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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskey’

Whisky Review: The Macallan Fine Oak (10 Year)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 11, 2010

Craigellachie Bridge near the Macallan Distillery (Photo Courtesy of J. Wheelock)

The Macallan is a single malt Scotch whisky, produced at The Macallan Distillery near Easter Elchies House, at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of Scotland.  Originally, The Macallan whiskies were (primarily)  matured in oak seasoned with sherry brought to the distillery from Jerez, Spain. Beginning in 2004, The Macallan introduced a new product, the Fine Oak Series, with whisky matured in seasoned American oak casks, (sherry as well as bourbon), as well as sherry casks from Spain. The Fine Oak Series is quite a departure for The Macallan, and the new whisky has brought rave reviews from some quarters (Jim Murray for example awarded it “Best New Scotch Brand” when it was launched), and dramatic criticism from others who considered the American barrels inferior (a puzzling criticism it seems to me).

Photo Courtesy of J. Wheelock and The Macallan Distillery

I was given a bottle each of The Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak and The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak by J. Wheelock, the Brand Ambassador West for The Macallan, Highland Park, and The Famous Grouse. Mr. Wheelock asked me to do a comparative tasting of the two styles of oak as part of my series of reviews of The Macallan Single Malt Whisky. Both bottles presented to me were 750ml bottles, each bottled for the Canadian market at 40% alcohol by volume.  I thought I would begin my analysis with a review of The Macallan 10 Year Old Fine Oak Series:

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“…When I pour the Macallan Fine Oak into my glass, the first aroma is that of a nice oak spiced  butterscotch with a dollop of treacle. The treacle is not overdone such that this would smell caramelized or burnt, rather it is a steady accent on the butterscotch and spice thickening them, but also preventing too much sweetness to form…”

You may read the full review here:

Whisky Review: The Macallan Fine Oak (10 Year)

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

Cocktails: Six More Rescued

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 16, 2010

Today I rescued six more cocktails from the pages of my reviews and placed them into my cocktail menus,  two gin recipes, two whiskey recipes, and two more rum recipes.  My gin recipes were first published when I reviewed Tangueray No. 10 Gin.  They are both variations of the Gin Gimlet.

No. 10 Keylime Gimlet

The first is called the Key Lime Gimlet and is pictured to the left.  Using key limes instead of regular lime in the recipe gives the gimlet a little different flavour,  which I find really mixes well with gin.

The second recipe called the Key Lime Slushy for gin is basically a blenderized version of the gimlet with crushed ice and grenadine. The grenadine is their purely for aesthetics and can certainly be replaced with simple sugar.

Here are my two new Gin recipes recently added to the recipe menus:

Gin Cocktail: The Key Lime Gimlet

Gin Cocktail: Key Lime Slushy


The two whiskey recipes added today are of completely different origins. The first the Double Diamond Fizz is my first ‘fizz’ style recipe added to the database.  Although I am using a particular whisky in the recipe it is actually quite easy to sub in any rye or Irish whiskey into the recipe.

Count Turf is a recipe based upon a Martini contest held in 1951.  The winning entry was dubbed The 1951 Martini.  When I looked at the recipe I knew I could use a similar approach with a nice Kentucky Bourbon.  I explain it a little more in the recipe write-up.

Whiskey Cocktail: Double Diamond Fizz

Whisky Cocktail: Count Turf


The final two recipes added today are rum based drinks. They are perhaps two of my nicest constructions. The first, Romantic Traffic, uses Aged Barbados rum as its base mixing with Curacao and gin.  It is a little boozy, but it is also delicious.

The second rum cocktail uses light amber rum and a nice long combination of grapefruit and pineapple.  I decided to call it Enjoy The Moment. It is perhaps my favourite of the six cocktails introduced today.  Here are the final two recipes:

Rum Cocktail: Romantic Traffic

Rum Cocktail: Enjoy The Moment

Remember, the aim of my blog is not to help you drink more…it is to help you drink better!

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Gin, Rum, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Whiskey Review: DownSlope Distilling Double Diamond Whiskey

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:

Whiskey Review: DownSlope Distilling Double Diamond Whiskey

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

Whiskey Review – Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 7, 2009

A good Irishmen will tell you that Ireland is the birthplace of Whiskey.  (He probably will not tell you that this original Irish Whiskey was made from oats not barley and it tasted disgusting.)  Whether Ireland really was the birthplace of whiskey is a matter of debate, (for a good Scotsman overhearing the conversation might just roll up his sleeves and start swinging at the mere suggestion that his ancestors did not invent the stuff).  But actually the evidence tips slightly to the Irish who are not above tipping and tottering after a dram or two.   In fact it is said that the Irish first spelled whiskey with an  “e”  and the Scots decided to drop the “e” just to point out that their whisky was different, which originally it probably wasn’t,  but soon was.  And if you follow all of that you probably need a dram of the stuff right about now.  So let me introduce an outstanding Irish Whiskey:

Bushmills 16 Single MaltBushmills 16yr Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey has its own unique flavour heritage,  spicy anise and a smooth grainy profile.  Personally I find Irish whiskey to be a smooth and easy to drink.  Bushmills 16yr Single Malt  does not disappoint in this regard.  The Irish heritage stands proudly here, but this is a single malt, not a grain whiskey.  This means we get a little more sweetness on the palate.  The anise flavour is more licorice like.  However the whiskey has other complex flavours not commonly found in other Irish whiskeys.  A firm but mellow vanilla bourbon (from the American whiskey oak), a subtle but slightly heavy sherry influence (from the Oloroso cask), and fruity cherry like flavours from the port pipes. ….

You may read the full review here:

Review – Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt (Ireland)

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

Whiskey Review: Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2009

P1010001Woodford 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:

Whiskey Review: Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select

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

Whiskey Review: High West Whiskey – Rendezvous

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 Rendezvous

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:

Review: High West Whiskey – Rendezvous

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: , , , | Comments Off


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