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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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: Poliakov Peach Flavoured Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2015

Poliakov Peach Tonic SAM_1414In 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:

Review:  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: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

# 24 Canadian Whisky – Hiram Walker Special Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2014

rum_howler_badge-2014According to the Corby Brands website, Walker’s Special Old has been available throughout Canada, from Hiram Walker & Sons since 1858. Hiram Walker Special Old is the modern version of this original whisky. It has a bold upfront rye flavour that landed it at the number 24 spot in my Rum Howler – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014 Countdown.

_0068_hiramwalker-sp-oldHere is a link to my newly updated review:

# 24 Canadian Whisky – Hiram Walker Special Old

“… as I pour the whisky I also catch strong fruity accents, a dash of corn, and a mild vanilla arriving off of the pour. The colour of the whisky is a rich coppery brown reminiscent of old Macintosh toffee. In fact I believe I can smell some of that old toffee in the air as well …”

Hiram Walker Special Old is a very nice Canadian Whisky full of rich rye flavour and spicy oak!  The boldness of the flavour really appeals to me, especially in the  finish which was so nice and smooth in spite of the aggressiveness of the whisky.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

The Top 25 Canadian Whiskies of 2014

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 30, 2014

On My Deck 2Last year I embarked on a mission to determine the very best whiskies that Canada had to offer, by examining over my tasting notes and review scores for over 100 Canadian Whiskies which were available in the market as I compiled my list. This year we have seen the arrival of several new Canadian whiskies, and the disappearance of several of the Limited Edition whiskies which had made last year’s list. Some producers have made changes to their brands and some brands may have (in my opinion) evolved or changed in other ways during the past year. To account for these possible changes I recompiled my list based upon all of the new Canadian whiskies I have sampled during the past year, as well as older brands I re-sampled.

Ninety_5_Year_Old_The list will be presented “Countdown Style” during the month of December with the Best Canadian Whisky of 2014 revealed on December 24, 2014 just in time for you to grab a bottle for Christmas and New Year’s cheer! A new whisky will be revealed each day (beginning today) as I count down to the Rum Howler’s Selection of the World’s Best Canadian Whisky of 2014!

You may follow my Countdown list here:

The Rum Howler 2014 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies!

And with no further ado I announce the number 25 Canadian Whisky produced in 2014:

#25    Ninety (Premium cask Aged) 5 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Note:

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: RumChata (Horchata Con Ron)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 21, 2014

RumChata SAM_1345RumChata (Horchata Con Ron) is a new cream based liqueur created by Tom Maas (former marketing executive for Beam Distillers). Apparently about ten years or so ago, while Tom was still working for Beam, he was trying to help the company penetrate into the Latin American market looking for ways to make bourbon a more popular spirit. During this time, he was introduced to a non-alcoholic beverage called horchata which was popular in Central America. The beverage must have made an impression on him, because a few years later when he retired, Tom decided to create a his own alcoholic beverage based upon the creamy horchata he remembered (which was apparently made from coconut milk, crushed rice, nuts, cinnamon and other spices).

After some experimentation with a variety of ingredients and popular spirits, Tom created his own cinnamon forward recipe based upon Real Dairy Cream and Caribbean Rum.

This year at the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, I ran into Lisa Cunningham who works for Glazer’s Of Canada Llc, the company responsible for bringing RumChata (Horchata Con Ron) into the Alberta market. I was offered a sample bottle of RumChata and asked to share my thoughts about this relatively new cream liqueur here on my website.

You may read my full review here (click on the link):

Review: RumChata (Horchata Con Ron)

” … Maybe I am imagining the smell of steamed rice, but the scents of cinnamon, rum-like brown sugar, vanilla and dairy cream are all very apparent in the breezes above my glass. As I examine the glass further, I seem to also sense some mild indications of crushed almonds as well as perhaps a hint of chocolate in the air above my glass as well … “

Please enjoy my latest review, of a rum cream which seems ideal for the upcoming Christmas season!

Posted in Cream Liqueur, Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Review: El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 19, 2014

cream-liqueur-RDemerara County (in Guyana) is popular across the world for its rich, three hundred year history of rum production. Using a combination of old wooden stills in conjunction with modern stills and distilling techniques, Demerara Distillers Ltd. (DDL), has built a reputation for outstanding quality and consistent production. In fact, Demerara Distillers is the currently the largest supplier of bulk Caribbean Rum to Europe and North America.

One of the specialty products produced by Demerara Distillers is El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur which the El Dorado website describes as:

“A rich Cream Liqueur made with 5 Year Old Demerara Golden Rum.”

The spirit is of course a creamy liqueur which melds authentic El Dorado Rum with real dairy cream and natural flavours and spices. It is bottled at 15 % alcohol by volume, and occupies the same market niche as Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Kahlua.

You may read my full review of the El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur here:

Review: El Dorado (Golden Rum) Cream Liqueur

“… I am pleased by the strength of the rum flavour which sits in front of rather than behind the more subtle flavours of milk chocolate and coffee. The robust flavour of El Dorado’s 5 Year Old Rum is definitely on display within the creme liqueur …”

Please enjoy the review remembering that it is not my intention with my writing to help you drink more spirits, it is my intention to help you to drink better spirits!

Cheers!

Posted in Cream Liqueur, Flavouerd Rums, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Rum | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2014

Brass Bonanza SAM_1189

A Brass Bonanza served with Blanton’s Gold Edition

Blanton’s is a bourbon whiskey brand created by Sazerac and launched in 1984. The brand is named for Albert B. Blanton who worked at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for more than 50 years, and who apparently spent much of his time at the distillery promoting the traditions of handcrafted bourbon. Blanton’s claims to be the first modern whiskey designed and sold as a single barrel bourbon, and indeed the original brand name for the brand was “Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon”.

Blanton’s Gold Edition is produced from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley which is distilled to 140 proof and barreled at 125 proof. Each bottle of Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled from a single barrel (brought to 103 proof) after the whiskey has been chill filtered. Because even barrels which lie side by side in an aging warehouse (even though they may have exactly the same batch of distillate) will almost certainly age differently, there will be much potential for flavour variation between particular bottles of this Blanton’s bourbon.  However, the general character of the whiskey should remain the same between bottlings as the master blender is selecting only those barrels which meet the particular flavour profile he is aiming for.

You may read my full review by clicking the following link excerpt:

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

“… The nose is very nice with honey, sap and wood spice rising into the breezes alongside subtle notes of Christmas cake (chocolate, raisins, dates and walnuts). There is a bit of an alcohol push along with a few grassy notes and some youthful astringency. As I let the glass sit I notice baking spices building (vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) in the air along with some baked apples and canned pears. There are also some nice sweet and spicy notes of pipe tobacco …”

Included in the review is a nice bar drink which mixed the Blanton’s Gold Edition with a few drops of bitters and a splash of ginger-ale. I called the resulting cocktail, the Brass Bonanza.

Please enjoy the review and the provided mixed drink recipe!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Sambuca dei Cesari (Luxardo)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 22, 2014

Luxardo SamLuxardo S.P.A. was founded in 1821 in Zara, a port city on the Dalmatian coast of what is now the Republic of Croatia. At the conclusion of World War II and as a consequence of the borders within Europe having been redrawn, the company transferred its holdings to Torreglia in 1947, and has remained an Italian Company, 100% controlled by the founding family. Today, Luxardo is one of the oldest European firms which produce liqueurs, and now almost 200 years after it was established, it remains in the control of the sixth generation of the original Luxardo family.

Clarity SAM_1180

Clarity

Sambuca dei Cesari is the licorice flavoured Sambuca produced by Luxardo. Like the well-known Greek licorice flavoured Ouzo, it is a sweet liqueur with a strong licorice flavour derived from the oils of the Star Anise. These oils are obtained from the seeds of this plant by a process of steam distillation. A concentrated solution of sugar and other natural aromas are added to this before bottling at 38 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Sambuca dei Cesari (Luxardo)

“… The flavour of the Sambuca dei Cesari matches the aroma perfectly as the liqueur tastes just like a black jelly bean which has already melted in my mouth. I taste candied sweet black licorice with a hint of mintiness ….”

At the conclusion of the review I have included a nice refreshing recipe called Clarity, which mixes Sambuca dei Cesari with Lemonade. It is perfect for a warm sunny Sunday.

Please enjoy the review and the stunningly delicious tall cocktail!

Posted in Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Luxardo Maraschino (Originale)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 20, 2014

MaraschinoAbout a year and a half ago I met Matteo Luxardo, who is the Export Manager of Luxardo S.P.A. and part of that sixth generation who are still active in the ownership and management of the distilling company which bears their name. We met at a small gathering sponsored by Lifford Wines who bring a wide range of the classic Italian liqueurs produced by Luxardo into the Alberta Market. A few of these products include, Amaretto, Grappa, Sambuca, Limencello, and of course Luxardo Maraschino.

The unique flavour of Maraschino Originale is a product of the fruit of the Marasca cherry (exclusively cultivated in orchards owned by Luxardo). Matteo explained to those of us at the gathering that Luxardo Maraschino (Originale) is one of the very few liqueurs in the world which is produced through distillation.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

You may read my full review of the Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur by clicking on the following excerpt (link):

Review: Luxardo Maraschino (Originale)

“… The air above the glass is very sweet with the somewhat penetrating scent of the Marasca cherry. This scent resembles Turkish Delight with a lightly spicy twist. There is also a bit of an earthy almond-like scent underlying that cherry aroma which seems to bear a resemblance to the aroma crushed apple seeds …”

Of course my review includes a nice cocktail, the Bluebird of Happiness, which was inspired by the original Bluebird cocktail credited to W.J. Tarling.

Enjoy the review everyone, and let us hope the snow that is falling on this the first day of spring is but a blip in the weather, and the Bluebird of happiness will be singing her song of spring very soon!

Posted in Liqueur, Liqueur Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2013

SAM_0896 Noble OneNoble One Botrylis Semillon which is the subject of this review was created in 1982 by Darren De Bortoli.  Currently the wine has 26 vintages, and has become the standard-bearer for the De Bortoli family. The Noble One is produced from a late hand-picked harvest of the Semillon grape. The agent at work is a specific fungus called Botrytis cinerea which affects the grapes by absorbing their moisture making them dry. As the fruit loses moisture, its sugar content increases dramatically. Other factors may be at work as well with the final result being that the “botrytised” or rotten grapes are able to produce an intensely sweet and flavourful wine. Fortunately for De Bortoli, autumn in the Riverina region (where the Semillon grapes are grown) often sees long, dry, warm days interspersed with a sprinkling of showers and heavy morning dews, an ideal situation for producing the Noble Fungus.

I met Darren Blood the Export Manager (Americas and New Zealand) for De Bortoli Wines at a portfolio tasting for Lifford Wines, who are the local distributors of the Australian Noble One Botrytis Semillon dessert wine. Darren arranged for me to receive a 375 ml sample of the Noble One for review upon my website.

You may click on the excerpt to read the full review:

Review: De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon (2008)

“… The breezes above the glass were enticing. There is a suave richness in the air which gives me impressions of sweet nectar and honey. I smell full bunches of green grapes, fresh apples and ripe pears. Some vanilla accents these initial impressions and a certain light spiciness reminds me of sandalwood and white oak …”

Please enjoy my review of this succulent dessert wine!

Posted in Dessert Wine Review, Dessert Wines | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

 
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