Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 10, 2013
Forty Creek Whisky has just announced Heart of Gold as their 2013 limited release whisky.
According to the information from Forty Creek, Heart of Gold is a whisky that was inspired by both the heart of the distillation and the heart of the maker, and was created with an artist’s palette of noble grains, unusual yeast selection, copper pot stills and delicately toasted oak barrels, mixed with passion, innovation and patience. The project began almost ten years ago with a particular emphasis on Canadian rye grain.
According to Whisky Maker John Hall,
“I have always brought out the spicy, fruity notes of rye in my whisky, but this time, I wanted to perfect capturing the underlying delicate floral notes of the rye that too often get lost in the process. I decided to use a wine yeast strain for the fermentation because I felt this approach would allow the floral aromas and flavours to prevail.”
“I aged this rye whisky in lightly toasted barrels to ensure the oak did not overwhelm the subtle flavours captured in the heart of the distillation. Yes, my Heart of Gold is a rye forward whisky. But, it is not 100% rye. I believe the art of blending adds a complexity and creativity to the final whisky. The final Heart of Gold blend includes some barley whisky for nuttiness and some corn whisky for weight and body. Yet, the fruity, floral rye whisky notes are the star of this show!”
This special release will be limited to only 9000 individually numbered bottles. It will be bottled at 43% alc./vol with a retail price of $69.95. Customers in Ontario may reserve any number between 00003 and 9,000. These on-line reservations for numbered bottles will begin exactly at noon on May 27th and end June 21st. For more information follow this link
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Forty Creek Whisky, Heart of Gold, Whisky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2013
According to the Old Pulteney website, this whisky is produced at the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland, in Wick. (It was founded in 1826 by James Henderson during the time of Wick’s herring boom.) The distillery lies in the heart of ‘Pulteneytown’, which was created for the fishermen in the area, and the distillery is an integral part of the history of this coastal town. Last year Old Pulteney shocked more than a few people when their 21-year-old expression won the big award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as the world’s best whisky in 2012. This year they are making more waves with the recent release of the distillery’s oldest production release, a 40-year-old single malt whisky. (The Old Pulteney 40 Year Old is extremely limited; but it has apparently been seen in a few stores here in Alberta.)
My 375 ml sample bottle of the Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt was provided by Woodman Wines and Spirits Inc. who are the importers/distributors of this brand in the Province of Ontario. I am told that this whisky will once again be available again in Ontario as the LCBO is about to launch it’s “spring” Whisky Shop selections across the Province.
You may click on the excerpt to read my full review:
” … The initial breezes above the glass set into my mind a vision of a lowland meadow as the scents carry light aromas of almond, vanilla, honey, meadowland grasses, and wood spice. As the glass sits, I catch some scents of sea brine and it makes me think there must be an ocean nearby. The wood spices build in the glass bringing me images of orange peel, willow, and fresh tobacco …”
Cheers Everybody, and enjoy the review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Old Pulteney, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2013
My reviews of the New Zealand Whisky Collection continue with the New Zealand’s 1987 Single Malt Whisky (40 % ABV). The now closed distillery at Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand once produced both Single Malt and blended whisky. After the distillery’s closure, about 600 barrels of single malt and blended grain whisky remained and were left to mature. Two years ago (in 2011), Mr Greg Ramsey, an Australian whisky enthusiast from Tasmania, bought those barrels and set about bottling the whisky as part of a plan to revive the New Zealand whisky industry. As part of that plan, he created the New Zealand Whisky Collection.
New Zealand’s 1987 Single Malt Whisky was produced from Single Malt stocks which were distilled in 1987 at the Dunedin Distillery and then left to age for 24 years. The Whisky was bottled in two formats; 750 ml bottles were captured at Cask Strength, with the alcohol by volume varying depending upon the casks selected (anywhere from 49-60%), and smaller 150 ml flasks were bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Both formats of this whisky are currently available in Ontario, Canada through the LCBO (and may soon be available here in Alberta as well).
You may click on the excerpt to read my review:
” …I taste a light but firm herbal character running through the whisky with indications of heather, sawgrass, timothy, and willow. The whisky also carries a sweet maltiness which is persistent throughout the taste experience, and a mild fruitiness which reminds me of lightly tart green apples and ripening pears …”
Please enjoy my review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisk(e)y, New Zealand Whisky | Tagged: New Zealand Whisky Collection, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 5, 2013
It is commonly believed that May, 5th or Cinco de Mayo is a well celebrated holiday in Mexico roughly equivalent to the US Holiday of Independence on July, 4rth. The truth of the matter is that Cinco de Mayo is not really a major holiday in Mexico and is more widely celebrated in the United states than it ever has been south of their border. It is not even a holiday related to Mexico’s actual Independence Day known as El Grito de la Independencia (“Cry of Independence”). That phrase was first spoken on September 16th, 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Delores. That moment is said to have marked the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence against Spain.
Cinco de May commemorates an entirely different event, the 1862 Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican Army met and drove back an invasion force of the French. This battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over a much stronger and better equipped occupying French force. Although the French continued their push towards Mexico City, the Battle of Puebla provided the Mexican people a much need morale boost which eventually led to their ultimate victory over the French. (History it seems is full of remarkable parallels.)
Thus in recognition of the Battle of Puebla for which Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, we may raise a glass of Tequila today. The glass I am going to raise is one of PaQuí Tequila (Silvera).
Here is an excerpt from my review:
” … The aroma from the glass is laid back. An earthy agave scent is present, but it does not jump from the glass, rather it seeps out slowly. Very light citrus tones follow, but they do not try to assault the nostrils, rather they lie very gently in the breezes …”
Of course I am going to enjoy a few cocktails today, most probably a Metro Mexico Cocktail, and perhaps as the sun gets warmer, a Royal Alexander Margarita.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Tequila Review, Tequila, Blanco Tequila | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Tequila Review, PaQui Tequila, Blanco Tequila, Cinco de Mayo, Battle of Puebla | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 4, 2013
I have been given a few Orange liqueurs to review from a few different sources over the past few months, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, from Cognac Ferrand; and Citrónge, from Patron Spirits just to name two. Rather than reviewing those spirits in isolation, I have decided to grab a few of my orange flavoured spirits from my shelf, and review them as well. Hence today, I am publishing my review for Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, a popular orange-flavored, brandy based liqueur created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880.
It is apparently produced from Cognac, neutral spirit, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. The Cognac in particular is important as fully 51 % of the final volume of the spirit is blended Cognac. This aged spirit is blended with water and a neutral spirit which contains the distilled essence of bitter orange. The final liqueur is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, and is meant to be served neat as an aperitif or used as an ingredient in fine cocktail recipes.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… The overall structure of the liqueur seems to be always at the edge. The orange is almost too bitter; the sugar is almost too sweet; and the wood spiciness is almost too biting, yet never do these flavours build to the point where the spirit becomes cloying. It is a well constructed spirit which walks a path along the precipice, but which never tumbles over …”
Please enjoy my review and the suggested recipe Maximiliano Tequila, which mixes Grand Marnier to great effect with aged tequila.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Orange Liqueur | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Orange, Grand Marnier | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 2, 2013
Patrón Citrónge is a relatively new orange liqueur from Patron Spirits produced in Jalisco, Mexico at the same distillery which makes Patron Tequila (although in a separate building, as per CRT regulations). The orange based liqueur is produced from an agave based neutral spirit, and of course natural orange flavours. There may be other ingredients in the mix; but if there is, Patron is not telling me. The spirit is bottled at a full 40 % alcohol by volume, and I was provided with a sample bottle by Select Wines & Spirits who are the distributors of Citrónge here in Alberta.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… Alongside the aroma of fresh-cut navels oranges is the unmistakable aroma of herbaceous agave. It is not as firm as what one would notice when snooting a glass of blanco tequila; but it is unmistakable. Hints of white pepper, fruity aromas of garden squash and grilled pineapple are all represented in the air above the glass. The normally clear orange scents are somewhat masked by this herbaceous aroma …”
Please enjoy my review of this interesting orange Liqueur, and of course, enjoy my new cocktail recipe included in the review, April Showers.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Orange Liqueur | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Orange Liqueur, Patron Spirits, Citronge, April Showers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 30, 2013
Smuggler’s Cove Dark Rum is a brand owned by Glenora Distillers Limited who are located in Glenville Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This dark rum is blended from Jamaican stocks which have been aged a minimum of two years. In fact, these stocks are the same stocks (although the proportions may be different) which are used to produce Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum. The connection with Screech Rum is quite strong as the company which produces Screech, Rock Spirits (a division of the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC)) is also the same company which packages the Smuggler’s Cove for Glenora Distillers. It would be fair to say however, that these stocks would be treated quite differently to produce the high-proof (45 % abv) dark rum, which is Smuggler’s Cove.
This brand is quite popular in Nova Scotia, and also has a strong presence in the provinces of Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
The initial breezes above the glass are full of molasses and candied caramel. As well, dark liquorice, cinnamon and cloves all taint the air above the glass with their presence. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals some nice accents of orange marmalade and rich vanilla …
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Glenora Distillers, Jamaican Rum, Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation, Rum, Rum Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 28, 2013
In 1856, John Gibson purchased 40 acres and built a distillery along the shore of the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania. By the turn of the century, the Gibson’s Distilling Company was the largest producer of rye whisky in North America. Unfortunately, early in the new century, fate dealt the company a tragic blow, in the name of Prohibition. Consumption of legal whisky all but dried up, and Gibson’s Distilling Company went bankrupt. In 1923, the entire contents of the distillery including the stills, the aging barrels, all of the remaining spirit, (and even the grain which was on site) was sold via Sherriff’s auction to Schenley Industries of New York. Fifty years later this whisky brand, which was born on the US side of the border in Pennsylvania, was resurrected by the brand owner at the Schenley Distillery in Valleyfield, Quebec. Now, of course, it has become one of the iconic brands of Canadian Whisky.
Of course the story continued and Shenley Distillers underwent re-organization at the end of the 20th century. As part of that reorganization, the Gibson’s Finest Whisky brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons in 2002. Some time after the acquisition, William Grant & Sons moved the production of Gibson’s Whisky from the Schenley plant in Valleyfield, Quebec to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The initial aroma is spicy with a firm oak presence. The breezes above the glass are filled with tobacco, rye, and (what I am going to term) clean firm oak spices. These dominant scents are accented by caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. Some dusty dry notes of freshly harvested grain, autumn cornstalks, and dry straw rise into those initial breezes as well …”
Please enjoy my review, and my suggested bar drink, The Old Fashioned Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisk(e)y, Canadian Whisky | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Whisky, Canadian Whisky, Whisky Review, Gibson's Finest Whisky, Old Fashioned Cocktail | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 26, 2013
I came across Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin quite by accident. I had just finished publishing my review for Beluga Gold Line Vodka, when I received an email from Fabio Rossi who unbeknownst to me was part of the distribution team for Beluga Vodka in Italy. Fabio is of course the man behind Rum Nation, and we have struck up a bit of a correspondence over the last few years as I have reviewed several of his rums here on my website. It was a bit of a surprise to me that his company also distributed the Beluga Vodka, and of course that prompted me to ask him what other spirits were part of his distribution portfolio. That is when he mentioned Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin. He also mentioned that this unusual spirit is apparently taking Europe by storm. I asked Mr. Rossi if he could be persuaded to let me try some, and he was kind enough to send me a 200 ml sample for review upon my website.
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
“… The ground is thick with juniper berries and tall spruce trees rise up over me. The ground is carpeted with green moss, and underneath that moss there seems to be a disturbance of the fresh black soil. A light spiciness wells up reminiscent of ginger and cardamom with bits of fresh lemon peel thrown in giving the glass a hint of effervescence …”
Please enjoy my review of this most unusual dry gin!
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Dry Gin, Gin, Gin Review, Monkey 47 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 23, 2013
About a month ago, 60 bottles of a special rum from Rum Nation hit the store shelves here in my home province of Alberta. This small batch bottling (only 760 bottles per batch) was distilled upon a pot still at the Long Pond Estate in Jamaica in 1986 and was bottled in 2012 by Rum Nation. (In case you did not know, the Long Pond Distillery is the original home of Captain Morgan Rum.) The rum is apparently produced from locally grown Jamaican sugar cane molasses, and was originally aged in American Ex Bourbon Casks. However, after 18 years of aging in the Bourbon Cask, the rum was transferred to Oloroso Sherry butts where it aged for an additional 8 years.
I was sent a sample of this rum by Fabio Rossi, the owner of Rum Nation, and he advised me that he considers this a small batch rum made for primarily for connoisseurs. Crush Imports is handling the distribution here in Alberta.
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
” … The dominant impression is fresh asphalt with the scents of the thick black paving oil and the fresh sand and gravel which lie within. (I worked on a paving crew for two years and you never forget that scent after two summers of being immersed in it.) Under that phenolic rubber-like smell is an impression of coarse brown sugar and orange marmalade. Dry fruit, cocoa and licorice add to the complexity of the aroma with impressions of tobacco, toffee, baking spices, and vanilla all residing within those breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review of this remarkable rum!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Jamaican Rum, Long Pond Estate, Rum, Rum Nation, Rum Review | Leave a Comment »