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Review: RumChata (Horchata Con Ron)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 21, 2014

RumChata SAM_1345RumChata (Horchata Con Ron) is a new cream based liqueur created by Tom Maas (former marketing executive for Beam Distillers). Apparently about ten years or so ago, while Tom was still working for Beam, he was trying to help the company penetrate into the Latin American market looking for ways to make bourbon a more popular spirit. During this time, he was introduced to a non-alcoholic beverage called horchata which was popular in Central America. The beverage must have made an impression on him, because a few years later when he retired, Tom decided to create a his own alcoholic beverage based upon the creamy horchata he remembered (which was apparently made from coconut milk, crushed rice, nuts, cinnamon and other spices).

After some experimentation with a variety of ingredients and popular spirits, Tom created his own cinnamon forward recipe based upon Real Dairy Cream and Caribbean Rum.

This year at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, I ran into Lisa Cunningham who works for Glazer’s Of Canada Llc, the company responsible for bringing RumChata (Horchata Con Ron) into the Alberta market. I was offered a sample bottle of RumChata and asked to share my thoughts about this relatively new cream liqueur here on my website.

You may read my full review here (click on the link):

Review: RumChata (Horchata Con Ron)

” … Maybe I am imagining the smell of steamed rice, but the scents of cinnamon, rum-like brown sugar, vanilla and dairy cream are all very apparent in the breezes above my glass. As I examine the glass further, I seem to also sense some mild indications of crushed almonds as well as perhaps a hint of chocolate in the air above my glass as well … “

Please enjoy my latest review, of a rum cream which seems ideal for the upcoming Christmas season!

Posted in Cream Liqueur, Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 16, 2014

cc chairman's select SAM_1332Hiram Walker was an American entrepreneur (born in New England), who immigrated north to Ontario, Canada and created the distinctive brand of Canadian Whisky which became known as Canadian Club. Although he began his distilling days in Michigan, he honed his craft north of the American border in what would become Walkerville, Ontario. The whisky which Hiram Walker created was unique using methods of production which were not just unusual, but actual contrary to common whisky practices of the day. And even today, his Canadian Club is made in that contrary fashion being the only major whisky brand in the world to be blended before being aged in oak barrels, (Blended at Birth).

Canadian Club Whisky is now the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world.  It is found in over 150 countries, with sales in Canada that are unmatched by any other premium whisky brand. Recently Canadian Club (owned by Beam Suntory) launched a new 100% rye grain whisky, Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye.  It is of course produced exclusively from rye grain, distilled (and almost certainly aged) in Calgary by Alberta Distillers Ltd (who are also owned by Beam Suntory). The Chairman’s Select is aged in American Oak (bourbon barrels), cut to bottling strength (40 % abv), and then bottled in Walkerville Ontario, the home of Canadian Club.

Rum Manhattan SAM_1078

Manhattan Cocktail

You may read my full review of this newest Canadian Club Whisky by clicking on the following link:

Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select – 100% Rye

“… As it should be, the Chairman’s Select 100 % Rye whisky is very rye forward with lots of fine peppery wood spice dancing with that rye in the breezes. Melded into the spicy rye is a lovely light sweetness of butterscotch with a gentle sweep of vanilla and a few bits of almond. I also receive strong impressions of freshly harvested grain fields with dusty chaff blowing in the wind and lots of fresh straw lying in the windrows …”

And as you can see from the photo above, the Chairman’s Select 100 % Rye Whisky makes an excellent Manhattan Cocktail!

Cheers!

* Incidentally, Alberta Distillers  also produce Canada’s other major 100 % Rye grain Whisky brand, Alberta Premium (see review here).

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

Review: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 12, 2014

Ninety_25_Year_Old_-_shadow_2013_06In November of 2005, Highwood Distillers finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries (founded by Ernie Potter in 1958). Part of this acquisition, was the purchase of all of the remaining barrel aged stocks of whisky in the Potters facility. These barrels of whisky were transferred from the Potters warehouse facilities in Kelowna, B.C. to the newly constructed warehouse facility in High River, Alberta, where they were allowed to continue to age at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies. The whisky brands which Potters Distilleries had established (Century and Potters) were added to Highwood’s portfolio of spirits where they have not only been maintained but also expanded upon. Part of that expansion was the 2013 addition of the ‘Ninety’ branded whiskies to the Century Distillers line-up. Like the other whiskies in the Century portfolio, the Ninety branded spirits are corn-based rather than wheat-based blends. (Highwood Distillers uses the Highwood brand for all of its wheat based whiskies.)

Highwood chose the brand name ‘Ninety’ because these new whiskies are bottled at 90 proof (or 45 % alcohol by volume) rather than the usual 80 proof (40 % alcohol by volume). The higher bottling strength means that the final whisky will retain a character closer to the original cask strength whiskies from which they were blended. In the case of the Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky, the bulk of blend almost certainly has been drawn from Highwood’s treasured reserves of remaining Potters whisky stocks which are rumoured to contain barrels of whisky as old as 33 years.

The subject of this review, is the Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky. Although I have previously reviewed this Canadian Whisky based upon a pre-flood sample, I recently received a post-flood sample of the whisky, and decided to revisit the review.

You may read the results of my efforts by clicking the following link to read the full review:

Review: Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Whisky

“… The different aspects of the aroma (the wood and rye spiciness and the corn and butterscotch sweetness) are melded together beautifully creating a very enticing aroma in the air above the glass. As I enjoy those breezes, I also notice impressions of creamy vanilla pudding, hints of almond turning to sweeter marzipan, zesty orange peel turning to sticky marmalade, and lightly sweetened cereal grain (which actually reminds me of Post Honeycomb cereal) …”

Please enjoy my review revisitation. The Ninety “Decades of Richness 20 Year Old Canadian Whisky is one of the best spirits I have had the pleasure to taste this year!

 

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Disaronno Originale (Amaretto Liqueur)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 9, 2014

DSaronno750Canada_okDisaronno Originale is an Amaretto style liqueur apparently based upon a recipe which may date from as early as the year 1525. It is produced in Saronno, Italy by Illva Saronno S.P.A., and is distributed in Canada by Peter Mielzynski Agencies Ltd. (aka PMA).

Gladiator's Punch

Gladiator’s Punch

The Amaretto flavour of this liqueur is the result of an infusion of apricot kernel oil with neutral alcohol, caramelized sugar, and the essence of up to seventeen selected herbs and fruits. Amazingly, despite what seems to be an obvious almond flavour, Disaronno Originale apparently does not contain the essence of any nuts or almonds. The spirit is bottled and sold at 28 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review of this Amaretto liqueur:

Review: Disaronno Originale (Amaretto Liqueur)

” … The breezes above the glass reflect an almond-like scent, which gives me impressions very much like I am sniffing a mixture of crushed apple seeds and apricot brandy (this is probably the apricot kernel oil I am sensing). There is an obvious sticky sweet aroma in the air which carries indications of butterscotch, canned fruit (peaches and apricots), and hints of maple … “

I found the Disaronno Originale worked very well as a flavourful sweetener in both short and tall cocktails. One recipe which I constructed and shared at the conclusion of my review was a tall bar drink I call, Gladiator’s Punch.

Welcome to the beginnings of winter everyone. We can’t change the weather so we might as well enjoy it!

 

Posted in Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Rum Nation Caroni 1998

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 6, 2014

Rum Nation Caroni 1998-2014The Caroni Distillery in Trinidad and Tobago was established in 1918, and was operated at near full capacity until 1993. Unfortunately, due to industry consolidation, rum production at the facility began to decline late in the 20th century and the distillery was closed in 2002. As a matter of interest, the consolidation of the rum industry during the last two centuries is amply illustrated in Trinidad and Tobago where there this small country featured 50 distilleries at the turn of the 19th century. One hundred and fifty years later (in 1950) only 8 had survived, and today there is but one, Angostura. It seems a pity that so much tradition and history has vanished. Although I guess we can count ourselves lucky that some of the rum barrels from the Caroni distillery are still finding their way into the market place.

The Rum Nation Caroni 1998 is one such offering from the folks at Rum Nation. This is an old-style heavy column still rum which was distilled in 1998 and aged for nine years in American Oak casks on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. From this tropical locale, the rum was transported to Europe for further aging in refill American Oak (bourbon) casks which had been also previously used to age Rum Peruno (8YO). The resulting Rum Nation Caroni 1998 rum was bottled at cask strength (55 % alcohol by volume).

SAM_1336

The Caroni Cocktail

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

Review: Rum Nation Caroni 1998

” … I left the glass to sit and breathe and noticed that the oak I had sensed in the breezes grew stronger demonstrating scents of freshly cut wooden planks which were dripping with wood sap. I could also sense fresh tar-like aromas, more dark licorice and light smells of camphor winding through the air … “

Although it may seem a sacrilege to some, I did a fair bit of experimentation in the cocktail realm with this particular spirit, and I found this Caroni Rum tasted extremely good when I poured a couple of ounces of the spirit over a few cubes of ice (in my rocks glass) and then added a small splash of cola and lime. A sipping Cuba Libre’ if you will. I added this Caroni Cocktail at the conclusion of my review for those who do not mind the occasional sacrilege of mixing great rum into an equally great bar drink.

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrate World Whisky Month

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2014

Whisky Fest

World Whisky Month

World Whisky Month is being celebrated on November 12th and on November 13th at both Edmonton Wine and Beyond locations.

On November 12th, at 6:00 PM, the Windermere store location will be closed to the public and regular event ticket buyers will have the chance (beginning at 7:00 PM) to sample a selection of over 130 different whiskies representing 53 separate distilleries.

VIP Event Tickets provide access to a premium tasting event which begins at 6:00 PM with a selection that is truly spectacular. Spirits such as the Genfarclas 40 Year old, and The Macallan Ruby are just 2 of 24 special premium which will be available to VIP Event ticket holders.

On November 13, at 6:00 PM the event moves to the Emerald Hills store location.

Celebrate – World Whisky Month

Wednesday November 12 Windermere 7:00 to 10:00 Pm
Thursday November 13 Emerald Hills 7:00 to 10:00 Pm

Premium VIP tastings for both events to begin at 6:00

Please contact Wine and Beyond Spirits Beer and More for more details and ticket buying information.

Note: If you you want to meet The Rum Howler, I will be attending the Windermere event, feel free to introduce yourself!

Posted in Extras, Festivals | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Bowmore Tempest Batch No. 3

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 3, 2014

tempestToday I am wrapping up my short series of Single Malt reviews based upon the small tasting my friend Dennis and I conducted a week ago last Sunday. Although we had a minor disagreement regarding the previously reviewed Sheep Dip Malt and Old Pulteney 12 Year Old as to which was the more enjoyable dram; their was no such argument as to which Whisky we each felt was the most satisfying that day, the Bowmore Tempest (Batch No. 3).

For your information, the Bowmore Distillery is the oldest of the Islay Distilleries in Scotland, (and it is one of the oldest distilleries in all of Scotland). It has sat at the edge of the sea on the craggy coastline of the Hebridean Island since 1779. This location close to the sea and of course close to the rich Islay peat has been linked to the distinctive floral and smoky character of the Bowmore Whisky. This character is a result of rich peat flavours being absorbed by the barley as it dries under the peated fire of the malt drying kiln, and of the whisky aging in the famous Bowmore seaside vaults (which are below sea-level) as the briny seaside air is allowed to mingle with the oak aging casks.

SAM_0604 What Rough Beast

What Rough Beast

The Bowmore Tempest is a relatively new 10-year-old peated whisky aged in first-fill bourbon casks. (A first-fill cask is one which has only been used once before usually for either bourbon or sherry). This whisky has seen five separate releases to this point. Small Batch Release No. 3 which is the subject of this review is non-chill filtered and bottled at a full 55.6% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my updated review:

Review: Bowmore Tempest Batch No. 3

” … The nose is full of phenolic peat smoke with plenty of rubbery smells rising into the breezes above the glass. Within this menagerie of peat smoke are some welcome scents of orange peel, lemon grass, and hints of floral woodland (heather, lavender and wood spices). A mild effervescence exists which borders on the edge of astringency, no doubt a reminder that the spirit is a full 56 % abv. …”

Islay whisky presents a challenge to the cocktail buff. The peat, the smoke, and the iodine is a peculiar mixture more usually reserved for the single malt aficionado than the cocktail connoisseur.  I have I found though, that a quality gin may often provide the basis to bring balance to the Islay cocktail, and working from that basis I constructed one of my favourite cold weather cocktails, What Rough Beast which is included (for your enjoyment at the conclusion of my review.

Slanite’!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 31, 2014

OP 12YOAs I indicated a few days ago, my friend Dennis and I had a small whisky tasting this past Sunday featuring 3 malt whiskies from Scotland. The second spirit in the line-up was Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt. According to the Old Pulteney website, this whisky is produced at the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland, in Wick. 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.

A couple of years ago, Old Pulteney shocked more than a few people when their 21-year-old expression (click to read my review) won the big award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as his choice as the world’s best whisky in 2012. Last year they made a few more waves with the release of the distillery’s oldest production release, a 40-year-old single malt whisky. (The Old Pulteney  40 Year Old (click for more information) is extremely limited; but it has apparently been seen in a few stores here in Alberta.)

Black Donald

Black Donald

Here is a link to my review of the Old Pulteney 12 year Old Single Malt Whisky:

Review: Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

“… 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 …”

For your added enjoyment I have included a nice recipe which mixes Old Pulteney with Drambuie, lime juice and Q-Ginger. The most refreshing, Black Donald cocktail.

Note: My most recent 700 ml sample bottle of 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 is currently in about 90 locations (Whisky Shop Sections) of LCBO stores across that Province. It is also quite readily available in Alberta.

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Sheep Dip Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 29, 2014

Sheep DipMy friend Dennis, and I had a small whisky tasting at my house this past Sunday where we sampled three interesting malt whiskies from Scotland. As we sampled each dram, I wrote up some tasting notes based upon our impressions and then we had some fun arguing about what we liked and disliked. The first whisky we sampled was Sheep Dip Malt Whisky, produced by the Spencerfield Spirit Company.

The Spencerfield Spirit Company was created by Alex Nicol, the former Marketing Director of Glenmorangie, and whisky aficionado who has held directorships with major spirits companies such as Whyte and Mackay, Beefeater Gin, and Laphroaig as well as with Scottish and Newcastle and Cadbury Schweppes. The company he formed is a family run business dedicated to an eclectic handful of whisky brands.

SAM_1024 The Presbyterian

Presbyterian Cocktail

Their Flagship brand, Sheep Dip Malt Whisky is a vatting of malt whiskies crafted by Scotland’s only third generation Master Blender, Richard Paterson. It is comprised of sixteen separate Single Malt Whiskies chosen from all four of the traditional malt whisky regions of Scotland. These chosen whiskies range in age from between 8 and 21 years and they have all been married together in fresh (first-fill) American oak barrels to produce the Sheep Dip Malt.

Here is a link to my new review of this interesting Malt Whisky:

Review: Sheep Dip Malt Whisky

“… The initial nose brings to mind impressions of ready to cut grassy hay fields waving in the wind with a few spruce and poplar trees standing in the background. There is a gentle sweetness which grows as you sniff the glass, which as it builds, gave me indications of raisins and sugared dates …”

Included with this review is a nice cocktail suggestion which combines two high-end mixers from Q-brands with the Sheep Dip Malt Whisky, the Presbyterian Cocktail.

Note: You only get out of a mixed drink what you put into it. Better ingredients in the form of not only better mixers, but also better spirits definitely results in tastier cocktails!

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

A Chance to Taste the Entire Glenfarclas Core Range

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 28, 2014

This Tuesday, November 4th, (at 7:00 PM) the Edmonton Scotch Society is presenting a fantastic Glenfarclas Whisky Tasting Event at Chateau Louis Hotel (11727 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB ) where the entire core range of Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky will be discussed and of course, tasted. This is quite truthfully an impressive range from one of the only remaining distilleries in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.

The line-up for the tasting will be as follows:

Price: – $50 per ticket

Please call  (780) 452 – 7770 for more information!

Note: The follow-up event on November 5th at Ft. Edmonton Park is already sold out!

( I hope I see some of my readers there. Sláinte!)

Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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