Get ready to wet your whistle! We had the pleasure of touring Forty Creek Distillery in Grimsby, Ontario and it’s about to make you thirsty for the taste of whiskey.
“I’ll have a whiskey on the rocks, please…”
Oftentimes I’ve found myself ordering whiskey – not because I love the taste, but rather to avoid watered-down drinks at the bar. However, after touring Forty Creek Distillery, I have a whole new appreciation, even going so far as to say I have a penchant, for whiskey.
Upon entering the distillery, I felt like my 19-year-old self again, about to make my first legal purchase at the LCBO – a bit giddy to say the least. North American Brand Ambassador Chris Thompson led the tour, leading the group into the factory portion of the distillery where the feeling was confirmed. I looked wide-eyed at a room full of booze paraphernalia.
After a few moments of absorbing all the bottles and labels, our first stop was the distilling room, where a process called pot-stilling takes places. In layman’s terms, this is where the alcohol gets boiled down. Only the middle portion or the purest portion of the alcohol is saved for blending.
Then Canadian rye, barley, and corn are meticulously blended and carefully aged in American bourbon and Canadian oak barrels to create those mouth-watering artful flavor profiles Forty Creek fans love. This was the point of the tour where I was in the most awe – imagine a huge gymnasium… then fill it with barrels, stacked on barrels.
The aging room had so many barrels and so much whiskey, that I swear you could get a bit tipsy just from just breathing the air. What’s even crazier is it’s somebody’s job to uncork and taste EVERY SINGLE barrel of whiskey to determine whether it’s reached maturity (Where do I sign up? How do I apply?).
And of course, after seeing so many barrels of whiskey, we couldn’t leave the aging room without trying a few. My personal fave was the Forty Creek Copper Pot – a full bodied blend with hints of nuts, toffee, spice, and marmalade. Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve and special edition, Forty Creek Confederation Oak, also slid down the gullet nicely.
Left with a yearning for more whiskey, it was the perfect time to head out to the distillery patio and sample some signature Forty Creek cocktails. If you’re looking for whiskey with a bite, The Welder will leave you satisfied: Forty Creek Copper Pot with Aperol, lemon juice, chili syrup and a whole chili on top.
If you’re craving more of a classic taste go for The Old Pal: Forty Creek Barrel Select with Campari and Dry Vermouth, or the Forty Creek Whiskey Sour: Forty Creek Barrel Select, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura and egg white (this one was my favourite with the perfect amount of liquid and froth).
After witnessing the ins and outs of whiskey making (and a whole ton of oak barrels) it’s easy to see why Forty Creek has mounted itself as premium whiskey worldwide and is now the most awarded Canadian whiskey in history. Whether you’re a whiskey newb or an aficionado, I would definitely recommend adding this tour (and these drinks!!!) to your to-do list.
The Forty Creek Distillery is located at 297 South Service Rd. in Grimsby, Ontario and offers complimentary tours and tastings throughout the year. Get more information here.
Will you visit the Forty Creek Distillery? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.