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Archive for the ‘Flavoured Whisky’ Category

Review: White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 29, 2014

SAM_1187 Last, year Highwood Distillers was severely impacted by a massive flash flood which devastated Southern Alberta on June 20th, 2013. The folks working at the distillery had only minutes of warning before the flood hit, and the severity of the event was such that some distillery staff had to be rescued from the tops of their cars by helicopter. If you followed the news regarding the aftermath of the flood (see my story here) you will know that it took more than a few weeks for the company to bring itself back onto its feet. Fortunately for those of us who love Canadian whisky, the distillery picked up the pieces and literally came roaring back to life. In fact, this past Christmas when my tasting panel and I blind-tasted and judged over 45 of the best Canadian Whiskies, Highwood Distillers placed more bottlings in the top 25 than any other Canadian Distillery (see the Top 25 list here).

This should not be considered a recent success, as Highwood has for years now been producing some of the most unique (and under-appreciated) whisky in Canada. In fact, in 2010, they broke new ground, (and a few sales records too), when they introduced their premium clear cocktail whisky, White Owl Whisky (see review here). To say this product was s success is a vast understatement, as the only problem that surfaced with respect to the White Owl Whisky was that Highwood could not make it fast enough to satisfy the demand across Canada. In 2012, the distillery extended the White Owl brand with White Owl Spiced Whisky (see review here), and this year they extended the brand once more with their White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky. Like the previous spirits which have carried the White Owl brand, this is a cocktail whisky carrying at its heart, Highwood’s famous clear White Owl Whisky, but in this case, it is enhanced with zesty lime and ginger flavours.

Cucumber delight SAM_1140

Cucumber Delight

You may read my full review of the White Owl Ginger and Lime Whisky here:

Review: White Owl Ginger Lime Whisky

“… when you bring the glass to your nose you cannot mistake the mild butterscotch, sandalwood and rye notes which rise into the breezes telling you that the base of this flavoured spirit is a gentle rye whisky. As the glass breathes, spicy notes of ginger begin to increase in strength, and building with them is the unmistakable zesty, but retrained note of lime and citrus peel …”

This is a cocktail whisky, and so of course I had to try a few mixed drink recipes during the review process. At the conclusion of the review I decided to feature a recipe of my creation, Cucumber Delight.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail recipe provided.  :)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 19, 2013

Tap 357TAP 357 is a relatively new flavoured Canadian Whisky, produced in Montreal for Van Gogh Imports.

According to the TAP 357 website, the whisky used in for this spirit is produced at the oldest distillery in Western Canada. It is four times distilled and then matured in a combination of new, second, and third-use bourbon barrels. The flavoured whisky is a blend of  3, 5,  and 7-year old blended rye whiskies that have been mixed with pure Canadian maple syrup produced from maple trees tapped at the first hint of spring in the province of Quebec. The product is bottled at 40.5 % alcohol by volume and is currently available in select markets in the USA and Canada.

You may read my full review by clicking on the following link:

Review: Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

“… I notice a nice combination of honey and maple scents rising into the air followed by more than a hint of rye spice. There is also a vague sort of damp woodiness which accompanies these initial scents. Impressions of spruce boughs and wet autumn leaves seem to lurk in the breezes giving the TAP 357 a hint of ‘earthiness’ which I have not noticed in other Maple Whiskies …”

Please enjoy my review!

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

Review: Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 16, 2013

SAM_0870 Pumpkin SpiceSpicebox Whisky is based in Montreal, Quebec where they blend and bottle their Spicebox Canadian Spiced Whisky. Their new Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Whisky was introduced last fall, and if you search enough through the liquor stores here in Alberta you can still find a few bottles hanging around. I really do not know much about this flavoured whisky as Spicebox website hasn’t listed it yet. I believe it is a seasonal product which might return in larger numbers again this fall. The Whisky is bottled at 70 proof or 35 % alcohol by volume and was brought into the Alberta Marketplace by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits of Montreal.

You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Whisky

“… Impressions of vanilla, brown sugar and butterscotch are dominant, however bits and dabbles of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger work their way into the breezes as well. These breezes above the glass actually do remind me of the sweet spicy aroma of a freshly baked pumpkin pie, (minus the actual pumpkin of course) …”

I admit this offering surprised me with its tastiness, and I was able to construct a very nice cocktail, the Orange Pumpkin Spice Muddle!

Enjoy my review, and if you happen to own a bottle of the Spicebox Pumpkin Spiced Whisky, do try my cocktail!

Cheers

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Crown Royal Maple Finished™ Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 7, 2013

maple-bottleCrown Royal Canadian Whisky is produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the spirits conglomerate, Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian Whisky brand. About a year ago Crown Royal Maple Finished™ Canadian Whisky was introduced as an addition to the Crown Royal family of whiskies. This is as far as I know the first flavoured whisky ever produced by Crown, and it presents itself as a Maple Finished™’ rather than maple flavoured.

Going through the Crown Royal Website (and the press materials I could find), I found very little information on the maple finish except one comment which stated that the master blender for Crown Royal had

“finished our celebrated whisky with maple toasted oak to yield a uniquely smooth experience. It’s a perfect blend of Crown Royal’s signature caramel and vanilla nose with the elegant aromas of light, fresh maple that creates a flavour profile that finished on an authentically warm and woody note.”

Last fall, my friend Lukasz brought over a bottle of Crown Royal Maple and allowed me to steal a sample (which I kept in a small sealed glass bottle). I finally made time to taste and assess the sample earlier this week.

You may click on the following excerpt (link) to read the full review:

Review: Crown Royal Maple Finished™ Canadian Whisky

“… The flavoured whisky has a lightly thickened consistency relative to the regular Crown Royal Whisky, but it is not nearly so thick as the other maple flavoured whiskies I have tasted recently. The initial aroma from my glass brings forward impressions of maple of course, with noticeable vanilla scents as well as what I will say is an ‘odd’ spiciness …”

Enjoy the review and have a great day!

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

Review: Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 25, 2013

BEAM GLOBAL CANADA INC. - Canadian Club whisky renaissanceIt seems that flavour is the order of the day, and based upon the explosion of new spiced and flavoured whiskies which have hit the shelves here in Alberta, Canadian Club is not the only company to think so. Their Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry is just one of at least a dozen new spiced/flavoured Canadian whiskies which have been released in the last year. According to the Beam Global (the owners of the Canadian Club brand) press releases, their new Dock No. 57 brand

“… is poised to capitalize on recent growth trends in ready-to-drink and flavoured spirits that are giving Canadian whisky a boost and helping to open the door to new consumers – namely younger adults and women …”

The enthusiasm at Beam Global is high, and why not, as Dock No. 57 Blackberry is apparently produced by the infusion of blackberry flavour with the classic character of their own Canadian Club Whisky. And unlike many of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have recently appeared on the landscape, the blackberry flavoured whisky is bottled at full strength (40 % alcohol by volume) ensuring that the full flavour of their Canadian Club whisky is maintained rather than being diluted.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry

“… The flavour is very reminiscent grape soda pop, but with strong undercurrents of menthol and ginger spice. As a straight up sipper, I just don’t see the appeal at all, but as a mixing agent in a cocktail which calls for some sort of Blackberry syrup I may be able to put this to good use …”

Please enjoy my review!

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

Review: Black Velvet Toasted Caramel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 27, 2013

BVToastedCaramelThe Black Velvet brand has a long history in North America, originally produced at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec in the late 1940s. The whisky was originally called Black Label; but because of the perceived smoothness of the whisky, the producers soon changed the name to Black Velvet. It has been a staple of the Canadian whisky scene ever since. It is now produced at the Black Velvet Distillery (also called the Palliser Distillery) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Black Velvet Toasted Caramel is a new flavoured whisky produced introduced last year by the company. It is apparently constructed from natural toasted caramel flavour and Black Velvet Whisky.  The product is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

You may read the full review by clicking the following excerpt:

Review: Black Velvet Toasted Caramel

“… Black Velvet Toasted Caramel runs towards the sweet side of the palate with caramel and maple flavour leading the way. The strong undercurrent of maple confuses me at first; but upon reflection I suspect this must be the wood and whisky spices showing through and moving some of that caramel flavour to maple …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice new recipe, the Canadian Caribou High Ball.

Cheers!

 

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: SinFire Cinnamon Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 21, 2013

SinFire

Flavoured and Spiced Whiskies seem to be popping up all over the landscape these days. It seems that not only rum companies are jealous of the success of Captain Morgan. The Whisky producers want a share of this market too. Time will tell whether these flavoured spirits are just a fad or part of a new market trend. But since they have arrived with such force, I will continue to review those which cross my path.

SinFire Cinnamon Whisky is produced by Hood River Distillers, an importer, producer, and bottler of spirits in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The Company’s bottling plant is located beside Columbia River with Mt. Hood standing majestically behind the facility, and they have been there since 1968. I received a small sample of their new SinFire Whisky a few weeks ago and decided to put the sample through the paces of my review methodology. This cinnamon flavoured whisky apparently  combines imported Canadian whisky with spicy-sweet natural cinnamon flavors. It is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review which includes a nice Highball style cocktail for Cinnamon Whisky called The Buzz Saw Highball:

Review: SinFire Cinnamon Whisky

“… As I put my snoot near the glass I receive a very strong indication of cinnamon heart candies. Some butterscotch is apparent in the breezes as well as a light sandalwood and hints of rye whisky. Although I receive indications of sweetness, it does not appear to be overdone …”

Please enjoy the review!

Cheers!

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Wild Turkey American Honey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 11, 2013

SAM_0575 American HoneyWild Turkey Bourbon is distilled and bottled by the Austin Nichols division of Campari Group. The distillery located near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was built by the Riply brothers in 1869, In 1952 by the Gould Brothers purchased the facility which was later bought by Pernod Ricard in 1980 who in turn sold it to the Campari Group in 2009.

Wild Turkey American Honey is a bourbon based liqueur crafted from Kentucky Bourbon and wild honey. I received a bottle for review a few months ago, and after much delay finally got around to providing this review:

Your may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

PassionReview: Wild Turkey American Honey

“… The entry onto the palate is relatively smooth with the sweet honey flavour melded nicely into the bourbon. This tastes much like the nose implies. Honey, butterscotch, and oak with some nice tobacco and vanilla accents. Some of the spiciness reminds me of rye, which is not surprising as Wild Turkey Bourbon is known to have a higher than average rye content …”

And because this is the week of Valentines I have added a great seasonal cocktail based upon the American Honey, called the Honey Passion Cocktail.

Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!

The spirit is bottled at 35.5 % alcohol by volume.

 

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Centennial Spiced Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2013

centennial-spiced

Not that long ago, I had a discussion with a well-known Master Blender (from a major producer of whisky) about the rush of spiced and flavoured rums and whiskies which are entering the marketplace. I lamented the fact that most of these spirits were constructed using young inexpensive spirits as their base, rather than beginning with a spirit which already showed age and character. The master distiller gave me this ‘father knows best’ look and explained that this category was meant for the new spirits consumer as an entry-level product, and using a better spirit as the base would just be a waste of good whisky (or rum). I countered that I thought the spiced and flavoured category could be much more; but I also quickly changed the subject. (I could see that he thought I was nuts).

Well maybe I am nuts; but recently, I actually received a sample of just the very kind of spiced whisky I had been talking about, Highwood Distillers - Centennial Spiced Canadian Whisky. Unlike most of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have sprung up recently which use a very young whisky as the base for the spirit, Highwood’s Centennial Spiced Whisky uses a well aged 10-year-old whisky, (their own Centennial Rye Whisky) as the foundation for this spiced spirit.

And I am happy to report, that as I suspected, quality always shines through as my review attests, here is an excerpt:

“… Rather than a whisky buried by spice, we encounter flavours of vanilla, ginger, and cloves (and yes butterscotch too) which are lifted by the character of the well aged Centennial Whisky. Although the combination of spices does not appear to be complicated, there is a punch of ginger in the flavour profile that to me, taste’s absolutely brilliant …”

Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktails, the Centennial Celebration, and Tall Ginger:

Review: Centennial Spiced Canadian Rye Whisky

Please enjoy this review of what I feel is a groundbreaking new spirit!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2013

Centennial HoneyHighwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A few years ago, I visited this distillery, and watched first hand as they turned the local prairie grains into whisky, vodka. and gin. They make their spirits one batch at a time in a family style atmosphere which could not help but make me a fan. Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky. The spirit represents a fusion of Highwood’s 10 Year old Centennial Rye Whisky with the decadent sweetness of natural honey. No artificial flavours or additives (except caramel for colour) have been used in the production of this whisky liqueur which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The theme of light and appealing continues with a flavoured whisky which is both smooth and delicious. I was fearful that the honey flavor (which might have been too intense) would overpower the subtle nuances of the Centennial Rye Whisky. However, I am pleased to report that although the flavour of the natural honey is obvious, the flavour of good old Canadian rye whisky also shines through…”

You may read my full review which contains my new recipe, Cool Honey, here:

Review: Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky

Please Enjoy the review!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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