Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 13, 2013
Davin de Kergommeaux
Davin de Kergommeaux, like myself, is a true devotee of our great Canadian Spirit, whisky! He has created his own website (Canadian Whisky) where he publishes various articles about our mutual passion and of course his fantastic reviews of the Canadian Spirit. He has also been instrumental in launching the first ever fully independent Canadian Whisky Awards! These awards have highlighted not only the best tasting whiskies made in Canada, but they also award special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers in areas of innovation, brand extension, and media/advertising.
So when I found out that my whisky reviewing friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, had written a book devoted to Canadian Whisky; I was very eager to give it a good read, and review here on my website.
When I announced my verdict that Davin’s Book, “Canadian Whisky: the portable expert ” is the most complete story of Canadian Whisky ever written, and a wonderful read to boot; even Davin thought I was being perhaps a little generous.
But once again, the Arctic Wolf was right on track, and a couple of days ago I got the word. “Canadian Whisky: the portable expert” won gold at the 2013 San Fransisco Spirits Competition as the Best Wine, Beer, or Spirits book of 2012.
Davin, you are a great friend, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations towards your success. (Success you have certainly earned by the way!)
And for those who are curious, here is a link to my original review:
Posted in Awards, Books, Extras | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky: the portable expert, Davin de Kergommeaux, San Franscisco Spirit Awards | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 24, 2013
For the second year in a row, I have been invited by the guys (and gals) at Vines in Riverbend to be the guest host for their annual Rum Tasting. This year the event is called:
Heat Things Up “With a Taste of Rum”
We will begin with a flavoured rum to serve as an aperitif, and then we will dive into a selection of rum which I have selected to be presented and tasted:
Aperitif : To Be Announced
Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero)
Dictador 12 Year Solera
El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
Rum Nation Panama 18
I think (although I admit I am biased because I selected the rums) that the line-up is solid, and represents a good cross-section of geographical styles of rum production. You can experience the rich flavour and diversity of rums from South America, from Central America, and the Caribbean Islands.
(Note: If we have any problems securing a particular rum, I will make sure that a suitable replacement of equivalent quality will be found.)
So come join me for a great selection of rum.
(Note: This event is sold out!)
(In case the poster is hard to read)
The Day of the Tasting is: Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 (at 7:00 PM)
The cost will be: $39.95 Prepaid
There will be only Limited Seating Available so to make sure you get a seat please contact my friends at Vines. (Actually it is already sold out!)
Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
(PS: I have been told that only 36 Tickets are available and that they are going fast!)
Posted in Extras | Tagged: Rum, Rum Tasting | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 18, 2013
The winners of the 3rd Annual Canadian Whisky Awards were announced in Victoria B.C. on Thursday, January 17th, 2013. The whisky awards are the result of the efforts of Spirit Writer and Author, Davin de Kergommeaux whose has organized and published the awards since their inception (in 2010) on his website Canadian Whisky.
The Awards were broken down into broad groupings which reflect the designated markets in which Canadian Whisky is sold. These grouping are:
Domestic Market (if the whisky is sold strictly within Canada
Export Market (if the whisky is sold strictly outside of Canada) and
Multi Markets (if the whisky is sold both in the domestic and the export markets
Specific Awards were designated for each market as well as a Canadian Whisky of the Year Award designated for the top Canadian Whisky regardless of intended market.
And of course, Awards of Excellence were presented for outstanding achievement in the areas of Innovation, Line Extension, and Canadian Whisky Profile.
So without further ado, here is a link to the Awards:
Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky Awards | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 15, 2013
This post is just for pure fun. A complete change of pace and direction intended solely for my own benefit. My Top 25 List of the best current NFL Quarterbacks counted down from number 25 to number 1.
My rankings are based purely upon my own speculation of whom I would want to quarterback my team at the start of the next season. Winning the big game is important, but if you can’t win consistently enough in the regular season, then you won’t get a chance to get to the big game.
By the same token, winning throughout the season is important, but if you lose at clutch time, then the season’s stats mean very little. I guess this is the ranking of quarterbacks who I think have the best chance to take a team all the way to the big show and to win the prize.
Click here to find the Rankings.
Posted in Extras | Tagged: NFL, Quaterbacks | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2013
In Support of the MS Society
Where: Edmonton Delta South
When: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Ticket Price: $75.00 each
This event is a must for any whisky enthusiast or for those new to the exciting world of whisky.
Tickets includes entrance, whisky sampling, and the commemorative Glencairn Whisky Glass.
Chat in a relaxed atmosphere with whisky and scotch principals from across Canada.
All proceeds raised at this event are donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.
For more information please contact:
Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
Posted in Extras, Festivals, Festivals and Events, Fund Raisers | Tagged: Charity Fundraiser, Edmonton Whisky Festival, MS Society, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 28, 2012
(a reposting of my best interview of 2012)
Allow me to welcome Alexandre Gabriel, President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand to my website.
Alexandre Gabriel was born in France, on a farm in southern Burgundy near the medieval town of Cluny, where his grandfather taught him how to make wine and distill spirits. He went to university in Lyon, and then in the U.S. as an exchange student, before returning to Paris to attend business school. More than 20 years ago, Alexandre came upon an ancient and almost defunct Cognac house. Through his passion and his vision, Alexandre Gabriel turned this small Cognac House into a specialized house of artisan spirits before the term was even coined. He re-built what is known today as Cognac Ferrand, in the heart of the Grande Champagne district of Cognac.
Mr. Gabriel believes in making spirits for people who enjoy the epicurean life and for the bartenders that make these epicurean libations possible.
I was given the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Alexandre Gabriel here on my website, and to my delight, Mr. Gabriel exceeded all of my expectations sharing his energy and passion for Craft Spirits. Mr. Gabriel shares how he “fell into a barrel of Cognac” when he was “only 2 years into drinking age by American standards”. He explains why craft spirits are so important to Cognac Ferrand, and whether or not he is he is leading the spirits world into the realms of madness.
We discuss not only Cognac, but also Gin, Vodka and Rum, and then Mr. Gabriel shares not only two of his favourite cocktails with me, but also (after a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of the teeth), his favourite or most treasured spirit which Alexandre would wish for if he were to be stranded on a deserted island…
Here is a link to the full interview:
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Interviews, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka | Tagged: 1840 Cognac, Alexandre Gabriel, Citadelle Gin, Cognac Ferrand, Interview, Plantation Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 24, 2012
People always ask me, (when they find out about my website), what my favourite rum is. I usually hedge my bets and say something about how it depends upon my mood or what time of year it is. And for the most part, that is a truthful answer. Some spirits seem to taste better in the winter when it is cold, and some seem to find their sweet spot in the summer it is warm and the barbeque is grilling some hot dogs. But if I am really honest, I must admit that there are a few rums which seem to always find my sweet spot regardless of mood or time of the year. The Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial is one of those great rums which never disappoints me. It never disappointed any of my Judging Panel either!
So without any further hoopla, allow me to introduce the 2012 Rum Howler Rum of the Year, judged by my Panel of Judges to be the Best in the World!
“… When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum …”
The rum has it all, great depth of flavour, wonderful consistency from nose to mouth to finish, and wonderful balance between all of its elements. I simply love it, and my Judges did too!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Peruvian Rum, Ron Millonario, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 22, 2012
The Demerara Distillers Ltd. Master Blender is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum which uses a blend of rums selected from their world-famous stills: their ancient Enmore (wooden Coffey still) and Versailles (single wooden pot still); and the metal Albion (Savalle still). All of the rums in the blend have been aged in oak for a minimum of 21 years, making this one of the oldest production rums in the world. This 21 Year old Rum is part of a family of luxury cask aged rums which also includes a 12-Year-Old Rum, a 15-Year-Old rum and a 25-Year-Old Rum, all of which have previously set their mark upon my countdown of the 30 best rums in the world. In my opinion (and in the opinion of all but one of my judges) this 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is the absolute best rum that Demerara Distillers produces. It is also number 3 in my list, of the best rums in the world:
“… The immediate nose is full of baking spices, orange peel, vanilla, and dry fruits. There are absolutely no medicinal notes or harsh scents associated with the aroma. As the rum decants, I begin to sense glimmers of almonds and hazelnuts weaving through the tapestry of smells, and I sense a building oakiness which is bringing more spice to the fore. The fully decanted glass is steeped with brown sugars and toffee and even features a vague impressions of anisette and apricot brandy …”
Nosing the glass is delightful!
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, El Dorado Rum, Guyanese Rum, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2012
Earlier in my countdown when I introduced Ron Zacapa Centenario (23 Solero), I spoke of Ron Zacapa’s ‘House above the Clouds’ and the aging process known as Sistema Solera. It turns out that Ron Zacapa produces not just one outstanding luxury sipping rum, but two. The Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) is blended from solera aged stocks which range in age from 6 years to 25 years. This rum, like its slightly younger sibling, is aged in a mixture of solera aging barrels which include American Whisky casks, and Sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine barrels. However, the difference is in the finish, which is where, for the Ron Zacapa Xo (25 Year Solera), cognac casks are introduced into the aging regimen.
It is probably just a matter of preference, but for the record, every Judge (including myself), on my Judging Panel, showed a slight preference for the Cognac finished Ron Zacapa XO which arrives in the number 4 spot in the Rum Howler Top 30 Countdown of the Best Rums in the World.
# 4 – Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum
“… Scents of mild toffee and spice combined with a rich oak and vanilla aroma rise from the glass to the delight of my nostrils. There seems to be a light orange citrus weaving through the aroma. The spices I can identify by smell are vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg with just a hint of cloves. The toffee smells of deep dark brown sugar with the firm imprint of real dairy butter. The aroma has nice nutty accents tempering the oak and holding its harsher tannins at bay …”
A rum full of complexity with almost perfect balance and smoothness. A delicious, sweet rum that had my taste buds absolutely reeling with delight.
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Guatemalan Rum, Rum, Rum Awards, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum, Zacapa Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 20, 2012
The El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum is blended from aged stocks (the youngest being no less than 12 years old) from the original Wooden Enmore Coffey still, the original metal Diamond Coffey still, as well as from the ancient Port Mourant double wooden pot still which was used to produce ‘navy’ rum for the English Admiralty. All of the Demerara Rum produced by El Dorado is aged exclusively in American oak (bourbon barrels). Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL) has built a reputation for outstanding quality. Their use of old traditional stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques have helped them earn world-wide acclaim for their Luxury Cask Rums.
I guess I am adding to that acclaim, by declaring the El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve one of the top 5 rums in Rum Howler Top 30 Rums of the World countdown:
# 5 – El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
“… Oak and wood spices provide a nice backdrop for the sweet baking spices (vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves) and rich molasses that rises into the breezes above the glass. There are hints of spicy orange peel, and fresh citrus fruit which appear and disappear within the aroma …”
Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Demerara Distillers Limited, El Dorado Rum, Guyanese Rum, Rum, Rum Review, Top 30 Rum | Comments Off