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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

# 24 Canadian Whisky – Hiram Walker Special Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014According to the Corby Brands website, Walker’s Special Old has been available throughout Canada, from Hiram Walker & Sons since 1858. Hiram Walker Special Old is the modern version of this original whisky. It has a bold upfront rye flavour that landed it at the number 24 spot in my Rum Howler – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014 Countdown.

_0068_hiramwalker-sp-oldHere is a link to my newly updated review:

# 24 Canadian Whisky – Hiram Walker Special Old

“… as I pour the whisky I also catch strong fruity accents, a dash of corn, and a mild vanilla arriving off of the pour. The colour of the whisky is a rich coppery brown reminiscent of old Macintosh toffee. In fact I believe I can smell some of that old toffee in the air as well …”

Hiram Walker Special Old is a very nice Canadian Whisky full of rich rye flavour and spicy oak!  The boldness of the flavour really appeals to me, especially in the  finish which was so nice and smooth in spite of the aggressiveness of the whisky.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014

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

The Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2014

On My Deck 2Last year I embarked on a mission to determine the very best whiskies that Canada had to offer, by examining over my tasting notes and review scores for over 100 Canadian Whiskies which were available in the market as I compiled my list. This year we have seen the arrival of several new Canadian whiskies, and the disappearance of several of the Limited Edition whiskies which had made last year’s list. Some producers have made changes to their brands and some brands may have (in my opinion) evolved or changed in other ways during the past year. To account for these possible changes I recompiled my list based upon all of the new Canadian whiskies I have sampled during the past year, as well as older brands I re-sampled.

Ninety_5_Year_Old_The list will be presented “Countdown Style” during the month of December with the Best Canadian Whisky of 2014 revealed on December 24, 2014 just in time for you to grab a bottle for Christmas and New Year’s cheer! A new whisky will be revealed each day (beginning today) as I count down to the Rum Howler’s Selection of the World’s Best Canadian Whisky of 2014!

You may follow my Countdown list here:

The Rum Howler 2014 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies!

And with no further ado I announce the number 25 Canadian Whisky produced in 2014:

#25    Ninety (Premium cask Aged) 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Note:

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

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: El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2014

cream-liqueur-RDemerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.

One of the specialty products produced by Demerara Distillers is El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur which the El Dorado website describes as:

“A rich Cream Liqueur made with 5 Year Old Demerara Golden Rum.”

The spirit is of course a creamy liqueur which melds authentic El Dorado Rum with real dairy cream and natural flavours and spices. It is bottled at 15 % alcohol by volume, and occupies the same market niche as Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Kahlua.

You may read my full review of the El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur here:

Review: El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur

“… I am pleased by the strength of the rum flavour which sits in front of rather than behind the more subtle flavours of milk chocolate and coffee. The robust flavour of El Dorado’s 5 Year Old Rum is definitely on display within the creme liqueur …”

Please enjoy the review remembering that it is not my intention with my writing to help you drink more spirits, it is my intention to help you to drink better spirits!

Cheers!

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

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2014

Brass Bonanza SAM_1189

A Brass Bonanza served with Blanton’s Gold Edition

Blanton’s is a bourbon whiskey brand created by Sazerac and launched in 1984. The brand is named for Albert B. Blanton who worked at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for more than 50 years, and who apparently spent much of his time at the distillery promoting the traditions of handcrafted bourbon. Blanton’s claims to be the first modern whiskey designed and sold as a single barrel bourbon, and indeed the original brand name for the brand was “Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon”.

Blanton’s Gold Edition is produced from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley which is distilled to 140 proof and barreled at 125 proof. Each bottle of Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled from a single barrel (brought to 103 proof) after the whiskey has been chill filtered. Because even barrels which lie side by side in an aging warehouse (even though they may have exactly the same batch of distillate) will almost certainly age differently, there will be much potential for flavour variation between particular bottles of this Blanton’s bourbon.  However, the general character of the whiskey should remain the same between bottlings as the master blender is selecting only those barrels which meet the particular flavour profile he is aiming for.

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

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

“… The nose is very nice with honey, sap and wood spice rising into the breezes alongside subtle notes of Christmas cake (chocolate, raisins, dates and walnuts). There is a bit of an alcohol push along with a few grassy notes and some youthful astringency. As I let the glass sit I notice baking spices building (vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) in the air along with some baked apples and canned pears. There are also some nice sweet and spicy notes of pipe tobacco …”

Included in the review is a nice bar drink which mixed the Blanton’s Gold Edition with a few drops of bitters and a splash of ginger-ale. I called the resulting cocktail, the Brass Bonanza.

Please enjoy the review and the provided mixed drink recipe!

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

Review: Sambuca dei Cesari (Luxardo)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 22, 2014

Luxardo SamLuxardo S.P.A. was founded in 1821 in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast of what is now the Republic of Croatia. At the conclusion of World War II and as a consequence of the borders within Europe having been redrawn, the company transferred its holdings to Torreglia in 1947, and has remained an Italian Company, 100% controlled by the founding family. Today, Luxardo is one of the oldest European firms which produce liqueurs, and now almost 200 years after it was established, it remains in the control of the sixth generation of the original Luxardo family.

Clarity SAM_1180

Clarity

Sambuca dei Cesari is the licorice flavoured Sambuca produced by Luxardo. Like the well-known Greek licorice flavoured Ouzo, it is a sweet liqueur with a strong licorice flavour derived from the oils of the Star Anise. These oils are obtained from the seeds of this plant by a process of steam distillation. A concentrated solution of sugar and other natural aromas are added to this before bottling at 38 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Sambuca dei Cesari (Luxardo)

“… The flavour of the Sambuca dei Cesari matches the aroma perfectly as the liqueur tastes just like a black jelly bean which has already melted in my mouth. I taste candied sweet black licorice with a hint of mintiness ….”

At the conclusion of the review I have included a nice refreshing recipe called Clarity, which mixes Sambuca dei Cesari with Lemonade. It is perfect for a warm sunny Sunday.

Please enjoy the review and the stunningly delicious tall cocktail!

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

Review: Luxardo Maraschino (Originale)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 20, 2014

MaraschinoAbout a year and a half ago I met Matteo Luxardo, who is the Export Manager of Luxardo S.P.A. and part of that sixth generation who are still active in the ownership and management of the distilling company which bears their name. We met at a small gathering sponsored by Lifford Wines who bring a wide range of the classic Italian liqueurs produced by Luxardo into the Alberta Market. A few of these products include, Amaretto, Grappa, Sambuca, Limencello, and of course Luxardo Maraschino.

The unique flavour of Maraschino Originale is a product of the fruit of the Marasca cherry (exclusively cultivated in orchards owned by Luxardo). Matteo explained to those of us at the gathering that Luxardo Maraschino (Originale) is one of the very few liqueurs in the world which is produced through distillation.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

You may read my full review of the Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur by clicking on the following excerpt (link):

Review: Luxardo Maraschino (Originale)

“… The air above the glass is very sweet with the somewhat penetrating scent of the Marasca cherry. This scent resembles Turkish Delight with a lightly spicy twist. There is also a bit of an earthy almond-like scent underlying that cherry aroma which seems to bear a resemblance to the aroma crushed apple seeds …”

Of course my review includes a nice cocktail, the Bluebird of Happiness, which was inspired by the original Bluebird cocktail credited to W.J. Tarling.

Enjoy the review everyone, and let us hope the snow that is falling on this the first day of spring is but a blip in the weather, and the Bluebird of happiness will be singing her song of spring very soon!

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

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2013

SAM_0896 Noble OneNoble One Botrylis Semillon which is the subject of this review was created in 1982 by Darren De Bortoli.  Currently the wine has 26 vintages, and has become the standard-bearer for the De Bortoli family. The Noble One is produced from a late hand-picked harvest of the Semillon grape. The agent at work is a specific fungus called Botrytis cinerea which affects the grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically. Other factors may be at work as well with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. Fortunately for De Bortoli, autumn in the Riverina region (where the Semillon grapes are grown) often sees long, dry, warm days interspersed with a sprinkling of showers and heavy morning dews, an ideal situation for producing the Noble Fungus.

I met Darren Blood the Export Manager (Americas and New Zealand) for De Bortoli Wines at a portfolio tasting for Lifford Wines, who are the local distributors of the Australian Noble One Botrytis Semillon dessert wine. Darren arranged for me to receive a 375 ml sample of the Noble One for review upon my website.

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

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

“… The breezes above the glass were enticing. There is a suave richness in the air which gives me impressions of sweet nectar and honey. I smell full bunches of green grapes, fresh apples and ripe pears. Some vanilla accents these initial impressions and a certain light spiciness reminds me of sandalwood and white oak …”

Please enjoy my review of this succulent dessert wine!

Posted in Dessert Wine Review, Dessert Wines | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Northern Lights Eggnog

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 15, 2012

Northern Lights Eggnog is a rum based premix from Highwood Distillers. Highwood produced 500 cases for the Western Canadian market last Christmas, and I was given a sample bottle by the distillery to sample at my leisure (and to provide feedback to the distillery). The test product must have done well as this year Highwood has reintroduced the Northern Lights Eggnog for the festive season.

I have been told by the distillery that Northern Lights Eggnog is produced with real rum from the distillery (their Highwood Brand) and uses (as much as possible) authentic natural ingredients. I admit I was very curious and I thought it would be fun to do an ‘official’ review here on the website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…I am quite pleased by what I see after I pour myself a little of the premixed eggnog into my glass. This looks rich and creamy in the glass and the ‘eggnog’ aroma has a nice firm imprint of rum and a nice mild spiciness. The vanilla is obvious and I sense hints of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, but, none of the spices seem overpowering or out of balance. This is going to be an easy-going eggnog as far as spiciness is concerned and one in which the rum is allowed to flourish in the mix….”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Northern Lights Eggnog

Please enjoy the review and the festive season!

Posted in Cream Liqueur, Liqueur, Premix, Rum | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Chateau de Targe (Chenin Blanc) 2009

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2012

The Chenin Blanc is a very versatile white grape wine varietal which can produce wines of any level of sweetness from dry table wine to sweet dessert wine. These wines are generally recognized for their high level of acidity and for their long aging potential. The variety is commonly associated with the Loire Valley in France where the varietal has been grown for nearly 1300 years.

At the Château de Targé (in the Loire Valley) the Chenin Blanc grape varietal is harvested at three different maturity levels to produce three different wines. A hand-picked harvest of just ripe grapes is used for the Brut Blanc, over matured grapes are picked for the Fresnettes and sometimes, although not every year, grape clusters are allowed to Botrytize (noble rot) to concentrate their sweetness thanks to the famous fungus, (Botrytis Cinerea) to make Coteaux de Saumur dessert wines.

It is the Chateau de Targe (Chenin Blanc) Coteaux de Saumur 2009 which is the subject of this review. Here is an excerpt:

“… The wine displays a pale yellow straw colour in the glass with an initial nose which brings strong green apple and fresh peach aromas into the air. A honeyed sweetness is obvious, but there is also a nice spicy intensity about the nose which is appealing. As the glass rests, tart almost ripe green grapes, stronger apple notes and more spice rise into the breezes… “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Chateau de Targe (Chenin Blanc) 2009

Please enjoy this review of a most excellent dessert wine!

Posted in Dessert Wine Review, Dessert Wines | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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