Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 17, 2013
Caorunn Gin is rather unusual in that it not only uses six botanicals which are seen as traditional in the gin trade; but it also contains five non traditional Celtic botanicals which are found growing in the hills which surround the Balmenach Distillery where the gin produceded by Gin Master, Simon Buley is crafted. According to the Caorunn Gin website, the six traditional botanicals are, juniper berries, coriander seed, orange peel, lemon peel, angelica root, and cassia bark. The non traditional Celtic ingredients are rowan berries, heather, bog myrtle, dandelion, and coul blush apple.
The gin is hand-made in small batches (about 1,000 litres per batch), using a quadruple distilled grain spirit as its base, with the flavours from the hand-picked botanicals infused into the spirit when the distilled vapour of the final distillation passes through the trays of the Balmenach Distillery’s vintage 1920′s Copper Berry Chamber which contain the botanicals.
(Note: I was provided a sample bottle of Caorunn Gin by The Bacchus Group, who are responsible for its importation here in Alberta.)
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… my initial impression was that this spirit seems to look and smell very much like a traditional London Dry Gin. The scent of juniper is foremost (as it should be) and citrus accents of lemon and orange peel fall nicely in behind. However, after the glass sits for a minute or two I begin to notice a sort of herbal spiciness in the air …”
I have included two excellent cocktail suggestions as part of the review, The Dandelion Martini, and The Grange Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Balmenach Distillery, Caorunn, Cocktails and Recipes, Dandelion Martini, Gin, Gin Review, Grange Cocktail | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 15, 2013
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian whisky brand. In 1992, a premium version of Crown Royal was introduced as Crown Royal Special Reserve. This whisky was produced from specially selected casks which were tasted and monitored closely by the Crown Royal Master Blender. These ‘premium casks’ represented whiskies with special character, and they were allowed to age longer with the aim of producing a more premium whisky.
In the fall of 2008, this more premium Crown Royal Special Reserve was relaunched as Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky. I reviewed this whisky back in January of 2010, and I began to suspect something was amiss when I tasted the whisky for a second time in a blind format in the fall of 2011, almost two years later. I was on the jury for the Canadian Whisky Awards, and although my blind scores were for the most part reasonably close to my review scores; this particular whisky was one which stood out as an anomaly. When exactly the same thing occurred in the fall of 2012, I decided I had better revisit the whisky and re-score it. (I am not above admitting I might have gotten something wrong.)
You may click on the following excerpt to read my new review!
“… I smell distinct impressions of ginger and wood spices. As the whisky breathes some baking spices begin to rise with vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves. These are accented by a touch of maple and some spicy tobacco spice. Some tart apples make their way into the breezes as well as some impressions of sour fruit and canned peaches …”
Please enjoy the review and the two recipes included at the end, the Royal Bang, and the Evening Salute.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Crown Royal Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 11, 2013
Today I am continuing my trek through some of the line-up of Whaler’s Rums. A few weeks back, I received a few bottles from the local importer here in Alberta, Diamond Estates. They were hoping I would taste some of the different rums and perhaps write a review or two. I didn’t really know a lot about Whaler’s Rum so I accepted the samples of these “Hawaiian” style rums. I say Hawaiian style, because Whaler’s takes great pride in letting everyone know that Whaler’s Rums are blended from old Hawaiian recipes. Their line-up of rum includes three traditional rums, and five flavoured rums.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my review for Whaler’s Vanille Rum:
“… I catch sweet sugary notes alongside a firm vanilla aroma. There is also more than a bit of an almond scent riding in the coat tails of the breezes as well as a rather indistinct fruitiness which reminds me of canned peaches …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cocktail at the end, the Lemon Vanille Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Rum Review, Rum. Flavoured Rum, Vanilla, Vanille, Whaler's Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 9, 2013
The Glen Garioch Distillery (pronounced ‘Glen Geery’) is located in the town of Oldmeldrum, approximately 20 minutes from Aberdeen. It is the Eastern-most distillery in Scotland, in the Valley of Garioch, which is apparently one of the best barley growing regions of Scotland. The distillery was established in 1797.
The Glen Garioch 1797 Founder’s Reserve is the distillery’s signature Highland malt. The whisky is blended to achieve a specific taste profile which features the Glen Garioch characteristic taste profile of honey sweetness with hints of heather and just a touch of spice. This whisky does not have an age statement specifically because it is blended to have that signature profile rather than to be of any specific age.
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
“… The initial scents remind me of a grassy meadow surrounded by willow thicket with clumps of heather here and there. Light butterscotch and vanilla scents waft through the meadow giving the scene a relaxed atmosphere. Soon some spicier scents drift in over the willow thickets, light oak spices with hints of cinnamon and faint puffs of clean white pepper …”
Enjoy the review which includes a recipe for the traditional Polly’s Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Glen Garioch, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 7, 2013
Magellan Iris Flavoured Gin is a French spirit imported into North America by Crillon Importers Ltd. The gin is named to pay homage to Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer whose expeditions on behalf of King Charles I of Spain, led to the first circumnavigation of the globe.
Magellan’s travels were in search of a westward route to the Spice Islands (also known as the Maluka Islands of Indonesia). The key here of course is Magellan’s search for the Spice. Magellan’s Expedition around the world brought back three barrels of cloves (although Ferdinand Magellan died before the trip was completed), and apparently cloves are an important ingredient in the overall flavour profile of the Magellan Gin.
Of course there is much more than cloves in the botanical mixture of this blue gin. In all eleven botanicals are listed on the Magellan Gin website: cloves, Iris root and flower, juniper berries, cinnamon, cassia, orange peel, coriander, licorice, grains of paradise, cardamom, and nutmeg.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The aroma from the glass is rather fascinating. I notice the floral character of the gin immediately. This must be the iris flower, although for me the scent very similar to hyacinth especially with its perfume-like intensity. Under that rich floral aroma, I can discern a light but firm juniper, a hint of lemon balsam, and the vague spiciness of cloves and cinnamon …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a new recipe variation called the Long Darby.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Crillon Importers, Flavoured Gin, Gin, Gin Review, Iris, Magellan | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 4, 2013
Kirk and Sweeney 12 Year Rum is crafted in the Dominica for a company from Sonoma California called 35 Maple Street, which is the spirits division of The Other Guys (TOG). TOG is wine company led by August Sebastiani, a member of one of California’s oldest wine families. The Sabastiani family has been involved in the Californian wine industry since August’s great-grandfather, Samuele Sebastiani, opened his family run winery over 100 years ago.
According to the 35 Maple Street website, their rum has been named for a wooden schooner of the same name. This schooner, KIRK AND SWEENEY, was a rum running vessel which brought rum from the Caribbean to the Northeast Coast during Prohibition. The ship was apparently captured and seized off the coast of New York in 1924 where enforcement officials found an enormous cargo of rum aboard. The folks at 35 Maple Street like to use historical references in the naming of their brands (see Masterson’s Straight Rye Whiskey) and felt the Kirk and Sweeney was an ideal choice for their Dominican rum.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The initial aroma reminds me of butterscotch candies and sugar cane syrup (I am thinking Roger’s Golden Syrup). I allowed the glass to decant for several minutes, and the scents from the glass became richer and more complex with vanilla, oak spices and hints of tobacco rising into the breezes as well …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a delicious cocktail, the Rum Darby Daiquiri.
(Note: This spirit is being brought into my home Province of Alberta by Purple Valley Imports, who provided the sample for review.)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 35 Maple Street, Cocktails and Recipes, Dark Rum, Dominican Rum, Kirk and Sweeney, Rum, Rum Darby, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 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 originally called Black Label; but because of the perceived smoothness of the whisky, the producers soon changed the name to Black Velvet. It has been a staple of the Canadian whisky scene ever since. It is now produced at the Black Velvet Distillery (also called the Palliser Distillery) in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Black Velvet Toasted Caramel is a new flavoured whisky produced introduced last year by the company. It is apparently constructed from natural toasted caramel flavour and Black Velvet Whisky. The product is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
You may read the full review by clicking the following excerpt:
“… Black Velvet Toasted Caramel runs towards the sweet side of the palate with caramel and maple flavour leading the way. The strong undercurrent of maple confuses me at first; but upon reflection I suspect this must be the wood and whisky spices showing through and moving some of that caramel flavour to maple …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice new recipe, the Canadian Caribou High Ball.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Black Velvet Distillery, Canadian Whisky, Caribou Cocktail, Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2013
A few weeks back, I contacted the distributor for Blackheart Spiced Rum with a view towards providing a review here on my website. It turned out Heaven Hill Distilleries, who own Blackheart Rum, also own Whaler’s Rum and the local importer, Diamond Estates, was hoping I would taste some Whaler’s Rum along with the Blackheart Spiced. I didn’t really know a lot about Whaler’s rum so I agreed to sample this “Hawaiian” style Rum. I say Hawaiian style, because Whaler’s takes great pride in letting everyone know that Whaler’s Rums are blended from old Hawaiian recipes. Their line-up includes three traditional rums, and five flavoured rums.
There is quite an interesting story behind the name of the Whaler’s Rums, and you can read that story as well as my review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“”… Usually these young dark rums are full of molasses and caramel which gives the rum a thickened syrupy look. The Whaler’s seems to be traveling a different path from what I was expecting. The breezes above the glass carry a significant amount of vanilla with the molasses and licorice scents taking a back seat to that vanilla …”
Of course the review includes a nice recipe which particularly well suited for the Whaler’s Dark Rum called the Mandeville.
Please enjoy the review and the cocktail provided!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Black Rum, Dark Rum, Heaven Hill, Mandeville, Rum, Rum Review, Whaler's Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 23, 2013
Souvenir Vodka (according to their website) is a quadruple distilled Ukrainian Vodka. It arrives in a frosted bottle with a clear window shape in the front which is designed to allow the consumer to have their own image placed at the back of the bottle to be seen through this window. The idea is to allow clients to use the bottle for a variety of purposes such as to commemorate special events like weddings or anniversaries, or to advertise company logos, or whatever other purpose can be imagined. I was told that the Vodka within is a very high quality product from a major Ukrainian distillery, and therefore the company or individual who has purchased the Vodka for their event will not only gain the branding impact of the bottle presentation, but will also be seen as having discriminating taste.
The concept sounds interesting, and I decided to put the Souvenir Vodka through the rituals of my tasting methodology to see how it stacks up.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… As I took my first full swallow of the Souvenir Vodka ‘shot style’, I noticed a spicy warmth upon my palate and in the back of my throat. To my way of thinking this spiciness is almost rye-like and it tickles the tonsils giving the spirit a ‘bracing’ quality …”
The review includes a new recipe I call the Viridian Viper.
Please enjoy the review and the recipe, Budmo!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Souvenir Vodka, Ukranian Vodka, Viridian Viper, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 21, 2013
Flavoured and Spiced Whiskies seem to be popping up all over the landscape these days. It seems that not only rum companies are jealous of the success of Captain Morgan. The Whisky producers want a share of this market too. Time will tell whether these flavoured spirits are just a fad or part of a new market trend. But since they have arrived with such force, I will continue to review those which cross my path.
SinFire Cinnamon Whisky is produced by Hood River Distillers, an importer, producer, and bottler of spirits in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The Company’s bottling plant is located beside Columbia River with Mt. Hood standing majestically behind the facility, and they have been there since 1968. I received a small sample of their new SinFire Whisky a few weeks ago and decided to put the sample through the paces of my review methodology. This cinnamon flavoured whisky apparently combines imported Canadian whisky with spicy-sweet natural cinnamon flavors. It is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review which includes a nice Highball style cocktail for Cinnamon Whisky called The Buzz Saw Highball:
“… As I put my snoot near the glass I receive a very strong indication of cinnamon heart candies. Some butterscotch is apparent in the breezes as well as a light sandalwood and hints of rye whisky. Although I receive indications of sweetness, it does not appear to be overdone …”
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cinnamon Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Hood River Distillers, SinFire, Spiced Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off