Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 15, 2013
Pumpkin Face Rum is a new rum brand distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic. According to the brand producer (Itsko Imports Inc. of Beverly Hills California), Pumpkin Face Reserve Rum is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican rum produced from selected stocks of rum which were produced in the decades of 1980′s, the 1990′s and 2000′s. Some of these stocks were aged up to 20 years before they were blended into this rum.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt link:
“… I found the Pumpkin Face Reserve seemed to have a split personality when I sipped from my glass. Initially I tasted a push of alcohol and spice as the rum heated my mouth and throat. Orange peel, wood spice, and butterscotch dominated the flavour with spicy tobacco and alcohol heat not far behind. However, when I allowed the rum to breathe for several minutes, the character of the rum changed completely …”
Included at the conclusion of my review is a nice recipe which works well with the Pumpkin Face Reserve, the Rum Old Fashioned!
Please enjoy the review and my cocktail suggestion. Cheers Everyone!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Cocktails, Dark Rum, Itsko Imports, Pumpkin Face, Pure Global Imports, Rum, Rum Old Fashioned, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2013
Yesterday, I learned that I was to receive a few new samples from Mosaiq (the brand owners of Lemon Hart Rum). These samples will represent new extensions of the Lemon Hart line-up. Many of you know that Lemon Hart has introduced a spiced rum, Lemon Hart Spiced, (one which I had a small role in helping to develop); however, I suspect that not many persons know of the new Lemon Hart Original One Hundred, British Proof Reserve which is soon to land in the North American travel (duty free) market.
As a warm-up to my reviews of the new Lemon Hart Rums, I thought it would be a nice idea to republish my review for the iconic Lemon Hart 151, which I reviewed two years ago. I have not changed anything except to add a brief history of the brand at the beginning of the review.
You may read the fully revised review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The rum is bottled at 75.5 % alcohol by volume, and the evaporating alcohol gives everything a big push into the air causing this astringency. I can smell molasses and rummy burnt caramel which seems to come in waves at me. Dark dried fruits like prunes and raisins rise up as well in a bouquet that despite the astringency is very complex and enticing. Baking spices build quickly, and smells of rich brown sugars enter the fray as well as the sweet aroma of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) …”
At the conclusion of the review are two nice recipes, the Guyana Zombie, (credit to Tiare’s great website, A Mountain Of Crushed Ice) and my recipe, Hart Breaker.
Please enjoy the review!
(Of course my reviews for the new Lemon Hart Spiced and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred, British Proof Reserve will be forthcoming in the next several weeks.)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Hart Breaker, Lemon Hart, Lemon hart 151, Mosaiq, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Zombie | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 4, 2013
Pumpkin Face Rum is a new brand of rum being distributed in Canada by Pure Global Imports. The rum inside the cool looking pumpkin shaped bottles is apparently a blend of selected rums from the Dominican Republic. I was curious about those pumpkin faced bottles, and found this statement on the Pumpkin Face Rum website:
“The pumpkin is a symbol of celebration to people around the world. The origin of the pumpkin can be traced to North American seeds dating back to 7000 BC. The word pumpkin comes from the word “pepon”, which is Greek for “large melon” and later changed by American colonists to “pumpkin”. Colonists would often slice off the pumpkin top, remove the seeds, and fill it with cream, honey, eggs and spices. They cooked the pumpkin in hot ashes until blackened then enjoyed its contents.”
According to the labeling, this is an ‘ultra premium’ Dominican Rum, bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The brand is owned by, Itsko Imports Inc of Beverly Hills, California.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… When I poured the Pumpkin Face White Rum into my glass, I noticed the spirit carried a light butterscotch scent into the air. A I nosed the rum, mild impressions of banana, orange zest, and faint grassy vegetal notes rose into the breezes. There were also a few light traces of cotton candy, wisps of mint, and hints of anise-like licorice scents …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice Daiquiri recipe at its conclusion.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Cocktails, Daiquiri, Itsko Imports, Pumpkin Face, Rum, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 3, 2013
Pristina Vodka is a quadruple distilled wheat Vodka produced in High River, Alberta in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just south of Calgary. I have been a fan of Highwood Distillers for a while now; but I was not prepared for what greeted me when I opened a sample bottle Highwood’s Pristina Vodka. Maybe it was the uninspiring bottle and label, or maybe it is just a case of us Canadians being a little too self-conscious to believe we can be as good as everyone else in the world. Whatever the reason, when I put the Pristina in a flight of Vodka samples at a tasting where it was up against an Authentic Russian Vodka called Black Stallion, a real Polish Vodka called Alchemia Czysta, and a Vodka made in France called Grey Goose, I was not expecting what happened.
What happened was that every person at my tasting chose the same Vodka as their favourite, and every person said it wasn’t even close. That favourite, the clear head and shoulders winner without reservation in everybody’s opinion, was of course the Pristina Vodka from Highwood Distillers.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… I was happy to taste no vegetal tones and to feel no burn at all in my throat. The swallow was clean and completely smooth. The back of my mouth received a mildly spicy warmth; but my throat felt no heat, even with a substantial swallow of the Pristina Vodka. This reaction was consistent amongst those who tasted the Vodka with me …”
Please enjoy my review and the included cocktail, the Vodka Tonic.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Highwood Distillers, Pristina, Vodka, Vodka Review, Vodka Tonic | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 24, 2013
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian distillery in the Town of High River, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Recently the distillery was severely impacted by a massive flash flood which devastated the area on June 20th, 2013 (see story here). The folks at Highwood had literally only minutes of warning before the flood hit, and the severity of the event was such that some distillery staff had to be rescued from the tops of their cars by helicopter. As I finish writing this review, the distillery is still picking up the pieces up and rebuilding. However the bottling line is operational again, and the company has once again began to produce bottled spirits.
Potter’s Dry Gin is produced in the London Dry Style by blending a light-bodied neutral spirit with juniper and Highwood’s own botanicals which have been selected from natural herbs, spices and citrus.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):
“… The initial aroma gives me an impression that this promises to be a very dry gin with a hard edge. The gin is forward with juniper (as it should be) with firm citrus accents reminding me of lemon and orange zest floating in the breezes above the glass …”
As you can see by the picture, I have also included a new recipe with the review, the Fieldberry Blender.
Please enjoy the review and my new recipe!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Fieldberry Blender, Gin, Gin Review, Highwood Distillers, Potter's Dry Gin | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 23, 2013
Hacienda Corralejo was established in 1775 by Don Pedro Sanchez de Tagle in the Mexican State of Guanajuato. The distillery uses traditional methods of fermentation and distillation with clay ovens used to cook the agave and copper pot stills used for the distillation. The Blanco Tequila is an unaged spirit bottled directly from that copper pot still.
I was given my sample of the Corralejo Blanco by a good friend who poured off a 200 ml sample from a full bottle he had been gifted. The bottle had sat in his cupboard for a few years; but was unopened until I was given my sample. I mention this so that the reader will know that the particular bottle I am reviewing was not from a current batch; rather it was from an unopened bottle which was several years old.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The nose of the glass carries a mixture of honey and pepper with light herbaceous tones of agave. As I let the glass sit and return after a few minutes I notice that the honeyed tones have deepened into an aroma very similar to cane syrup. The peppery notes now carry a little citrus, and the agave remains light and enjoyable …”
Please enjoy this review (originally published in 2011) which includes a very nice recipe, The Quick Red Fox.
Posted in Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Blanco Tequila, Cocktails, Corralejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2013
In 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.
Bacardi Superior White Rum is a direct descendant of the original rum which Facundo Bacardi produced back in 1862. Although production methods have undoubtedly changed since then, the Bacardi White Rum is still produced using a method of oak barrel aging (for one to two years) and charcoal filtration.
You may read my full review by clicking the following excerpt (link):
“… The initial impression was of a dryish rum which was perhaps a little rougher on the palate than I was hoping for. I taste a firm presence of almond and a softer presence of caramel and vanilla. The rum tends to become a little grassy in the mouth, with the flavours of banana peel and citrus zests gaining strength as I sip …”
At the end of the review, I included 3 daiquiri recipes which I found on the Bacardi website named simply enough the Bacardi Daiquiri, Daiquiri No. 2, and Daiquiri No 3.
Please enjoy the review (originally posted April 10, 2011) and the three Daiquiri Recipes!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Bacardi, Cocktails, Daiquiri, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2013
A.D. Rattray is more commonly known for its Single Malt Whisky bottlings which are often from a single cask of Scottish Whisky. However the company has also released select rum bottlings from various distillers across the Caribbean. A bottle from one of those bottlings, distilled at the Four Square Distillery in Barbados came into my possession as a gift from my good friend Lance (the Lone Caner) who had visited my fair city a few months ago and joined me for some rum and vodka sampling. His intention was to prod me into reviewing the spirit, as we often compare notes on our reviews. (See Lance’s review here)
I am lucky to have friends such as you who are more than willing to share. Slainte Lance!
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… I sense light spicy woody notes of poplar and oak with stains of fresh sap the overall effect of which has more than a hint of astringency. As the glass breathes, light butterscotch, banana and orange peel, and some light almond aromas come forward with a light sprinkling of baking spices (cinnamon and vanilla) and some rather penetrating scents of fresh cigarette tobacco …”
I added a nice cocktail at the end of the review. the Sloe Rum Sour.
Please enjoy the review and the Beginning of the NFL Football season!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: A.D. Rattray, Bajan Rum, Cocktails, Four Square Distillery, Rum, Rum Review, Rum Sour | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2013
As the Highwood Distillery readies itself to recommence production at their facilities in High River, Alberta in the aftermath of the June 20th, 2013 flash flood. I thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit their flagship spirit, Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky. The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned distillery in Canada. It sits in the heart of the High River community, producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Canadian Whisky each year.
I consider the Highwood Canadian Whisky to be a unique product unlike anything else on the Canadian whisky landscape (I also find it very tasty). What is so original about the Highwood Whisky is the grain from which it is distilled. Highwood uses local Canadian prairie wheat for the distillation base of all of their Highwood branded whisky. This is because wheat alcohol, rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy non-digestible components. This makes for an extremely smooth easy to drink whisky. After sampling most of the Highwood Whisky range, I have come to the conclusion that they are making some of the smoothest whisky in the world.
Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie rye and wheat grain in a batch style distillation (the grains are distilled and aged separately). The whisky is aged for at least five years in charred American white oak barrels (without the addition of additives), and when it is mature, it is blended to produce that distinctive Canadian ‘rye’ flavour profile consistent with our Canadian Whisky. The whisky is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):
“… The first thing I noticed about the Highwood Whisky as I sipped it was that it is a smooth, gentle, and mellow whisky which has the soft sensation in the mouth of a much older whisky. Honeycomb, ginger, wood spice, and a light dab of vanilla all support a wonderfully clean, dusty rye flavour. There is polish in evidence here …”
I included two classic Canadian Whisky cocktails at the end of the review, the Canadian Rye-Whisky Splash, and the Old Fashioned Cocktail.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky Review, Cocktails, Highwood Whisky, Old Fashioned Cocktail, Whisky, Whisky Review, Whisky Splash | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2013
Agavero is a blend of 100% blue agave Tequila (Reposado and Anejo), and the essence of the Damiana Flower. This is not a true Tequila spirit but rather a Tequila based liqueur. Lazaro Gallardo, the founder of Los Camichines Distillery, in Jalisco, Mexico, is credited with creating Agavero in 1857. It is produced as a sipping liqueur meant for those who want a lighter, sweeter and more refined Tequila experience.
Previously, Agavero was distributed worldwide by the Diageo conglomerate, however the brand was recently transferred to Proximo Spirits who have been increasing their presence on the world stage by acquiring key brands of distilled spirits such as Matusalem Rum, and Jose Cuervo Tequila. Agavero (Licor de Tequila) is bottled at 32 per cent alcohol by volume, and is currently distributed in my home market by The Kirkwood Group.
You may read the full review by clicking on the excerpt below:
“…The agave flavour, the orange and lime citrus notes, and the hot pepper burst are all felled into submission by a sweet sugary syrup. The result is a mild, somewhat pleasing combination of punky agave and sweet syrup…”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice Margarita style cocktail, cheers!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Tequila Liqueur | Tagged: Agavero, Cocktails, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Tequila Liqueur | Comments Off