Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2014
Today is the day of St. Patrick, and in many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or (on St. Patrick’s Day at least) we share by spirit. Some of us will wear green clothing; some of us will attend parades; and some of us will even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.
And in fact, celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled ‘uisce beatha‘, which translates from Irish into English as ‘the water of life‘. I could go into a long and detailed etymology, but suffice it to say that ‘uisce beatha’ is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become ‘whiskey’. My blog is full of reviews of this wonderful spirit; but as I have admitted in the past, it is sorely lacking in content dedicated to the Irish form of the spirit.
Today, I will go a small way towards correcting this imbalance by reviewing a whiskey from the Emerald Isle which embodies the character and the class of spirits we call Irish Whiskey. And, one which bears a rather obscure link to St. Patrick’s Day.
Like St. Patrick, who was born (in 385 A.D.) of Scottish parentage, but found his calling (and fame) in Ireland where the holiday of St. Patrick first bore his name, so to John Jameson was also born a Scotsman (in 1740 A.D.), and he also found his calling (and established his fame) in Ireland with the Whiskey Company that still bears his name, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
And so in honour of the celebration of the Day of St. Patrick, I have chosen to review the flagship Whiskey of Jameson brand, Jameson Irish Whiskey. You may read my full review here:
“… The initial aroma in the breezes above glass represents a soft punky sweet butterscotch interlaced with clean oak spices. As the glass breathes, I notice a light woodiness of freshly sanded oak in the background with the wood spices beginning to resemble ginger, cilantro, cardamom, and freshly harvested grain. There is also a mild punky smell within the whiskey which is obviously a reflection of the Irish pot still influence …”
As is my custom, I have included a nice recipe suggestion as part of my review, a classy cocktail I have named, the Emerald Crusta.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Emeral Crusta, Irish Whisky, Jameson, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 11, 2014
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, distilled and bottled at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles Kentucky. The folks at Woodford Reserve pride themselves in the manufacture of what they call ‘craft bourbon’. The Kentucky distillery is apparently located over top of a deep limestone aquifer which contains mineral rich (iron free) limestone water. This is of course the aquifer from which the distillery draws the water required for fermentation of their rye rich grain mash. (This mash is composed of 72 % corn, 10 % barley, and 18 % rye grain.)
The fermentation tanks are constructed from cypress which (according to the folks at Woodford Reserve) helps to eliminate unwanted flavours which could arise in a stainless steel fermentation tank. The wash is distilled three times on copper pots stills to a full 158 proof, and the resulting new make is barreled in freshly charred new oak barrels prepared by the distillers own cooperage. The spirit is set down to mature in a temperature controlled warehouse where it is carefully monitored to be bottled when the right flavour characteristic has been achieved.
Here is a link to my latest review:
“… When I poured my first glass of the Woodford bourbon, the aroma was thick with oak and cedar almost to the point of overwhelming everything else. The effect was one of intimidation, as sappy fresh-cut cedar and oak spices dominated …”
Please enjoy this review which kicks off a series of bourbon whiskey visitations as we head into springtime. As well I hope you enjoy my cocktail suggestion which follows the review, the classic Buckeroo.
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Buckeroo, Cocktails, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2014
Edmonton Whisky Festival
Why: In Support of the MS Society
Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel
When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Ticket Price: $85.00 each
This event is a must for any whisky enthusiast or for those new to the exciting world of whisky.
Tickets includes entrance, whisky sampling, and the commemorative Glencairn Whisky Glass.
Chat in a relaxed atmosphere with whisky and scotch principals and enthusiasts from across Canada and around the world.
Master classes are available again this year. They are all from 6:30-7:30 pm, and cost an additional $25 on top of your Festival ticket cost. The lineup is:
Bourbon Masterclass with Matt Jones
Tullibardine Masterclass with James Robertson
The Macallan Masterclass with Dan Volway
All proceeds raised at this event are donated to the MS Society of Canada – Alberta Division.
For more information please contact:
Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)
Posted in Extras, Festivals, Festivals and Events, Fund Raisers | Tagged: Edmonton Whisky Festival, Whiskey, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 7, 2013
Broken Bell Bourbon is a whiskey brand developed by Distiller Sales Company of Princeton, Minnesota. Distiller Sales is a division of a company called USDP (United States Distilled Spirits Co.). They describe themselves as a “leading developer of corporate brand distilled spirits programs”. The company boast sales in 32 Countries worldwide, and some of those brands which are available in my home market include: Ethan Koll 8 Year Old Canadian Whisky, Cross Keys 5 Yr Old Barbados Rum, Monkey Paw Rum, Luxus Vodka, Capatina French Vodka and Veil Premium Vodka.
I was provided a sample bottle of Broken Bell Bourbon by Jfj Agency Inc. who is the distributor of Distiller Sales Co. brands in Alberta.
Here is a link to my full review and tasting notes:
“… The aroma from the glass is typical of a young bourbon featuring fresh oak scents melded with barbequed corn. I sense spicy tobacco and raisins, dried apricots, some spicy oak sap and orange peel spice …”
Included in the review are two nice bourbon recipes, the Buckeroo, and Minted Brass. Please enjoy the review!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bourbon, Broken Bell Bourbon, Buckeroo, Cocktails, Distiller Sales Company, JFI Agency, Minted Brass, Whiskey, Whsikey Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 17, 2013
According to the company website, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey is produced at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, and then aged in Rickhouse Y at Heaven Hill’s, Nelson County aging facilities. The primary grain in the mash bill is winter wheat, and as I have indicated in my previous review for Highwood’s Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky, the use of wheat (which is more easily digestible than other grains) gives the resulting whisky a softer smoother flavour profile than corn, barley or rye. The Bernheim Original contains no age statement. However, as a ‘straight whiskey’ it must be aged a minimum of two years in new, charred oak barrels, and distilled at less than 160 proof. (The website implies an aging regimen of about 5 to 6 years and specifies that the whiskey contains no coloring, flavoring or blending agents.)
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):
“… The aroma is a nice mixture of spicy oak sap and toffee with some nuances of maple rising into the breezes as well. Although the whisky is predominantly a wheat mash there appears to be enough corn in the blend to give the aroma a very bourbon-like nose with fresh corn scents and honeycomb building as the glass sits …”
For your enjoyment, I have included a classic cocktail recipe for this whiskey at the conclusion of the review, the Whiskey Sour.
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bernheim Distillers, Cocktails, Wheat Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, Whiskey Sour | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2013
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s and the previously reviewed, Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado. Knob Creek is the oldest of these small batch whiskeys, and is aged a full nine years in newly charred oak barrels, then bottled at 100 proof or 50 % alcohol by volume. The whiskey brand is owned by Beam Global and is produced at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.
You may read the full review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):
“… The initial aroma is deep and rich with smells of freshly hewn oak timbers dripping with sap. I also sense loads of honeycomb, barbequed corn on the cob, baking spices (vanilla and cinnamon), brown sugar, and fresh maple toffee. As I take my time with the glass, indications of chocolate caramel and cola rise in the breezes along with rich pipe tobacco and crushed walnut shells …”
Please enjoy my review, slainte!
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Knob Creek, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 13, 2013
Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is produced by the Jim Beam Distillery which was founded in 1795, and has operated as a family run business for seven generations. According to the company website, after bourbon whiskey ages (or any other straight whiskey for that matter), and it is emptied from the oak barrel, a certain amount of the spirit is left behind, trapped within the wood fiber of the empty barrel. This portion of trapped whiskey is called the “devil’s cut” and is usually lost to those who make bourbon. Recently however, the folks at Jim Beam have developed what they call a proprietary process which releases the devil’s cut from these empty barrels. What Jim Beam extracts from the barrel is held for a certain length of time (which apparently allows the flavour to develop), and then blended with a 6-year-old bourbon. The mixture is bottled at 90 proof (45 % ABV) and the result is a new style of bourbon which they call Jim Beam Devil’s Cut.
You may read my full review by clicking on the following excerpt.
“… Very briefly I taste sweet impressions of caramel, marmalade and maple syrup. However, very quickly the woody flavours and the spices within the whiskey build up and overwhelm the sweetness. The heart of the Devil’s Cut is a sort of whiskey extract which is literally pulled from the inside of the wood fibers of oak barrels …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice cooler style recipe of mine called Minted Brass.
Have a great day everyone!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Cocktails, Devil's Cut, Jim Beam, Minted Brass, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013
A second review for the Day of St. Pat:
The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips (landowner and Governor of County of Antrim, Ireland) a royal license to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. Although this grant serves as the first documented evidence of whisky being distilled at the site which would become Old Bushmills, it was not as yet called Bushmills. By 1743 however, a distillery by this name was (according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard) was “in the hands of smugglers”‘. (However, it was not until 1784 that Hugh Anderson officially registered the Old Bushmills Distillery with the Pot Still as its trade mark.) Today, the Bushmills brand is owned by the Diageo conglomerate with all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The Bushmills Black Bush is composed of whiskey aged in Oloroso Sherry and American oak (bourbon) cask. All of this whiskey is aged for up to 7 years with 80 per cent of the blend being Premium Malt Whisky.
Please click on the following excerpt to read the review which contains two great St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, Fool’s Gold on the Rocks, and of course, Irish Coffee:
“… The initial breezes above the glass are warm and inviting. I sense some soft caramel toffee rising into the air with some sweet malty aromas, hints of dry fruit (raisins and apricots), a nice lightly spicy oak presence, and some light impressions of cocoa … “
Please enjoy my second St. Patrick’s Day Review!
(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Diageo Marketing team in Alberta.)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Black Bush, Bushmills Whiskey, Cocktails and Recipes, Irish Coffee, Irish Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013
St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around one more time. (Although with a temperature outside at minus seventeen degrees Centigrade and still 40 centimeters of snow still residing on my back lawn it seems more like January than March.) In many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or we share by spirit (on St. Patrick’s Day at least). We wear green; we attend parades; and some of us even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.
And celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled “uisce beatha“, which translates from Irish into English as “the water of life“. I could go into a long and detailed etymology, but suffice it to say that “uisce beatha” is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become “whiskey”. My blog is full of reviews of this wonderful spirit, but I must admit it is sorely lacking in content dedicated to the Irish variety.
Today, I will go a small way towards correcting this imbalance by reviewing a whiskey from the Emerald Isle which embodies the character and the class of spirits we call Irish Whiskey; a spirit which can trace its heritage back to 1757, and makes the claim that it is linked to the oldest distillery in Ireland, the Kilbeggan Distillery.
Please click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The Kilbeggan is very pleasant in the glass with a nice warm mahogany colour and initial scents of vanilla, punky toffee, and light sandalwood. As I let the glass breathe, I notice some nice fruity notes (banana and orange peel in particular), a bit of pickle juice, some green grape, and a nice little dollop of almond …”
Of course I have include a nice cocktail for the Day of St. Pat, The Irish Mojito Swizzle.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Alberta Beam Global team)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Irish Whiskey, Kilbeggan, Kilbeggan Distillery, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 31, 2013
Bulleit Bourbon is produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The brand traces its heritage back to 1830 when tavern keeper Augustus Bulleit (after a few experimental trials) created the brand and began to market it locally and eventually to areas outside of Kentucky. As misfortune would have it, Augutus Bulleit disappeared while transporting some barrels of his bourbon to New Orleans, and the brand disappeared for over 100 years. In 1987, Tom Bulleit revived the brand which bears his great grandfather’s name. Today the brand is owned by the Diageo Conglomerate who market the product throughout North America and into Europe.
The sample bottle of Bulleit Bourbon which I received was bottled at 45% alcohol by volume and is the standard bottle sold in North America. Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… There is a bit of a spicy swat that tickles the tonsils, but there is also a nice maple and caramel sweetness which accompanies that spicy swat and makes you want to take another sip. I can taste oak planks which are seeping just a little fresh sap from the wood pores, some delightful rye spices, and of course that rather sweet impression of maple and caramel …
Here is a link to my review which includes a recipe for the Old-Fashioned Cocktail:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Bulleit Bourbon, Cocktails and Recipes, Diageo, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off