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Posts Tagged ‘DrinkWire’

Review: Dunedin Distillery – DoubleWood 10 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 14, 2013

DW 10YOIn 2011 the Dunedin Distillery – DoubleWood was the first whisky launched as part of the New Zealand Whisky Collection. This whisky was distilled at the now defunct Willow Bank Distillery near Dunedin, on South Island (New Zealand). The distillery was mothballed in 1997, but some of the remaining barrels of whisky were left aging in a seaside bond house until they were purchased by Greg Ramsey who formed the New Zealand Whisky Company.

The Dunedin DoubleWood 10 Year Old was produced from stocks which were aged in American-Oak barrels for 6 years and then finished for 4 more in North Island (French oak) wine barrels. The whisky is a blend of 70% Single Malt whisky, and 30% premium grain whisky, bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.

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

Review: Dunedin Distillery – DoubleWood 10 Year Old

“… The initial aroma from the glass is a mixture of wooded scents with the light accent of fieldberries (blackberries and currants) and red cherries. As the glass breathes I notice some alpine scents with woody thickets (alders and willow), some green ferns and moss, and perhaps a hint of heather. The impression of fielberries and cherries continues to wander through the breezes accenting the alpine woodland but not dominating it …”

Please enjoy my review and the Autocrat Cocktail which has been included as my suggested cocktail for the New Zealand whisky.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, New Zealand Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Plantation Guyana 1999 Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 2, 2013

rum-plantation-guyana-bThe Plantation Guyana 1999 Rum is a pot-distilled, Demerara rum which is produced from molasses using an extra long fermentation period prior to distillation. The rum is first aged in Guyana in used bourbon barrels after which it is transported from Jamaica to France by Cognac Ferrand to be finished in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks.

Cognac Ferrand has long had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers which is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. This Demerera Rum was one such unique batch of rum acquired by Cognac Ferrand. It was bottled at 42 % alcohol by volume as part of Cognac Ferrand’s growing line-up of Plantation Rum.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial nose from the glass is full of oak tannins which have been tainted with a woody spiciness, rich toffee,and orange peel. I smell light baking, an almond nuttiness, and a firm vanilla. I like the nose, it is spicy, and full of character…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Plantation Guyana 1999 Rum

Please enjoy the review and the wonderful cocktail suggestion (Comfortably Numb) I have suggested for this fine rum!

Cheers!

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

Happy 100th Anniversary: Seagram’s VO

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 20, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeagram’s has a rich and storied history which can be dated back to 1857 when the Granite Mills and Waterloo Distillery Company was formed. About seven years later, Joseph Seagram joined the company and by 1911, it was known as Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.

The Seagram’s VO was, according to legend, created by Joseph Seagram 100 years ago when he blended some of his finest whiskies into a spirit designed especially for the wedding celebration for his son Thomas. 100 years later, the Seagram name is still on the VO bottle, but ownership of this brand has been passed on to Diageo who now use their wide variety of stocks to produce this whisky at the Valleyfield Distillery in Quebec.

The Seagram’s VO is one of the oldest continuously selling brands of Canadian Whisky in the market today, blended in the old-fashioned way to be enjoyed in those short and tall cocktails we Canadians enjoy so much. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a sipper, but then again, I doubt many ‘sipping whiskies’ were being crafted 100 years ago when this blend (bottled at 40 % abv.) was created. In honour of the 100 years of Seagram’s VO, I thought I would publish my review of this venerable Canadian Whisky.

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

Review: Seagram’s VO Canadian Whisky

“… The initial nose brings forth notes of oak and rye spice, vanilla and butterscotch, and light impressions of tobacco into the air above the glass. As the whisky breathes, I notice that there is something penetrating about the aroma. It reminds me of a combination of light incense and a freshly snuffed out cigarette. Rounding things out is a light corn accent and an impression of soft canned fruit (peaches perhaps). Somewhere in the background a field of tall dry grass is gently swaying in the breezes … “

Please enjoy the review!

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

Review: Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2013

Demerara 23 1989Rum Nation is an Italian 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 of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such bottling is Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old.

This is quite an interesting rum. According to my correspondence with Mr. Rossi he purchased 3 casks of this rum from a vendor in the United Kingdom in 2002. The barrels bore the marque from the famous Double Wooden Pot still of the Port Maurant Estate (PM). These ex bourbon casks were transferred into a Sherry Butt (Oloroso N. 61)  in 2004 and were left to age in an underground cellar in Bristol, England where “early landed cognac” (Hine and Delamain) was also aged. The cellar in Bristol was closed in 2007, and the rum was brought to the Piedmont area of Italy (famous for the nebbiolo grape varietal) where it continued to age until 2012 when it was bottled in Italy.

Your may click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Rum Nation Demerara 23 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is perhaps a little daunting as rising from the glass are rich caramel scents laced with the smells of wood sap and resin. Felled poplar trees, spruce wood chips, and fresh unstained oak all seem to be part of that wood-filled onslaught in the breezes above the glass. Wisps of dry fruit and licorice mingle within the breezes as does a faintly sappy, mildly acrid, vaguely rubbery tar-like scent …”

Please enjoy the review of this very interesting Demerara rum.

Cheers!

 

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

Review: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2013

Glenfarclas 25This review continues my examinations of the Glenfarclas Single Malt line-up. I have previously reviewed the Glenfarclas 12 Year, the Glenfarclas 15 Year, the Glenfarclas 17 Year, the Glenfarclas 21 Year, the Glenfarclas 30 Year, the Glenfarclas 40 Year, and the Glenfarclas Cask Strength 105. These whiskies have been matured in two styles of oak barrels, plain oak barrels which have previously contained Bourbon or Scotch whisky, and Spanish oak barrels which have previously contained Oloroso or Fino Sherry from Seville. The whisky is then stored in traditional ‘dunnage’ warehouses that date from the late 1800s. These warehouses have thick stone walls and earthen floors.

The Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky which is the subject of this review has been bottled at 43 % and is produced from aged stocks of both first fill sherry casks and refill bourbon casks.

Pacific Wine & Spirits Inc has facilitated my reviews of by inviting me to a tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery. Mr. Grant is part of the 6th generation of the Grant Family who originally purchased the distillery in 1865. His family still controls and manages the distillery today. This review was compiled based upon my tasting notes at the event, and subsequent re-visitations to the whisky.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“… The initial aromas include the rich sherry smells of dried fruit, some floral accents of heather and willow, and hints of orange peel. The oak is asserting itself into the whisky much more firmly than in the younger expressions …”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky

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

Review: Centennial Spiced Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2013

centennial-spiced

Not that long ago, I had a discussion with a well-known Master Blender (from a major producer of whisky) about the rush of spiced and flavoured rums and whiskies which are entering the marketplace. I lamented the fact that most of these spirits were constructed using young inexpensive spirits as their base, rather than beginning with a spirit which already showed age and character. The master distiller gave me this ‘father knows best’ look and explained that this category was meant for the new spirits consumer as an entry-level product, and using a better spirit as the base would just be a waste of good whisky (or rum). I countered that I thought the spiced and flavoured category could be much more; but I also quickly changed the subject. (I could see that he thought I was nuts).

Well maybe I am nuts; but recently, I actually received a sample of just the very kind of spiced whisky I had been talking about, Highwood Distillers - Centennial Spiced Canadian Whisky. Unlike most of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have sprung up recently which use a very young whisky as the base for the spirit, Highwood’s Centennial Spiced Whisky uses a well aged 10-year-old whisky, (their own Centennial Rye Whisky) as the foundation for this spiced spirit.

And I am happy to report, that as I suspected, quality always shines through as my review attests, here is an excerpt:

“… Rather than a whisky buried by spice, we encounter flavours of vanilla, ginger, and cloves (and yes butterscotch too) which are lifted by the character of the well aged Centennial Whisky. Although the combination of spices does not appear to be complicated, there is a punch of ginger in the flavour profile that to me, taste’s absolutely brilliant …”

Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktails, the Centennial Celebration, and Tall Ginger:

Review: Centennial Spiced Canadian Rye Whisky

Please enjoy this review of what I feel is a groundbreaking new spirit!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2013

Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao

Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao

The liqueur we know as Curacao is traditionally made with Curaçao oranges, which are (of course) found on the Caribbean Island of the same name. These oranges are actually descendants of the more familiar Valencia Orange which were brought to the island of Curacao by Spanish traders centuries ago. The Valencia orange did not do very well in the new climate as the oranges which were planted became very bitter as the years went by. In fact, the planted trees were eventually abandoned and left to grow wild. Some time later, somebody noticed that the peel of these ‘wild oranges’ contained oils which were pleasingly aromatic. The wild Valencia orange had become something new and different, and in the 1800s people began to experiment with them by distilling them with alcohol (and blending them with spices) creating the liqueur which we know today as Curacao.

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, is a traditional Orange Curacao which is based on an original 19th century recipe. According to Mr. Gabriel, his Dry Orange Curacao is what the liqueur was meant to be when the spirit was created. Since I am a bit of a cocktail geek myself, I thought that I would put Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao through the paces of my review methodology as well as build a few cocktails to see how this traditional Dry Orange Curacao stacks up.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The flavour of this Dry Orange Curacao carries so many nuances. A firm sweet orange flavour is of course predominant, but light flavours of oak and wood spice are carried forward as well. Additionally, I taste wisps of rye and wood spice, hints of ripe green grape, a light reflection of vanilla, and subtle almost intangible imprints of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and cloves …”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Of course I mixed a few cocktails with this unique orange liqueur and provided three recipes as part of the review!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Corzo Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 2, 2012

Corzo ReposadoCorzo Reposado is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila produced from Highland agave whose manufacture is a bit of an interesting tale. The process begins with a long (slow) fermentation cycle which apparently takes place while the music of Mozart is playing in the background. The resulting liquid is then double distilled with only a small center cut taken from each distillation, in fact this fine center cut requires the company to use twice as much agave to produce the tequila as would normally be used. The resulting distillate is then rested for 2 to 4 months in American white oak barrels. After the tequila has matured for this first amount of time the tequila is then distilled a third time. After the third distillation the tequila is then matured (or rested) for a second period of time (3 to 6 months) in French oak.

After meeting some of the members of the Alberta Bacardi Marketing team at the recent Edmonton Tequila Fest, I was given a bottle of the Corzo Reposado for the purpose of a review here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

“… The initial aroma from the glass is lightly sweet with hints of dark fruit mingling with the mild punky aroma of agave and a firm scent of white pepper. Rising into the breezes above the glass are additional impressions of honey and vanilla, almond and coconut, hints of lemon zest lemon, and grilled pineapple… “

You may read the full review here

Review: Corzo Reposado Tequila

Enjoy this review, and if you happen to have a little music by Mozart handy, perhaps playing it in the background will enhance the experience.

Cheers!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums – Countdown

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2012

This year, when I was deliberating over my 2012 Rum Howler Awards, it occurred to me that the line-up of rum which I had tasted over the past year was impressive. When I further considered all the rums I had tasted since I opened this website, I realized this was indeed an impressive amount of rum that I have tasted and scored. Adding it all up, I have tasting and scoring notes for over 300 rums which I have had the privilege of sampling over the past four years. (Note: In addition to the nearly 175 rum reviews I have published on this site, I also have tasting notes and scores compiled for over 125 more rums which I encountered at various festivals and judging events which I have attended.) This gives me a broad perspective on the world of rum. And perhaps, all this rum tasting and scoring gives me at least some of the qualifications to embark on a very particular quest to uncover and list the Best Rums in the World.

If you are interested in such things, a detailed explanation of how I came up with this list is available here:

The Rum Howler 2012 Top 30 Rums

This web page also contains the complete list in reverse order. One catch, is that I will be filling that list out over the next several weeks, one rum at a time, countdown style. As I fill out the list, I will be providing my most up to date review for that particular Rum. Some of these rums have been reviewed previously, and those reviews will be updated if required to reflect my feelings on the most recent bottling. Some of the Rums on the list will be reviewed for the first time. Although the effort put into this project was very significant, I hope that those who read the reviews and follow the countdown have some fun. Disagreement with my Panel of Judges is welcome, and so are questions about the list.

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

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2012

A few years ago Johnnie Walker Gold Label carried an age statement of 18 years. Back then it was called The Centenary Blend. The newest bottles of the Gold Label no longer carry that age statement. Coinciding with that particular change is a bit of a name change as well. Instead of Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend, the newest version is now called Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve. Based upon what I can glean from the Johnnie Walker website (and the back of my bottle) it may not be only the ages of the individual whiskies in the blend which have changed, the actual constituents of the blend appear to have changed as well.

“GOLD LABEL RESERVE is blended from casks of Whiskies that have been specially selected from the Master Blender, Jim Beveridge’s Private Reserve.”

Of course this means that my previous review for Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend is rather obsolete, a fact which was quickly pointed out to me by my good friend Jason, of Jason’s Scotch Reviews, when I recently re-posted that particular review. Jason asked me if I could review the new blend, and after a quick email with the Alberta Diageo Rep, a new bottle for review found its way onto my review queue.

Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“… The nose is very complex. It seems rather light and gentle first; but as the glass sits, the whisky seems to gain strength and intensity. The initial impressions are of butterscotch, honey and wood spice. Some nice scents of canned fruit drift by the nostrils, in particular peaches and apricots. A bit of home-baked apple pie with touches of cinnamon reach the breezes above the glass as well… “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Please enjoy my review of the new Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve!

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

 
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