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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

Review: Rum Nation Barbados Anniversary Edition (12 Years Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 22, 2014

SAM_1126 FINE DALLIANCE

A Fine Dalliance

Rum Nation is an Italian rum company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied winemaking). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum and in 1999, Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. 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 rums from various Caribbean producers. His Rum Nation Barbados Anniversary Edition (12 Years Old) celebrates the first 15 years of Rum Nation (2001 to 2014) as an independent bottler of unique Caribbean Rum.

The Bajan rum was distilled from sugar cane molasses upon a column still in Barbados (R.L. Seale) in 2001 (Batch Number L14/059). It was matured in the Caribbean (in Ex American Bourbon casks) for the majority of its aging life. However the rum was transported to Italy to be finished in Piedmont (Italian area of the Nebbiolo Wine) for the last 18 to 24 months. For finishing, the rum was transferred to Ex Spanish Brandy and Ex sherry Oloroso casks before being bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

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

Review: Rum Nation Barbados Anniversary Edition (12 Years Old)

“… As I let the glass sit, the aroma from the glass deepens bringing lush scents of vanilla and baking spices (nutmeg and cinnamon in particular) into the air above the glass. Hints of marmalade are apparent and the brown sugar, oak and the baking spices keep growing in strength. I notice bits of cola and milk chocolate and perhaps just a touch of sea brine and menthol. All indications are that this is a rich indulgent rum.

Just because a particular rum is a wonderful sipper, it does not mean that we cannot find joy in the cocktail format. The trick is to use other ingredients sparingly such that they serve as an elegant accent to the rum’s flavour and not as a distraction. At the conclusion of my review I provided a cocktail suggestion , A Fine Dalliance, which I believe strikes the right balance.

Enjoy the review, and my wonderful cocktail!

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

Review: Chinook Signature Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 18, 2014

Soft Touch (Chinook) SAM_1149

Chinook Whisky and the Soft Touch Cocktail

The folks at MCBSW Sales in Calgary Alberta have been quite busy over the last couple of years. In addition to bringing no less than five new Canadian Whiskies onto the market (hopefully I will review them all); they have also bought a Micro distillery (Minhas Micro Distillery) in Monroe, Wisconsin, from which they are producing Polo Club Gin and Blackstone Vodka. Plans are apparently underway to produce an American Bourbon as well. One of those new Canadian Whiskies MCBWS has recently launched, is an addition to their popular Chinook family of Whiskies,  Chinook Signature Rye Whisky.

I was provided a bottle of the Chinook Signature Rye Whisky by the Alberta agent for MCBSW Sales for the purpose of this review on my website.

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

Review: Chinook Signature Rye Whisky

“… The nose is full of clean oak and rye spice with obvious notes of fresh grain and straw accompanying the spice. As the glass sits, orange peel and citrus fruit notes begin to climb out of the glass as well as some fresh ginger and coriander spice. There is also a firm underlying sweetness which reminds me of cotton candy and marshmallows …”

I provided two nice recipes for the Chinook Signature Rye Whisky at the conclusion of my review, the Hippodrome, and the Soft Touch. Please enjoy my review and the provided recipes as well as the nice weather we are having this weekend!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Lamb’s White Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 15, 2014

Lamb's WhiteIn my part of Canada, Lamb’s is one of the most popular rum brands, and I thought it was time that I should visit their popular white rum on my website. For those who do not know, Lamb’s is a Corby Brand who trace the rum’s history all the way to 1849 when Alfred Lamb who opened his wine and spirits business in London. His method of aging rum in his cellars under the Thames river was supposed to be one of the secrets behind the unexpectedly smooth taste of his rum brand. Of course the rum no longer is aged in Britain but it does maintain its Caribbean heritage as the blend is sourced from a variety of Caribbean rums which have been aged for a minimum of one year in oak casks. The final rum is filtered clear and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume and sold as Lamb’s Genuine White Rum.

Grapefruit Daiquiri

Grapefruit Daiquiri

I recently received a sample of the Lamb’s White to review and you can find my full write-up by clicking the following excerpt link:

Review: Lamb’s White Rum

“… the breezes above the glass brought forwards the light scents and smells of a very mild butterscotch, green banana, a mild citrus zest, some light sandalwood spice, and a light cotton candy aroma. Allowing the glass to breathe resulted in the identification of a vague sort of ‘grassiness’ and the return of that impression of mustiness …”

My review includes a nice cocktail, the Grapefruit Daiquiri!

Please enjoy my review!

 

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

Review: Tomatin Legacy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2014

Tomatin Crusta SAM_1133The Tomatin Distillery is located in the Monadhliath Mountains near Inverness, the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. The Distillery was established in 1897. (For those who do not know, the term “established in 1897″ is a code term which represents an acknowledgement by the distillery that the company began to legally pay taxes on the spirits it produced in that year. When the Distillery actually began to produces spirits is not acknowledged.) Because of its location in the Monadhliath Mountains, Tomatin is one of the highest distilleries (elevation wise) in Scotland at 315 metres above sea level. In 1985 as the Distillery was expanded and was at that time renamed, The Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd.. The company now operates 12 stills, in a process which perhaps more closely resembles a large-scale industrial factory rather than a typical Single Malt Distillery. This is because the distillery has always been a large-scale producer of whisky for Scotland’s major blends. However, Tomatin has recently began to focus their efforts on also producing their own Single Malt Whisky as well as establishing their own brand identity.

The Tomatin Legacy is the companies introductory (some would say flagship) Single Malt, and is produced from a whisky aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels and Virgin Oak casks. This Single Malt Whisky carries no age statement, as the whisky is blended to a specific taste profile rather than to be a specific age statement. The use of virgin oak to age some of the whisky is a rather novel idea for a Scottish producer, but one which I heartily endorse.

Here is an excerpt (and link) to my full review of this surprisingly good whisky:

Review: Tomatin Legacy

“… The initial nose is very pleasant with a combination of clean oak spice, almond accents and hints of green grapes and green apples. There is also a meringue-like sweetness which rises up into the air with a gentle sweep of vanilla around it. As the glass breathes the oak spices gains momentum and I soon also receive impressions of willow trees and aspen with a touch of piny goodness in the mix somewhere as well. I seem to also sense springtime aromas of fresh sweet grass, and some floral lemon blossoms …”

As you can see from my photo to the left, I included a wonderful cocktail suggestion with the review, the Single Malt Crusta.

Please enjoy the review and the stunning cocktail!

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

London No. 1 Original Blue Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2014

London No. 1 Original Blue Gin is a product of Gonzalas Byass who are a Spanish wine/cellars company which also produces a variety of distilled spirits including brandy, anisette, botanical vodka and of course gin. Their gin is triple distilled (from English grain in London, England) on a traditional pot still in small batches by Master Distiller, Charles Maxwell. According to the London No. 1 website the gin is distilled with 12 key botanicals which include: Juniper from Croatia; Angelica root and Savory from France; Coriander from Morocco; Cassia bark from China, Liquorice from Turkey, Cinnamon from Ceylon, Almond from Greece; and Lemon peel, Orange peel, Lily root and Bergamot from Italy.

Big Blue Sexy

Big Blue Sexy

The product was first test marketed in Spain, and is now being launched in limited quantities internationally. It is bottled at 47 % alcohol by volume ensuring a more concentrated flavour than more traditional distilled spirits which are bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

I was given a bottle for review by Woodman Wines and Spirits Inc. who have informed me that this product is now available again in limited quantities in Ontario, Canada. (I have seen it on the shelves here in Alberta as well.)

You may read my review by Clicking on the following excerpt.

Review: London No. 1 Original Blue Gin

“… The aroma from the glass is intensely floral. It has a sharp quality which similar to freshly bloomed lilacs. The more familiar gin aromas of earthy juniper, spicy cardamom, lemon peel and orange citrus lie somewhat behind that floral intensity …”

I included a classic cocktail recipe, The Pegu Club Cocktail, with this review, as well as a recipe of my own, Big Blue Sexy.

Please enjoy the review and of course my included recipes, Cheers!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: Jack Daniel’s (Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 4, 2014

JD No 7Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee, by the Jack Daniel Distillery (currently owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation). Interestingly enough, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is located in Moore County which has remained dry dating back to the passing of the state’s prohibition laws in the early 20th century. Even though prohibition ended federally in 1933 when the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed, the Tennessee State prohibition laws have remained in effect; and hence, all counties in the state remained dry after prohibition ended. Counties may individually repeal the local state law by passing a “local option” referendum; however, Moore County has not done so. This has given rise to the curious situation in which the county which produces the best-selling American Whiskey in the world does not allow this whiskey to be sold in the stores or the restaurants within its own boundaries.

Lynchburg Slammer

Lynchburg Slammer

Jack Daniels Old No. 7 is produced in much the same manner as bourbon, from a corn heavy mash and aged in new charred white oak barrels. However, the Jack Daniel’s distillery has always resisted the use of the bourbon classification, and instead prefers to label their spirit as Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey.

You may read my full review of the World’s best-selling American Whiskey by clicking on the following review excerpt:

Review: Jack Daniel’s (Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey)

“… The initial nose was full of corn syrup, the spiciness of wood sap, and a very apparent dankness which reminded me of damp autumn leaves. The wood sap reminded me of both fresh-cut oak and cedar logs, and some vanilla accents seemed to be wrapped up in the corn and the wood spices. There was also an indistinct a clay-like earthiness in the breezes above the glass with perhaps a touch of cigarette smoke as well …”

I included a nice recipe for your enjoyment at the conclusion of the review, the Lynchburg Slammer. Please enjoy the review and the suggested cocktail, Cheers!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Polo Club America Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 29, 2014

SAM_1122 Polo Cara

Polo Club American Dry Gin and my Cara Cara Gin Cocktail

Polo Club American Dry Gin is a product of Minhas Micro Distillery located in Munroe, Wisconsin. According to the press information provided to me by MCBSW Sales (agents for Polo Club in Alberta), their American Dry Gin is an artisan spirit crafted in small batches from “ultra clean neutral grain spirit” and steeped with botanicals which include juniper, lemon peel, coriander, and licorice. The neutral grain spirit is apparently distilled ten times using a patent pending process (US Patent Application Number 13/843036) on a copper pot still.

Despite the small batch process, and the multiple distillations of the neutral grain spirit; the Polo Club American Dry Gin is very affordable in my market. As the advertising sheets I saw claim,

“The botanicals are steeped, but the price is not steep.”

You may read my take on this relatively new American Dry Gin by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Polo Club America Dry Gin

“… As I nosed the glass, an assertive juniper aroma (which reminded me of spruce boughs) climbed up into the breezes accompanied by lightly sweet zesty scents of lemon and lime citrus. I also detected a very light pungent spiciness similar to ginger and cardamom which lay somewhat hidden in between more assertive juniper and citrus. As I spent time nosing the glass, this spiciness increased slowly coming out of the shadows and becoming the dominant characteristic of the nose …”

As you can see from my picture to the left, I included a recipe suggestion in my review, the Cara Cara Gin Cocktail. Perhaps if I continue to indulge in a few more gin cocktails, that stubborn winter will leave us and the warm Spring we were promised will finally arrive.

Cheers everyone!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Porto Morretes (Ouro) Cachaca

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 25, 2014

cachaca_premiumLast fall a good friend of mine visited Brazil. I had asked him before the trip if he could find me a bottle of the Brazilian rum known as Cachaca (pronounced Ka sha sha). I was pleased when he returned just prior to Christmas with two small (170 ml) bottles of Port Morretes, the Prata (silver) and the Ouro (3-year-old premium).

In order to learn a little about the Porto Morrets Cachaca, I visited their website and with the help of Google Translate managed to decipher a bit about each spirit. The Porto Morretes Cachaça Ouro is (as near as I can tell from reading the Portuguese website) produced in the same manner as the previously reviewed Porto Morretes Prata Cachca; however rather than resting in a stainless steel tank, the spirit is aged for three years in oak barrels. This gives rise to new flavours drawn from the oak, and theoretically at least implies a smoother more well-rounded spirit.

SAM_1018 Decicio

Cachaca Delícia

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

Review: Porto Morretes (Ouro) Cachaca

“… As I let the glass sit and breathe I noticed some nice oak spices building with soft green pepper and ginger impressions entering the breezes above the glass followed by lime citrus and a very soft chocolate caramel. A sweep of vanilla wafts into the air next as well with some peppermint and scattered tea leaves. I can tell that I am going to like this …”

Included at the end of the review is a nice sipping cocktail I devised for the Porto Morretes Ouro. I call it, Cachaca Delícia. This recipe allows the character of the aged Cachaca to meld into the sweeter flavour of Grand Marnier. The combination is simply wonderful!

Please enjoy my latest review as well as the delicious cocktail.

 

Posted in Aged Cachaca, Cachaca | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review Ungava Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 13, 2014

SAM_1084Ungava Gin is a product of Domaine Pinnacle a family owned orchard and cidery located on a beautiful heritage property near the historic village of Frelighsburg in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Although primarily known for their Ice Cider and Maple Creams, Domaine Pinnacle also produces a very unusual Gin called Ungava.

In case you do not know, the Ungava Peninsula sits at the northern extreme of Quebec, between Labrador and the Hudson Bay. This is at first glance, a barren uncompromising land situated atop the tundra of the North Canadian shield. There are no trees to be found, and Tundra stretches (seemingly) endlessly from Ungava Bay in the east all the way to Hudson Bay in the West. To the North are the cold waters of the Hudson Strait which separates the Ungava Peninsula from Baffin Island to the North. This is (again at first glance) not the ideal place from which to begin the idea of creating a new gin.

Nottingham Walrus

Nottingham Walrus

However, if one looks a little closer (although, of course, you must look in the summertime), and if one talks to the Inuktitut people who have lived in the region for centuries, one will discover that there are a variety of botanical plants growing in the tundra right before your eyes. Six of these unique arctic botanicals (which grow wild in the region) are used in the construct of the Gin that bears this regions name. These botanicals, Nordic Juniper, Crowberry, Labrador Tea, Cloudberry, Arctic Blend, and Wild Rose Hips are hand-picked in the summertime and serve to bring a unique Northern Canadian charm to the Ungava Gin.

You may read my full review of this interesting gin by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Ungava Gin

“… The initial breezes above the glass display a nice triumvirate of juniper, lemon citrus and floral scents which seem to be integrated well with each other. As I let the scents and smells drift in the air, it seems to me that the juniper is taking the lead role in that triumvirate. The citrus smells seem to contain elements both of lemon and grapefruit zest with a touch of orange Curacao riding along in between …”

Please enjoy the review which includes my cocktail suggestion, the Nottingham Walrus!

Have a great Sunday Everyone!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Porto Morretes (Prata) Cachaca

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 8, 2014

cachaca_prataLast fall a good friend of mine visited Brazil. I had asked him before the trip if he could find me a bottle of the Brazilian rum known as Cachaca (pronounced Ka sha sha). I was pleased when he returned just prior to Christmas with two small (170 ml) bottles of Port Morretes, the Prata (silver) and the Ouro (3-year-old premium).

In order to learn a little about the Porto Morrets Cachaca, I visited their website and with the help of Google Translate managed to decipher a bit about each spirit. The Porto Morretes Prata (Silver) is produced from sugar cane syrup which has been fermented with natural (home-made) yeasts without the use of chemical additives. The fermentation is carried out in a controlled hygienic process using stainless steel vats eliminating unintended contamination. The resulting fermented syrup is distilled upon modern copper pot stills, and the resulting distillate is rested for a considerable time period (I believe the website indicates about a year) in stainless steel tanks. This resting period softens and prepares the spirit prior to bottling making it suitable to drink neat or to serve in cocktails like the Brazilian Caipirinha.

Amazing Tickle

Amazing Tickle

Here is an excerpt from my full review:

Review: Porto Morretes (Prata) Cachaca

“… The silver Cachaca is a clear spirit which shows no evidence of colour or aging. It has a firm vegetal aroma which reminds me of mushy over ripe bananas and soft bruised apples. There are hints of white pepper underneath, and perhaps a touch of sugar cane sweetness. I also sense a Tequila-like quality which reminds me of soft  although this spirit would never be mistaken for tequila in any sort of blind line-up …”

Of course, I needed to make a few cocktails. I began with a recipe of mine I call the Amazing Tickle which is my Caipirinha style recipe using lemon and orange rather than lime. I followed that up with a Margarita style recipe called the Macharita which uses Cachaca rather than Tequila at the heart of the recipe.

I hope you enjoy the review and the cocktail recipes which follow.

Cheers!

Posted in Cachaca, Silver Cachaca Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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