Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2012
Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey is traditionally made from a mash comprised of both malted and unmalted barley which is distilled in a pot still. This style of whiskey was apparently produced as a reaction to British taxes on malted whiskey which were introduced in 1802. To reduce the taxable amount on their whisky, Irish distillers began to add more unmalted barley into the distillation. The result was what we have come to know as Irish Pure Pot Still Whisky.
Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whisky contains both Single Malt Whiskey and the aforementioned Pure Pot Still Whiskey in its construction. As is the tradition in Ireland, the whiskey is triple distilled and matured in American Oak (bourbon) barrels. I was sent a bottle of the Writers Tears to review here on my website and asked to coordinate the publication of the review to coincide roughly with the reintroduction of the whiskey to the Ontario market (on October 14) after an absence of about one year from the store shelves.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass has a bit of a bourbon flair complemented by honeyed butterscotch, punky Halloween toffee, oak spices, and obvious taints of vanilla and almond. There is a bit of citrus orange peel in the air and an underlying herbal element which to me has a resemblance to freshly cut lowland hay, willow thickets, and those lush ferns that grow near wetlands… “
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Irish Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, WritersTears | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2012
The blend for Johnnie Walker Gold Label was created in 1920 by Sir Alexander Walker to commemorate the Johnnie Walker Company’s 100 years in business dating back to 1820. This is of course how this particular blend of Johnnie Walker received its name. Although discontinued during the war due to shortage of blending stocks, the label was reintroduced in 1992, with a blend based upon the original blending notes left by Sir Alexander seventy-five years earlier.
Today the Centenary blend is reputed to contain 15 separate single malt whiskies each aged a minimum of 18 years. Of these single malts four in particular have been noted as being key to the distinctive taste of Johnnie Walker Gold: Talisker generates the general character of the blend; Clynish generates the brine and seaside ambiance; Royal Lochnagar imparts the luxurious palate; and Cardhu lingers in the throat and provides the finish. I have read some claims that grain whiskies are in the blend as well, but whether that is true I have no confirmation. I am not snobbish against the grain whiskies, and this review concentrates on the aroma, the flavour, and the character of the whisky.
Here is a link to my review:
Please enjoy this re-posting of my original November 2009 review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Johnnie Walker Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 2, 2012
Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes mot only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the Balblair 2001 Vintage is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Balblair Distillery (which is located in the Highlands of Scotland). This distillery was founded by John Ross in 1790 on the shores of the Dornoch Firth in the village of Edderton.
Each year at Balblair, the Distillery Manager, John MacDonald, selects what he believes to be the best representative whiskies of the Balblair Highland Single Malt brand. Out of the thousands of barrels he samples each year, only a select number are chosen to be bottled as Balblair Vintage Single Malt. These barrels represent the very essence of the Balblair brand.
I was sent a sample of the Balblair 2001 Vintage by Woodman Wine and Spirits, who are the Ontario distributors for the Balblair brand. The Whisky has recently been released in Ontario, Canada and is available through the Whisky Shop at the LCBO.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“… There is a nice oak taint in those breezes with perhaps a touch of charcoal or graphite. A soft punky Halloween toffee is evident, as is a real sense of fruit and almond. The fruity smells are complicated. I sense both fresh fruit (green apples, peaches and pears) as well as dried apricots and plums. Other smells drift in and out of my sensory range, some sharper citrus zests, and even hints of an alpine meadow…”
Here is a link to my full review:
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Balblair, Inver House, Review, Scoch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 27, 2012
Although Canadian whisky by volume is the best-selling whisky in the USA, the perception of this class of whisky (amongst spirits writers and whisky critics) is that the Canadian spirit is perhaps thin and uninteresting, (fortunately the millions of people who buy whisky appear to be much more impressed than the critics and writers). The landscape however, appear to be changing, especially at the premium end of the whisky market, where the Canadian spirit has seen strong growth in market share. Recognizing this trend, the Sazerac Company has recently made a push towards the premium end of the Canadian Whisky market with two new releases, Caribou Crossing and Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whiskies.
Caribou Crossing is what is known as a Single Barrel Whisky. From the company’s inventory of over 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky, Sazerac’s whisky making team selects what they deem to be some of the very finest barrels. Each of these chosen barrels is bottled individually capturing its unique flavour. This means that each individual barrel offers a unique taste experience for the Canadian whisky connoisseur. I was fortunate enough to have been sent a sample bottle from the good folks at Charton Hobbs who are marketing this unique whisky for Sazerac, here in Alberta.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… This is a whisky which grows a little in the glass as you let it breathe. The oak and the rye grain seem to gain strength as sawdust and rye husks fill the breezes above the glass. Fresh corn on the cob rises into those breezes; and impressions of butterscotch pudding and vanilla ice cream tempt me into taking my first sip… “
You may read the full review here;
Please enjoy my review, and my cocktail suggestion, the Canadian Rye Sazerac.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Caribou Crossing, Cocktails and Recipes, Sazerac Company, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 21, 2012
According to the information sent to me by Sazerac, Canadian whisky is a very big deal in the USA, accounting for sales of roughly 100 million liters of spirits. In fact, Canadian Whisky is responsible for a whopping 11.6 % of the overall spirits market in the USA. Although it has been popular for spirits writer’s and whisky critics to disregard the Canadian Whisky category, the truth is that North America has seen growth in sales of the premium and super-premium categories of Canadian Whisky over the last several years. Sazerac has been a participant in this growth with the launch of their new Single Barrel Canadian Whisky, Caribou Crossing, and their new Small Batch Canadian Whisky, Royal Canadian Small Batch.
The Royal Canadian Small Batch whisky has been constructed from a very small selection (50 barrels) of carefully chosen Canadian whisky barrels. Bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume, this is a 4 grain whisky which was blended from those selected barrels to not only have the smoothness traditionally associated with Canadian whisky; but to also carry robust taste profile forward for the whisky connoisseur.
I was fortunate enough to have been sent a sample bottle from the good folks at Charton Hobbs who are marketing this unique whisky for Sazerac, in Alberta.
Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:
“… The whisky sends an initial display of light oak, sweet butterscotch, and punky caramel corn into the breezes above the glencairn glass. As the whisky breathes, I notice some wood spices and sticky maple wandering upwards joined by vanilla and light almond accents. There is a fruitiness in the air represented by light impressions of dry fruit (plums and apricots), some fresh berries, and a little citrus zest, all of which seem to meld into that sticky maple aroma giving me impressions of freshly opened cans of apricots and pears… “
Here is a link to the full review:
As part of the review I designed a nice cocktail for this whisky called the Sazerac Splash. I hope you enjoy the cocktail and of course. I hope you enjoy my review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Royal Canadian Small Batch Whisky, Sazerac Company, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2012
Today Morrison Bowmore announced the oldest ever Bowmore, and indeed, the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released:
The Bowmore 1957 – 54 Years Old Single Malt
This Whisky was distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011. It has been slumbering in oak for more than half a century in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults. Amazingly there are only 12 bottles in existence. Bowmore 1957 is the oldest and rarest ever Bowmore. This will sure be one of the most sought after and collectible Monumental Whiskies in the entire world.
Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 To Be Auctioned at Bonhams In Edinburgh and New York City this October With All Net Proceeds Donated To Charity
For more information click here:
(The 2 bottles that will be up for auction have a reserve set at £100,000 per bottle. If a person would like to buy one but not at the auctions, they will have to purchase from Bowmore Distillery on Islay, Scotland and the price will be £100,000.)
Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bowmore 1957, Bowmore Whisky, Monumental Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 14, 2012
A third teaser from the Bowmore Media Team regarding that special bottling they will unveil this month, according to the presser:
“Unlike any limited edition previously released, this Bowmore expression has been slumbering quietly in our legendary No.1 Vaults on Islay for many, many years. It has now been enveloped in liquid glass hand-blown and sculpted by two of the world’s foremost glass artists.”
With all this attention and money spent on the encasement of the spirit, I cannot help but wonder just how expensive this special Bowmore release will be?
Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scoch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 13, 2012
Forty Creek Whisky has for the past several years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in its release by offering to let those who pre-order the whisky to choose their own numbered bottle(s). These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are actually versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in certain selected oak barrels. This year’s special release is the Forty Creek Portwood Reserve – 2012 Whisky.
This is the actually the second edition (lot 061) of the Portwood Reserve; the first edition (lot 060) was a very limited bottling released only in Ontario in 2009. As you have already determined, what makes this whisky special is that this Forty Creek Whisky has been finished in Port Wine Barrels. I am one of the lucky few who managed to buy a few bottles of the first edition 3 years ago, and as you can see by my 2009 review (see review here), I found this first edition of the Portwood Whisky very much to my liking. Of course, this means that I am delighted to have been sent a pre-release bottle of the second edition such that I can share my thoughts here on my website. This whisky is produced at 45 % alcohol by volume and is limited to only 6600 bottles and will be available in limited markets across Canada.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The scents and smells rising into the breezes above the glass remind me of dark ripe BC cherries, blackberries and raspberries. Some dry fruit sensations (reminiscent of raisins and prunes) are part of the overall fruit and berry aroma. Subtle but firm impressions of cinnamon and cloves join in with a bit of sweet Demerara sugar thrown in for good measure. There are strong impressions of oak and orange peel in the air as well as hints of rye spice… “
You may read my full review here:
Included with the review is a very nice cocktail, the Portwood Manhattan. Please enjoy my review and the included cocktail, cheers!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Forty Creek Whisky, Portwood Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2012
A follow-up to yesterday’s posting …
According to the their media team, this month Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky will announce a particularly special bottling. Only a handful of these remarkable bottles will be available, such is the rarity of this limited edition. To echo the craftsmanship of the spirit, they have worked with an expert to once again encase it in the finest oak…
I suspect another Monumental Spirit is on the way, and I cannot hep but wonder how many bottles “only a handful” is?
Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off
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.
Posted in Extras, First Impressions, Howls, Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Bowmore Whisky, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Whisky | Comments Off