Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2011
I mentioned a week ago that I had received a collection of sample jars from the personal collection of J. Leslie Wheelock, (a member of the Alberta Beam Global team), which spanned an impressive range of unique whiskies from Canada, Scotland, and the USA. This week I dipped into the samples and chose Sample Jar # 13, Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.
Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey begins where Maker’s Mark Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey ends. Bill Samuels, Sr. is credited with creating the first version of Maker’s Mark in 1954. After a few years of practice the folks at the Maker’s Mark Distillery have been producing this whiskey the same way since 1958. The process begins with pure limestone fed spring-water; follows with yellow corn, red winter wheat, and natural malted barley; continues with a unique milling, cooking, and fermentation process; and ends in a small batch distillation and moving (eg; rotating) barrel aging process. Of course the final result is tested and tasted to make sure it is just right.
In a recent display of innovation, Master Distiller Kevin Smith, began a sort of ‘trial and error’ series of experiments to come up with a new twist on the Maker’s Mark. In December 2009, Maker’s 46 was born. (click on the link to get the full story right from the Maker’s Mark Website.)
In a nutshell, fully aged Maker’s Mark is removed from its barrel, ten seared wooden staves are then placed inside of that barrel. (The staves are seared to caramelize the sugars in the wood.) These wooden staves are basically flat panels of wood each about 4 inches wide and 12 to 18 inches long. The aged Maker’s Mark is then put back into the barrel and aged several more months. When the proper taste profile is achieved, Maker’s 46 is removed from the barrel, bottled, corked and dipped.
I admit that after reading a little bit about Maker’s 46, I was eager to give my small sample a few tasting sessions and write down my impressions. Here is an excerpt from my review;
“….Maker’s 46 is surprisingly soft as it enters the palate, and I want to call this creamy in spite of the rush of wooden timbers and heavy toffee that quickly builds. Things are not as sweet as the nose would have implied however, and impressions of drier fruit, tobacco and cocoa seem to take hold at mid palate with the oak spiciness expressing itself as cloves and cinnamon….”
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy the review and remember that the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits, not to help you drink more spirits!
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Beam Spirits, Bourbon, Maker's 46, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2011
Just before Christmas I was greeted by J. Leslie Wheelock, who is part of the Beam Global team here in Alberta, who had brought with him a with a veritable treasure trove of small whisk(e)y samples from his personal collection for me to inspect and enjoy in the hopes that I might write about a few of them here on my blog. No strings were attached, and I was left free to try them on my own time-table and to share whichever opinions I had which were fair and honest here on my blog.
The samples are a tour de force of some of the best whiskies which Beam Global has produced and includes Bourbon Whiskey samples from Jim Beam, Scotch Whisky samples from The Macallan and Highland Park, and Canadian Whisky samples from Canadian Club.
The samples all came in little sealed and numbered jars with a master-list letting me know what was in each jar. Originally, I was to receive 19 samples but since I have already received a full sample bottle of The Macallan Cask Strength, sample # 3 was omitted.
I decided that I wanted to experience a little bourbon first, which is why, when I chose to begin this series of mini reviews for the sample bottles, I decided to begin with Sample # 19, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…. this is a gentle bourbon that caresses the mouth with honeycomb cereal, vanilla and mild toffee on the entry. Spicier tannins from the oak build and gather strength in the mouth but they never reach a point where they overwhelm the other flavours….”
You may read the full review by following this link:
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Beam Spirits, Bourbon, Whisk(e)y Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 25, 2010
In 1988 JohnTeeling bought the Cooley Distillery from the Irish Government essentially as a purchase of a facility meant for the scrap heap. The distillery however, was never scrapped. Instead John Teeling and his Master Distiller, Noel Sweeny, turned their perceptions of the facility around, rolled up their sleeves, and ten years later were making some of the most unique Irish whiskey in the Country. Not that it was easy, Dr. Teeling tried unsuccessfully to sell the distillery five years into the process to rid himself of the bad investment. But… innovation and desire played their part, and the remarkable turn around of the Cooley Distillery is the stuff of legend.
One of the innovative products made at the Cooley Distillery is the Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey. It is the only single grain Irish Whiskey that I know of which uses a double distillation of a single grain (corn) in a continuous column still. The final product is aged in used bourbon barrels for either 8 years or 15, and bottled at 43% alcohol by volume.
I am reviewing the 15-year-old version which quite frankly is one of the most surprising whiskeys I have come across recently. Here is a small snippet from my review:
“…The delivery of the whiskey leads out with rich oak spice and honey. A sweet vanilla bourbon flavour swamps the taste-buds, and I am fully aware that this whisky is unlike any Irish whisky I have tasted. As the flavour settles toasty corn-on-the-cob with mouth-watering butter comes to mind. ..”
You may read the rest of the review here:
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Cooley, Irish Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 10, 2010
DownSlope Distilling is the creation of three enterprising individuals, Mitch Abate, Matt Causey and Andy Causey. They began their experimentation and passion for alcoholic spirits as home brewers. Andy dedicated himself to researching advanced wort production and home brewing techniques; Mitch traveled the country learning as much as he could about how whiskey was made: and Matt perfecting the art of grain mashing and fermentation. Two years ago they decided to combine their talents and produce their brand of hand crafted spirits. Then they spent a year researching how this could be done, selecting the right facility, and acquiring the right equipment. Finally, they set out to establish Centennial Colorado’s first craft distillery.
Using their custom designed still and artisan wash production, Mitch Abate, Andy Causey, and Matt Causey are close to realizing their goal of producing spirits of high quality.
Double Diamond Whisky
Pictured to the right is the Double Diamond Pot Still which is used to produce Downslope Distilling’s whiskey. The still was made by Copper Moonshine Stills in Arkansas, by Colonel Vaughn Wilson. The whiskey is produced in the Irish tradition, being made primarily with malted barley. One taste of it however, and you will realize as well that a significant portion must be rye. The whiskey is aged in very small experienced medium toast casks and then blended.
Here is an Excerpt from my review:
“…A light vegetal quality minces with the rye flavour in the mouth, and there is a gentle underlying sweetness which must stem from the malted barley. Although the rye flavour carries forward that typical ‘Canadian Whisky’ impression, we begin to taste an assertion of the ‘Irish Whiskey’ style as well….”
You may read the full review here:
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Cocktails and Recipes, Downslope Distilling, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 3, 2010
Last year I purchased a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon, the 1998 vintage. It sat on my shelf, waiting and waiting to be opened. I had only one bottle and to be honest it looked so nice that I really did not want to ruin the look of my liquor cabinet by opening it. It was in my “save for a special occasion” shelf. Then something wonderful happened. My good friend, Dennis was given a bottle as well. He had no such compunction to save the elixir and he happily agreed to share some samples with me. (In case you feel I was taking advantage of him, I should let you know that this is a mutual thing that we do, I share, and he shares, and everyone is very happy as we both get to try many more wonderful spirits this way.)
Now Evan Williams Single Barrel whiskeys are indeed something very special. They have been winning awards since 1990, in a vast variety of Spirit’s journals, magazines and contests including Gold Medals at the Prestigious San Fransisco World Spirits Competition for their 1993 and 1994 bottlings.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…After taking a deep wiff of the air around my whiskey glass, I close my eyes. In my imagination, I have just stumbled into a sawmill where they are cutting large rough timber beams. I can smell the wood tannins exposed on the sides of the timber and the fresh cut wood grain scent is delightful. Of course there is much more than oak timbers in the glass: wild honey, rich vanilla, toffee, caramel and hints of molasses rise from the glass in a rich vibrant aroma which is spicy and tannin filled….”
Your may read the full review here:
I have supplied a myriad of cocktails for the review for your enjoyment!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Cocktails and Recipes, Evan Williams, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2009
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, distilled and bottled at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles Kentucky. I have found no age statement on the bottle or on the Woodford Reserve Website. My belief is that the spirit is 6 to 8 years of age although where I gleaned this bit of information has been forgotten. Perhaps the shopkeeper who sold me the bottle mentioned it.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“Bourbon has its own unique flavour, spicy honey and a rich woody profile. This bourbon has a heavy texture in the mouth. It seems like having a thick corn syrup resting on the tongue even though the liquid is much more viscous….”
You can read the full review here:
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 2, 2009
This is the second whiskey review to be added to my blog. Let me introduce:
High west Whiskey – Rendezvous
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“…Upon pouring the bottle we have a really nice nose. Full spicy Rye with a ribbon of bourbon vanilla. Swirling the glass we get some small legs indicating a little oil in the mix. Nice! Letting the glass sit the bourbon note becomes stronger but still spicy ryeness dominates. I wouldn’t call this floral, but we do have a bit of alpine meadow here….”
You may read the full review Here:
When I first wrote the review I sent it to David Perkins the proprietor of High West Whiskey. His reply to me was very cordial and went as follows:
Thanks for forwarding this well written review with a thoughtful scoring system. I always learn something. A couple follow-ups:
1) we are replacing our corks with a straight sided vs conical. A definite improvement.
2) sleeve: haven’t really considered this yet. It just adds cost and I wanted to keep costs down, assuming the collector would keep the bottle out of the light. But its on the list for consideration now!
3) we did not marry the whiskies in oak.
4) we don’t chill filter, maybe responsible for some of the aftertaste. I elected to not chill filter for the benefit of the long finish.
Best regards and hope to keep in touch,
There was more than that and we had a email discussion back and forth about what rye should taste like and what our favourite whiskeys were. It was really nice to be treated with such respect.
I would be remiss if I did not point out that this review and the information regarding my email discussion with David Perkins was published first on Refined Vices.
I should also provide you with a website link to HIGH WEST WHISKEY.
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, High West Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off