Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2013
Not that long ago, I had a discussion with a well-known Master Blender (from a major producer of whisky) about the rush of spiced and flavoured rums and whiskies which are entering the marketplace. I lamented the fact that most of these spirits were constructed using young inexpensive spirits as their base, rather than beginning with a spirit which already showed age and character. The master distiller gave me this ‘father knows best’ look and explained that this category was meant for the new spirits consumer as an entry-level product, and using a better spirit as the base would just be a waste of good whisky (or rum). I countered that I thought the spiced and flavoured category could be much more; but I also quickly changed the subject. (I could see that he thought I was nuts).
Well maybe I am nuts; but recently, I actually received a sample of just the very kind of spiced whisky I had been talking about, Highwood Distillers - Centennial Spiced Canadian Whisky. Unlike most of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have sprung up recently which use a very young whisky as the base for the spirit, Highwood’s Centennial Spiced Whisky uses a well aged 10-year-old whisky, (their own Centennial Rye Whisky) as the foundation for this spiced spirit.
And I am happy to report, that as I suspected, quality always shines through as my review attests, here is an excerpt:
“… Rather than a whisky buried by spice, we encounter flavours of vanilla, ginger, and cloves (and yes butterscotch too) which are lifted by the character of the well aged Centennial Whisky. Although the combination of spices does not appear to be complicated, there is a punch of ginger in the flavour profile that to me, taste’s absolutely brilliant …”
Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktails, the Centennial Celebration, and Tall Ginger:
Please enjoy this review of what I feel is a groundbreaking new spirit!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial, Cocktails and Recipes, DrinkWire, Highwood Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Spiced Whisky Review, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2013
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A few years ago, I visited this distillery, and watched first hand as they turned the local prairie grains into whisky, vodka. and gin. They make their spirits one batch at a time in a family style atmosphere which could not help but make me a fan. Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky. The spirit represents a fusion of Highwood’s 10 Year old Centennial Rye Whisky with the decadent sweetness of natural honey. No artificial flavours or additives (except caramel for colour) have been used in the production of this whisky liqueur which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The theme of light and appealing continues with a flavoured whisky which is both smooth and delicious. I was fearful that the honey flavor (which might have been too intense) would overpower the subtle nuances of the Centennial Rye Whisky. However, I am pleased to report that although the flavour of the natural honey is obvious, the flavour of good old Canadian rye whisky also shines through…”
You may read my full review which contains my new recipe, Cool Honey, here:
Please Enjoy the review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial, Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Highwood, Honey, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 20, 2013
Wiser’s Canadian Whisky is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario (since 1989), and aged in their facilities at Pike Creek near Lakeshore Ontario. I have previously reviewed most of the current Wiser’s range including: Wiser’s Special Blend, Wiser’s De Luxe, Wiser’s Small Batch, Wiser’s Legacy, and the Wiser’s 18 Years Old.
Recently I was given a sample bottle of the Wiser’s Spiced. For those who do not know, Wiser’s Spiced Whisky is a new spiced (or perhaps we might say flavoured) whisky which features the classic Wiser’s Whisky taste profile accented by vanilla spice.
Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:
“… The air above the glass is mildly sweet with a honey-like caramel accompanied by a gentle sweep of vanilla. You can easily detect the underlying scent of Canadian Whisky with a bit of rye spice, and light oak accents. The whisky seems rather pleasant and laid back hinting at a more subdued spicy character … “
Of course the full review may be found by clicking this link:
The review includes a nice high-bail cocktail based upon the Canadian Mammy.
Please enjoy the review and the recipe!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review, Wiser's Spiced Whisky, Wiser's Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 5, 2012
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Recently, I visited this distillery, and watched first hand as they turned the local prairie grains into whisky, vodka. and gin. They make their spirits one batch at a time in a family style atmosphere which could not help but make me a fan.
Recently I received a sample of their Wild Cinnamon Whisky Liqueur. The spirit represents a fusion of Canadian Whisky and aromatic cinnamon. No artificial flavours or additives (except caramel for colour) have been used in the production of this whisky liqueur which is bottled at 36 % alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my resulting review:
“… When I pour the liquid from the bottle into my glass and bring it to my nose, what I smell first and foremost is cinnamon. In fact the aroma is very reminiscent of those little red cinnamon heart candies which are all the rage on Valentines Day. Under this obvious cinnamon scent are some indications of whisky, but these whisky accents are only that, accents upon a strong cinnamon presence… “
Here is a link to the full review:
Enjoy the review and my wonderful cocktail that follows, the Buzz Saw.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cinnamon Liqueur, Cinnamon Whisky, Cocktails and Recipes, Highwood, Liquer Review, Liqueur, Whisky, Whisky Liqueur, Whisky Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 18, 2011
The guys at Highwood Distillery are at it again. In 2010 they broke all the rules, (and a few sales records too) when they introduced their premium aged White Owl Whisky (a clear Canadian Whisky which is aged up to 10 years). To say this product was s success is a vast understatement, as the only problem that surfaced with respect to the White Owl Whisky was that Highwood could not make it fast enough to satisfy the demand across Canada.
As I said, they are at it again. Highwood has just introduced White Owl Spiced Whisky. While other distillers are producing young brown whisky and using the spice to smooth out the flavour. Highwood is taking the other road, using a well aged clear whisky, and then using the spice to add a little depth and polish to an already smooth spirit.
I was sent a sample bottle of this new whisky, and here is an excerpt from my review:
“…I really like what I am sensing on the nose, and during one of my tasting sessions when I had invited my friend Lucasz to join me I discovered I was not the only one who really liked it. We both sat in our chairs for a good ten minutes just enjoying the subtle soft aroma of the spiced whisky smiling and exchanging those knowing glances of anticipation as we both relished the scents above our glasses…”
Here is a link to the full review:
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Highwood, Spiced Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review, White Owl Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2011
It has been a long and bitterly cold winter this year in Edmonton. The snow started in October and the cold followed the snow. Usually we get a few warm days here and there, and although the snow will accumulate, about half of it will be melted away by now. But not this year. Not only has the snow kept falling in amounts I haven’t seen for well over 30 years, but the thermometer has rarely popped above zero degrees centigrade meaning that I still have October’s snow under my December, January, and February snow. The piles beside my driveway reach up to the roof of my house and yesterday it was snowing some more.
What we need is a good ‘Chinook‘. A Chinook, for those who don’t know is a warm Pacific wind which flows over the Rocky Mountains. As it passes up over the mountains, it looses its moisture by the way of rain so that after it passes over the mountains it has become dry. Flowing down the westward side of the mountains it gains warmth due to something called adiabatic warming. Think about it. A warm, dry air mass pouring over the mountains coming to melt all that snow and warm up the winter time. It is not unusual for the temperature to increase by as much as 30 degrees Celsius during a Chinook and for a foot of snow to disappear. That sounds positively lovely!
So today I am making my own Chinook. A cocktail, I designed many months ago when I reviewed Highwood’s Momento Amber Rum. My Chinook might not change the weather, but it sure will make it easier to deal with.
1 1/2 oz Amber Rum (I suggest Momento Amber Rum )
1/2 oz Cherry Flavoured Whisky (I suggest Red Stag Flavoured Bourbon)
1/4 to 1/2 Oz Lime Juice
2 Tsp Simple syrup (or sub grenadine for colour)
3 Large Ice Cubes
Put all ingredients into a blender.
Blend until smooth(ish).
Serve in a wine glass.
Garnish with a thin lime slice folded around a Brandied Cherry with a spear through it.
(I have to give credit to forrest here for the wonderful garnish idea!)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Rum | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Rum | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 23, 2011
For the past two weeks I have been reviewing some bourbon whiskey which I received in 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 # 14, Red Stag Black Cherry Flavoured Bourbon.
Red Stag Flavoured Bourbon is a black cherry flavoured, 4-year-old, Jim Beam Bourbon. It appears to be intended primarily for the mixing of cocktails and bar drinks although it has been suggested that it can be enjoyed as a sipper as well.
For the purposes of the review I broke the process into two parts. The first part of the review process involved five independent taste sessions (about one ounce each) consumed neat and with ice, and I drew my tasting notes from that part of the review process. I then constructed a few cocktails including two which I found on the Red Stag Website (The Brass Buck and Red Stag and Cola). I used these cocktails to round out the review with ancillary information regarding the suitability of the flavoured Whiskey for bar style cocktail drinks.
You may read the results of my research here:
And please remember that the intention of my blog is to help you drink better spirits, not more spirits!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Beam Spirits, Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y Review | Comments Off