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2015 Margarita Challenge #2 – Tromba (Blanco Tequila)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 25, 2015

Tromba SAM_1522

Margarita Tromba

I have arrived at the Number 2 Margarita Spirit in my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita ChallengeTequila Tromba (Blanco).

I will admit now, that this particular spirit actually ranked number 1 on my independent scorecard; however my other judges overruled me (although none of my jurors has the Trombo Spirit placed lower than third on any of their scorecards). This new spirit surpised and delighted all of the judges most of whom had never tasted the spirit before. It is well deserving of its high placement in the Margarita Rankings.

In case you are unfamiliar with the brand, Tromba is a new boutique tequila created by Marco Cedano. According to the website information, Marco first forged his reputation in Mexico as the original Master Distiller for Don Julio. After working with one of the largest (and most well-known) tequila brands in the world, he decided to go ahead on his own, as both Master Distiller and Founder his new independent brand, Tequila Tromba.

Sandy Silence SAM_1508

Sandy Silence

Here is a link to my full review of this new Tequila Spirit:

Review: Tromba Tequila (Blanco)

“… I was very delighted with the aroma which the glass presented to the breezes. There was a light but firm punky agave scent within those breezes with had melded very nicely into the typically sharp peppery note of the highland tequila. There is a ‘freshness’ rising into the air with effervescent scents of lime zest combined with fruity agave, hints of spearmint, and a touch of licorice …”

Tromba was in fact such a nice spirit that I could not resist designing a new cocktail experience for this outstanding agave spirit. This mixed drink, Sandy Silence, can be found at the conclusion of the review.

All the best everyone, and stay tuned for the spirit my judges ranked number 1.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Cocktails & Recipes, Extras, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 24, 2015

Fancy Cocktail SAM_1558Rum Nation is headquartered in Italy; however Fabio Rossi (The Founder and Owner) purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of rare limited edition rum bottlings.

One such bottling is Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old).

The spirit is produced in the northern Peruvian region of Lambayeque from molasses produced from sugarcane grown in the region. It is distilled on old Scottish column stills in a Peruvian distillery founded in the first half of the 20th Century. Although the rum bears an 8-year-old age statement, the spirit is actually aged in a solera-like style in various kinds of different barrels blended to a recipe which is almost as old as the distillery which produces it.

Based upon my correspondence with Fabio Rossi of Rum Nation, I can safely say that he considers this an entry level sipping rum with a good price/quality ratio ideal for the connoisseur on a budget. I guess, I will examine that claim and see if I agree.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)

“… I noticed firm dark brown sugar scents drifting upwards which were accented by caramel, vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of clove). There is a pleasant backdrop of oak spice, although I think it would be fair to say that the oak spice takes a backseat (in terms of aroma) to the rummy caramel and rich brown sugar scents apparent in the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a suggested cocktail (Fancy Rum Cocktail), as well as a suggested chocolate pairing, Valrhona Noir Guyanaja.

Chimo!

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #3 – Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 22, 2015

Dulce Vida SAM_1532

Dulce Vida Organic Tequila is the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, this spirit is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability. During production of the spirit a complete waste recapture program is set in place which results in the production of a nutrient-rich soil supplement which is supplied to the local farming community. As well, the methane gas which is produced as a by-product of the waste collection & processing is captured and utilized to help power Dulce Vida’s production facilities in the village of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo at Campanario (in Mexico of course).

During the tasting flights for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, the Dulce Vida stood out from the crowd as the light earthy quality which I noticed when I sampled the tequila neat manifested itself as a light smoky flavour in the Margarita cocktail. In fact more than one of my judges asked me later if I had slipped a smoky mezcal in with the tequila. I had not of course, but the observation was astute as the Dulce Vida certainly carries a light mezcal-like character into the cocktail experience.

My jurors were quite smitten (as was I) and the result was that the Dulce Vida Organic Tequila shot all the way up to the number 3 position in my Margarita Countdown.

Here is a link to my recent review published just six months ago:

Review: Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

” … The initial aroma from the blanco spirit is somewhat peppery with a sweet underlying agave scent. There is a light earthy quality which sits within the spicy pepper and some effervescent citrus notes which remind me of lightly sweet grapefruit and lime citrus zest. The breezes above the glass also carry impressions of fresh garden mint, some very mild licorice and a hint of the smell of wet grass just after a light rain shower …”

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #4 – Patrón Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 20, 2015

Patron Margarita

Patron Margarita

According to the company website Patrón Silver Tequila is a pure 100% Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The Agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Patrón Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. The company was created in 1989 when John Paul DeJoria, and Martin Crowley formed The Patrón Spirits Company with the stated singular goal of producing “the best tequila in the world.”

Although there may be some serious debate as to whether Patrón does indeed make the best tequila in the world (a few of my friends would certainly concur), there is no doubt that the Patrón Silver Tequila is a dandy spirit to mix great cocktails with. In fact my Rum Chums and I have decided that it is so good that it ranks as the # 4 Margarita Spirit in the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge.

Based upon my club’s tasting sessions which featured this spirit from Patrón, and based upon how well it scored in my Margarita Challenge, I have revisited my previous review (published 3 years ago) and re-wrote and re-scored the spirit to reflect my current view.

Eye for an Eye (a Margarita Style Cocktail)

Eye for an Eye (a Margarita Style Cocktail)

Here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Patrón Silver Tequila

“… When I brought the glass to my nose, I discovered a light punky agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass. There are some notes of citrus in the breezes which appear to be similar to lemon and lime zest, as well as a gentle smokiness which combined with the aforementioned agave and spice invites me to steal a sip …”

The Patrón Silver Tequila is a classic example of the traditional highland agave spirit. It is also a spirit which has grown on me over the past few years. When I originally reviewed the Patrón Silver a few years ago I felt its ‘sharp peppery bite’ was perhaps a little stronger than I personally preferred in a sipping spirit. However tasting it again three years later and having the opportunity to taste it side by side with many other blanco spirits, I have discovered that this ‘sharp peppery bite’ is exactly what I want when I sip tequila, and it most especially is exactly what I like when I mix margaritas.

I hope you enjoy this new review which includes a new Margarita Style cocktail which I have named, an Eye for an Eye.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #5 – Don Julio Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 18, 2015

Don Julio Margarita

Don Julio Margarita

The top 5 blanco tequila spirits (at least as far as making Margarita Cocktails is concerned) have been determined by my Rum Chums judging panel. We used a simple process of gathering all of the Blanco spirits I could get my hands on, and then designing a standard margarita which would be used throughout the competition. Spirits were judged in side by side flights of 4 or 5 Spirits with all of the winning spirits from each flight gathered together to be judged one more time against each other. The number 5 blanco Tequila as determined by my Rum Chums was Don Julio Blanco.

Because Don Julio Blanco placed so well in my competition, I decided to give my review (written almost 4 years ago) a bit of a facelift to more properly reflect how I felt the spirit in my newest sample bottle tasted relative to the other spirits I encountered in the competition.

Paloma

Paloma

Here is a link to my new review:

Review Don Julio Blanco:

“… The Don Julio tequila has a smooth presence in the mouth with a ‘soft’ agave flavour and warm citrus. I use the term ‘soft’ agave to try to give an indication that the typically earthy and punky flavour of agave is softened in this tequila to the point where I cannot really call it punky or earthy anymore ..”

Please enjoy my review which includes my version of the Paloma Cocktail for you enjoyment.

Note: 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.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

Review: Bayou Silver Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 16, 2015

Lemon Daiquiri SAM_1553Louisiana Spirits was formed in 2011 with the stated aim to produce a world-class rum in Lacassine, Louisiana from Louisiana sugarcane.  By 2013 their distillery located a few miles east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was producing a craft rum in what they call the largest privately owned rum distillery in the USA. They produce three rums, (a spiced, a flavoured, and a white rum) all of which have made their way into the Alberta market via Lifford Wines who distribute and market the spirit here in my home Province of Alberta.

Their white rum, Bayou Silver Rum, is distilled upon a traditional copper pot still using 100% locally (Louisiana) produced cane sugar and molasses. After distillation it is brought to bottling proof (40 % alcohol by volume) using triple filtered fresh water. The spirit is intended as a cocktail mixer or to be enjoyed over ice.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Bayou Silver Rum

“… When I bring the rum to my nose, I notice a few new scents and smells which I have not encountered before when nosing a white rum. The aroma is filled with tropical fruit with a gentle layer of cane sugar melded within …”

Please enjoy my latest rum review which include a nice refreshing summertime cocktail, the Lemon Daiquiri.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

2015 Margarita Challenge #6 – Casamigos Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2015

Casamigos SAM_1527

Casamigos Margarita

I have reached the halfway point in my Rum Howler countdown of the top 10 blanco agave spirits to serve this summer in my Margarita Cocktails. The number 6 spirit is a new Tequila brand promoted by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman called Casamigos. According to the website information this is an ultra premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico‘. The website goes on to tell us that the piñas of the hand selected agave are roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours prior a long 80 hour fermentation. The Casamigos Blanco tequila is rested in American Oak for 2 months before bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Carra Carra Margarita

Cara Cara Margarita

You may read my full review of the Number 6 Agave Spirit in the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge by clicking the link here:

Review: Casamigos Blanco Tequila

“… I noticed a light punky agave scent within the breezes with the sharp spicy/peppery note which is typical of highland tequila somewhat muted. I noticed both grapefruit and lime zest weaving in and out the air with the mild white pepper spice, and I also notice a subtle smokey tone wrapped up within the fruity agave aroma …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice margarita style recipe which utilizes the unique flavour of Cara Cara Oranges. It is called of course, the Cara Cara Margarita.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #7 – Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2015

Cuervo Margarita

Cuervo Margarita

The next entry in my 2015 Margarita Challenge is a spirit which caused more dissension amongst my judges than any other. Amongst the four Rum Chums who acted on my jury panel they was no agreement whatsoever regarding the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata. Two members of the panel had the spirit ranked near the top. One judge had the spirit ranked somewhere in the middle and one judge had it ranked well down her list. (In the case of every other agave spirit, my judges were very consistent in their rankings.)

When all the scores were tabulated and adjusted, the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (a Mixto rather than a 100 % agave spirit) settled into the top 10 as the 7th best blanco tequila for Margarita Cocktails.

You can read my newly revised review here:

Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

“… The entry into the mouth is smooth and unobtrusive with an obvious sweetness which again reminds me of cane syrup. The fruity agave is not aggressive; and there is only a mild white pepper spice heating the palate. Some lemon and lime accents are present …”

The Jose Cuervo Especial Plata lacks the “in your face” earthy herbaceousness and the spicy heat of a typical Blanco Tequila. It is instead, smooth and easy to drink; and carries a cane-like sweetness forward which will appeal to many people. Although the spirit lacks the character of a true 100 % Agave tequila; it nevertheless performs very well as a cocktail spirit.

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

Review: Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky Dark Chocolate

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 11, 2015

Centennial_Dark_Chocolate_-_shadowHighwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. When I visited their facilities a few years ago I could not help but notice how they make their spirits one batch at a time in a friendly, family style atmosphere. I was impressed and I have been a fan of Highwood ever since.

Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky (Dark Chocolate). The spirit represents a melding of their Centennial Rye Whisky with the a small dollop of Dark Chocolate flavour. The flavoured whisky is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.

Orange Chocolate Martini

Orange Chocolate Martini

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky Dark Chocolate

“… The Dark Chocolate Whisky has a pale mahogany colour which seems at odds with the rich dark chocolate scents which seem to ooze out of the rye and wood spices drifting in the breezes above the glass. The impact of the chocolate seems to be softened by an impression of fresh dairy cream within the make-up of its aroma …”

This spirit plays well with caramel, cola, coffee, and even (if you check out my recipe below) orange liqueurs. Those are some of my favourite flavours, so I think you can safely assume that my recommendation for the Centennial Dark Chocolate is quite enthusiastic.

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice dessert martini recipe which have I dubbed the Orange Chocolate Martini.

 

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #8 – Avion Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2015

Avion SAM_1535

Avion Margarita

Avion Silver Tequila is a 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila made from the hand-picked fruit grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila, we can expect the Avion Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)

According to the information provided to me, to produce Avion Tequila, the harvested agave from the highlands is first slow roasted in brick ovens to bring out its natural flavors and aromas. After distillation, but before the tequila is bottled it is run through a proprietary “Ultra Slow Filtration” process which apparently lasts ten times longer than the filtration process for other tequilas. Something good must be happening because according to the Judges at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this tequila is pretty darn good. They awarded Avion Silver Tequila as the Best Unaged White Spirit, and then gave it a Double Gold Medal for two years in a row.

It turns out that my judging panel for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge also believe that something good is happening with Avion Tequila as My Rum Chums and I have determined their Silver Tequila is the 8th best blanco tequila for mixing Margaritas this summer.

Here is a link to my newly revised review:

Review Avion Silver Tequila

“…  I noticed a light effervescent almost spicy aroma of grapefruit zest is reminiscent of the smells of my back garden after a light rain shower. I find  the aroma light and clean almost refreshing. I also noticed a moderately punky/fruity agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass with a light fruity sweetness carried by the agave …”

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Note: If you wish to follow my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which will list all of the results as they are published. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

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

 
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