Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2015
CAMUS is the last of the major Cognac Houses that is entirely family run, and the House has been that way for five generations. Cyril Camus who represents the fifth generation of the Camus family currently remains in sole control of the company which currently has employees on three separate continents responsible for sales of cognac in almost every country of the world.
The CAMUS VS Elegance is the introductory spirit of the CAMUS Range. Its construction begins with a selection of eaux-de-vie made from wines distilled without lees. Of particular note on the CAMUS website is a reference to the aromas of the wine and the flavors of the Charente terroir, characterized by delicate fruity and floral notes which are particularly important for the CAMUS VS Elegance blend.
The ages of the varies blended Cognac in the VS Elegance must be (by law) a minimum of two years of age, although to maintain a consistent flavour profile from year to year, it would not be unusual for some of the specific Cognac in the blend to be aged longer.
You may read my full review here:
“… The merry little breezes above the glass bring a very nicely fruited mixture of green grape and apricot brandy into the air which are both melded nicely into rising scents of fine oak spice and light butterscotch. There is a gentle floral sweetness in the breezes represented by indications of rose petals, garden lilies and lightly perfumed iris …”
Please enjoy my review of the Camus VS Elegance which includes my suggested mixed drink recipe, the French Presbyterian Cocktail.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: Camus VS, Cocktails, Cognac, Cognac Review, Elegance, French Prebyterian | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 19, 2015
Fishbowl Spirits Llc. is a company wholly owned by Kenny Chesney, the well-known Country Music Singer from Knoxville, Tennessee. In May, 2013 Fishbowl Spirits launched Blue Chair Bay Rum, which features an assortment of rums which were apparently inspired by the relaxed island lifestyle of the country music star. The line-up includes an assortment of flavoured rums (a Coconut Rum, a Coconut Spiced Rum, a Banana Rum and a limited time only Coconut Spiced Rum Cream, as well as a standard White Rum. Although Blue Bay Chair Rum is based in Nashville, the assortment of rums they produce are distilled in Barbados and then bottled in Rochester NY by LiDestri Food & Beverage.
Three of these spirits, the Coconut and Coconut Spiced rums, as well as the White Rum have been brought into Alberta by Glazer’s Of Canada Llc, and they arranged for me to receive all three rums to review here on my website.
Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri
Blue Chair Bay White Rum, according to the Company Website is aged less than 100 feet from the high water line where there’s something about the sunlight and the wind on the water that gets into the oak casks and into every drop of Blue Chair Bay®.
Here is my full review:
“… There were light bits of spice wandering into the air with a smattering of buttery caramel. Perhaps I also sense some freshly mashed banana, vague notes of tropical fruit, some whispers of marshmallow, and hints of mint and licorice. When I add ice to the glass, the light scents seem to blow away in the breezes, leaving only phantoms of butterscotch above the glass …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri as the suggested recipe for laid back enjoyment!
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Cocktails, Fishbowl Spirits, Glacier's, Kenny Chesney, Lime and Maraschino Daiquiri, Rum, Rum Review, White Rum | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 17, 2015
No. 209 Gin and the Long Darby.
No. 209 Gin is produced by a company called Distillery No. 209 who is apparently located on the waterfront on San Francisco’s Pier 50. Their gin is produced from a four times distilled (multi-column distillation) corn-based spirit. Although the main flavour of any gin must be juniper, the company uses a variety of botanicals (some of which they are quite secretive about) in the gin’s construction. Some of the major botanicals which the company does identify along with juniper are bergamot orange, lemon peel, cardamom pods, cassia bark, angelica root and coriander seeds.
All of the botanicals are macerated overnight within the corn-based distillate, and the resulting infused alcohol is then distilled a fifth time upon a Copper pot Forsythe still. This final distillation takes about 11 hours, with the head and tails of the distillation discarded and only the heart captured as No. 209 gin. The final spirit (according to my bottle) is bottled at 92 proof or 46 per cent alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The breezes above the glass initially reveal a lightly sweetened aroma which carries impressions of lemon balsam and orange peel citrus with deeper richer notes of juniper developing over time. There seems to be a hint of spiciness in the air which reminds me of ginger, coriander and cardamom …”
I provide a recipe for delicious Collins-style bar drink at the conclusion of the review which I have named, the Long Darby.
Please enjoy my review and my suggested bar drink.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Distillery No. 209, Gin, Gin Reiview, Long Darby | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 15, 2015
Hornitos Reposado Tequila is a 100 % Agave Tequila produced by the Sauza Tequila Import Company located in Tequila, a municipality of the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The Tequila is the creation of Don Francisco Havier Sauza (Don Franco), a third generation member of the Sauza family who founded the La Preseverancia, distillery. Don Franco is credited with helping the Mexican Government to establish the Jalisco region of Mexico as the exclusive origin of genuine tequila in 1974. Hornitos was reported to be Don Franco’s favourite tequila. Unlike other spirits which proudly boast of a maturation period in small oak barrels to ensure heavy contact between the spirit and the oak, Don Franco’s Hornitos spirit is different. The Hornitos Reposado is aged in large 10,000 gallon oak ‘pipones’ to ensure limited contact with the wood during maturation such that the agave flavour remains as pure as is possible in a reposado spirit.
Nightmare in Pink
You may read my full review here:
“… The initial nose is full of spicy herbal agave fruit. It is a powerful, earthy smell that pours out of the glass growing deeper and stronger as you allow the tequila to breathe. White pepper scents and tart green apples reach the breezes along with grilled pineapple and lemons to round out the nose which is robust and anything but laid back. The scents and aromas from my glass interest me, but I sense a strong warning in those breezes. This is going to be intense…”
I hope you enjoy my review which contains a suggested cocktail which I designed for the Hornitos Reposado in 2011. I affectionately call it, Nightmare in Pink.
Please enjoy the review and the cocktail!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Hornitos, Nightmare in Pink, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 14, 2015
Hennessy Cognac is produced from the fruity Ugni Blanc grape picked from one of the four great crus of the Cognac region (Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies and Fins Bois). The grape wine produced from the Ugni Blanc harvest is (of course) double distilled upon Hennessy’s own copper Charentes Stills, and then selected eaux-de-vie is set down to age for several years in french oak casks which have constructed from old growth oak timbers.
In 1865, Maurice Hennessy, the great-grandson of the original founder, devised a cognac classification system based upon varying numbers of stars which defined the quality of the bottled spirit. Again the classification devised by Hennessy was later adopted by the entire industry. Today, Hennessy’s Three Star Cognac, is now known as Hennessy Very Special (VS).
Blood Orange Bitters
You may read my full review here:
” … I allowed the glass to breath for a few minutes and was pleased by the melding of aromas that resulted. The oak, the caramel toffee and the fruit all coexist harmoniously with no particular element outshining any other. I notice some new smells of rich vanilla and honeycomb rising into the air; as well, some nutty smells of almond and walnut are wafting in the breezes as well …”
I hope you enjoy this review which concludes with a very nice cocktail which I found on the Jas Hennessy & Co. website, Blood Orange Bitters. It is as tasty as it sounds!
Posted in Brandy and Cognac, Cognac Review | Tagged: Blood Orange Bitters, Cocktails, Cognac, Cognac Review, Hennessy VS | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 12, 2015
Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri
In 1973, the House of Angostura bought Fernandes Distillers Ltd, adding the accumulated expertise of that Trinidadian distilling company to their own. According to the Angostura website, their Angostura 1919 Aged Rum pays homage to a particular rum produced in the 1930s by the master blender of Fernandes Distillers, J.B. Fernandes. (In fact, that rum produced by Fernandes Distillers is now considered to be of historical significance to those who study the development of rum in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the rest of the Caribbean.)
This historic rum was the result of a fire which consumed the Government Rum Bond in 1932. Mr. Fernandes purchased the remaining charred casks (which still contained rum) and discovered that they had been filled in the year 1919. The purchased rum was blended and became known as “1919 Aged Rum”. This 1919 aged rum became so highly regarded, that the House of Angostura chose to keep its memory alive with their own Angostura 1919 Aged Rum.
My sample bottle for this review was provided to my by the Bacchus Group who distribute the Angostura spirit throughout Western Canada.
Varlhona Noir Alpaco
Here is a link to my full review:
” … Oak spice underlain by dry grassy tobacco leads out upon the palate with impressions of butterscotch and orange peel zest quickly following in their wake. If you allow the rum to breathe in your glass for about ten minutes a dry grassy mustiness is revealed with indications of herbal menthol and dried flowers …”
Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested cocktail, the Angostura 1919 Orange Daiquiri, which I found uses the spicy orange peel spiciness found within the Angostura 1919 Rum to great effect. I also included an indulgent chocolate pairing, Varlhona Noir Alpaco, which is a pure Dark Chocolate from Ecuador. (Read the review to learn more.)
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 1919, Aged Rum, Alpaco, Angostura, Chocolate, Cocktails, Orange Daiquiri, Pairing, Rum, Rum Review, Trinidad Rum, Varlhona | 4 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2015
In late November, I received an email from the Export Marketing Assistant for the independent French spirits group, La Martiniquaise. He was writing to me from Farnace to see if I would be interested in sampling some of the revamped new flavoured range of Poliakov Vodka. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Poliakov is an international Millionaire brand with sales in over 50 countries. It is today one of the Top 20 international Vodka brands. The owner of the brand, La Martiniquaise is an independent French group founded in 1934. They are currently the second-largest spirits group in France, and owners of 4 other Millionaire brands, LABEL 5 and SIR EDWARD’S (Scotch Whisky), POLIAKOV (Vodka) and NEGRITA (Rum).
As it was explained to me in his email, Poliakov is attempting to bypass the prevailing “flavour fatigue” which they feel reigns within the flavoured vodka category, and rather than conjuring up new exotic flavours which are probably unfamiliar to their customers, the revamped Poliakov range focuses on ‘within-reach flavours’ which are familiar to their customers.
I agreed to taste some of the Poliakov flavoured range, and William arranged for me to receive three flavours, Poliakov Vanilla, Peach and Lemon Flavoured Vodkas.
Here is a link to the review for Poliakov Peach Flavoured Vodka:
“… What I do sense very clearly in the air above the glass is a wonderful aroma which matches the scent of a freshly sliced fully ripe peach. The aroma seems clean and pure with no distraction. My mouth actually began to water slightly as I sniffed at the breezes above my glass …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a very refreshing recipe, Poliakov “Kool Tonic”. Cheers!
Posted in Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Flavoured, Kool Tonic, Peach, Poliakov, Review, Vodka | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2015
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky is currently produced in Gimli, Manitoba, at the Crown Royal Distillery. The distillery and the brand are owned by the spirits conglomerate, Diageo, and I think it is fair to say that Crown Royal is Diageo’s flagship Canadian Whisky brand. Several years ago Crown Royal Limited was introduced as an addition to the Crown Royal family of whiskies. This Crown Royal is apparently blended from a selected group of batch distilled whiskies and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume to provide a more premium alternative to the flagship brand Crown Royal Deluxe.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… As the glass sat the rye spices seemed to build up filling the air with scents of ginger and coriander as well as some dusty dry scents of fresh grain and chaff. A bit of sweet punky corn began to assert itself making it known that this was indeed a Crown Royal brand, although I should add that these punky corn scents were quite muted as compared to the original CR Whisky …”
My review concludes with a new cocktail loosely based upon the 1878 Brandy Crusta as formulated by Leo Engels. My recipe is a more modern version and is of course designed for Canadian Whisky rather than Brandy. I call my recipe, the Resplendent Iced Cocktail.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Crown Royal, Limited Edition, Resplendent Iced Cocktail, Whisky, Whisky Review | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2015
Jamaican Pot Still Cocktail
Rum Nation has been delighting me over the past few years with their fresh approach to the spirit we enjoy as rum. Fabio Rossi, who owns and manages the company, purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas, and provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings to both the European, and the North American market. Up until recently, all of Fabio’s rums have been well aged wonders. Some are aged solely in their country of origin where tropical aging increases the rate of interaction between the oak and the wood, and some have also seen a second period of aging in Europe where the more moderate climate allows for a more delicate interaction and additionally refines the spirit in a more subtle way. Sampling these well aged marvels has given me a greater appreciation of how both the dimensions of time and location affect the outcomes of maturity and taste with respect to aged spirits.
Last year, Fabio went in a different direction entirely with his Rum Nation Jamaica White Pot Still Rum. In the case of this spirit, the dimensions of time and location with respect to maturity are rendered irrelevant. Instead, the dimension Fabio chose to explore within this rum monster was flavour, as this new rum revels in its brutish, unaged, concentrated (bottled at 57 % alcohol) Jamaican pot still flavour (and it is anything but smooth and refined).
Valrhona Tainori Chocolate
This is a new direction for white rum, and you may read my full review by clicking on the following link:
“… When I took my first cautious sniff from the glass, I was struck by the depth and the intensity of the bouquet. This rum will not be for those who fear adventure in their glass. There is an omnipresent resin-like aroma similar to model airplane glue which dominates the breezes above the glass along with a grassy (chlorophyll like) scent which rides at the edges of that resin …”
Please enjoy my review which includes not only a cocktail suggestion, the Jamaican Pot Still Cocktail, but also contains my suggested chocolate pairing an intense bittersweet Dominican Cacao chocolate, Varlhona Tainori.
Posted in Overproof Rum, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Chocolate, Cocktails, Jamaican Pot Still Cocktail, Overproof Rum, Pairing, Pot Still Rum, Rum, Rum Nation, Rum Review, Varlhona Tainori, White Rum | 4 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2015
While most gins are not matured in oak casks, Citadelle Reserve (2013 Edition) Gin is not only aged in small oak casks, it is the first gin to be aged using a solera style maturation. According to the information provided on the Citadelle Gin website:
“The Solera aging method used for Citadelle is a very intensive process of putting Citadelle into different type casks for a anywhere from 2 to 5 months and will include American oak cask (to impart a touch of vanilla sweetness) and casks that once held Pineau de Charente (for a full-bodied, flowery roundness) and also Brandy (which imparts elegance). Once the gin has spent some time in casks, a portion of the gin from each cask will be moved into a large vat for blending, and new gin will be added to the remaining gin in the cask. Again, after aging for a specified period, the process of taking some of the aged gin out to be blended and adding new to the casks starts all over again.”
I was given a bottle of the 2013 Citadelle Reserve Gin directly from River Valley Beverages (the distributor for Cognac Ferrand spirits here in Alberta) for the purpose of a review here on my website.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The 2013 Citadelle Reserve Gin has a lightly sweet and moderately spicy flavour profile with dominant flavours of juniper, oak, coriander, cardamom, and lemony citrus zest forming its backbone. Although the gin has a moderate but firm spiciness, it is nevertheless easy to sip (especially with an added ice-cube) …”
The 2013 Edition of Citadelle Reserve Gin is a spectacular gin! It is marvelously complex, and the oak forward spiciness is extremely appealing set beside the juniper forward flavour profile. The moderate spiciness within the gin which gives me an impression of robust masculinity; however there is more than enough other nuances of flavour found within which make the gin extremely interesting to sip.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Aged Gin, Citadelle Reserve Gin, Gin, Gin Review | Leave a Comment »