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Review: Potter’s Premium Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 10, 2015

Emmissary SAM_1460

The Emissary Cocktail

In November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries which had been founded founded by Ernie Potter in 1958. The corn-based brands which Potter’s had established (Century and Potter’s) were added to the Highwood portfolio. Today Potter’s Premium Vodka is produced at the Highwood Distillery in High River, Alberta. This distillery is situated near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just 40 minutes south of downtown Calgary.

According to the company website:

The careful repeated distillation of quality grains creates the base of Highwood’s Vodka brands. The pure, clear spirits are filtered and blended with fresh Rocky Mountain spring water to create our clean, crisp Vodkas.

When I tasted the Potter’s Premium Vodka for the first time it was as part of a flight of four vodkas my friends (the Rum Chums) and I were sampling at my first Vodka Tasting of 2015. We chilled all of the Vodkas in my deep freeze such that there were all at about 2 degrees Celsius when we sampled them.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Potter’s Premium Vodka

“… As I sipped upon the cold spirit, my impression was that this is a relatively smooth vodka especially considering its price point. I taste a light but firm flavour of lemon balsam and some hints of lime zest spice within the soft corn sweetness. There is also a whisper of briny salt and some fine white pepper spice which tastes quite nice …”

Please enjoy my review which conclude with a nice elegant cocktail of mine which I call the Emissary.

 

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Courvoisier Cognac (VS)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 8, 2015

Baby Doll

Courvoisier Cognac VS & the Baby Doll

We can trace the origins of Courvoisier Cognac to 1809 when Emmanuel Courvoisier began a small wine and spirits company with the Mayor of Bercy, Louis Gallois in the French suburb of Bercy (Paris, France). The company and its Cognac was soon to achieve fame as in 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte visited Bercy, and it is said, that after visiting this small suburb, Napoleon insisted that he wanted to have available a ration of cognac for his artillery companies during the Napoleonic Wars. And in fact, later (in 1869) Napoleon’s heir, Napoleon III stated a preference for Courvoisier and also bestowed the honourable title of “Official Supplier to the Imperial Court” to the company, and this title remains on display at the Courvoisier Museum in Jarnac, France today.

To produce their cognac, Courvoisier utilizes eaux-de-vie from four of the crus in the Cognac appellation, Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fin Bois. The grape juice from which the cognac is distilled is produced solely from white grapes which have been grown within these appellations. The spirit is distilled twice upon a copper Charentes Still, and the resulting eaux de vie is aged in barrels hand-made from 200-year old oak sourced from the Tronçais Forest in France.

You may read my full review of Courvoisier Cognac VS  by clicking on the following link:

Review: Courvoisier Cognac (VS)

“… As I allowed the glass to sit for a while, the wooded sap-like scents of cedar seemed to dissipate and were replaced by light baking spice aromas (brown sugar, vanilla, allspice, cinnamon, and clove) reminding me a bit of the scents and smells from a glass of aged Demerara rum. There are indications of tobacco and toasted walnut rising into the breezes as well a few hints of chocolate and a touch of cola … “

Please enjoy my review which includes as my suggested recipe for the Courvoisier VS, the Baby Doll.

Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Patrón Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 7, 2015

Patron ReposadoPatron Tequila is a pure 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This Agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. These piñas are cut and slowly steamed in traditional masonry ovens for 79 hours. The steamed piñas are then shredded and placed into a traditional stone pit, where they are broken into finer pieces with large stone milling wheels called “Tahonas”. The resulting juice is fermented for 72 hours in a wooden fermentation vat, and distilled twice in copper pot stills.

Bright Orange for the Shroud

Bright Orange for the Shroud

Patrón Reposado is a blend of individual tequilas which have been aged in oak barrels for an average of six months.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Patrón Reposado

“… My tasting notes include descriptors like honeyed caramel sweetness, soft ‘earthy’ oven baked squash, sweet green peppers, hot white pepper, sprinkles of sandalwood, and a hint of vanilla. But a list of descriptors does not really give us an understanding of how these flavours interact with each other. It turns out that the Patrón Reposado Tequila is a bit of a dichotomous spirit which begins to act in one direction, but then takes a sharp turn in another as you take your first sip …”

Please enjoy the review which includes one of my cocktails which is based upon a Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald, Bright Orange for the Shroud. I have always like the Travis McGee books, and their titles just seem to me to be particularly well suited to also be the names of great tequila cocktails.

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 5, 2015

SAM_0958 Old Monk Gold Reserve RumLast week I embarked on a series of reviews of one of the most popular rum brands in the world, Old Monk. This brand is produced by produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India, and according to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. Last week I revisited the flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum which is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. This week’s review is for the more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum

“… Above the glass of the 12-year-old Gold Reserve Rum the breezes also bring me indications of black pepper, cinnamon and cloves with a light, but firm vanilla accent. As the glass sits, the aroma deepens bringing forward dark brown sugary smells and rich baking spices with impressions of cigar tobacco and crushed walnuts …”

Please enjoy my review of the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum and stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of the Old Monk Supreme and the Old Monk Legend Rums.

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 3, 2015

Black Cove (Royal Pride)Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky is produced by Jagatjit Industries Ltd. who both distill and bottle the blended whisky in the small town of Hamira which is situated in Kapurthala district, India. (Jagatjit Industries was founded in the year 1944 by Mr. L.P. Jaiswal in the erstwhile State of Kapurthala under the patronage of its Maharaja Jagatjit Singh.) In addition to whisky, this company also produces Rum, Gin and Vodka, and is currently the third largest IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) producer on the sub continent.

The Royal Pride is a blend of select Indian grain whiskies and imported (aged) Malt Whiskies from the Highland, the Speyside and the Islay regions of Scotland. The spirit is bottled at 42.8% alcohol by volume, and has been brought to Alberta by Madira Spirits Inc. who requested that I provide an independent review here on my website.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Royal Pride Exquisite Whisky

“… The tasting notes on the side of the box indicated that on the nose I should detect honey & vanilla combined with a balance of smoke, peat and fragrances in the breezes above the glass. I am pleased these tasting notes are accurate. I would add that there is some underlying oak and wood spice drifting into the breezes … “

Please enjoy my review of a whisky from the other side of the globe. I have included a nice cocktail (the Black Cove) which I enjoyed while watching the stars late Sunday evening as the March Lion rose along the eastern rim of the elliptic.

Cheers!

Posted in Indian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: 1830 Sahara Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2015

Sahara and Tonic SAM_1258Highwood Distillers is a Canadian distillery situated in the town of High River, Alberta, which lies just about 40 minutes due south of Calgary, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The distillery was originally established as the Sunnyvale Distillery in 1974, however it was renamed ‘Highwood Distillers’ in 1984 linking the Distillery geographically to the nearby Highwood River and the scenic foothills in which the Town of High River is situated. Several years ago I visited the distillery and watched first hand as (using a batch still) they turned the local wheat into whisky, vodka, and gin.

1830 Sahara Dry Gin is a step up from Highwood’s very dry Sahara Dry Gin (click on the link to read the previous review) and features a slightly sweeter, somewhat more citrus forward flavour profile. It is produced from Canadian wheat and naturally sourced Rocky Mountain water. The botanicals mentioned on the Highwood website are juniper, citrus of orange, lemon, and lime. There are of course a few other secret botanicals not mentioned  which are all added just prior to the final distillation.

Here is a link to my review of the spirit which won last summer’s Rum Howler Gin and Tonic Challenge, the 1830 Sahara Dry Gin.

Review: 1830 Sahara Dry Gin

“… The nose has indications of juniper with lighter accents of lemon, orange and mild scents of black licorice. There is also impressions of a mint-like scent mingling within the breezes and additional scents of spruce boughs, and white flowers. The impression is of a mellow spirit which promises to be laid back and enjoyable …”

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2015

BottleCrown Royal’s new Regal Apple Flavored Whisky beverage is (according to their website) a blend of hand-selected smooth Crown Royal whiskies infused with natural apple flavors. The apples flavour apparently is derived from natural Regal Gala apples which are a red and green varietal with a mildly sweet flavour profile. According to Wikipedia (which is usually more accurate than it is given credit for) the Gala apple was ranked as the number 2 most favoured variety on the US Apple Association’s list of most popular apples in 2006.

Apple tonic

Regal Apple Tonic

The new apple flavoured spirit from Crown Royal is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume. The Crown Royal Regal Apple was launched on November 6, 2014, and will slowly be making its way across Canada and of course throughout the USA during 2015.

You may read my full review of this new flavoured spirit here:

Review: Crown Royal Regal Apple Flavored Whisky

“… The air above the glass as I expected carried a distinctive tart green apple scent but this was tainted with menthol and sugar which to me gave the initial aroma a striking resemblance to candied apple cough drops. As I let the glass sit, I noticed some of the whisky scents breaking through the tart apple …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice tall recipe of mine, Regal Apple Tonic, which I found quite nice with the Crown Royal Regal Apple Whisky.

Cheers!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 25, 2015

SAM_0815 Old Monk

Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum

Old Monk is a dark rum brand produced by Mohan Meakin Limited in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. According to the information I have received, all versions of this dark rum are distilled from molasses. The flagship rum of the brand, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum is blended and aged in India for a minimum of 7 years. The Old Monk portfolio also includes a more premium Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum which has been aged for 12 years, and two more premium bottlings, the Old Monk Supreme, and the Old Monk Legend.

The brand receives very little attention from the press, and does not appear to be represented in any advertising campaigns which I have seen. Rather Old Monk relies upon word of mouth and customer loyalty for its sales. Word of mouth must be good as this rum is (again according to information I received) the second largest selling well-aged dark rum in the world.

(Note: India is a huge market for rum, and there is only a small presence of foreign brands on the sub-continent. Based solely upon sales in the home market, this would certainly be a believable statement. In fact the largest selling dark rum brand is also a rum produced in India, McDowell’s No.1 Celebration Rum.)

Monk's Uncle

Monk’s Uncle

I have received samples of all four expressions and over the next few weeks I will be comparing each of them. Two of these rums have been reviewed by me previously, Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum and the Old Monk Gold Reserve Rum. However, as the blends may have changed slightly in the two years since I visited them last, I will be re-tasting each rum and updating my previous reviews with the tasting notes from most current sample I have received and the most current information I have regarding the brand.

You may read the results of my first re-visitation by clicking the following link:

Review: Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum (7 Years Old blended)

“… The entry into the mouth is perhaps a touch ‘rough and tumble’ as the rum contains a bit more rough spice and alcohol astringency than the nose indicated. I check the bottling proof and see that we have 42.8 % alcohol by volume spirit; however, the Old Monk has the impact (and the mouth feel) of a higher proof bottling …”

Please enjoy this review series, and in the case of the Old Monk Very Old Vatted Rum, please also enjoy my two recommended cocktails, the Dark Rum and Cola, and the Monk’s Uncle.

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

JP Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2015

Spiced vanilla No 5A few years ago J.P. Wiser’s introduced Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) to the Canadian market. My understanding is that this new spiced whisky brand was very successful, and as a result, the company decided to further develop their spiced whisky portfolio. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla) was re-branded (perhaps also re-developed) as J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla), and another flavoured/spiced whisky brand was introduced, J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 9 (Scorched Toffee).

I checked the Corby Brands website which has this to say about their new spiced whisky:

” The newest member to the J.P. Wiser’s family shares the unique sweet-soft whisky characteristic with an enhanced vanilla spice flavour. Perfect for mixing with cola or ginger ale!”

Spiced Northern Julep

Spiced Northern Julep

Please enjoy my full review of J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla) which can be found by clicking on the following review excerpt:

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky No. 5 (Vanilla)

“… The air above the glass is mildly sweet with firm butterscotch scents accompanied by vanilla, and gentle rye & wood spices. As was the case two years ago when I reviewed this whisky’s predecessor, the vanilla spiced whisky seems rather pleasant and laid …”

As you can see by the photograph to the right, my review includes a nice Julep recipe which works very well with the new J.P. Wiser’s Whisky. I call it, the Spiced Northern Julep.

Cheers Everyone, and let us hope that Spring is just around the corner!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2015

SAM_0574 Don Julio ReposadoDon Julio is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Don Julio to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the finish. The company was established by Don Julio González, who apparently began to examine the prospect of making his own Tequila in 1942. He established his distillery called, La Primavera, (TEQUILA DON JULIO NOM 1449, DOT 163, LOCATION: Atotonilco, Jalisco) and spent nearly forty years refining his Tequila into the spirit which now bears his name.

Metro Mexico

Metro Mexico

The Don Julio Reposado is aged in American white-oak barrels for eight months. The spirit brand is currently owned by the Diageo Conglomerate.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila

“… typical herbaceous agave aroma which is lightly peppery or spicy, somewhat earthy and somewhat fruity. I am reminded of baked squash, white pepper, and spicy citrus zest (reminiscent of grapefruit). A very faint echo of sandal wood is in the air with some equally light scents of, honey, vanilla, butterscotch, cinnamon and ginger …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cosmopolitan-style recipe I call Metro Mexico.

Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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