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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.

Rhum Clement Visits Calagary

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 12, 2011

Rhum Clement Profile

I met Benjamin Melin-Jones last year at Rum Renaissance when I was enjoying myself at the Rhum Clement sponsored VIP Party which was, of course, one of the major features at the Rum Renaissance Festival. For those who do not know Benjamin Jones is the person primarily responsible for relaunching the Rhum Clement Brand in the USA (and Canada).

Rhum Clement is the leading producer of A.O.C Martinique Rhum Agricole. Rhum Agricole is produced from sugar cane juice rather than molasses, and Rhum Clement is an agricole rhum which is further refined being produced solely from within a specific terroir of Martinique, hence receiving the A.O.C. certification.

Why I am bringing all of this to your attention?  The reason is that Benjamin Melin-Jones will be arriving in Calgary, Alberta to show off his Rhum Portfolio for two days. The first tasting will be at Willow Park Liquor Store on Wednesday March 16 at 7:00 PM. The Second will be at the Crowfoot Liquor Store on Thursday March 17, at 7:00 PM.

This will be a unique opportunity to not only sample a world-renowned spirits brand, but also a chance to speak directly to Benjamin Jones who just happens to be a direct descendant of Homere Clement, physician and mayor of Le Francios,  but more importantly to us, the man responsible for pioneering and producing Rhum Agricole on the French Island of Martinique over one hundred years ago.

I hope a few of my readers can take advantage of this opportunity.

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

Rum Renaissance – 2011

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2011

Last year I was invited to act as one of the International Judges at the 2010 RumXP International Tasting Competition which was held in conjunction with Rum Renaissance 2010. I spent five days soaking up the atmosphere of the festival, and of the city. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and this year I want to extend a bit of an invitation to those who read and follow my blog to come to Miami this year to join in the festivities of the largest Rum Festival in the World.

This year the festival promises to be even better than last. It has grown from three days in 2009; to five days last year in 2010; to a full seven days of fun and frolic in 2011. The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival 2011 begins with the Zombie Jamboree at the Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday, April 25 from 5 to 7pm. From there, the events include nine VIP Parties, a three-day RumXP International Tasting Competition, various ancillary competitive events including The International Tiki Face Off Competition and the Baritt’s Ginger Beer Cocktail Competition. And it all wraps up with 2 days at the Grand Tasting Finale where there will be seminars, the cocktail competitions, and a Island Lifestyle Showcase.

This is what the Robert Burr, the organizer and prime motivating force behind the Festival, has to say…

Rum is experiencing a Renaissance of appreciation as more savvy consumers discover a truly remarkable range of fine rums from the Caribbean region, North, Central and South America, and around the world.

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival is one of the world’s premier international rum events, presenting a unique and exciting celebration of the fine arts of distillation, maturing and blending fine cane spirits.

Enjoy a full week of exclusive VIP parties at Miami’s most notable venues, a grand two-day exhibition of the best rum brands, the excitement of the Island Lifestyle Showcase, celebrity seminars, workshops and cocktail competitions, the annual RumXP competition and awards, an opportunity to rub shoulders with dignitaries and notable experts, and more.

Like I said earlier, I am kind of extending an invitation for everyone to come and join me in Miami.  You can purchase tickets for either day (or both) of the Grand Tasting Finale, or you can enjoy the full experience and obtain a VIP Pass and join in the fun of all of the VIP events all week-long. And of course everyone who attends can enjoy beautiful Miami Beach.

Posted in Extras, Festivals, Howls | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

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

The Grapefruit Catapult

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2011

The Grapefruit Catapult

3  oz   white or amber Rum (Mount Gay Silver Eclipse)
1/4 oz  Sloe Gin
Juice from 1 fresh Limes
Juice From 1/2 Grapefruit
1 – 3  teaspoons of Simple syrup or Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a glass of your choice.

Making two of these will use up a full grapefruit with no waste. Not wasting fruit keeps my wife happy.  Trust me on this one folks.  Keeping your wife happy is a great start to any evening of cocktails.

Posted in Howls | Comments Off

Rum Review: El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2011

Ed 21 Served Neat

The Master Blender for  Demerara Distillers Ltd. , (DDL) is credited with the creation of El Dorado 21-Year-Old Special Reserve Rum which uses a selected blend of rums from their world-famous stills, the Enmore (wooden Coffey still), the Versailles (single wooden pot still), and the Albion (Savalle still). All of these 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.

The 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. According to the DDL website…

El Dorado rums are blended selections of different ‘vintages’ or batches of rums from different stills – aged in oak barrels. Importantly, the age statement specifically indicates the youngest rum in the blend, even though the oldest may be many years older. This rule is the same as the one for Scotch Whisky and is used for rums produced in English-speaking countries

This age statement is quite different from those rums which feature a solera style age statement which highlights the oldest rum in the blend and usually includes a high percentage of rum which is much younger in the blend. In my opinion, this sets the El Dorado 21 Year Old Rum apart from its peers and it is very hard to find many comparably aged rums in my marketplace.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

…The mouth is heated up with oak spice, and my first impression is that I am sampling a yummy oak and toffee extract filled with rich brown sugar. The oak is at the center of the flavour, yet the tannins do not inhibit the other flavours in the rum from forming and delighting me.  Raisins, prunes, and dates give the rum an almost smoky quality while the impressions of nutty elements adds softness to the mouth-feel. Cinnamon and brown sugar weave throughout and the rum is an absolute marvel of complexity and balance…

You may read the full review here:

Rum Review: El Dorado 21-Year-Old Rum

Please enjoy the review and remember that it is my aim to help you drink better rums not to help you drink more rums!

Posted in Dark Rums, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

The Edmonton Whisky Festival Wrap-Up

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2011

The 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival in support of the MS Society of Canada was a huge success. I helped a bit with the festival by blogging and telling everyone I could about the event. But the real force behind the Festival was the guys at Vines-Riverbend Wine Merchants (2331 Rabbit Hill Rd, Edmonton 780-434-9444).  They did all the work, and  volunteered their time and their knowledge and produced a fantastic event!

Some of the highlights of the event included the attendance of a few whisky dignitaries from home and abroad.  John H. Hall the Owner of and Whisky Maker for Forty Creek Whisky poured so much of his new Confederation Oak Canadian Whisky that it was gone by 9:00 PM.  Andrew Gray of Bruichladdich Distilleries was pouring a few of the new Laddies from Bruichladdich’s impressive line-up and seemed to have a large crowd around him at all times throughout the night.  James Robertson, The International Sales Rep for Tullibardine, was in attendance as well.  I chatted briefly with Mr. Robertson having met him at last year’s festival and at other whisky events over the past two years. His enthusiasm is infectious and I had more than one dram of his wonderful Tullies. I also saw Jamie MacKenzie, the Regional Manager (North America) for Morrison Bowmore Distillers tempting everyone with the whiskies from Bowmore and Auchentoshan.

Of course all that name dropping is just to get those people who did not attend a little jealous so that they get their tickets next year to support the MS Society.  The event raised over $10,000.00 which was a full 60 % more than last years efforts.

I offer my hearty congratulations to the fellows at Vines in Riverbend who were the driving force behind the festival!  You did great, and you can count on my continued assistance in this worthwhile venture.

The Crowd at the festival was impressive, as everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves!


Posted in Howls | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

The 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 4, 2011

I would like to invite everyone to the 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival in support of the MS Society of Canada. Last years event was a smash hit and raised over $6000.00 in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. This year it is hoped that the amount of money raised can be increased by 50 % for this worthy cause.

Here are the important details:

What: 2nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival in support of the MS Society of Canada
When: January 19, 2011 (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm)
Where: Sutton Place Hotel, 10235 – 101 Street, Edmonton, Alberta
Price: $75.00

The admission price ticket gets you into what I believe is Edmonton’s Premier Whisky Event.

As well,  your ticket stub gives you $10.00 or 10 % (whichever is greater) off of your next purchase of Scotch Whisky at Vines Wine Merchants in Edmonton.

The event will also features over 15 whisky importers and distributors with over 100 different whiskies to sample as part of your ticket price.  And you even get a cool commemorative Edmonton Whisky Festival Glen Cairn glass.

I was there last year and can confirm that I had a blast pouring over 100 whiskies to sample with only one night to do it. (Last year’s event sold so well that a larger venue had to selected for this year. )

Additional events planned in conjunction with the festival are a special Bowmore Dinner at the Petroleum Club with Dave Gordon; and a special Silent Auction to raise additional funds.

Tickets for the Edmonton Whisky Festival and the related  Special Events are available at:

Vines-Riverbend Wine Merchants – 2331 Rabbit Hill Rd, Edmonton (780-434-9444)


The Vineyard Wine Market - 41 St. Thomas Street, St. Albert (780 419 6696)

*Remember your ticket stub is redeemable for a $10 or 10% discount, whichever is the greater, on your next purchase of Scotch Whisky at Vines Wine Merchants. Offer expires April 30, 2011

So come on out and support the MS Society and have a great time doing it. I will be there and would love to say hello!

*(Just a note to let everyone know that I am not affiliated in any way with Vines-Riverbend Wine Merchants, I just think what they are doing with this festival and their support of the MS Society is worthy of writing about!)

Posted in Fund Raisers, Howls | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 21, 2010

This year I am going to re-post my favourite recipe for the Christmas Eggnog.  This is a simple recipe in terms of ingredients, but it will require a bit of a baker’s touch get it just right. I switched up the Rum and the Whisky in the recipe from last year and found it to be as good as ever.

Arctic Wolf’s Christmas Eggnog
(This makes about four servings. )

3 eggs at room temperature, (yolk and whites  separated)
3/8 cup sugar (for the yolks)
3 tablespoons sugar (for the whites)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
a touch fresh ground cloves (About 1/16 of a teaspoon)
a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg (About 1/8 of a teaspoon)
a dash of fresh ground cinnamon (About 3 /16 of a teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup dark rum ( Mount Gay Gold Eclipse)
2/3 cup Canadian Whisky (Potters Special Old)


First the yolks

Separate your egg yolks and your egg whites in two bowls. Whisk the first amount of sugar and the vanilla into the egg yolks.   A a touch of  ground cloves, a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon into the yolk bowl.   Add the cream, the milk and the rum and whisky (for adult consumption only). Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Now the whites

This is where a baker’s touch is necessary.
Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks (3-4 minutes). Add the second amount of sugar slowly during this beating process.

Now we combine

Gently and with large circular motions blend the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture, trying to keep things as ‘poofy’ as possible.

Sprinkle a little left over spice on the top of each glass, and enjoy with your favourite chocolates!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Howls | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Introducing: The Canadian Whisky Awards 2010

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 5, 2010

Davin de Kergommeaux has hit upon an idea which I think is just Grand, The first ever independent Canadian Whisky Awards! I came up with my Rum Howler Awards earlier this year where I sought to give credit to various impressive rums and whiskies which I felt had set the mark for excellence during the past year. And now Davin builds on that, at least with respect to Canadian Whisky. These Canadian Whisky Awards highlight not only the best quality whiskies made in Canada, but also special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers.

Why am I excited? Mainly because of the knowledge I have for the outstanding contributions Davin has made in bringing forward recognition of Canadian Whisky as a world-class spirit. You see Davin has the credibility to make these awards meaningful for whisky companies as well as for whisky connoisseurs. He is a professionally trained sommelier who is well acquainted with not only Canadian Whisky, but also all of the other great whiskies of the world. He is an experienced whisky taster and writer who is a much sought after judge at international whisky competitions.

The Awards will be unveiled tomorrow, December 6, on Davin’s Website,! Based upon what I know of the thoroughness of Davin’s research and the quality of his work, these awards are sure to become prominent markers of excellence on the Canadian Whisky landscape.  Great Job Davin! I look forward to reading the selections for the first Canadian Whisky Awards 2010!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Howls, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Introducing: Mount Gay 1703

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 26, 2010

The rum renaissance is well under way in my home province of Alberta. Yesterday I received word the arrival of  one of the most highly anticipated premium rums, Mount Gay 1703, Old Cask Selection. The Mount Gay 1703  is a premium rum blend which features aged rum stocks from selected barrels of the Mount Gay treasured reserve.  These barrels have been aged 10 to 30 years and feature the best that Mount Gay has to offer in the areas of Craftsmanship and Quality.

But do not take my word for it, at the recently held Ultimate Spirits Challenge Mount Gay 1703 waltzed away with the coveted Chairman’s Trophy.

“This is a fantastic sign of appreciation for the brand. Remy Cointreau can pride itself on possessing the best rum in the world, as selected by the greatest experts”, stated Hugues Le Marie, their International Brand Director.

It is hard to argue the point. The Mount Gay 1703 scored a nearly impossible 97 pts out of 100, at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. As well, other spirits writers have lauded similar praise upon this premium rum. Dave Russel of R & D Reviews scored the rum 9.5 flasks out of 10, when he published his review on January 1, 2010.  And Drinkhacker gave the rum a score of A- in his recent review.

These accolades are from gentlemen whose reviews I respect. This accounts for my recent excitement at Mount Gay’s introduction of the 1703 Old cask Selection to my local.

In case you were wondering, here was my review written several months ago:

Review: Mount Gay Rum 1703 Old Cask Selection

So I spread a warm welcome to the Mount Gay 1703, hopefully your stay in our Province is for more than just a short while.

Posted in Dark Rums, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off


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