Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 1, 2015
Highwood 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 in the 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.
“… 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 …”
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: 1830 Shara Dry Gin, Canadian Gin, Cocktails, Gin, Gin and Tonic, Gin Review, Highwood Distillers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 27, 2015
Crown 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.
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:
“… 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.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Cocktails, Crown Royal, Flavored Whisky, Regal Apple, Regal Apple Tonic, Review, Whisky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 25, 2015
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.)
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:
“… 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: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Dark Rum and Cola, Indian Rum, Mohan Meakin Limited, Monk's Uncle, Old Monk, Rum, Very Old Vatted | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 24, 2015
A 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
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:
“… 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: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, J.P. Wiser's, No. 5, Spiced Northern Julep, Spiced Whisky, Vanilla, Whisky | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2015
Don 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.
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:
“… 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: 1921 Tequila, Cocktails, Don Julio, Metro Mexico, Reposado, Tequila, Tequila Review | Leave a Comment »
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 »