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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskey’

Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013

SAM_0669 Black Bush Irish CoffeeA second review for the Day of St. Pat:

The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips (landowner and Governor of County of Antrim, Ireland) a royal license to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. Although this grant serves as the first documented evidence of whisky being distilled at the site which would become Old Bushmills, it was not as yet called Bushmills. By 1743 however, a distillery by this name was (according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard) was “in the hands of smugglers”‘.  (However, it was not until 1784 that Hugh Anderson officially registered the Old Bushmills Distillery with the Pot Still as its trade mark.) Today, the Bushmills brand is owned by the Diageo conglomerate with all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The Bushmills Black Bush is composed of whiskey aged in Oloroso Sherry and American oak (bourbon) cask. All of this whiskey is aged for up to 7  years with 80 per cent of the blend being Premium Malt Whisky.

Please click on the following excerpt to read the review which contains two great St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, Fool’s Gold on the Rocks, and of course, Irish Coffee:

Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey

“… The initial breezes above the glass are warm and inviting. I sense some soft caramel toffee rising into the air with some sweet malty aromas, hints of dry fruit (raisins and apricots), a nice lightly spicy oak presence, and some light impressions of cocoa … “

Please enjoy my second St. Patrick’s Day Review!

(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Diageo Marketing  team in Alberta.)

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013

SAM_0654 KilbegganSt. Patrick’s Day has rolled around one more time. (Although with a temperature outside at minus seventeen degrees Centigrade and still 40 centimeters of snow still residing on my back lawn it seems more like January than March.) In many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or we share by spirit (on St. Patrick’s Day at least). We wear green; we attend parades; and some of us even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.

And celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled “uisce beatha“, which translates from Irish into English as “the water of life“. I could go into a long and detailed etymology,  but suffice it to say that “uisce beatha” is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become “whiskey”.  My blog is full of reviews of this wonderful spirit, but I must admit it is sorely lacking in content dedicated to the Irish variety.

Today, I will go a small way towards correcting this imbalance by reviewing a whiskey from the Emerald Isle which embodies the character and the class of spirits we call Irish Whiskey; a spirit which can trace its heritage back to 1757, and makes the claim that it is linked to the oldest distillery in Ireland, the Kilbeggan Distillery.

Please click on the following excerpt to read the full review:

Review: Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey

“… The Kilbeggan is very pleasant in the glass with a nice warm mahogany colour and initial scents of vanilla, punky toffee, and light sandalwood. As I let the glass breathe, I notice some nice fruity notes (banana and orange peel in particular), a bit of pickle juice, some green grape, and a nice little dollop of almond …”

Of course I have include a nice cocktail for the Day of St. Pat, The Irish Mojito Swizzle.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Alberta Beam Global team)

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 31, 2013

SAM_0549 BuilletBulleit Bourbon is produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The brand traces its heritage back to 1830 when tavern keeper Augustus Bulleit (after a few experimental trials) created the brand and began to market it locally and eventually to areas outside of Kentucky. As misfortune would have it, Augutus Bulleit disappeared while transporting some barrels of his bourbon to New Orleans, and the brand disappeared for over 100 years. In 1987, Tom Bulleit revived the brand which bears his great grandfather’s name. Today the brand is owned by the Diageo Conglomerate who market the product throughout North America and into Europe.

The sample bottle of Bulleit Bourbon which I received was bottled at 45% alcohol by volume and is the standard bottle sold in North America. Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… There is a bit of a spicy swat that tickles the tonsils, but there is also a nice maple and caramel sweetness which accompanies that spicy swat and makes you want to take another sip. I can taste oak planks which are seeping just a little fresh sap from the wood pores, some delightful rye spices, and of course that rather sweet impression of maple and caramel …

Here is a link to my review which includes a recipe for the Old-Fashioned Cocktail:

Review: Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

Please enjoy the review!

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

Review: Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2012

According to the Wild Turkey website, Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon, is composed of a mash bill which includes three grains: corn from Kentucky and Indiana; barley from Montana; and rye grain from North Dakota. Apparently the yeast used in the fermentation has been cultured at the distillery and the actual strains used are kept a closely guarded secret. The whiskey is distilled to a low proof which results in less water needing to be added after maturation to bring the spirit to bottling strength. The belief is that this leads to a fuller more authentic ‘just from the barrel’ flavour.

Wild Turkey, like all American bourbon is aged solely in new white American oak barrels.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The Wild Turkey is full of oak and rye spices in the initial delivery. Being a huge fan of rye, I am really liking what I am tasting. Along with the rye and the oak, I taste the sweetness of corn, some honeycomb and tobacco, a nice smattering of cloves, cinnamon and vanilla; and a light dry bitterness which actually works well with the overall flavour…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon

I included a nice Mint Julep recipe with the review, one which I call the Northern Julep.

Please enjoy my review and cocktail!

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

Review: Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2012

Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey is traditionally made from a mash comprised of both malted and unmalted barley which is distilled in a pot still. This style of whiskey was apparently produced as a reaction to British taxes on malted whiskey which were introduced in 1802. To reduce the taxable amount on their whisky, Irish distillers began to add more unmalted barley into the distillation. The result was what we have come to know as Irish Pure Pot Still Whisky.

Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whisky contains both Single Malt Whiskey and the aforementioned Pure Pot Still Whiskey in its construction. As is the tradition in Ireland, the whiskey is triple distilled and matured in American Oak (bourbon) barrels. I was sent a bottle of the Writers Tears to review here on my website and asked to coordinate the publication of the review to coincide roughly with the reintroduction of the whiskey to the Ontario market (on October 14) after an absence of about one year from the store shelves.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The initial aroma from the glass has a bit of a bourbon flair complemented by honeyed butterscotch, punky Halloween toffee, oak spices, and obvious taints of vanilla and almond. There is a bit of citrus orange peel in the air and an underlying herbal element which to me has a resemblance to freshly cut lowland hay, willow thickets, and those lush ferns that grow near wetlands… “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 2, 2012

Masterson’s Straight Rye Whiskey is distilled and aged in Canada, for a company from Sonoma California called 35 Maple Street. As a straight rye whiskey, the spirit must be barreled and aged in new American Oak, but Masterson’s also holds the distinction of being one of the very few straight rye whiskeys which is distilled from a mash of 100 % rye grain. It is bottled at 45% alcohol by volume. The whiskey is apparently named for the famous frontier lawman, William “Bat” Masterson.The choice is appropriate because Bat Masterson, who became famous in the American wild west, was actually born in Canada. Just as is Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey.

This spirit is being brought into my home Province of Alberta by Purple Valley Imports, who provided the sample for review.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… When I nosed the glass, I found it was full of wood (oak and cedar) and rye spices. Some dusty dry grain is evident as well, and I sense a strong indication of sweet honeycomb in the breezes too. There is a little fresh tobacco smell, and some light baking spices (vanilla, ginger and cinnamon) and maple syrup as well.

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey

I have included my favourite Canadian whisky cocktail as part of this review, the Horses Neck.

Please enjoy the review, and the suggested cocktail! Cheers!

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

Review: Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2012

March 17 has rolled around again, and March 17 is the day of St. Patrick.

Just as I did one year ago, I have chosen an Irish Whiskey to review such that in a very small way I celebrate in the culture of the Emerald Isle. Celebrating Irish culture is a good thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled ‘uisce beatha’, which translates from Old Irish into English as ‘the water of life’. I could go into a long and detailed etymology; but suffice it to say that ‘uisce beatha’ is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become ‘whiskey’.

The subject of my St. Patrick’s Day review, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, has a history which is traced back to 1829 when the Tullamore Distillery was founded in Tullamore, County Offaly by Michael Molloy. However, it was in 1887, after the death of Michael Molloy, that the Daly family who ran the distillery turned the daily operations over to a man named Daniel E Williams. Mr. Williams is given much of the credit for the expansion and development of the distillery and of course the whisky which bears his initials D-E-W. The Distillery’s original slogan, “Give every man his Dew” is still in use today.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…As I let the glass decant the oak scents wafted into the breezes scenting the air with balsam, sandalwood and ginger. Glimpses of malty sweetness rise from the glass as does a light nuttiness that reminds me of roasted walnuts. The overall effect is light and refreshing, especially as the balsam note gains a little momentum…”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

And just to top things off I have constructed a nice cocktail to help you celebrate the Day of St. Pat, The Emerald Cooler.

Please enjoy the review and my St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2011

(rī)1™ (pronounced rye one) Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey is a rye whiskey produced by Beam Global Spirits. It is a blend of several different straight rye whiskeys of differing ages (minimum 4 years). It is bottled at 45 % alcohol by volume bringing a little more zip to the palate than a lower proof spirit.

I was gifted a bottle recently when my oldest son traveled to Boston and decided to pick me up something that I wouldn’t find here in Alberta. I decided that a review of this spirit here on my website would be a fun exercise.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The nose from the glass is full of wood and rye spice. The woody notes are manifesting themselves as banana peel which has a certain astringent spiciness similar to the sharpness of Appleton Reserve Rum. Dry grain notes are evident, in particular rye grain which adds to that spicy flair, although I also sense some honeycomb in the breezes as well. Fresh sap filled pine planks are being cut somewhere in the background and green grassy tobacco smells well up as well…”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: (rī)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Please enjoy the review and the two cocktails which follow, the Buckeroo, and the Horses Neck.

Cheers!

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

Review: Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2011

The Buffalo Trace Distillery is located in Frankfort, Kentucky and is the oldest (although unfortunately, not continuously running) distillery in the Unites States. The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon was introduced by the distillery in 1999. The Bourbon is made from a mash-bill of Indian Corn, selected rye grains, and malted barley. The resulting spirit is placed in selected white oak “center ring” barrels from selected trees which are aged from 70 to 80 years old. Finally, according to the Buffalo Trace website, meticulous inspection of the various locations in the Buffalo Trace warehouses had concluded that the very best whiskey was being produced on the fourth floor of warehouse C and the fourth through sixth floors of Warehouses I and K on the distillery site. For this reason all of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon is aged only in these locations.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial aroma from the glass is layer upon layer of fresh cedar and oak planks with the sap still dripping from the fresh wood. The scent has a touch of astringency, and it is hard to get at the sweeter underlying aroma of honeycomb, vanilla and corn. But, as I let the glass decant, I began to notice them, first the honeycomb came wafting up mixed with sweet toffee, and then the vanillans and corn pushed through the breezes….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

As well I have designed two great cocktails which suit this particular bourbon perfectly, the Kentucky Crocodile, and The Crocogator.  Please enjoy the review and the cocktails provided!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

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:

Review: Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

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: , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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