Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 16, 2013
In 1862, Facundo Bacardi and his brother José bought the Santiago de Cuba Distillery and began to distill what would become the most popular commercial rum in the world. Using a method of charcoal filtering, and oak barrel aging along with a still of copper and cast iron, Facundo Bacardi created a smoother more refined version of the locally made rum. His smoother version of the spirit became local favourite, and over time, an international sensation.
Bacardi Superior White Rum is a direct descendant of the original rum which Facundo Bacardi produced back in 1862. Although production methods have undoubtedly changed since then, the Bacardi White Rum is still produced using a method of oak barrel aging (for one to two years) and charcoal filtration.
You may read my full review by clicking the following excerpt (link):
“… The initial impression was of a dryish rum which was perhaps a little rougher on the palate than I was hoping for. I taste a firm presence of almond and a softer presence of caramel and vanilla. The rum tends to become a little grassy in the mouth, with the flavours of banana peel and citrus zests gaining strength as I sip …”
At the end of the review, I included 3 daiquiri recipes which I found on the Bacardi website named simply enough the Bacardi Daiquiri, Daiquiri No. 2, and Daiquiri No 3.
Please enjoy the review (originally posted April 10, 2011) and the three Daiquiri Recipes!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Bacardi, Cocktails, Daiquiri, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 15, 2013
The Flor De Cana Centenario 21 Commemorative Edition was produced as a special edition bottling near the turn of the century. The number 21 refers not to the age of the blend (which is 15 years), rather it is a nod to the 21st Century and the prestige which the Flor de Cana Rum Company had began to earn as a world-class producer of rum. When the rum was introduced at the turn of the century it created quite a splash winning accolades not only for the rum inside the bottle, but also for the stunning porcelain decanter which it was sold in. The rum is no longer widely available, and full sealed bottles have become collectors items in the rum world with pricing that ranges from $90.00 to $150.00 per bottle depending upon your locale. (My bottles cost $72.00 each when I purchased them in 2009.)
I recently decided it was time to open one of my bottles to see how a rum that knocked everyone’s socks off ten years ago rated today in the midst of the current explosion of premium rum brands.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The initial nose brings forward a dominant triumvirate of oak sap, semisweet butterscotch, and spicy tobacco aromas. It is really quite nice especially how neither the sweetness of the butterscotch, nor the sharpness of the oak sap, nor the spiciness of the tobacco takes control of the breezes above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review of this spectacular rum!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Dark Rum, Flor de Cana Rum, Nicaraguan Rum, Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2013
When the wine industry in Chile was just beginning to get its feet underneath itself in 1883, Don Melchor, a local businesman and politico imported vines from the Bordeaux region of France and began to plant them in the Maipo Valley of Pirque in Chile. These first grapevines from France served as the foundation for what was to become Viña Concha y Toro.
The Concha y Toro Private Reserve is produced in Do Maulle Valley from late harvest Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Higher than normal rainfalls in the Do Maulle Valley at times may produce the appearance of a specific fungus called “Botrytis cinerea“ which affects grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. It is for this reason that Botrytis cinerea is known by vineyards throughout the world as the “Noble Rot”.
I was provided a 375ml sample bottle of this Noble wine by the good folks at Select Wines who are the local distributors here in Alberta.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The Concha y Toro dessert wine brings a laid back style forward with sweet fruity flavours of canned pears and apricot. A light flavour of honeydew melon, a few green grapes and light apple flavours slide across the palate, and of course we have that lovely honeyed sweetness which is characteristic of late harvest dessert wines …”
Please enjoy my review of this delicious dessert wine!
Posted in Dessert Wine Review, Dessert Wines | Tagged: Concha y Toro, Dessert Wine, Late Harvest Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Wine Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 10, 2013
The Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old is a Canadian Whisky which I have only tasted twice, and each time, it was in a blind tasting flight that contained over 45 other Canadian Whiskies. Of course this was when I served on the jury for the 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards. I made simple tasting notes for every whisky I tasted when I ran through the tasting flight the first time, and then I returned to those notes revising and adding to them when I went through the flight a second time. Each time I visited each whisky, all I knew about the spirit was its sample number. The samples were only 50ml in size, so I had to be judicious each time I tasted each sample such that my notes and my scores were accurate reflections of my feeling towards each of the whiskies.
The Fountana Group Canada is the brand owner, and it turns out the whisky is produced by Highwood Distillers right here in my home Province of Alberta. The Fountana Group contracted Highwood to produce a well aged whisky for export to Asia (where it apparently has been well received). I should point out that the whisky was also well received by the other jurors on that panel for the Canadian Whisky Awards as this brand won the prestigious Connoisseur Whisky of the Year for the Export Market at those 2012 Canadian Whisky Awards.
As I am unlikely to receive a bottled sample of this whisky, my review is based solely upon those brief tasting notes I wrote while I was acting as a whisky judge. I guess my hope is that the brand owner (and the folks at Highwood Distillery) might read the review, and figure out that maybe Canada deserves this Whisky too.
You may read my review of this outstanding Canadian Whisky by clicking the following link:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Rockies Whisky, Canadian Whisky, Highwood Distillers, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 8, 2013
A.D. Rattray is more commonly known for its Single Malt Whisky bottlings which are often from a single cask of Scottish Whisky. However the company has also released select rum bottlings from various distillers across the Caribbean. A bottle from one of those bottlings, distilled at the Four Square Distillery in Barbados came into my possession as a gift from my good friend Lance (the Lone Caner) who had visited my fair city a few months ago and joined me for some rum and vodka sampling. His intention was to prod me into reviewing the spirit, as we often compare notes on our reviews. (See Lance’s review here)
I am lucky to have friends such as you who are more than willing to share. Slainte Lance!
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… I sense light spicy woody notes of poplar and oak with stains of fresh sap the overall effect of which has more than a hint of astringency. As the glass breathes, light butterscotch, banana and orange peel, and some light almond aromas come forward with a light sprinkling of baking spices (cinnamon and vanilla) and some rather penetrating scents of fresh cigarette tobacco …”
I added a nice cocktail at the end of the review. the Sloe Rum Sour.
Please enjoy the review and the Beginning of the NFL Football season!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: A.D. Rattray, Bajan Rum, Cocktails, Four Square Distillery, Rum, Rum Review, Rum Sour | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 6, 2013
The Auchentoshan Distillery (pronounced “OCK-un-tosh-un”, and meaning “corner of the field”) is located on the outskirts of Glasgow, and is somewhat of an anomaly amongst Scottish Distillers. It is currently the only Scottish Distillery that triple distills their entire core range of whisky. Triple distillation is common amongst Irish distillers, but very uncommon for a distillery producing Single Malt Whisky. The result of triple distillation is a more laid back easy-going style of whisky which perhaps carries more floral elements, but which also may be a little less robust in character than traditional single malts. As such, the Auchentoshan Whisky may be more approachable for novice Single Malt Whisky enthusiast.
The Auchentoshan 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is part of the core range of Auchentoshan Single Malts. It is (of course) a triple distilled whisky which has been produced from stocks matured solely in American bourbon casks, and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. (The Auchentoshan Distillery and its brands are owned by Morrison Bowmore.)
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
“… I receive spicy notes of oak and fresh willow which share the breezes alongside a waving field of ripening barley. The scent is clean and fresh with dabs of sweet honey and butterscotch, and some hints of tobacco. As the glass breathes I notice a grassy hayfield nearby with green foxtail, millet, and timothy just beginning to ripen in the late summer sunshine …”
Please enjoy my latest review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Auchentoshan, Morrison Bowmore, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2013
As the Highwood Distillery readies itself to recommence production at their facilities in High River, Alberta in the aftermath of the June 20th, 2013 flash flood. I thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit their flagship spirit, Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky. The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned distillery in Canada. It sits in the heart of the High River community, producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Canadian Whisky each year.
I consider the Highwood Canadian Whisky to be a unique product unlike anything else on the Canadian whisky landscape (I also find it very tasty). What is so original about the Highwood Whisky is the grain from which it is distilled. Highwood uses local Canadian prairie wheat for the distillation base of all of their Highwood branded whisky. This is because wheat alcohol, rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy non-digestible components. This makes for an extremely smooth easy to drink whisky. After sampling most of the Highwood Whisky range, I have come to the conclusion that they are making some of the smoothest whisky in the world.
Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie rye and wheat grain in a batch style distillation (the grains are distilled and aged separately). The whisky is aged for at least five years in charred American white oak barrels (without the addition of additives), and when it is mature, it is blended to produce that distinctive Canadian ‘rye’ flavour profile consistent with our Canadian Whisky. The whisky is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):
“… The first thing I noticed about the Highwood Whisky as I sipped it was that it is a smooth, gentle, and mellow whisky which has the soft sensation in the mouth of a much older whisky. Honeycomb, ginger, wood spice, and a light dab of vanilla all support a wonderfully clean, dusty rye flavour. There is polish in evidence here …”
I included two classic Canadian Whisky cocktails at the end of the review, the Canadian Rye-Whisky Splash, and the Old Fashioned Cocktail.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Canadian Whisky Review, Cocktails, Highwood Whisky, Old Fashioned Cocktail, Whisky, Whisky Review, Whisky Splash | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2013
Agavero is a blend of 100% blue agave Tequila (Reposado and Anejo), and the essence of the Damiana Flower. This is not a true Tequila spirit but rather a Tequila based liqueur. Lazaro Gallardo, the founder of Los Camichines Distillery, in Jalisco, Mexico, is credited with creating Agavero in 1857. It is produced as a sipping liqueur meant for those who want a lighter, sweeter and more refined Tequila experience.
Previously, Agavero was distributed worldwide by the Diageo conglomerate, however the brand was recently transferred to Proximo Spirits who have been increasing their presence on the world stage by acquiring key brands of distilled spirits such as Matusalem Rum, and Jose Cuervo Tequila. Agavero (Licor de Tequila) is bottled at 32 per cent alcohol by volume, and is currently distributed in my home market by The Kirkwood Group.
You may read the full review by clicking on the excerpt below:
“…The agave flavour, the orange and lime citrus notes, and the hot pepper burst are all felled into submission by a sweet sugary syrup. The result is a mild, somewhat pleasing combination of punky agave and sweet syrup…”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice Margarita style cocktail, cheers!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Tequila Liqueur | Tagged: Agavero, Cocktails, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Tequila Liqueur | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 1, 2013
Cachaca Thoquino has been produced for more than a 100 years by the Aquino family, in Sao da Barra, (the Campos area) north of Rio de Janeiro. This is a traditional sugar cane region within Brazil, and in fact the harvest of sugar cane in this area can be linked back to the earliest settlement of the Brazil sometime between the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The “Thomaz de Aquino” company is amongst the few distilling companies to own its own sugar cane plantations. Therefore the company controls the entire process from the cane field to the Cachaca in the glass.
The Thoquino Cachaca is being marketed outside of Brazil by Giffard Dupius a spirits company well-known for their specialty liqueurs and syrups. In my home market, Nons Drinks To Go (Giffard Canada) is the local distributor, and they provided my sample.
You may click on the following excerpt (link) to read my full review:
“… The initial aroma reminds me both of blanco tequila in that I sense an agave-like fruitiness with spicy white pepper, and very rum-like in that I sense the mildly sweet aroma of sugar cane with hints of banana and citrus, Although the impressions of tequila and white rum are in my mind, I must point out that the spirit has its own character. It carries more esters and musty fruit-like impressions than white rum, and it has a stronger vegetal presence in the glass than tequila …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice tall cocktail which I call the Mad Darby.
Posted in Cachaca, Cocktails & Recipes, Silver Cachaca Review | Tagged: Cachaca, Cachaca Review, Cocktails, Gifford Dupius, Mad Darby, Silver Cachaca, Thoquino Cachaca | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2013
The Glenfarclas Distillery is located on the Recherlich Farm at Ballindalloch in the heart of Speyside. The Distillery was purchased by the Grant Family in 1865, and it has remained in the control of the Grant Family for six generations up to the present day. In fact, Glenfarclas is one of only a few distilleries remaining in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.
All of the Glenfarclas whisky is matured in two styles of oak barrels, plain oak barrels which have previously contained Bourbon or Scotch whisky, and Spanish oak which has previously contained Oloroso or Fino Sherry from Seville. The whisky is stored in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses that date from the late 1800s. These warehouses have thick stone walls and earth floors. The subject of this review, the Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Whisky is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my full review of Glenfarclas 17 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky by clicking on the following excerpt:
“… The 17 Year Old Whisky enters the palate with nice mellow wood spices which have combined or melded with the smooth sherry flavours which are full of bittersweet dark chocolate and dried fruit. The vanilla is more obvious in this whisky than in the younger expressions, as is a nice nutty lightly bitter walnut flavour which sits underneath …”
Have a great day, and please enjoy the review!
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: George Grant, Glenfarclas, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Whsky Review | Comments Off