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Archive for the ‘Festivals and Events’ Category

A Rum Howler Tasting

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 31, 2015

On My Deck 2About twice a month I gather my friends together and I host a Rum Howler Tasting. These are normally informal gatherings where I serve various spirits which have been forwarded to me from industry to review upon my website. I ask my friends to contribute by bringing food and fresh fruit for cocktails and we sample four or five spirits in a relaxed atmosphere where each person can take it as seriously or as casually as they like. Sometimes I gather feedback which makes its way onto my website, and other times it is just about sharing a drink with my friends and having some fun and good conversation.

Occasionally, I receive requests from industry, or from persons who have read my reviews to host a more formal gathering whether it be at a licensed social club, pub or even within a retail liquor store. I have no problem helping out with these events, although sometimes those who request my services are surprised that I actually charge a fee for my time and effort. (I think the fee is reasonable although that sentiment is not shared by all.)

Recently I was asked to host a rather significant event at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club to celebrate one of its member’s 50th birthday. I was given a significant budget for the rum, and told to bring a good range of well aged rums which represented not just the  lower priced rums which I considered to be a great bargain, but also would include one or two significantly priced rums one of which should sit atop the rum world as an example of the very best which could be found. I was told that if I felt a particular rum met this criteria, I should bring it along as a salute to the guest of honour.

I gave the tasting some thought and settled upon 5 rums which I believe were not only great examples of the various different styles of rum which can be found in the Caribbean, they also were readily available in my locale such that my guests could search them out after the event. And, I indeed included a particularly worthy rum which I was sure would please our Guest of Honour.

This is the list I came up with, and the order which I served them in:

  1.  Angostura 1919 (Trinidad)
  2.  Brugal Siglo de Oro (Dominican Republic)
  3.  Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial (Peru)
  4.  El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve (Guyana)

And the extra special rum which was served at the conclusion of the tasting to salute the guest of honour:

5. Panamonte Reserva XXV – 25 Year Old Rum

You can click on the links to read my personal reviews of each of these special rums, but I also thought I would provide some feedback from my 32 guests as to how they felt about each rum.

The Tasting

The first bit of feedback I asked my guests to give me was to compare the $50.00 bottle of Angostura 1919 to the $115.00 bottle of Brugal Siglo De Oro. I kept the prices to myself so that this would not influence anyone’s decision. These two rums are each good examples of the lighter Spanish style, and they highlight just how good a rum can become after spending a significant amount of time in the oak barrel. The results were predictable as all but three guests chose the Siglo De Oro as the best of the two. This was expected as the Siglo de Oro had been aged twice as long as the Angostura 1919 and it’s price reflected its longer aging time.

Next I asked the same question of the $50.00 bottle of Ron Millonario 15 Reserva Especial versus the $40.00 bottle of El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve. Each of these rums is from South America. They have a sweeter flavour profile, and each is significantly aged. However, the Peruvian rum (Ron Millonario) is a blend of 7 to 15-year-old rums, whereas the Rum from Guyana (El Dorado) has a true 12 year age statement meaning its entire contents must be no less than 12 years old. This time the room was more equally split, however there was a small majority of guests who preferred the less expensive offering from El Dorado.

Finally, I asked my guests to choose their favourite rum from the first four they were served. The sweeter rums from South America prevailed, and the less expensive El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve was the clear favourite with half of the room choosing it over the other more expensive rums. The Ron Millonario 15 Reserva Especial was a close second. There were a few persons who chose the most expensive of the four, the Brugal Siglo De Oro as their favourite, and one of these persons told me afterwards that he did not think the contest was even close. His palate definitely preferred the drier spirits.

After each had given me their preferences, I told them the values of these particular rums here in Alberta, and the room was shocked that the least expensive, the rum from El Dorado was such a stand-out. (I wonder if the guests would have chosen differently if they had known the prices of the various rums they were tasting?)

I ended the tasting with a salute to the Guest of Honour, and we all toasted him with a sample of a rum from a $380 bottle, the 25 Year Old Panamonte XXV Rum. Because this was the final toast, and I did not want to spoil the event with more questions for my guests, I let everyone savour the Central American rum from Panamonte. I did notice however, as I looked around the room after everyone was gone, that the Panamonte XXV was the only spirit to have been completely consumed by every guest. Apparently it was very well received by all.

Note: If you wish to hire the Rum Howler to add a little pizzazz to your next Tasting Event, you may use my Contact Me page to reach out to me. My fee is reasonable (at least I think so).

Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events | Leave a Comment »

A Chance to Taste the Entire Glenfarclas Core Range

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 28, 2014

This Tuesday, November 4th, (at 7:00 PM) the Edmonton Scotch Society is presenting a fantastic Glenfarclas Whisky Tasting Event at Chateau Louis Hotel (11727 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB ) where the entire core range of Glenfarclas Single Malt Whisky will be discussed and of course, tasted. This is quite truthfully an impressive range from one of the only remaining distilleries in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed.

The line-up for the tasting will be as follows:

Price: – $50 per ticket

Please call  (780) 452 – 7770 for more information!

Note: The follow-up event on November 5th at Ft. Edmonton Park is already sold out!

( I hope I see some of my readers there. Sláinte!)

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El Dorado Rum – The Liquid Gold Event

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2014

21yo-rEl Dorado Rum – The Liquid Gold Event

I have been invited by the folks at WINE MATTERS…AND MORE DISTRIBUTOR INC. to be the guest host for an El Dorado Rum Event on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 (7:00 pm – 9:00 PM) at Wines and Beyond (Windemere)

Address: 6276 Currents Dr NW, Edmonton

I will be taking everyone through a vertical tasting Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Luxury Cask Rum El Dorado Rums

Here is the list of Rums I will be presenting:

El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve
El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve
El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve

We will also be serving the new El Dorado Spiced Rum as it is being introduced into the Alberta Market.

During the event I will be sharing my experiences from a recent trip to Guyana (Home of El Dorado Rum) where I was given the opportunity to tour Demerara Distillers Limited’s facilities witnessing the rum production first hand. This was during an important time when the company was transferring rum production from their Old Plant with its amazing Heritage Stills, to their new modern Multi-Column Production Facility.

I will be discussing the implications of the new plant and how we may expect Demerara Distillers Limited and their amazing El Dorado Rum to evolve going forward.

Please contact Wine and Beyond at Windemere (6276 Currents Drive NW, phone: (780) 439-5130 ) to sign up for this Rum Howler Event (which I believe is free)!

Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events | 5 Comments »

Escape to El Dorado

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 8, 2014

El dorado Flight

Escape (with the Rum Howler) to El Dorado

I have been invited by the great guys (Bill and Graham) at UNWINED – Fine Wine, Spirits and Ales in St. Albert to be the guest host for an El Dorado Rum event on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 (7:30 pm).

I will be taking everyone through a vertical tasting Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) unique portfolio of  El Dorado Rum.

 Here is the list of Demerara Rums I will be presenting:

El Dorado Spiced
El Dorado Cask Aged 5 Year Old
El Dorado 12 Year Old Special Reserve
El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve
El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve

During the event I will be sharing my experiences from a recent trip to Guyana where I was given the opportunity to tour the DDL facilities witnessing the rum production first hand. This was during an important time when the company was transferring rum production from their Old Plant with its amazing Heritage Stills, to their new modern multi-column production facility.

I will be discussing the implications of the new plant and how we may expect Demerara Distillers Limited and their amazing El Dorado Rum to evolve going forward.

Please contact UNWINED – Fine Wine, Spirits and Ales (#2 512 St. Albert Trail – 780 458 477) for tickets which are an amazingly low $25.00 each!

 

Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events | 2 Comments »

Edmonton Whisky Festival: The Macallan Masterclass with Brand Ambassador – Dan Volway

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 8, 2014

VolwayEdmonton Whisky Festival

The Macallan Masterclass with Brand Ambassador – Dan Volway

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (6:30 PM – 7:30 PM)

Ticket Price: $25.00 each

The 2014 Edmonton Whisky Festival is proud to welcome, Dan Volway, trained Sommelier and former Instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers at Niagara and George Brown College.

For years Dan had imbibed on fine wines until a longtime friend introduced him to scotch whisky and effectively converted his grape biased palette to appreciate the nuances of fine hand-­crafted scotch. As his repertoire expanded, Dan fell madly in love with The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse – brands known across the globe for their heritage, quality and unrivaled approach to whisky making. When the opportunity arose to represent his favourite scotch portfolio in Western Canada, Dan jumped at the chance and was willing to move across the country from Toronto to Vancouver to fulfill his duties as Brand Ambassador.

Dan’s role is to connect with like-­‐minded individuals, groups and establishments from the Prairies to the Pacific, exposing the virtues of the whiskies he’s been charged to represent. His schedule is filled with meetings and events held by various whisky appreciation groups, where he works on building relationships and cultivating connoisseurs who share the very same passion for whisky that attracted him to the business. Dan is also responsible for connecting his brand with people in the spirit trade with staff from some of the country’s top bars and prestigious restaurants all the way to swanky speakeasies and stalwart pubs.

If you are already have tickets to the Edmonton Whisky Festival, why not add a voluptuary adventure exploring The Macallan Single Malt Whisky with Brand Ambassador Dan Volway!

“It’s a real privilege to be in a position to share my knowledge and passion for Scotch whisky with aspiring scotch enthusiasts and experts, alike,”  Dan says. “If I can help to bring a special epicurean experience to someone with humour, warmth and insight, then I feel as though I’ve done my job.”

For more information please contact:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)

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Edmonton Whisky Festival Bourbon Masterclass with Whiskey Ambassador – Matt Jones

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 6, 2014

481741_10152291406170541_899318854zsaS_nEdmonton Whisky Festival

Bourbon Masterclass with Whiskey Ambassador – Matt Jones

Where: Edmonton Delta South Hotel

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 (6:30 PM – 7:30 PM)

Ticket Price: $25.00 each

The 2014 Edmonton Whisky Festival is proud to introduce to Edmonton, classically trained mixologist and performance bartender, Matt Jones. Matt has a wealth of experience in the alcohol beverage industry – over 15 years of experience in various roles including instructor, foodservice and hospitality consultant, public speaker and media spokesperson. The role that is his favourite is that of Whisky Ambassador, tapping into his passion for whisk(e)y.

Since 2010 he has been Beam Inc. Canada’s Whisk(e)y Ambassador for their Bourbon Portfolio (Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Devil’s Cut, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s) as well as speaking to whiskies from Cooley (Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnell), Canadian Club (Reserve, Classic, Sherry Cask) and most recently as the mixologist for Alberta Premium’s Dark Horse Rye. In this role, he has educated and inspired both consumers and bartenders across Canada.

If you are already attending the Edmonoton Whisky Festival, why not join Matt Jones(Aka The Whisky Chef) as his Master Class takes you through a tour of the wonderful the world of Bourbon!

Note: Matt has also appeared as a bartender/mixology expert on shows on the Food Network, SLICE Network, and “W” Network. Other appearances include CityTV Breakfast Television (Toronto), Rogers Daytime, CHCH News, CTV and CBC News. He has also written and provided content for numerous articles on spirits and whisk(e)y.

For more information please contact:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (Edmonton)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)

Posted in Festivals and Events | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Edmonton Whisky Festival Bourbon Masterclass with Whiskey Ambassador – Matt Jones

Morrison Bowmore’s Global Master of Malts to visit Edmonton

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 4, 2014

Photo Courtesy Morrison Bowmore

Photo Courtesy Morrison Bowmore

Vines Welcomes Morrison Bowmore’s Global Master of Malts – Iain MaCallum

With over 20 years experience at Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD), first as a Laboratory Technician Trainee, then as Distillery Manager at Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, and finally as Senior Blender. Iain MaCallum has now joined the sales and Marketing team as Global Master of Malts, a world-wide educational role for Morrison Bowmore.

Vines Riverbend Wine Merchants is proud to provide a unique opportunity to welcome Iain McCallum and to have him share a few drams from MBD’s three great Scottish distilleries (Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch), considered three of the most recognized names in Single Malt Whisky.

Where: Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants (2331 Rabbit Hill Rd NW, Edmonton)
When:  Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at  7:00 PM
Price:  $36.99 prepaid

Limited Seating Available

Reserve your seat by contacting:

Vines – Riverbend Wine Merchants
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

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Posted in Festivals and Events, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Morrison Bowmore’s Global Master of Malts to visit Edmonton

Edmonton Whisky Festival 2014

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 2, 2014

EWF2014Edmonton 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)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tickets are now available from Vines or through the new website: (http://edmontonwhiskyfestival.ca/)

Posted in Extras, Festivals, Festivals and Events, Fund Raisers | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Edmonton Whisky Festival 2014

Announcing the 2013 Edmonton Whisky Festival

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2013

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In Support of the MS Society

Where: Edmonton Delta South

When: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ticket Price: $75.00 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 from across Canada.

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)
Telephone: 434-9444
Email: info@vineswinemerchants.com

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Posted in Extras, Festivals, Festivals and Events, Fund Raisers | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Announcing the 2013 Edmonton Whisky Festival

Tasting the Glenfarclas Range with George Grant

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2012

This Sunday, November 18th, the Edmonton Golf and Country Club (6201 Country Club Rd NW, Edmonton) will be the location for an extraordinary tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery where the entire core range of Glenfarclas Whisky will be discussed and of course, tasted. (Mr. Grant is part of the 6th generation of the Grant Family who originally purchased the distillery in 1865. His family still controls and manages the distillery today.)

The line-up for the tasting will be as follows:

Price: – $65 per ticket

Please call  780-904-2684 for more information!

(This is quite truthfully an impressive range from one of the only remaining distilleries in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed. I hope I see some of my readers there. Sláinte!)

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Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tasting the Glenfarclas Range with George Grant

 
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