The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Top Canadian Whiskies of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2013

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • The Rum Howler Top Rums of 2013

    Click the image to find the Best 30 Rums of 2013

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Review: Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 9, 2014

FDC Anejo Clasica (New)

FDC Anejo Clasico (New)

Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.

The subject of this review, Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum, is meant for sipping over ice, or for enjoying in fine cocktails and mixed drinks. You may read my full review by clicking on the following link:

Review: Flor de Caña (Añejo Clasico) 5 Year Old Rum

“… the caramel scents deepen and combine with that oak spice which brings a more defined toffee-like aroma into the breezes above the glass. There are also light baking spices present (primarily nutmeg and vanilla), some orange peel accents as well as a light nuttiness which resembles freshly crushed walnuts and pecans …”

Note: As explained in the review the 5 Year Old Añejo Clasico is the same rum as the former 5 Year Old Black Label, Flor de Caña has made changes to the image and presentation, but have not made any changes to their rum’s flavour profiles. I was given the bottle for this review by the local distributor, The Kirkwood Group who distribute the Flor de Caña rums in Alberta.

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

Edmonton Whisky Festival: The Macallan Masterclass with Brand Ambassador – Dan Volway

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 8, 2014

VolwayEdmonton Whisky Festival

The Macallan Masterclass with Brand Ambassador – Dan Volway

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 welcome, Dan Volway, trained Sommelier and former Instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers at Niagara and George Brown College.

For years Dan had imbibed on fine wines until a longtime friend introduced him to scotch whisky and effectively converted his grape biased palette to appreciate the nuances of fine hand-­crafted scotch. As his repertoire expanded, Dan fell madly in love with The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse – brands known across the globe for their heritage, quality and unrivaled approach to whisky making. When the opportunity arose to represent his favourite scotch portfolio in Western Canada, Dan jumped at the chance and was willing to move across the country from Toronto to Vancouver to fulfill his duties as Brand Ambassador.

Dan’s role is to connect with like-­‐minded individuals, groups and establishments from the Prairies to the Pacific, exposing the virtues of the whiskies he’s been charged to represent. His schedule is filled with meetings and events held by various whisky appreciation groups, where he works on building relationships and cultivating connoisseurs who share the very same passion for whisky that attracted him to the business. Dan is also responsible for connecting his brand with people in the spirit trade with staff from some of the country’s top bars and prestigious restaurants all the way to swanky speakeasies and stalwart pubs.

If you are already have tickets to the Edmonton Whisky Festival, why not add a voluptuary adventure exploring The Macallan Single Malt Whisky with Brand Ambassador Dan Volway!

“It’s a real privilege to be in a position to share my knowledge and passion for Scotch whisky with aspiring scotch enthusiasts and experts, alike,”  Dan says. “If I can help to bring a special epicurean experience to someone with humour, warmth and insight, then I feel as though I’ve done my job.”

For more information please contact:

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Posted in Festivals and Events | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Drambuie (Scotch Whisky Liqueur)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 7, 2014

DrambuieI receive all manner of gifts related to my website from friends and family. One such gift received this Christmas was a bottle of Drambuie which I found under the Christmas Tree this past holiday season. The gift was tagged with a request that I review the spirit, and let everyone know my thoughts.

According to the Drambuie Website, the unique flavour of this liqueur is the result of infusing a secret blend of spices (the site mentions heather, honey and herbs) with a blend of grain and aged malt whiskies from Speyside and the Highlands regions of Scotland (some of which may be aged up to fifteen years). The original recipe for the spirit was apparently created for “Bonnie Prince Charlie” in the 18th century by his Royal Apothecary.

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

Review: Drambuie (Scotch Whisky Liqueur)

“… The aroma from the glass is indeed honey sweetened carrying hints of heather and herbs within that sweetness. I also detect a little hot cinnamon in the breezes (perhaps some nutmeg and cloves as well) mixing with mild aromas of orange citrus zest. The combination of herbs and spice brings more than just a hint of menthol to mind …”

For your enjoyment, I have included a recipe for the classic cocktail, The Rusty Nail, at the end of my review.

I hope the New Year is treating everyone very well, Slanite!

Posted in Liqueur, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Edmonton Whisky Festival Bourbon Masterclass with Whiskey Ambassador – Matt Jones

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2014

481741_10152291406170541_899318854zsaS_nEdmonton Whisky Festival

Bourbon Masterclass with Whiskey Ambassador – Matt Jones

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, classically trained mixologist and performance bartender, Matt Jones. Matt has a wealth of experience in the alcohol beverage industry – over 15 years of experience in various roles including instructor, foodservice and hospitality consultant, public speaker and media spokesperson. The role that is his favourite is that of Whisky Ambassador, tapping into his passion for whisk(e)y.

Since 2010 he has been Beam Inc. Canada’s Whisk(e)y Ambassador for their Bourbon Portfolio (Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Devil’s Cut, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s) as well as speaking to whiskies from Cooley (Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell), Canadian Club (Reserve, Classic, Sherry Cask) and most recently as the mixologist for Alberta Premium’s Dark Horse Rye. In this role, he has educated and inspired both consumers and bartenders across Canada.

If you are already attending the Edmonoton Whisky Festival, why not join Matt Jones(Aka The Whisky Chef) as his Master Class takes you through a tour of the wonderful the world of Bourbon!

Note: Matt has also appeared as a bartender/mixology expert on shows on the Food Network, SLICE Network, and “W” Network. Other appearances include CityTV Breakfast Television (Toronto), Rogers Daytime, CHCH News, CTV and CBC News. He has also written and provided content for numerous articles on spirits and whisk(e)y.

For more information please contact:

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Posted in Festivals and Events | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2014

RichAccording to the Sazerac website, their company is a direct result of the famous cocktail which bears the same name. It began in 1938 when Antoine Peychaud created a special drink for his guests to enjoy in the evenings at his apothecary in the French Quarter’s Royal Street. He would mix brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters for his guests. This special drink became quite popular and began to appear in the various coffee house’ establishments in New Orleans. One such establishment, the Sazerac Coffee House became so popular serving their version of the drink (made with Sazerac de Forge et Fils Brandy) that it became known as the Sazerac Cocktail.

The Sazerac website also tells me that their Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky is distilled in Canada and then aged patiently in hand-picked oak barrels. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. This brand is not available (as far as I know) in Canada, rather it is a brand produced exclusively for the American market.

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

Review: Rich & Rare Reserve Canadian Whisky

“… The Rich & Rare Reserve is lightly oily and/or creamy in the mouth with flavours of butterscotch, corn, and vanilla leading out on the palate. Some nice zesty spices ars present in the form of citrus zest, rye spice and hints of wood sap. Bits of tobacco and honeycomb are suggested as is a nice touch of maple syrup …

Included at the end of the review is a nice cocktail suitable for the Rich & Rare which I call the Iced Ruby Manhattan.

Cheers Everyone!

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

Morrison Bowmore’s Global Master of Malts to visit Edmonton

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 4, 2014

Photo Courtesy Morrison Bowmore

Photo Courtesy Morrison Bowmore

Vines Welcomes Morrison Bowmore’s Global Master of Malts – Iain MaCallum

With over 20 years experience at Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD), first as a Laboratory Technician Trainee, then as Distillery Manager at Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, and finally as Senior Blender. Iain MaCallum has now joined the sales and Marketing team as Global Master of Malts, a world-wide educational role for Morrison Bowmore.

Vines Riverbend Wine Merchants is proud to provide a unique opportunity to welcome Iain McCallum and to have him share a few drams from MBD’s three great Scottish distilleries (Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch), considered three of the most recognized names in Single Malt Whisky.

Where: Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (2331 Rabbit Hill Rd NW, Edmonton)
When:  Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at  7:00 PM
Price:  $36.99 prepaid

Limited Seating Available

Reserve your seat by contacting:

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

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Posted in Festivals and Events, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 3, 2014

LemonHart_BottleRendering750_NEWLemon Hart is an iconic rum brand with roots which stretch back to the late 18th century when Mr. Lemon Hart began to supply rum to the British Royal Navy. By 1804, production of his “Lemon Hart Rum” was moved from his small merchant office in Cornwall, England to a larger facility in London. Over 150 years later the production of the blend had shifted to the Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada. Under the direction of new brand owner, Mosaiq, the Lemon Hart brand has been re-energized, and two new additions to the Lemon Hart family, Lemon Hart Navy Spicy Rum (see review here) and Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Rum have recently been launched.

The Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum (which is the subject of this review) is a full British 100 proof offering (57.1 % alcohol by volume), developed for Mosaiq under the direction of former Hiram Walker Master Blender, Mike Booth. At this time, this brand is aimed exclusively at the travel (duty-free) market.

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

Review: Lemon Hart Original One Hundred British Proof Reserve Rum

“… This Lemon Hart Rum does indeed carry a full bevy of rich spiciness forward across and through the palate which toasts the tongue as you sip and batters the tonsils as you swallow. Despite this spiciness (which resembles cinnamon, cloves and fine oak spice) the rum is rich and complex with flavours of both canned fruit (apricots and peaches) and candied dark fruit which shove their way through the spice …”

I have included a nice Zombie recipe, Hart of the Zombie, at the conclusion of the review.

Happy New Year everyone, and please keep enjoying my reviews!

Posted in Dark Rums, Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Edmonton Whisky Festival 2014

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2014

EWF2014Edmonton 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 enthusiasts from across Canada and around the world.

Master classes are available again this year.  They are all from 6:30-7:30 pm, and cost an additional $25 on top of your Festival ticket cost.  The lineup is:

Bourbon Masterclass with Matt Jones
Tullibardine Masterclass with James Robertson
The Macallan Masterclass with Dan Volway

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Posted in Extras, Festivals, Festivals and Events, Fund Raisers | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

The Rum Howler 2013 Regional Rum Awards

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 31, 2013

RH-winner2013Things have been pretty much been nonstop for me the last three months, and I covered so much territory that I almost ran out of time before I could publish my 2013 Rum Howler Regional Rum Awards and name my 2013 Rum Howler Rum of the Year!

For those who are unfamiliar, 2013 Regional Rum Awards recognize the best rum produced in the various rum producing regions of the world. These awards are not based upon where a particular rum is distilled; but rather they are based upon where these spirits are bottled. This is because many rums are actually blended from a variety stocks which are distilled in more than one country. As well, many aged rums are purchased in bulk and then are transported to be matured a further length of time in other locations, and they may even be treated specially (or perhaps I should say in a unique manner) before they are blended and bottled. This of course makes the final spirit very different from when it was originally distilled or transported in bulk. Because of the special treatment a rum may receive either through blending or aging outside of the country where the rum was originally produced, it makes sense for me to consider these spirits as a product of the country where they were bottled, rather than where they were distilled.

And so on the final day of the year I finally wrap up my Rum Howler Awards for 2013. You may click the following link to read about the awards::

The 2013 Rum Howler Awards for Rum (The Regional Awards)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: As an added bonus you can find my recently updated 2013 list of the World’s Best Rums here: The 2013 Rum Howler – Top 30 Rums

Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

#1 Canadian Whisky – Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 25, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYEighteen months ago, Highwood Distillers, (Alberta’s only privately owned distillery) released a single bond offering (Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky) which was produced entirely from corn distillate which had been aged for a full 25 years in charred American white oak barrels. The release of this whisky commemorated the Centennial of Calgary’s world-famous rodeo (The Calgary Stampede), and it was bottled as a Limited Edition, Ultra-Premium, 25 Year Old Commemorative Canadian Whisky. This single grain offering was blended entirely with naturally sourced Rocky Mountain spring water, and was limited to a production run of only 6000 bottles.

Stampede WhiskyIn order to maintain good contact with the oak during the lengthy aging process, this bond was re-gauged or re-barreled twice during its maturing life. New barrels were not introduced when Highwood distiller’s made the liquid consolidation. Instead they chose to maintain the aging process in the original barrels into which the spirit began its maturation.

The result was a very special whisky, one which my judges without exception scored extremely well. In fact, this particular whisky was ranked number 1 by three out of the four judges (and the dissenting judge had it ranked number 3). This means that the Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky not only wound up as the Number 1 Canadian Whisky in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown, it actually separated itself from the rest of the field by a noticeable margin. Here is a link to my original review of the 25 Year old Commemorative Stampede Whisky which I published in July 2012, judged by my tasting panel to be the Best Canadian Whisky currently available in the world.

#1 Canadian Whisky – Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky

“… The initial nose is rich with smells of oak and cedar. Butterscotch notes rise into the air accompanied by strong scents of honeycomb and cereal. As the glass sits, the oak spices continue to grow above the glass. I also receive impressions of melted vanilla ice cream, some appealing notes of marmalade and marzipan, and some strong notes of corn whisky rising into the merry little breezes …”

This Stampede Whisky finishes with an explosion of spice and echoes of vanilla, butterscotch and honey. It has a long lingering finish which leaves the mouth heated, but also leaves me wanting another glass!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

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

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,031 other followers

%d bloggers like this: