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Archive for the ‘Extras’ Category

#13 Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art – 1st Edition (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2015

The Bruichladdich (Pronunciation = Brook Laddie) Distillery was built in 1881 on Hebridean Isle, in what is now known as the Islay region of Scotland. It was one of many distilleries, which despite its long history and tradition of whisky making, was closed in 1994 due to industry consolidation. The distillery no longer produced whisky, but the existing stocks left inside continued to age. The good news is that on 19th December, 2000, the distillery was purchased by a small band of investors. It was renovated and reopened, and on May 21, 2001 the distillery once again began to distill whisky.

This small band of investors then proceeded to turn the Scottish whisky world upside down. They blended and bottled their whisky in small artisan production runs using a multitude of unique finishing casks. Borrowing ideas from their own past experiences, they brought to market a variety of one of a kind whiskies, the like of which the Scottish Whisky World had never seen before.

Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art SAM_1877The Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art is just such a bottling. Master Blender, Jim McEwan, used 1989 Vintage whisky stocks and a secret combination of wine finishing casks to create this unusual Vintage Single Malt Whisky. Although I have tried to find out which types of wine casks were used to finish this whisky, my research was to no avail. Apparently, Mr McEwan didn’t allow anybody to see. All we know is what is written on the bottle …

Here is a link to the original review of the #13 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#13 – Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art (1st Edition)

“… These flavours practically leap into the mouth out of the whisky. Wine filled cherries and grapes take the lead pushed forward by a firm smoke, filled with raisins,  prunes and dried apricots. I taste baked apples with spices of cinnamon and sweetened with brown sugar. Within this array of flavour the whisky carries a mild seawater brine with traces of iodine …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirit

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Rum Howler’s #14 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Alberta Springs

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 11, 2015

Alberta SpringsAlberta Springs is produced by Alberta Distillers Ltd. (owned by Beam-Suntory) in the City of Calgary at the ADL Distillery which is renowned for producing the largest quantity of rye grain whisky in the world. This means that Alberta Springs is very much a rye based whisky. However,  Rick Murphy, the Production Superintendent at ADL did tell me that the blend is subject to economic dictates, and therefore the distillery will also use varying amounts of corn in the blended whisky.

Despite the small changes in the blend, I have consistently found Alberta Springs to be one of the best ‘economy’ whiskies in the world with a strong rye forward flavour profile that is hard to beat.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #14 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Alberta Springs 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky

“… The initial nose from the glass is of a spicy rye which carries scents of tobacco along for the ride. There is a nice presence of oak and a touch of vanilla but the spicy rye is dominant. As the whisky decants the tobacco gains a little steam and a ripe sweet and sour fruitiness is evolving from the rye which is also filling the air with scents of ginger and cardamom …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

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

#14 Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 11, 2015

Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka is an exclusive ultra-premium Vodka, and according to the Beluga Website, it is manufactured from malted spirit and pure Getreidemalz Siberian spring water. Even though artesian spring water is naturally pure, for this Vodka, the spring water must also undergo an extra filtration for an even higher level of purity. After being distilled five times, the vodka is enriched with special ingredients such as rice extract and golden root (rhodiola rosea) extract.

Beluga Noble Gold Line SAM_1887The addition of minute quantities of special ingredients is consistent with what I know of traditional European production methods where each distilled vodka has its own recipe and its own special ingredients. It is these special ingredients used in very small proportions which contribute to the individual character of each Vodka. (By small quantities I really do mean small; typically these extra ingredients are measured in parts per million.)

After all of this, the Vodka is rested for 90 days before bottling. This rest period apparently allows the molecular components within to stabilize allowing for a smoother more velvet-like mouth-feel and taste.

Here is a link to the review of the best Vodka I have ever tasted, and the #14 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#14 – Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka

“… The first taste was lightly sweet and lightly spicy with a flavour I would describe as soft and clean. Hints of lemon tantalized my mouth, and I seem to taste mild hints of bay leaf and thyme, and perhaps an ever so light impression of ginger. As the vodka warmed, the flavours increased in strength; but they never become more than vague impressions. It is almost as if I feel the flavour rather than taste it …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on #14 Beluga Noble Gold Line Vodka (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

The Rum Howler’s #15 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Century Reserve 21 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2015

Century_Reserve_21_Yr_-_shadowIn November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries (founded by Ernie Potter in 1958). Part of this acquisition, was the purchase of all of the remaining barrel aged stocks of whisky in the Potters facility. These barrels of whisky were transferred from the Potters warehouse facilities in Kelowna, B.C. to the newly constructed warehouse facility in High River, Alberta, where they were allowed to continue to age at the foot of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Canadian Prairies. The whisky brands which Potters had established (Century and Potters) were added to the Highwood portfolio.

According to the information provided me when I reviewed this whisky the first time, Century Reserve 21 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky, is a premium a 21-year-old single grain corn whisky.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #15 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Century Reserve 21 Year Old

“… The breezes above the glass are luscious. Indications of roasted corn-0n-the-cob, rich oak spices, toffee, butterscotch, and tobacco all rise up to greet my nose. As the whisky breathes, those scents and smells above the glass become even richer with oak sap, stronger tobacco accents, marmalade and hints of vanilla pudding marrying themselves into the overall aroma …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #15 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Century Reserve 21 Year Old

#15 Glenmorangie Tùsail (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2015

Glenmorangie Tùsail is a member of the company’s Private Edition Range (the sixth in the series). The Private Edition Range features limited edition whiskies which are meant to bring a new or unique characteristic to the Glenmorangie line-up. In the case of Tùsail, its unique character is derived from the barley from which it is distilled, Maris Otter Barley. Maris Otter was derived in 1965 as a cross between two other barley varieties, Proctor and Pioneer. It is a two-row varietal designed as a low nitrogen barley with superior malting characteristics. Whisky distillers experimented with the Maris Otter variety briefly in the 60s and 70s as the grain was noted for its ability to impart strong robust flavour and character to the malt; however its usage as a malt barley for production whisky was widely discontinued due to its low yield characteristic.

TusailAlthough this variety of barley fell out of favour for production whisky, its strong flavour characteristic caused it to remain in high demand for premium products especially in the home brewing sector and as a key ingredient for traditional ales in micro breweries. Because of this strong flavour characteristic, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation and Distilling, Dr. Bill Lumsden, decided the time was right to produce a premium Single Malt using the premium Maris Otter grain. The resulting whisky, Tùsail was created exclusively from this barley grain which during production was floor malted (by hand), distilled upon Glenmorangie’s unique high, long-necked copper pot stills, and then matured in a small amount of specially selected casks.

Here is the review for a wonderful whisky which arrives as the #15 Spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#15 – Glenmorangie Tùsail

“… The initial breezes bring scents of fresh-baked bread crust into the air pushed ahead of peppery oak spices. I soon begin to notice impressions of granola perhaps with a bit of Cap’n Crunch cereal along for the ride. there are hints of milk chocolate and a discernible nutty element which reminds me of fresh slivered filberts (hazelnuts) …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

 

 

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #15 Glenmorangie Tùsail (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

The Rum Howler’s #16 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

Coyote Ugly WhiskyCoyote Ugly Canadian Whisky is produced by Highwood Distillers in Southern Alberta, for the team of Celebrity Cellars International founder, Jeff Harder, and the founder of the Coyote Ugly Saloon, Liliana Lovell. The brand is produced from a blend of winter wheat and rye whisky which has been blended from three, four and five-year old stocks aged in American oak.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #16 Canadian Whisky of 2015:

Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky

“… The whisky smells of rich butterscotch and caramel. Light rye scents waft into the breezes with dabs of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. A light footprint of vanilla and almond compliment the delicate baking spices leaving impressions of marzipan in the air above the glass …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #16 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Coyote Ugly Canadian Whisky

The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

This posting will help catch up my Top Rums of 2015 Countdown with the other two countdowns currently underway, The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits Countdown and the Rum Howler 2015 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies.

I thought at this time that I should make one thing clear to everyone. Whereas my 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown is a compilation of the best spirits I have ever tasted, the 2015 Top 25 Rum and Canadian Whisky Countdowns are compilations of the best spirits (in those categories) which I have both tasted and which are currently available in the year 2015.

Pumpkin 23This means that the astute reader, when utilizing the various list to do their Christmas shopping, should take into account that my Top 100 Spirits list contains great spirits which are no longer available to the public. However, every rum and whisky listed on the Top 25 Rum And the Top 25 Canadian Whisky lists are currently available for retail purchase somewhere in the world. Some may not be available in your locale, but they are available.

Which brings us on to the next batch of great rums. Here are the links to the reviews for the # 20 through to the #16 ranked rums in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums:

20)  Rum Nation Panama (Aged 21 years)
19)  Pumpkin Face 23
18)  Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados Rum
17)  El Dorado 25 Year Old Vintage Reserve Rum
16)  Ron Zacapa Centenario XO 15

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You may read about and follow the Top 25 Rum Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Rums

Posted in Awards, Dark Rums, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler Top 25 Rums of 2015 – #’s 20 thru 16

#16 Citadelle Reserve Gin 2011 Edition (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 9, 2015

Citadelle Gin has a history which stretches back to 1775 when King Louis XVI authorized two Frenchmen, Carpeau and Stival, to open a genievre distillery at the Citadelle in Dunkirk, which would serve as the Royal Distillery with an exclusive 20 year privilege.  The Citadelle Distillery produced about 1000 litres of genievre per day which was predominantly shipped in small casks for sale in England, where gin was very popular.

Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition) SAM_1879About 200 years later in 1989,  Alexandre Gabriel of Cognac Ferrand, recognized that in France, gin had become more of an industrial spirit with much of the heritage and refinement lessened by time. He decided to create a handcrafted gin using small copper pots in the style and tradition of the Citadelle Distillery of old. Fortunately records existed of the old gin making techniques at the Citadelle Distillery, and after several years of research Alexandre Gabriel was successful in distilling an old style handcrafted gin under the Citadelle name. The Gin is produced at the Cognac Ferrand facilities in Cognac, France, and according to the Citadelle Gin website, it is produced under naked flame in small copper pot stills using a complex array of 19 botanicals.

Here is a link to the review of the best gin I have ever tasted, and the #16 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#16 – Citadelle Reserve Gin (2011 Edition)

“… The aroma which drifts upwards is light and elegant, and very appealing. Mild piny notes of juniper seem to lead into the breezes with scents of lemon and balsam arriving almost as quickly. The oak manifests itself as sandalwood with light rye spices which build up as the glass sits. There is also a soothing floral characteristic to the nose which reminds me of  lilacs in the springtime …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Rum Howler’s #17 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Wiser’s Small Batch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2015

WisersSmBatch-Oct12-lgWiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky was released in the fall of 2008 replacing the Wiser’s Reserve. There were a few important differences in Wiser’s Small Batch which made it somewhat unique as far Canadian Whisky was concerned at that time. First, it is made in small batches using traditional distilling methods, hence the name Wiser’s Small Batch, and secondly, the bottling strength is 43.4 % rather than the traditional 40 %. This slightly higher strength should allow the whisky to display more texture in the mouth and a more concentrated flavour and aroma.

Since the release of Wiser’s Small Batch in 2008 the innovations introduced through this brand have been widely adopted by many other Canadian Whisky Producers.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #17 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Wiser’s Small Batch

“… Wiser’s Small Batch is soft and supple on the tongue with hot oak spices which carry a bevy of flavour along for the ride across the palate. I taste some fresh oak and cedar; some sweet caramel, butterscotch and maple; soft corn and spicy rye; some light impressions of honeycomb and tobacco, and some delicious canned fruit (marmalade, apricots and pears) …”

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You may read about the Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown here:

The Rum Howler 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #17 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Wiser’s Small Batch

#17 Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2009 (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 8, 2015

Forty Creek Whisky has for the past several years produced a special limited release whisky and allowed the public to participate in its release by offering to let those who pre-order the whisky to choose their own numbered bottle(s). These special release whiskies are built upon the foundation of the company’s flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select, and are actually versions of this whisky which have spent additional time finishing in certain selected oak barrels. (I think you can guess the nature of the ‘special cask’ for this particular offering.)

Forty Creek PR 1st SAM_1876In 2009 the special release was spectacular, Forty Creek Portwood Reserve (2009).

Here is a link to the review of the #17 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#17 – Forty Creek Portwood Reserve (2009)

“… It seemed that every time  I visited this whisky, a new experience presented itself. In the glass, the whisky is a medium to light  brown with an obvious reddish tone. Notes of cherry and blackberry sit at the forefront of the nose, with spicy cinnamon and caramelized brown sugar rising up in between. Tiny Legs become apparent on the sides of my glencairn glass, and as I nose this more deeply I smell distinctive vanilla and light bourbon. A classic …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #17 Forty Creek Portwood Reserve 2009 (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

 
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