally I like the 2 versions I have tried. I hope it reappears on the market!

Thomas

Gillman
10-28-2006, 19:18
Well clearly these are still in production and the Barrel Select certainly is very popular here. I don't think there is a 4-grain, there is Mountain Rock, which is new(ish) and bear some relationship to 3 Grain but is more neutral in taste.

Good question about any differences in the old and current 3 Grain. I think the current one is better, softer and richer with more integration.

Gary

Powertrip
10-29-2006, 15:33
Met and talked to John Hall (whisky maker for Forty Creek) a couple of weeks ago. The 3-Grain has not yet been discontinued but the production numbers are being limited with possible future discontinuation. There should be no major differences in the older to newer versions. All the whisky is at least 10 years of age and the blending process has not changed....although suttle differences will of course be noted.

Forty Creek has plans to push its Barrel Select brand as its front-runner, and sometime in the future will be releasing limited single-barrel editions. Can't wait for these!

Gillman
10-29-2006, 15:51
Thanks for this update. I've met John Hall too and suggested he release his rye whisky on its own, so maybe this will happen via a single barrel offering.

One thing I don't know is what proof John distills out at (and perhaps it is different for each of the 3 constituent whiskies). He told me he does one run through the still, but distilling out proof would of course bear a lot on flavour, as would any use of new charred barrels.

Anyway I really like Barell Select and Three Grain. He gets a very good palate which is still identifiable as Canadian whisky.

Gary

CrispyCritter
10-29-2006, 16:29
I've noticed that Forty Creek Three Grain has reappeared at Binny's, at about $20 for a bottle.

dsoneil
10-30-2006, 18:42
Hello,

While I was search for information on this new Gibson's whisky, I noticed the post here. I just purchased a bottle of this out of curiosity and my first impressions are pretty good. It seems to be a middle point between bourbon and Canadian whisky. I did a full review of the whisky on my website.

Gibson's New Oak Whisky (http://www.theartofdrink.com/blog/2006/10/gibsons_new_oak_whisky.php)

Hope this provides everyone with some background.

Darcy

TNbourbon
10-30-2006, 18:47
Hello,

While I was search for information on this new Gibson's whisky, I noticed the post here. I just purchased a bottle of this out of curiosity and my first impressions are pretty good. It seems to be a middle point between bourbon and Canadian whisky. I did a full review of the whisky on my website.

Gibson's New Oak Whisky (http://www.theartofdrink.com/blog/2006/10/gibsons_new_oak_whisky.php)

Hope this provides everyone with some background.

Darcy

Thanks for that, Darcy -- sounds like something I might like to try if I see it in these parts.
I hope we here might encourage you to dabble a bit more in our favorite potable, too.

Gillman
10-31-2006, 03:26
Thanks too from a fellow Canadian for an excellent review. I'll have to try these soon.

Gary

Gillman
10-31-2006, 15:02
I tried the New Oak of Gibson's tonight. Not bad, but I don't see anything that really charts a new path for mainstream Canadian whisky.

It has a lightly smoky nose, as promised by the label, and some additional sweetness from the new wood. The label does not say, but I suspect the whiskey is finished in a new charred barrel.

It is slightly heavier and richer than a standard Canadian whisky, but quite far from anything approaching a straight whiskey palate.

The age is not stated (regular Gibson's is 12 years old).

Probably it is Schenley OFC or similar finished in a new charred barrel (since Gibson's whiskies are made I believe in Valleyfield, Quebec by Schenley which is owned by Barton, i.e., Constellation Brands).

I will try soon the Bourbon Barrel version but I doubt, based on this tasting, that a new direction will be noted.

Still, I applaud the interest of Canadian whisky makers to try something different. I must note too that in light of the definition in the regulations of Canadian whisky, the producers probably can't change the palate too much and still call it that. This may explain why Danfield's Private Reserve, Centennial 10 years old, the earlier premium line from Hiram Walker such as Gooderham & Worts and Pike's Place, etc., still reminded me of the basic Canadian approach to whisky making. Only Lot 40 was really different and I don't recall if its label said "Canadian whisky", "rye whisky" or "Canadian rye whisky" (although if it did I would agree that Lot 40 does have a Canadian taste although a particular interpretation of it, as does Barrel Select, say).

Putting this another way, I think you could put a bourbon-style whisky out in Canada, or straight rye-style, but you might have to call it, "Johnson's Old Ontario Whisky", something like that.

Gary

cowdery
11-03-2006, 13:45
Hall's plan was always to discontinue Three-Grain at some point and bring out other limited edition bottlings. Barrel Select was supposed to be the flagship. I have a lot of respect for Hall and what he has accomplished with his whiskies.