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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskey’

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

Whiskey Review: Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR)

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:

Whiskey Review: Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR)

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

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

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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

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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

 
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