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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

WHAT IS RUM NATION ?

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2014

Reimonenq and Fabio

Master Distiller, Leopold Reimonenq and Fabio Rossi in Guadeloupe

Fabio Rossi was born in 1961, and he grew up among the bottles of fine wine and spirits which were imported by his father, Mario Jr., who had been dealing in wines and liquors since 1956. (His father was the first importer of Laphroaig whisky in Italy, and he also imported wine and spirits brands such as Rhum Barbancourt, several Bordeaux Chateaux, and Champagnes such as Salon.)

Fabio began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum, and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. The company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

Recently, I was provided with a lengthy interview of Mr. Rossi which had been conducted by Luca Chichizola, the brand ambassador for Fabio’s whisky brand Wilson and Morgan. Luca is a computer engineer who apparently also has some skills in journalism. The interview was sent to me to provide me with more background information regarding Rum Nation and Mr. Rossi’s philosophies towards selecting his fine rums. Because I felt the information provided in the interview would be of interest to my readers, I asked for and received, permission to publish it here on my website.

You can read the full interview by clicking on the following link:

WHAT IS RUM NATION ? (An Interview with Fabio Rossi)

I hope everyone enjoys the interview as much as I did.

 

 

Posted in Extras, Interviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Introducing: Alexandre Gabriel (Cognac Ferrand)

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.

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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:

A Man of Passion: Alexandre Gabriel

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Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Interviews, Liqueur, Rum, Vodka | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Introducing: Alexandre Gabriel (Cognac Ferrand)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 14, 2012

Alexandre Gabriel (Cognac Ferrand)

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:

A Man of Passion: Alexandre Gabriel

Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, Gin, Interviews, Rum, Vodka | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Something Special at Hamilton and Inches

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2012

This is a bit of a teaser video sent to me by the North American Bowmore media team. I admit I was very intrigued so I decided to share the teaser with all of you. Apparently something special is on the horizon.

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Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Extras, First Impressions, Howls, Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Introducing: Archeologist Frederick Hanselmann

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2012

Project Director Fritz Hanselmann (Photo Credit: Jonathan Kingston)

I would like to welcome Mr. Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann to my website.

Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann is the Research Faculty and Chief Underwater Archaeologist and Dive Training Officer with the River Systems Institute and the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University. I was offered a chance to interview Mr. Fritz Hanselmann via telephone a few short weeks ago to discuss his search for the most famous Privateer in history, Admiral Sir Henry Morgan (aka Captain Morgan). Circumstance conspired against me such that a telephone interview was not possible, however, I was graciously allowed to conduct my interview via email.

Most people associate Captain Morgan with the iconic logo on the rum bottle; but Hanselmann’s team of U.S. archaeologists, with the help of the Captain Morgan brand, are on a mission to find the fleet of ships the iconic real-life privateer lost in the Caribbean in 1671. The search began in earnest in September 2010, when the team discovered six iron cannons which might have possibly belonged to Sir Admiral Henry Morgan during their archaeological survey mouth of the Río Chagres off the coast of Panama. The team of archeologists continued their work this past summer with the the discovery of a 17th century wooden shipwreck, which is potentially one of the five ships Captain Morgan lost at the mouth of the river. Among the five ships lost was Admiral Sir Henry Morgan’s flagship “Satisfaction”.

In the interview we discuss underwater diving and archeology learning how these seemingly disparate fields are coming together in the search for Captain Morgan’s lost fleet. We examine the evidence recovered in an effort to verify whether the artifacts found to date can really be assigned the Privateer of legend. Mr. Hanselmann elaborates on his most exciting finds to date, and even theorizes on the possibility of finding a stash of rum at the bottom of the sea.

You may read the full interview here:

Seeking Captain Morgan: An Interview with Archeologist Frederick Hanselmann

Please enjoy the Interview!

Posted in Extras, Interviews, Rum, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Introducing – Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 31, 2012

I would like to welcome Iain McCallum, the current Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers to my website. I was granted an email interview with Mr. McCallum in early June, and after a bit of back and forth the interview was concluded in mid July.

Iain discusses his job as the Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD) as well as the various styles (and brands) of whisky that Morrison Bowmore produces at the three MBD distilleries in Scotland, the Bowmore Distillery, the Auchentoshan Distillery and the Glen Garioch Distillery. The interview moves on to the McClelland Single Malt Whisky brand which is also produced by Morrison Bowmore, and then on to a questions about MBD’s practice of aging the Bowmore Islay whisky offsite.

I am surprised to learn that the The Scottish Whisky Act has very little to say regarding the use of oak casks which have previously contained other wines and spirits (and how much of this liquid may be left in these casks to influence the flavour profile of the resulting whisky). Finally, Mr. McCallum gives his recommendations for the enjoyment of each of the Morrison Bowmore Distillery offerings sharing opinions regarding his favourite Malts, and his favourite cocktails with me.  I am happy to learn that even the Master of Malts allows himself to enjoy a great cocktail!

You may read the full interview here:

An Interview with the Global Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Please enjoy the Interview!

Posted in Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2012

I would like to welcome Joy Spence, the current Master Blender for Appleton Estate Rum to my website.

I was granted a rare chance to interview Ms. Spence via email in early June just before the launch announcement of Appleton Estate’s brand new and very rare Limited Edition Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve. Ms. Spence speaks clearly about her job as Appleton Estate Rum’s – Master Blender; the incredible heritage of Appleton Estate Rum; and the unique Terrior that is the Nassau Valley where all the sugarcane for Apple Estate Rum is grown. We also discuss the aforementioned Limited Edition Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve as well as my current favourite Appleton Rum the Appleton Estate Master Blenders’ Legacy. We even have some fun learning which rum Ms. Spence would prefer to drink in the Canadian Arctic, and which would be her favourite if she were stranded on a tropical island. Finally Joy Spence surprises even me by revealing her favourite rum cocktail, and for a guy like me who loves to mix great rum with soda, it is a sure-fire winner!

Click here for my interview with Joy Spence….

An Interview with Appleton Estate’s Joy Spence

I hope you all enjoy the interview!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Extras, Interviews, Rum | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

The Good Food Revolution Interviews The Rum Howler!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 25, 2012

On my recent trip to Guyana, one of the members of our Canadian contingent was Jamie Drummond. Jamie is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution. Although born in Edinburgh, he is now based in Toronto where he acts as a Sommelier, a food consultant, writer, judge, and educator. If you are interested in Good Food, Jamie is your all round Good Guy.

During the trip when we were relaxing at Baganara Island, he did a little video interview with me. He combined the interview with some footage from the trip and published it on The Good Food Revolution last Friday.

(Clicking on the picture below will take you to The Good Food Revolution where you can see Jamie Drummond’s interview of The Rum Howler (set to music))!

As you can see from the footage, Jamie had video camera running all the time (even when we were not expecting it).

Enjoy the Good Food Revolution Everyone!

Cheers!

Posted in Howls, Interviews, Rum | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 4, 2011

Last month, Wednesday, January 19 to be exact, I was invited to attend a private luncheon at Bistro la Persaud, in Edmonton with John Hall, the founder of Forty Creek Whisky. It was a small gathering with only a few of us ‘media’ folk invited. The purpose of the luncheon was to allow the invitees to have an informal question and answer with Mr. Hall taking advantage of his attendance at the 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival and the launch of his new whisky Forty Creek Confederation Oak.

I kind of sat back and let the others (who are more experienced at this sort of thing) do the questioning and interjected only a few queries here and there. It seemed better just to listen than to speak…

You may read the complete story on John Hall and his unique Canadian Whisky by clicking the following link:

John Hall and Whisky: A Good Meritage

In case you are interested, I have reviewed a few of the Whiskies from Forty Creek and have provided links to these reviews below:

Review Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky

Review: Forty Creek Portwood Reserve

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Extras, Howls, Interviews, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Howling Highlight: Interview with James Robertson

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2010

An Interview with James Robertson
by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)

At the Edmonton Food and Wine Festival.

At the Rocky Mountain Food and Wind Festival, I had the privilege of meeting up with James  Robertson, the International Brand Manager for Tulllibardine Distillery. This distillery is one of many that had been mothballed, by previous ownership, and was now being resurrected and brought back on stream by a dedicated group of businessmen. James, who treated me with what I can only describe as with the utmost class and respect, agreed to a small interview.

I thought I would try to capture some of the  story of the excitement surrounding the reopening of the distillery for my readers.

Question # 1

How long have you worked for theTullibardine Distillery, and what is your role within the company?

Since April 2008 and I am the International Sales Manager looking after key markets around the world. I cover both sales and brand ambassadorial roles.

Question # 2

Exactly when was the Tullibardine distillery closed, and why?

White and Mackay closed Tullibardine in 1995 due to over production in the whisky industry at the time and also due to the fact that Tullibardine was not a core part of their portfolio.

Question #3

Do you know how the decision came about to reopen the Distillery?

A group of businessmen some connected with the whisky industry saw the potential for Tullibardine and approached W&M to sell it to them including all the old stock.

Question #4

It must have been exciting to unlock the gates/doors to the distillery for the first time when it reopened.  Can you tell me something about that feeling if you were there?

I was not there but I do know that there was an amazing feeling of purchasing a part of Scotland’s Heritage and also realizing a dream.

Question #5

I really can’t imagine the old barrels of whiskey, which were part of the repurchase.  Were they still inside the distillery or had they been stored offsite and cared for elsewhere?

All the casks were here under lock and key in the original warehouse where they had been put once filled. The oldest due to be bottled sometime soon is a quarter cask from 1952, then there are casks from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

Question #6

Tullibardine seems to be following the model of Bruichladdich, with a variety of new cask finishes coming to market.  Is this fair? How is Tullibardine different, and how are you maintaining the old traditions of the distillery?

Bruichladdich reopened 2 years before us having also been closed by W&M. we have followed what they have done closely as they have a similar problem of no stock for the period when the stills were closed. We have not followed their model totally as they have issued over 100 different bottlings whilst we have been probably more selective but they have an advantage in that Islay is very popular whilst we as a distillery were never known for our Single Malts in the past. That said we have proved that we can produce good Single Malt and our new production with the quality of the casks that we have been buying has improved our product immeasurably.

Question #7

Tell me about Tullibardine’s new Whiskeys coming to market.

We have just bottled the Tullibardine Aged Oak which is predominantly single malt from 2004, so post re-opening with a small amount of older Tullibardine added to give it some complexity. We will continue with our Wood Finish Range and there should be a Rum Finish out in the first part of 2010, along with a few single cask bottlings.

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I would like to thank James Robertson and the Tulllibardine Distillery for taking the time for this interview. For those interested I have completed a review of the Tullibardine 1988 Vintage bottling, and that review can be found here:

Review: Tullibardine 1988 Vintage Edition

Posted in Interviews, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

 
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