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Archive for the ‘Howls’ Category

Howls are my main method of posting on the front page. They are my way of communicating to you the general information of the site.

Rare Dram Masterclass Features Glenfarclas 60 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 23, 2014

glenfarclas 60Last April, J & G Grant launched the release of their new 60 Year Old Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky with only 360 bottles available world-wide.  According to George Grant, Glenfarclas’ Sales Director and 6th generation of the Grant family:

“At a time when more and more distilleries are going down the no age statement route for their super premium products, we are delighted to be able to release this magnificent 60-year-old Glenfarclas. My grandfather started laying down stocks for the future way back in the 50s, so it is thanks to his incredible foresight that we are able to bottle this today.I’m sure he would have been as impressed by it as I am.”

In describing his 60 Year Old whisky, George Grant tells us that the spirit was matured in a first fill sherry butt and has a very dark rich mahogany colour. George goes on to say:

“It is surprisingly vibrant with lots of dried fruits, demerara sugar and spice coming through on the nose as well as the rich, oaky tannins that one would expect from a whisky of this venerable age. The sherry influence really comes through on the palate, with rich treacle, bitter coffee and espresso notes all making an appearance. The finish is the longest I have ever experienced – 20 minutes later you will still be able to taste the subtle nuances of this incredible dram.”

Fortunately for those of us who live in Alberta, a few of these special bottles have made it into our marketplace and George Grant has arranged a very special tasting featuring not only the Glenfarclas 60 Year Old Whisky, but also 3 special Family Cask Whiskies each paired with decadent appetizers on the evening of November 3rd at 8:00PM.

Tickets are available for the November 3, 2014 Glenfarclas Rare Dram Masterclass via telephone or email from:

Willow Park Wine and Spirits
10801 Bonaventure Dr SE Calgary
Telephone: 403-296-1624
Email: events@willowpark.net

Cost: $500.00 per ticket

I have been invited to the event, and if I can clear my schedule for that day, I will certainly do my best to attend!

Note: The Glenfarclas Distillery is located on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch in the heart of Speyside. The Distillery was purchased by the Grant Family in 1865, and has remained in the control of the Grant Family for six generations up to the present day. In fact, Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries remaining in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.

Posted in Howls, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Leave of Absence

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2014

Here is just a quick note to let everyone know I will be back to writing reviews soon. Some family health issues have required (and still require) my attention and support, and so I have taken a brief Leave of Absence.

Posted in Howls | 12 Comments »

Q Tonic vs Schweppes

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 3, 2014

Two and a half years ago, I published a comparative review of Schweppes Tonic versus a new upstart Tonic water which had just entered the Alberta market, Q Tonic.

It all started when I was visiting one of my favourite Liquor Stores, (Lacombe Park Spirits in St. Albert if you want to know), when Karim, who is one of the owners, asked me to try a Gin and Tonic with a new Tonic Water he had started to carry called Q Tonic.

I let him make me a small sample cocktail, and it was pretty good. In fact, I was intrigued enough to make contact with Jordan Silbert, the founder of Q Drinks and asked him if he would like to send me a sample and some information, especially as I had began to receive quite a few a few gin samples to review and a premium Tonic water seemed like a good idea.

My thought was that it would be fun to make some side by side cocktails with Q Tonic and Schweppes Tonic to see if I preferred one over the other consistently. Jordan agreed, and I received a few small bottles of Q Tonic in the mail shortly before Christmas. This was good because the gin samples were beginning to pile up, and I wanted to get at them.

So with four different gins, Beefeater 24, Citadelle Reserve, Port of Barcelona and Broker’s Gin, I set out over the next couple of weeks to test the Gin and Tonic Cocktail with both Q Tonic and Schweppes Tonic.

I published the results of this exercise in January, 2012 and you may read those results by following the provided link:

Comparative Review: Schweppes Tonic VS Q Tonic

Although my Schweppes vs Q Tonic comparison was published over two years ago, I thought it appropriate to revisit this publication as a sort of teaser for my next project, the Gin and Tonic Challenge! Throughout the month of August I will be examining about 15 different Gins I have collected in an effort to find the Best Gin for the quintessential summer cocktail, the Gin and Tonic.

Stay tuned ….

 

Posted in Howls | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

The Rum Howler is Number 1 on Google

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 16, 2014

Wiser's Red LetterIt all began in the Spring of 2007 when my Brother-in-law (Merv) reached into his liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of Wiser’s 18 Year Old Whisky which he had bought 25 years earlier with the intention of sharing it with a friend on a special occasion. The occasion wasn’t really that special, I was just traveling through Calgary with my family and decided to stop by to say hello. But Merv decided that this visit was the special occasion he had been waiting for. And his generosity set everything in motion for what was to follow. You see, as touched as I was by my brother-in-law’s generosity, I realized that at some point I would need to reciprocate. Therefore, when I arrived back home in Edmonton, I set out to find a special bottle which I could share with him (should he ever manage to tear himself away from Calgary and come up to Edmonton to visit me).

So a week later, I found myself in one of those boutique Wine and Spirits stores asking the manager for some help to find a special whisky. I settled on Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky and happily went home to show my wife (Maureen) the $150.00 bottle of whisky I found. Her reaction set me further along the path I had started, as rather than scolding me for spending a ridiculous amount of money upon a bottle of whisky; she said, “I thought Merv liked Gin.”

SAM_0968 TanquerayShe was right of course; although Merv had shared a very special whisky with me, if I was to truly reciprocate, I would have to find a special bottle of gin to share with him. So I went back to the boutique store, asked about gin, and came home with a bottle of Tangueray No. 10. This time my wife (who is ever helpful) said, “What about the rest of your family?”

My head fell; because again, she was right. I wasn’t worried about my friends, they would be cool with just about anything as long as it was cold. But the members of my immediate (and some of the extended) family tend to be a tad jealous of each other. If it became known I had bought a special bottle to share with Merv, then the others would expect the same treatment. So I ambled back to that boutique liquor store a few more times, and by the time I was done, I had bought 2 bottles of rum (Flor de Cana 7 Year Old Rum and Matusalem 12 year Solera Blender), a bottle of vodka (Wyborowa Exquisite), a bottle of Tequila (Herradura Reposado) and a bottle of The Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak Single Malt Scotch to go with my bottles of Tangueray No. 10 and Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky.

I was hooked of course. It was so much fun going to that liquor store, tasting samples from a few of their open bottles, and then choosing something special to bring home. I soon had many more bottles and a brand new liquor cabinet to house them in. I explained to my wife that I had learned that there were many different styles of both rum and whisky, and surely when a special guest arrived I should have some sort of selection for them to choose from. And the Vodka, Gin and Tequila were needed in case someone was partial to those spirits instead. It was all part of my effort to be a good host when special guests arrived. Of course, I wasn’t fooling anyone, my wife and I both knew the real reason I was continuing to go back and forth to find new bottles. It was because I had caught the collecting bug, and it had bitten me hard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI continued to taste and collect different spirits over the next few years, and I discovered I was growing particularly fond of rum. So much so, that I began to haunt the online forums trying to locate the best brands for my collection. I enjoyed this research especially reading reviews of various spirits and comparing what I tasted to what was being written. Soon I got the idea into my head that it would be fun to write my own reviews about the spirits I had been collecting.

It turned out that all that research I had done to find the best bottles, and all that tasting I did before adding each new prize to my collection had served me well. I began my writing by placing a few somewhat brief ‘reviews’ on my favourite rum website, “The Ministry of Rum“. Although I was strictly an amateur, my reviews (and my quirky style) seemed to strike a chord with the other collectors and members of that website. One of those members had his own rum website, “Rum Connection” and he invited me to be a guest reviewer on his site. After writing a few reviews for Rum Connection (which were received extremely well), I decided that I should open my own review website which I did in the late fall of 2009.

My writing and my website have attracted a loyal and growing following which opened many doors for myself and led to some wonderful opportunities. This includes invites from rum companies who have offered to fly me down to look over their operations (see here), and similar invitations to all manner of rum and whisky festivals all over North America. As well, I began to receive requests to act as a Spirits Judge at some of the major Spirit’s Competitions in Canada and the USA. In fact I have served three times on the jury for the annual Canadian Whisky Awards, as well as twice in the same capacity for the International RumXP Competition at Rum Renaissance in Miami.

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The Rumhowler at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

The Rum Howler at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

This all brings me to the point of this article. Recently, it has come to my attention that my website, The Rum Howler Blog (according to Google), has become the number 1 internet source people turn to for Rum Reviews. The proof of that statement can verified by simply typing the key words “Rum Reviews” into your Google search engine. What you will find is that this website will be listed on the first page of the Google Search, usually ranked Number 1.

I am very pleased that my spirit reviews have been received so well, and my readers continue to find value in them. My recent number 1 ranking on Google is extremely satisfying! However, as pleased and satisfied as I feel about my work and my website, I would like to stress that my opinions expressed on this website are just that, opinions. Please, enjoy what I write; but trust your own instincts as well. Opinions vary and everyone’s preferences are unique. The only person who can truly decide if a spirit gives you enjoyment is yourself. I am flattered that so many people have come to trust my reviews; but I want you to trust your own tastes and preferences as well.

It all started when my Brother-in-law offered to open and share a special whisky with me seven years ago, and I can’t even guess where it will go from here …

Posted in Extras, Howls | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

The Rum Howler Top 10 Most Popular Reviews

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2014

Bg Black DickSometimes I get asked what the most popular articles on my website are. Today I decided to go through my web stats and find out. So if you have every wondered what the most popular reviews on my website are, then you need wonder no longer.

Here is the list of The Rum Howler Top 10 Most Popular Reviews:

10) Bacardi 8 Year Old Rum
09) Crown Royal XR Canadian Whisky (Waterloo)
08) Ron Zacapa XO (25 Year Solero) Rum
07) Bacardi Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum
06) Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year Old Rum
05) Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
04) El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve
03) Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 
02) Big Black Dick Dark Caribbean Rum 
01) Kraken Black Spiced Rum 

Who would have thought that a relatively unknown flavoured rum from the Cayman Islands would inspire the second most page views on my website? (I wonder if all those search engines that find that particular review are really looking for Rum?)

Cheers Everyone!

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Edmonton Whisky Festival: Master Class with Whisky Insider – J. Wheelock

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2014

jEdmonton Whisky Festival

Master Class with Whisky Insider – J. Wheelock

Featuring: BenRiach, Compass Box, Dalmore, GlenDronach, & Whyte & Mackay

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (6:30 PM – 7:30 PM)

Ticket Price: $25.00 each

The 2014 Edmonton Whisky Festival is proud to introduce to Edmonton, Whisky Insider, J. Wheelock. Based in Calgary, Alberta, J.’s role is to connect with like-minded individuals, groups and establishments, from the Prairies to the Pacific, espousing the virtues of the whiskies he’s been charged to represent. His schedule is chock-a-block full of meetings and events held by various whisky appreciation groups, where he works on building relations and cultivating connoisseurs who have the very same passion for whisky that attracted him to the business eleven years ago, when he started with the famed family of whiskies held by The Edrington Group (Macallan, Highland Park and The Famous Grouse). Having recently joined the Authentic Wines and Spirits team in Calgary (Dalmore, Jura, Glendronach, BenRiach, Compass Box), his philosophy has not changed.

“My vision is to help establish Canada as a major consumer on the world stage, which ultimately means we get more of the unique and hard-to-find bottlings. I like to call it ‘collective selfishness’.”

J. is also responsible for connecting his brands with people in the spirits trade, from staff at some of the country’s top bars and white table clothed-restaurants, all the way to swanky speakeasies and stalwart pubs.

“Some just want the basic knowledge in order to enhance their sales abilities. Others want to get to the heart of the brands and become ambassadors in their own right. The range of what is available in Canada is better than ever, and there’s always something to talk about.”

For more information please contact:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

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Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)

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Announcing – Edmonton Whisky Festival 2014

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 28, 2013

EWF2014

Edmonton Whisky Festival

Why: In Support of the MS Society

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ticket Price: $85.00 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  and enthusiast from from across Canada and around the world.

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)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

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Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)

Posted in Howls | Comments Off

More Hockey Fun – Ranking The NHL’s Best Defencemen

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 3, 2013

NHL_LOGO_grandeYesterday, Just for fum, I published my 2013-14 list of the Top 10 Forwards in the NHL. Today it is the D-Men which are examined as I try to sort out just who the very best are. The strength of any good NHL teams should begin with a solid core of  defensemen. If you peruse the list of the last 5 Stanley Cup Winners, I would argue that all but one of these teams owed their success to the play of their key defensemen. The lone exception to this rule are the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins although even with that star-studded team, the steady play of Brooks Orpik and the rest of their defense should not be overlooked. Forwards tend to receive all the glory: but it is the shutdown  D-men who log all the important minutes.

With that in mind, I have constructed my top ten list of the NHL’s best defenders.

The Rum Howler 2013-14 Top 10 NHL Defencemen

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Hockey Fun – Ranking The Top 10 NHL Forwards

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 2, 2013

NHL_LOGO_grandeSometimes I do things just for fun. Like my Top NFL Quarterbacks List I published last year at the end of the NFL Regular Season. Since this is the beginning of the 2013-14 NHL Hockey season I though another list was in order. Like everyone one else who watches hockey, I have my opinions on who the great players of the game really are. The guys who make a difference in the outcome of important games. Just for fun I thought I would post my listing of the ten best NHL Forwards as we enter the 2013-14 Hockey Season. For added fun I counted them down from Number 10 to number one. And no Sidney Crosby is not the best forward in the NHL. He did not even make the top 5.

If you are interested, here is a link to my list:

The Rum Howler 2013-14 Top 10 NHL Forwards

Have fun with this, and let me know who you think should have been on the list, and who should have been number 1. Tomorrow, I will tackle the Defencemen!

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Cancelled : September 20th – Talk like a Pirate!

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 18, 2013

I heard through the grapevine that Sherbrooke Liquor Store’s, “Talk Like a Pirate”  – Rum Festival was in danger of being cancelled.  When I checked the store’s website this morning I noticed that all mention of the event had been quietly removed.

I called the store, and they confirmed that there would be no Festival on the 20th.

:(

 

Posted in Howls | 6 Comments »

 
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