Archive for the ‘Cocktails & Recipes’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 30, 2013
Words like “hand crafted” and “‘Small Batch” seem to be words thrown about by liquor producers in the same manner that rice and confetti are thrown about at a TV wedding. I guess the theory is that if you throw out enough rhetoric, some of it is bound to stick. So it is refreshing to write about a distillery where the words “hand crafted” and “‘Small Batch” really mean exactly what they imply.
Barry Bernstein and Barry Stein own and run the Still Water Distillery, and as far as small batch distilling goes, they are the real deal. They founded Ontario’s first micro-distillery in 2009, and pride themselves in not only being the Distillers and the Blenders of their craft spirits; but also in being the distillery’s Chief Bottle washers and Bottle Fillers. In fact, there is not a single aspect of the business that they do not either personally oversee or do themselves. Barry and Barry bring their spirits from grain to bottle in small batches, first sourcing locally grown grain, then mashing, fermenting, distilling, maturing, and bottling the spirits right at the distillery. And yes, they bottle and package every spirit they produce by hand!
Still Waters Single Malt Vodka is one of their hand-made spirits. It is not your typical Vodka. It is made from 100 % malted barley on their own German-made pot still.
Here is a link to my full review of this new Single Malt Vodka:
“… I received indications of a very light butterscotch sweetening the spirit just a little. I also sensed some indistinct floral notes with maybe a hint of licorice …”
At the end of the review I suggest a couple of nice cocktails, the Vodka Mojito, and Civility.
Please enjoy the review, and of course my cocktail suggestions!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Canadian Vodka, Cocktails, Hand Crafted, Micro Distillery, Single Malt, Small Batch, Still Waters Distillery, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 25, 2013
Cachaca is a spirit similar to (but not quite the same as) rum. The roots of Cachaca predate the distillation of rum stretching back almost 500 years to the early sixteenth century when Portuguese colonists brought cuttings of sugar cane to Brazil. The spirit they created is distilled from the fermented juice of sugar cane. Its popularity in Brazil is enormous as Wikipedia quotes 2007 figures which state 1.5 billion liters of Cachaca are consumed annually in Brazil. The Brazilian consumption alone is high enough that if Cachaca were considered its own spirits category (as perhaps it should be), it would be the ninth largest spirits category in the world.
Pitú Cachaca (which according to the label on the back of my bottle is pronounced Petee-too Kah-sha-sah) is produced by Engarrafamento Pitu Ltda., an eight decade old family run company located within Pernambuco, in northeast Brazil. Their Cachaca is made from the juice of newly harvested sugar cane which is milled to extract the juice, then filtered and fermented before undergoing distillation with the final product rested in marrying tanks to soothe the flavour before bottling.
(I was provided with a sample bottle of the Pitú Cachaca by PMA Canada who are the local importers of the Spirit here in Alberta.)
You may read my full review of this uniquely Brazilian Spirit here:
“… The initial entry is lightly spicy as I taste white pepper with citrus undertones. Very quickly the musty earthiness of the Pitú Cachaca kicks in as the vegetal flavours remind me of grilled pineapple, sautéed mushrooms and baked butternut squash which are all tainted with dabs of earthy lowland agave …”
I went a little crazy on the cocktails with this one (after all it is a cocktail spirit), and at the end of my review you can find a few cocktail recipes, one of my construction, the Amazing Tickle; and one from the producer website named the Cacharita.
Please enjoy the review and the amazing cocktails!
Posted in Cachaca, Cocktails & Recipes, Silver Cachaca Review | Tagged: Amazing Tickle, Cachaca, Cachaca Review, Cacharita, Cocktails, Pitú, Silver Cachaca | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 23, 2013
Danfield’s Canadian Whisky is produced in the small City of Lethbridge in my home Province of Alberta. It is produced for Williams & Churchill by Schenley Distilleries Inc. at the Black Velvet Distillery, (also referred to locally as the Palliser Distillery). Williams and Churchill are not distillers themselves, rather they appear to be a third-party company which owns the Danfield’s Brand. They are also very difficult to contact, and therefore the only information I have about the Danfield’s Limited Edition 21 Year Old Canadian Whisky comes from the little booklet which is strung around the neck of the bottle. According to this booklet, the 21 Year Old is a small batch whisky produced from rye, corn and malted barley. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and prior to this bottling, the whisky is apparently “diamond filtered” to add further polish to the whisky.
Being a bit of a collector of Canadian Whisky, I have had a couple of bottles of the Danfield’s Limited Edition in my possession for about three years now. I finally broke down and opened one such that I could provide a review here on my website.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The rye continues to pour out with the scent becoming earthier as it changes from a clean dry rye to a thick fruit-filled rye over the course of the nosing. Hints of marzipan and orange peel come forward as does a nice underlying nuttiness which reminds me of the wild hazelnuts which grown around the lakes in west-central Alberta …”
Please enjoy the review and the suggested cocktail recipe which follows, the Iced Ruby Manhattan.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Danfield's Canadian Whisky, Iced Ruby Manhattan, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 20, 2013
John “Calico Jack’ Rackham was a pirate of the early eighteenth century who seems to have two primary claims to fame. The first was that his design of the ship’s flag may actually have been the first use this design for a Jolly Roger flag ever on a pirate ship. The second is that his crew featured two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read (Rackham actually believed Mary Read was a man when she joined his crew).
Researching Calico Jack, I learned he received his nickname due to his fondness for colourful cotton calico clothing. Apparently some of hes crew liked his flashy look to as he and Anne Bonny were apparently lovers. (It is also reported that Ann Bonney was actually another man’s wife.) Calico Jack’s pirate days seem to have begun in 1718 when he was elevated to the Captaincy on an English warship during a mutiny, and it ended at the end of a hangman’s noose in November of 1720 after being captured off the shore of Jamaica. His short career of piracy was highlighted by the plundering smaller ships near the coastal shorelines in a stolen sloop and ended shortly after it began.
I hope that the Calico Jack Spiced Rum fares better in terms of appeal and quality than its namesake.
You may read the review by clicking the following link:
“…. I took a nice deep wiff and found that the nose of this rum is quite nice. I’m guessing Madagascar vanilla, (which is all the rage for spiced rum these days), and fragrant rummy caramel rose up in a nice mixture …”
This is a re-posting of my original review from March of 2010. I have edited a few typos and added a nice cocktail, Spiced Rum and Root Beer.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: Calico Jack, Rum Review, Spiced Rum, White Rock Distilleries | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 16, 2013
Solan Number 1 Malt Whisky is produced by Mohan Meakin Limited at the Kasauli Distillery which is found in the Himalayan Highlands at an elevation of over 6,000 feet. (The town of Kasauli in located in the Solan District, Himachal Pradesh, India.) The distillery was founded in the late 1820s by Edward Dyer who apparently chose this location because the climate in this area of India was quite similar to his native Scotland, (and because the British troops in the nearby Punjab had a taste for Scottish style whisky).
Solan Number One is blended with mature Malt Spirits produced using traditional Scottish methods of malting, kneading, and distillation on vintage copper pot stills and aged in oak casks. I was recently sent a sample bottle by the local Alberta distributor, Madira Spirits Inc. and asked if I could provide a review here on my website. I was more than happy to oblige.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… The initial nose is honeyed with a mixture of sweet malt and butterscotch, some clean oak spices and hints (but only hints) of a rum-like cane syrup. I let the glass sit to see how the nose developed, and I was rewarded with a few new notes of orange peel, heather and tobacco. I find the aroma appealing …”
Included at the conclusion of my review of this surprisingly good whisky is my latest cocktail, Indian Summer.
Please enjoy my latest review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Indian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, India, Indian Summer, Indian Whisky, Kasauli Distillery, Malt Whisky, Mohan Meakin Limited, Solan Number One, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 15, 2013
Three years ago a new whisky was produced in Canada which was completely different from any other whisky I had seen. For one thing, the distillation mash for the whisky was based primarily upon wheat, not barley, corn, or rye. (This was not as surprising as you may think, as the distillers of White Owl Whisky are Highwood Distillers, based in High River, Alberta. They have, after all, been distilling their very wonderful Centennial Whisky with a wheat based mash for many years.) However, it was the next feature of the whisky which I found most interesting and unusual. White owl is a clear, well-aged, ‘cocktail’ whiskey! In fact if the bottle did not say whisky on the front you would be forgiven for believing this was an Ultra-premium Vodka, until you opened the bottle, at which time you would realize that the spirit inside is unmistakably whisky!
The whisky achieves its clear form by the means of carbon filtration. Highwood crafts and blends an aged whisky, and then runs it through a filtration process to remove all colour and smooth out the taste profile. This is a first for me, and I believe a first for well-aged Canadian Whisky!
I was lucky enough (sorry Portwood, I couldn’t resist) to receive a sample bottle directly from the distillery after touring the facility three years ago, and today, as the good folks at Highwood Distillers are hard at work cleaning up after the recent flash flood which affected their town and their distillery (read here), I thought it would be nice to revisit my review of three years ago. (My original review was, I believe the first published review for Highwood’s ground breaking cocktail whisky.)
Please click on the excerpt to read my revised review. (Actually only slightly edited to correct some grammatical errors in the original review. I concluded after a recent tasting that the character and quality of the whisky had not changed.)
“… As I take the first sip, the first impression I have is of a soft whisky flavour accented by a hint of licorice. The oak flavours are mild and there is no harsh tannin or unbridled spice. Yet in the background, if you let it develop, that true Canadian rye whisky spice and flavour present themselves. Butterscotch rises and falls as does the hint of licorice and even a touch of cereal grain …”
Three years ago, I was so enthusiastic about this new whisky that my review included, not one or two, but rather five cocktail recipes which all tasted fantastic when made with White Owl Whisky.
(And for the record, I am still enthusiast about Highwood’s ‘cocktail whisky’, and I still feel very lucky to have been on of the very first persons to have received a sample bottle three years ago.)
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Clear Whisky, Cocktail Whisky, Cocktails, Highwood Distillers, Whisky Review, White Owl Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 13, 2013
Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is produced by the Jim Beam Distillery which was founded in 1795, and has operated as a family run business for seven generations. According to the company website, after bourbon whiskey ages (or any other straight whiskey for that matter), and it is emptied from the oak barrel, a certain amount of the spirit is left behind, trapped within the wood fiber of the empty barrel. This portion of trapped whiskey is called the “devil’s cut” and is usually lost to those who make bourbon. Recently however, the folks at Jim Beam have developed what they call a proprietary process which releases the devil’s cut from these empty barrels. What Jim Beam extracts from the barrel is held for a certain length of time (which apparently allows the flavour to develop), and then blended with a 6-year-old bourbon. The mixture is bottled at 90 proof (45 % ABV) and the result is a new style of bourbon which they call Jim Beam Devil’s Cut.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt.
“… Very briefly I taste sweet impressions of caramel, marmalade and maple syrup. However, very quickly the woody flavours and the spices within the whiskey build up and overwhelm the sweetness. The heart of the Devil’s Cut is a sort of whiskey extract which is literally pulled from the inside of the wood fibers of oak barrels …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cooler style recipe of mine called Minted Brass.
Have a great day everyone!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Cocktails, Devil's Cut, Jim Beam, Minted Brass, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 11, 2013
Ragged Rock White Rum is produced by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC). The blending stocks for Ragged Rock come from Jamaica, in fact from the same distillery which produces Appleton Estate Rum. These are the same stocks which the NLC uses to produce their Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum and Ragged Rock Amber Rum, although obviously the stocks are treated differently to produce a clear white rum. It should be noted that as per Canadian Law these rum stocks have all been aged for minimum of one full year before being filtered clear to produce the rum.
Note: I was provided a sample bottle of the Ragged Rock White Rum by Rock Spirits (a division of the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation)
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The initial fragrance above the glass is quite striking. I smell very mild butterscotch and vanilla with obvious indications of banana and orange peel in the breezes. There also seems to be a light lemony scent being carried upwards with hints of anise and mint …”
Of course, white rums are cocktail rums, and at the end of my review I designed a nice recipe called the Ragged Canary!
Enjoy the review and the cocktail everyone!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Canary, Cocktails, Jamaican Rum, Newfoundland and labrador Liquor Corporation, Ragged Rock Rum, Rum, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 9, 2013
Travellers’ One Barrel 5 year Rum is the new name given to the rum formerly known a 5 Barrel Rum. Apparently the name was changed due to trademark issues which arose as the brand began to penetrate new markets. This a premium aged rum brand produced in Belize, (the northernmost mainland country of Central America). Belize is a former British Colony, and lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. The producer of the One Barrel Rum brand, Travellers Liquors Limited, has been involved in the production of rum in Belize since the early 1960′s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989, Travellers acquired full control of their own distillery, and they have remained in full control of their own brands ever since.
The One Barrel 5 Year Rum is made from locally grown Belize sugar cane. According to the Travellers website, this cane is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors, and the all of the rum is aged in Kentucky oak barrels for a full 5 years. It is blended to be a full-bodied rum with the well-rounded taste which results from oak barrel aging.
Recently, I was given a bottle of the newly labelled rum by a representative of Travellers Liquor Canada for the purpose of spreading the news about the new labeling, and to announce the release of the rum in my home market of Alberta. I decided to give the bottle the full treatment of a new review as one never knows when labels change, if the blend has changed as well.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the new review:
“… The immediate nose is filled with rich toffee, butterscotch and tobacco. Oak spices and vanilla waft out of the glass and bits of sandalwood are riding in the breezes. As I let the glass breathe, the tobacco and the oak scents deepened. I notice a firm sense of ginger spice …”
Of course I could not resist suggesting a new cocktail at the end of review, the Ruby Rum Martinez!
Please enjoy my latest review.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 5 Year Rum, Aged Rum, Cocktails, Dark Rum, One Barrel Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Traveller's Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2013
Canadian Club has recently expanded their whisky line-up to include a flavoured whisky (Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry), and a new spiced whisky, (Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Spiced). According Tish Harcus, Canadian Club Brand Ambassador and Curator of the Historical Archives at the Canadian Club Heritage Centre in Walkerville, Ontario,
“C.C.’s new innovations will take the brand to the next level both for consumers new to whisky and more seasoned whisky drinkers who are seeking bolder flavour profiles and some spice. “
The Dock No. 57 branded whiskies are bottled at full strength (40 % alcohol by volume) ensuring that the full flavour of the Canadian Club whisky remains a strong component of the flavour profile. Last Spring, at a tasting event of mine, my friend Dennis brought over a bottle. I decided that this was a good opportunity to receive some feedback from my friends and a few months later, I did some more tasting and sampling and cobbled together this review.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… I notice some nice honey and vanilla accents as well as some a pungent spiciness reminiscent of ginger and nutmeg. Some dry fruit is hinted at (dark cherries mainly) as is some dark pipe tobacco. I like the overall mixture, and I like that it is the whisky aroma which leads the parade of scents into the air …”
My suggested cocktail for this spiced whisky, is my new recipe, the Spiced Northern Julep. Take care everyone and have a great day!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Club, Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Dock 57, Spiced Northern Julep, Spiced Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off