Whisky Advocate

New Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

May 2nd, 2008

It’s time to take a brief break from all the Speyside whisky I’ve been writing about. The pioneering Canadian distiller, John Hall, at Kittling Ridge, will be releasing a new whisky this September called Forty Creek John K. Hall Double Barrel Reserve. I could tell you about it, but let’s get it straight from John:

I decided to Double Barrel my aged Forty Creek Whisky stocks. Instead of blending the rye, the barley & the corn whiskies, rounding in sherry casks, and finally bottling, as we do Forty Creek Barrel Select, I blended the three aged whiskies and then re-barreled them in “First Run” bourbon barrels.

Since my whiskies had already been aged, I didn’t want to distract from the taste I had already achieved. My intent was to complement the existing taste and therefore I needed barrels without fresh harsh oak tannins. The characteristics of the “First Run” bourbon barrels were just what I was looking for. These barrels would enhance the existing tastes of Forty Creek and take the whisky to another level. The added bonus would be allowing all three whiskies time to mellow, and get to know each other in the same barrel.

The whisky won’t be bottled until June. When it is, he’s going to send me a sample. I’ll give you my thoughts on the whisky at that time. This is a limited edition run of 10,200 bottles worldwide.

16 Responses to “New Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve”

  1. BA says:

    Sounds fantastic – I was worried it was like the Ardbeg ‘double barrel’ for a minute.

    For us Ontarians, did he say whether it will be available at the LCBO?

  2. John Hansell says:

    He didn’t mention distribution, other than saying “worldwide.” Hopefully he will see your posting and respond. If he doesn’t, I’ll ask him.

  3. Beth says:

    Hi BA,

    There will be a limited amount of Forty Creek Double Barrel available in selected LCBO stores – probably on the shelves in October.

    Also, we are currently accepting “Choose your Own Bottle Number” reservations for customers who are able to pick up their bottle of Double Barrel Reserve at the Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario. Double Barrel Reserve will be released at the distillery on September 15th. (Unfortunately we cannot ship).

    Follow this link for more information:

    Thank you very much for your support!


  4. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Beth! I am already assuming I will not see it on the shelves here in Pennsylvania, but what about the rest of the U.S.?

  5. Beth says:

    Hi John,

    There will definitely be some Double Barrel Reserve available in:

    New Jersey

    We are hoping to add a few additional markets – stay tuned.

    As well, the Double Barrel will be available at a few different on-line retailers for our USA customers that can’t get it in their home state.


  6. Brian says:

    Any idea when this is going to start showing up in the States? Mostly concerned about Texas, but I haven’t seen anyone in the States with it.

  7. John Hansell says:

    They said it will show up in Texas. It should show up soon. If I see John at WhiskyFest on Tuesday night, I’ll ask.

  8. Brian says:

    I’ve already mentioned it to the manager at my favorite local liquor store. He didn’t have any problem getting Small Batch Reserve when I asked about it, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

  9. John Hansell says:

    That’s great Brian. I did see John Hall very briefly at WhiskyFest but forgot to ask him about it.

  10. PRJack says:

    I’ve had a chance to sample this and I can finally say that I’ve found a Canadian Whisky that I can truly enjoy. I didn’t mind the regular 40 Creek – but would more often than not opt for a Bushmills Black Bush instead. The Double Barrel is nothing short of spectacular. I already have plans to ‘lay in supplies’ of a couple more bottles because this quality at that price… it’s not going to stay on shelves very long.

  11. John Hansell says:

    I like it a lot too! I think it is my favorite of all the Forty Creek releases so far.

  12. Brian says:

    The Double Barrel has landed in Texas. I picked up two bottles on Saturday and enjoyed my first couple of drinks that night. I’ll have to open one of my bottles of Small Batch to do a side-by-side to see which one I like better, but this is definitely very good.

  13. John Hansell says:

    I like the Double Barrel a little better, but do a side-by-side and have fun with it.

  14. Diana says:


    My husband was wondering if it is possible to store this Double Barrel for the next 10-15 years? Will it affect the taste/ quality? Also what is the best way to store unopened whisky?
    He has it in mind to share with our sons when they are of age.

  15. Dox says:

    The Forty Creek Double Barrel, and any whiskey for that matter, is completely safe to store. I would avoid any severe temperature changes and direct sunlight. It should maintain it’s magnificent flavor as long as it remains sealed. But how can you possibly wait that long to drink it?!

  16. Paul S says:

    I’m relaxing here with a glass of regular Forty Creek whiskey Barrel Select as well as a glass with a splash of Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve from bottle #01831
    Thought I’d do a comparision.
    The Barrel Select is good. It’s one of my favorites. The Double Barrel is a work of art. Flavourful and warm it should be sipped slowly to be fully appreciated.
    Thanks John!

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