Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 4, 2014
Sobieski Vodka is (according to their website) the number 1 selling premium vodka in Poland. It is a true Polish Vodka distilled on a multi-column still from 100% Dankowski rye which was harvested in the low-lying Mazovia (Masowse) region of Poland. The spirit was named ‘Sobieski’ to pay homage to King Jan III Sobieski (1629 – 1696) who is generally regarded as the last great King of Poland whose spirit of indomitable will remains even today as an integral aspect of the Poland’s national character.
When I sampled Sobieski for the first time, I had several friends over, and we tasted the Vodka as part of a private tasting event which included 2 other Vodkas each representing a similar style, but each at a different price range. The aim of the tasting was to see whether we could taste the difference between economy, premium and ultra-premium spirits in a relaxed almost-party like setting. (The three Vodkas included in the tasting were, Khortytsa Platinum Vodka (priced at $17.95), Sobieski Vodka (priced at $25.95), and Belvedere Vodka priced at ($48.95). The prices given are based upon current LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) listings.)
After the tasting event, I continued my examination of each spirit putting each brand through the paces of my Vodka Review Methodology. This is of course the review for Sobieski vodka imported into Alberta by the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs who provided my sample bottle for this review.
You may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… When I threw back a shot of Sobieski, I was very pleased at how clean and smooth the spirit tasted. When served well chilled, the Vodka displayed no burn at all, only a nice spicy glow which heated the palate lightly and slowly crept down the throat …”
I hope you enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail recommendation, my own Yellowbird of Sunshine, which mixes Sobieski Vodka with lemon juice and Maraschino liqueur (and tastes absolutely delicious).
If you are interested in a direct comparison the previously published review for Khortytsa Platinum Vodka can be found here.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktail, Polish Vodka, Premium Vodka, Sobieski, Vodka, Vodka Review, Yellowbird of Sunshine | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 24, 2014
The Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. The original family which founded Brugal is still in the control. George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.
Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum is produced using the company’s proprietary double-distillation technique which apparently creates a clean, dry rum which contains fewer of the heavy alcohols which tend to provide other rums a sweeter flavour profile. The Especial Extra Dry is blended from a mix of rum spirits which have been aged a minimum of 2 years and up to as many as 5 years in White American Oak casks. The rum is triple charcoal filtered, and was developed as a high-end cocktail spirit meant to compete with ultra premium Vodka.
You may read my full review by clicking on the excerpt below:
“… The initial scents above the glass are lightly sweet with indications of cane sugar and lightly toasted marshmallows. As I give the scents and smells time to drift in the breezes above the glass, I notice a touch of vanilla in the air and the light spiciness of lemon peel, sandal wood and cardamom spice …”
At the conclusion of the review, I have added a couple of recipes for your enjoyment, the Minted Daiquiri, and the Brugal Dehumidifier!
Please enjoy the cocktails and my review!
You may find my 2013 list of the 10 Best White rums here: The 2013 Rum Howler – Top 10 White Rums
You may find my 2013 list of the 30 Best Rums here: The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 30 Rums
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Brugal Especial, Cocktail, Daiquiri, Dehumidifier, Minted Daiqiri, Rum, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2014
Southern Comfort is a spirit which has been part of my liquor cabinet for some years now. I use the liqueur as a cocktail spirit to dress up some of my long tall bar drinks. I received a small bottle as an advent gift about four days before Christmas this year, and I decided it would be fun to put this drink through the paces of my review system.
When I went to the Southern Comfort website to learn a bit about this spirit, I was quite surprised when the web button on the bottom of their product description page linked me to Wikipedia for a more complete description of their spirit. According to that Wikipedia page, Southern Comfort is “an American liqueur made from neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey flavorings”. It was created in 1874 by an Irish American bartender named Martin Wilkes Heron, and its original name was ‘cuff and buttons’. Today the brand is owned and produced by Brown Forman, and in Canada it is bottled and sold at 35 % alcohol by volume.
You may click on the following excerpt to read my full review:
“… The initial aroma from that glass was lightly astringent, but also quite pleasing with a menagerie of herb-like and lightly spicy aromas rising into the air. Vanilla, cinnamon and butterscotch seem to be predominant; but I also catch glimpses of orange and lemon citrus, some red BC cherry stones, a bit of nutmeg, spicy clove …”
My review includes a nice recipe suggestion, the Alabama Slammer, which uses the goodness of Southern Comfort mixed with Sloe Gin, Amaretto and Orange Juice.
Please enjoy my latest review!
Posted in Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: Alabama Slammer, Cocktail, Liquer Review, Liqueur, Southern Comfort | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 7, 2014
I 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:
“… 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: Cocktail, Drambuie, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Rusty Nail, Scotch Whisky Liqueur | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2014
According 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:
“… 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.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktail, Iced Ruby Manhattan, Rich & Rare, Sazerac, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 24, 2013
Through the period from the 1580′s to the end of the 18th century Irish soldiers (mercenary or otherwise) were often used as regimental combat troops for the continental European armies. These Irishmen joined the foreign armies for many reasons; some may have merely been adventure seekers; some were obviously looking to strike a blow against their historic enemy England; and some may have seen the military as a means to advance their standing both financially and socially via a military career. What ever the reasons these young men joined the continental forces, it is a sad fact than many hundreds of thousands of these Irishmen died fighting in foreign Armies far from their homeland.
The Wild Geese Rum Collection is the companion to the Wild Geese Irish Whisky Collection. While the Wild Geese Irish Whisky collection sought to bring the Story of the Wild Geese and their struggles in European Armies to light, the Wild Geese Rum Collection continues the saga bringing to light the story of some of these Wild Geese who after service in the continental armies of Europe found themselves transported to America and the Caribbean where many worked upon the Rum Plantations in the new world.
I received samples of the entire rum collection from the brand developer, Protege International, and I shall begin my review series with the Wild Geese Golden Rum which (in the UK) is bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume. You may click the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… Rising from the glass to greet my nose is an impression of sweet butterscotch, canned apricots, orange peel, almond and vanilla. I allowed the glass to breathe a few minutes, and noticed some additional fine oak spices entering the breezes above the glass …”
This is an outstanding cocktail rum and my review includes a few nice recipes at the end, The Spence Cocktail, and my version of the Hemingway Daiquiri.
Please enjoy the review and the bar drinks!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktail, Cocktail Rum, Golden Rum, Hemingway Daiquiri, Rum, Rum Review, Spence Cocktail, Wild Geese Collection, Wild Geese Soldiers | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2013
Rum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of limited edition bottlings.
According to my correspondence with Mr. Rossi, the Rum Nation Barbados 10 Year Old Rum is a true Bajan rum, distilled from sugar cane molasses. The blend is composed of both pot and column still rums which are then blended and aged for approximately nine years in American oak (ex-bourbon) barrels, and then finished for 12 to 18 months in Spanish (Ex-Brandy) casks. The rum was distilled at the West Indies Refinery at Brighton, Black Rock, St. Michael, Barbados. (This distillery is today more commonly known as also known as the West Indies Distillery, and is the same distillery which produces both the Cockspur and the Malibu rum brands.)
You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:
“… I taste spicy tobacco, sappy oak (with hints of bourbon underneath), and light orange peel flavours all melded beautifully into the sweet rum-like flavours of butterscotch, caramel, and toffee. The resulting rum is full of character, but never demanding …”
Please enjoy both my review of this aged Bajan rum and the very nice cocktail at the end of the review, the Rum Sazerac (Arctic Style).
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Bajan Rum, Barbados, Black Rock Distillery, Cocktail, Dark Rum, Fabio Rossi, Rum, Rum Nation, Rum Review, Rum Sazerac, West Indies Distillery, West indies Refinery | Comments Off