Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 13, 2013
Cabot Tower is situated on Signal Hill in St. John’s, which is of course the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador. Construction of this historic Canadian monument began in 1898 as the tower was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland, as well as to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Today, Cabot Tower is the feature attraction of the Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada, and if you travel to St. John’s you can visit the interpretive center therein and/or enjoy the scenic walking trails with a surrounding view which overlooks St. John’s Harbour.
Of course if you do happen to be in St. John’s (and you want to have a nice drink of rum) then you might also want take a stroll down George Street which is lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants where everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum. One of the rum brands you are sure to encounter in those pubs and restaurants is the namesake of that famous tower, Newfoundland and Labrador’s own, Cabot Tower 100 Proof Rum Demerara Rum.
The Cabot Tower Rum is a 100% Demerara blended rum (distilled and aged in Guyana). This Guyanese rum is shipped in bulk to Canada where at the facilities of Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC), it is bottled at a full 50 % alcohol by volume (100 Proof) for Rocks Spirits, the brand owner.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… After I give the glass some time to relax, I notice the nose reflects the rum’s colour as obvious notes of rich Demerara sugar rise up with hints of red cinnamon, cloves and black licorice imbedded in the rum’s sweetness. As the glass sits even longer, impressions of expensive cigars and hints of a pungent leathery mustiness seem to be residing in the air alongside that spicy sweetness …”
Of course I could not resist suggesting a few cocktails at the end of the review including an overproof Cuba Libre’ and my new recipe, Zombie Apocalypse.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Apocalypse, Cabot Tower, Cocktails, Cuba Libre, Dark Rum, Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation, Newfoundland Rum, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Signal Hill, St. John's, Zombie | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 11, 2013
Double Cross Vodka is handcrafted in small batches at a family run distillery located just outside the 13th century village of Stará Ľubovňa located in the Tatra Mountains of northeastern Slovakia. The vodka is produced from organically grown winter wheat (apparently estate grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers) and purified spring water which is pulled from an aquifer located 200 meters below the ground. It is distilled in a seven-step, column-still process, and there are also seven filtration steps which include the use of active charcoal and limestone.
Double Cross Vodka has been in the Canadian market for about a year (in the Province of Ontario), and recently Woodman Wine and Spirits, (who are the exclusive agents for this brand in Ontario) sent me a bottle for review upon my website.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… I noticed a light lemon scent in the breezes above my shot-glass as well as a sort of vague unidentifiable sweetness. When the Vodka was sipped, a very light lemon/balsam flavour was apparent as were hints of citrus zest and a ‘rye-like’ spiciness which built upon the palate with each sip. I found the Vodka to be remarkably clean, but it also contained nuances of flavour and spice which made it ideal for sipping …”
Please enjoy the review as well as my new cocktail creation, the Yellowbird of Sunshine, which follows.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Double Cross Vodka, Super Premium Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 9, 2013
Canada Gold Whisky has proven to be a hard whisky to get my hands on. I first encountered it when I was one of the judges for the Canadian Whisky Awards, but all of my attempts to retrieve a bottle for review seemed thwarted as the product appears to have only a limited production in the Province of Ontario. It is produced at the Forty Creek Distillery (formerly Kittling Ridge Estate Wines & Spirits), the same distillery that produces Forty Creek Whisky, but I have noticed recently that the Forty Creek website no longer mentions this brand as a core product. My persistence finally paid of a few months ago, when a friend of mine in Ontario emailed me and said that he had found a bottle and was willing to share it with me. I received my portion of the bottle when another mutual friend was travelling and brought me 200 ml which had been drawn from the bottle.
Canada Gold is a value priced whisky produced at 40 per cent alcohol by volume (mainly for the Ontario Market).
You may click on the excerpt to tread the full review:
“… The aroma rising up out of the glass surprised me by its moderate complexity. Butterscotch and wood spice mix with dank tones of corn in the breezes above the glass. I sense some spicy tobacco and pleasant rye spice drifting into the breezes as well. Within all of this is a gentle sweep of vanilla …”
Please enjoy this review, which includes a recipe suggestion based upon the popular Cuba Libre’ Cocktail. When I mix this cocktail with Canadian Whisky instead of rum, I call it the Free Spirit.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canada Gold, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Forty Creek Distillery, Free Spirit, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 5, 2013
The Black Velvet brand has a long history in North America, originally produced at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec in the late 1940s. The whisky was initially called Black Label; but because of its perceived smoothness, the producers soon changed the name to Black Velvet. It has been a staple of the Canadian whisky scene ever since and is now produced at the Black Velvet Distillery (also called the Palliser Distillery) in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Black Velvet Deluxe is available both in Canada and in the USA (and apparently in parts of Europe). However, the bottlings for the different markets are not necessarily the same. The whisky available in Canada may actually be slightly older than the whisky available in the foreign markets. The bottle I have reviewed is the one available in my locale (in Alberta, Canada). It does not carry an age statement; but I have been told the whisky in this particular bottle is about 4 to 6 years old.
Three and a half years have passed since I first reviewed Black Velvet Deluxe. About three weeks ago, I decided that revisiting this classic Canadian whisky to see how time and experience have impacted my perceptions. You may read the resulting review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The entry into the mouth brings forward that same impression of a whisky with a strong dusty dry rye character which is lightly sweet, and lightly fruity. I taste butterscotch at the front end which is followed quickly by citrus fruit (orange peel and lemon zest) and light vanillins. Then the clean rye spices begin to assert themselves across my palate …”
Please enjoy my revisit to Black Velvet Deluxe Canadian Whisky which includes a revisit to my own Canadian Caribou Cocktail.
Have a great day everybody!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Black Velvet Distillery, Black Velvet Whisky, Canadian Caribou, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2013
The Khortytsa Distillery is located in the City of Zaporizhzhia, in the south of Ukraine. The facility is relatively new, and its first distilled products were rolled out in December of 2003. According to the company website, the distillery uses only high quality grain spirits produced by Ukraine’s best factories for vodka manufacturing. Although the facility and the brand are relatively new, they have made a significant impact in the global market where today as Khortytsa is found in 85 countries worldwide. The brand was recently introduced into Canada, and I was recently asked by the local importer, Ukrainian Drinks Ltd. to provide a few reviews of some of their selected products.
The Khortytsa Structured Vodka is produced using what the company calls ‘structured water’ which apparently has similar properties to the water within the human body and allows the Vodka to be more easily digested (at least according to the pressers I have read). The Khortytsa brand also boasts that its Structured Vodka has been certified “Organic” by the EU (European Union), and certified “kosher” by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America).
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… When the Vodka was raised to my nose I noticed very delicate notes of lime zest and spice. As I sipped it, the impression upon my palate was of citrus zest with hints of lemon, spicy white pepper and cloves. All of us at the mini-tasting agreed the vodka was clean and very smooth with no detrimental aftertaste …”
Please enjoy the review, and do indulge in my newest recipe suggestion,the Bluebird of Happiness.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Bluebird of Happiness, Cocktails, Khortytsa, Structured, Ukranian Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2013
Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula
Cognac Ferrand is the result of a rare opportunity offered to a young man (Alexandre Gabriel) in 1989 by one of the oldest wine growing families in the Cognac region of France. According to Mr. Gabriel,
” I met a small Cognac producer who needed help selling his products to finish off his stock. This was Cognac Ferrand. I fell in love with the product and with the region. It all reminded me of what I grew up around. So when I was invited to become a partner and told that no one was going to continue if I didn’t, I just said….yes.”
Although that beginning may have seemed rather precarious to those on the outside, Alexandre made the most of his opportunity, and now Cognac Ferrand a well-respected producer with sales in more than 40 countries world-wide.
For Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac, Mr. Gabriel collected old bottles of cognac that were bottled at a young age and designed his Cognac based upon a particular bottle from 1840 thus replicating a style of cognac which had heretofore been lost to time. In 1840, the appeal for Cognac was much more broadly based. Rather than being an after dinner indulgence consumed in a brandy snifter, those who consumed Cognac regularly mixed it with Seltzer water, and it was even the distilled spirit of choice for cocktails. Although the idea of a Cognac for mixing cocktails may seem rather strange today, Mr. Gabriel is convinced that bringing people back to the origins of cocktail culture through an original style cognac is a winning idea.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… Even before I put my nose to the glass, I could sense the clean scent of fresh green grapes climbing into the air above the glass. When I did place my nose over the glass to inspect the breezes, I received enticing aromas of oak spices which gave me and impressions of freshly sanded oak and sandalwood. Hints of cinnamon stained the oak spices; butterscotch and honey gave the breezes a hint of sweetness; and a fruity citrus zest contributed to an effervescent quality which was apparent in the air …”
Of course I could not help but follow Alexandre Gabriel’s lead and constructed a somewhat heretical cocktail using not only his wonderful cognac, but also a 20-year-old brandy at the conclusion of my review.
Please enjoy the review, and my fantastic cocktail, the Heretic!
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Cognac Review | Tagged: 1840 Cognac, Alexandre Gabriel, Cocktails, Cognac, Cognac Ferrand | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 28, 2013
BELUGA Vodka has been in production since 2002, when the first 38 bottles rolled off the production line at the Mariinsk Distillery on December 13th. The history of this particular plant actually stretches back 113 years to 1900 when it was built in the town of Mariinsk which is located in a remote area of southwestern Siberia (the Kemerovo Oblast), where the West Siberian plains meets the South Siberian mountains. Apparently, this plant was apparently constructed in this remote area of Siberia for a very special reason, the Getreidemalz Siberian spring water which is pulled from an aquifer 250 meters below the ground. The special properties of this water (the aquifer contains quartz) are said to make it ideal for producing vodka.
I was contacted by the Beluga Vodka Company about three months ago inquiring as to how they could send me a sample of the Beluga Transatlantic and Beluga Allure Vodkas. Thanks to the assistance of Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are the local distributors of Beluga Noble Vodka (see my review here), I was able to receive the samples in good order and provide a review on my website.
You may click the following excerpt to read the full review of this special Vodka:
“… when I raised it to my nose I sensed merely whispers of aroma. The first sip brought impressions of a vague creaminess to my mind which hinted at cream of wheat porridge. There is a mild spiciness with subtle flavours of lemon zest, and an ever so light sweetness which reminded me of the sweetness of fresh bread …”
As you can see by the picture to the right I have also include a nice recipe which I feel suits the mood and ambiance of this Special Edition Vodka, the Minted Vodka Daiquiri.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Beluga Vodka, Cocktails, Minted Daiquiri, Russian Vodka, Super Premium Vodka, Transatlantic Racing, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2013
Ron Matusalem prides itself on being a Cuban style of rum with a history in Cuba they trace back to 1872 when two brothers, Benjamin and Eduardo Camp, together with a partner, Evaristo Álvarez opened a distillery in Santiago de Cuba. According to the Matusalem website, the rum they were producing began to win acclaim by the first quarter of the 20th century. The distillery apparently operated until the 1960′s when due to the Cuban Revolution the Álvarez family was exiled, and the rum they made disappeared from the landscape.
The brand was resurrected by Claudio Álvarez Salazar, who is the great-grandson of Evaristo Álvarez. Of course, it was not possible given the political situation in Cuba to produce or bottle the rum in Cuba. Apparently, it is produced (presumably by a third-party as Ron Matusalem does not own a distillery) and bottled in the Dominican Republic.
I recently revisited this rum and you may read my newest review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The initial aroma carries more oak than I remember from my past experiences with the Matusalem Gran Reserva 15. It is a sort of honeyed oak scent full of spice and vanilla. As the glass sits, the oak spices build in the air and they are joined by scents of banana and orange peel …”
Please enjoy my revisitation to the Matusalem Gran Reserva, and of course my cocktail suggestion which follows, the Sloe Lime Daiquiri.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Matusalem Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Sloe Lime Daiquiri | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 23, 2013
Bacardi Black is a traditional dark rum. As such it achieves a major portion of its flavour, aroma, and colour from the special ingredients (caramel colour for sure) which are added to the final blend prior to bottling. The Black is apparently blended from rums which have been aged up to four years; but, it would be a mistake to believe that the maturation of the rums in the blend have anything but a small role in the rich dark colour we see or the strong collection of aromas that we sense above the glass.
Bacardi Black appears to be disappearing from the shelves of the liquor stores in my locale, and even Bacardi has dropped any mention of the product on its US-based website. It appears to have been replaced by Bacardi Select, which is a similar style of rum although I do not know if it is actually the same blend as the Bacardi Black.
Although this review is perhaps a little belated, if you click on the following excerpt you can read my full opinion of Bacardi Black:
“… The initial aroma above the glass is full of butterscotch, molasses, vanilla, and candied caramels. There are hints of licorice, some noticeable maple, and sweet sticky canned fruit (apricots and peaches).
If I strain my senses, I also sense some dried fruit in the form of currants and dates and perhaps even a touch of cocoa. The aroma is not unpleasant, although there is very little evidence of oak aging in the breezes …”
Included in the review is a nice summertime deck drink, the Lemon Cola Cooler.
Enjoy the review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Bacardi Rum, Black Rum, Cocktails, Dark Rum, Lemon Cola Cooler, Rum Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 21, 2013
My friends Connie & Lukasz were over the other day, and even though they know my cupboard is well stocked with Canadian whisky, they always try to find something that I haven’t tasted yet. On this occasion, they brought along a bottle of Bison Ridge Special Reserve Canadian Whisky to share a few drams with me. The whisky is produced (by this I mean bottled) by the Crosby Lake Spirits Company who are located in Minnesota, USA. All Canadian whisky must (by law) be distilled and aged in Canada; however, I could not locate any information as to which Canadian Distillery was the source for this brand.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The initial nose reflects sweet butterscotch, some notes of corn mash, with wood spices rising in the background. As the glass breathes I notice an underlying ‘earthiness’ which reminds me of the scent of an old those fashioned damp cellars which were built with wooden floorboards lain directly over the black dirt …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a recipe recommendation, the Buckeroo!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bidon Ridge, Buckeroo, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Crosby Lakes Spirits, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »