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Archive for the ‘Howls’ Category

Howls are my main method of posting on the front page. They are my way of communicating to you the general information of the site.

Introducing: Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 20, 2012

Over 100 years ago an entrepreneurial cowboy named Guy Weadlick visited Calgary, Alberta and envisioned a tribute show to the pioneers of the west complete with a Cowboy Championship Contest. He arranged $100,000.00 in financing from the “Big 4″ (George Lane, Archie McClean, Patrick Burns, and A.E. Cross) who were influential Calgary area ranchers and businessmen. In September 1912, Guy Weadlick’s vision, the first Calgary Stampede, came to life for six glorious days. An estimated 80,000 people attended the first Stampede Parade, which was an astonishing number considering Calgary’s population at the time was only three-quarters that figure at 60,000. The major events at this “Cowboy Championship” offered each winner first prize cash of $1000, as well as a Saddle and a Gold Buckle!

For over 100 years now the Calgary Stampede has brought people from all over the world together to experience the region’s unique western heritage and values. Highwood Distillers, Alberta’s only privately owned distillery, has joined in and is celebrating the Centennial of the Calgary Stampede by producing an exclusive Limited Edition Ultra-Premium 25 Year Old Commemorative Canadian Rye Whisky.

The handsome heavy-set 8-sided bottle is adorned with a medal label, and a high quality wooden capped synthetic cork seals this rare wonderfully old whisky.

Here are my initial tasting notes:

Colour: Brilliant amber with flashes of gold.

Nose:  Deep scents of oak and cedar, butterscotch bathed in corn and honeyed oak spices, melted vanilla ice-cream, and delicate aromas of sweet bourbon whiskey

Taste: Luscious oak spices, butterscotch and honey, corn on the cob, and sweet dank Kentucky Bourbon. The whisky grows in the glass getting richer and more complex with flavours of marzipan, orange marmalade and lots of melted vanilla ice cream.

Finish: An explosion of tonsil licking oak spices with echoes of vanilla, butterscotch, and honey lingering in the throat.

The Centennial of the Calgary Stampede is an event worth celebrating!

The launch of Highwood’s Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky is the launch of a whisky worthy of this celebration.

PS: My full review will follow in a few weeks!
(If Highwood’s Calgary Stampede (Commemorative) 25 Year Old Whisky is not in stores now, it will be soon.)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Howls, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Rum – A Monumental Spirit

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 17, 2012

The press release from Appleton Estate Rum begins as follows:

“… Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum is proud to announce the release of a world first in Rum, the very rare Limited Edition Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve  

Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum – Jamaica Independence Reserve comprises rums that have been aged for a minimum of 50 years in hand selected, oak barrels and it is believed to be the oldest rum available for sale in the world. Only 800 bottles of this very rare, Limited Edition bottling will be made available for sale around the world at a target Retail Price of US$5,000 per 750ml bottle…”

Wow… Five Thousand Dollars a Bottle!?

You may read my (somewhat controversial) thoughts on this new release here:

Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Rum – A Monumental Spirit

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Dark Rums, Extras, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

For Father’s Day – Avoiding my 10 Whisky Regrets

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 15, 2012

Yesterday I shared a few of my rum experiences which were, let me say, less than enjoyable. The list was meant to help you avoid similar pitfalls in your search for a suitable rum to buy Dad for Father’s Day. Today, I think it is only fair, that I also list a few of the whisky decisions I have regretted as well. The list I came up with, isn’t really a list of horrible whiskies that left me gasping (although a couple are). It is more of a list of whiskies which in some way tainted my enjoyment such that I kind of wished I had never succumbed to their charm in the bottle.

They made me run to them, and then they made me run from them, kind of like that Gloria Jones song covered by Soft Cell:


These are my regrets, and I publish this list in hopes that I can help you avoid a regret or two this Father’s Day. (Just for the fun of it, I think I will count them down in reverse order starting with a few minor regrets, working my way to my biggest whisky regret.)

My 10 Whisky Regrets

Happy Father’s Day Everyone!

Posted in American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Howls, Irish Whskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on For Father’s Day – Avoiding my 10 Whisky Regrets

For Father’s Day – Ten Rums You Should Avoid

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 14, 2012

Earlier this week I gave everyone a few recommendations for their Father’s Day purchases; I thought it only fair that I also list a few of the rum purchase decisions you should avoid. This is a list of sugar-cane based spirits which will help to empty your wallet, but will leave your Dad scratching his head in bewilderment. I have posted this list before, and it proved to be somewhat controversial. It seems that some of my choices are actually well-loved by some of my readers. If I have slighted one of your favourites please chime in with a comment to defend your rum of choice. But, having said that, I must confess, that these are anything but my rums of choice. These are my regrets, and I publish this list in hopes that I can help you avoid a regret or two this Father’s Day.

And so without further ado, here are…the Ten Rums you should avoid.

These Rums Ain’t Pretty… They just look that way!

Here is the video that inspired the original posting…..



Posted in Dark Rums, Flavouerd Rums, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: , | Comments Off on For Father’s Day – Ten Rums You Should Avoid

For Father’s Day – Great Rum on a Budget

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 12, 2012

Yesterday I posted a great list of budget-priced Canadian Whiskies suitable for Father’s Day. Today, I am posting a similar list, for those who would prefer rum over whisky. Again, the list is qualified as being only those rums which can be found for under $30.00 in my locale, and those which I personally would love to receive as a Father’s Day Gift.

And so in no particular order, I give you my list of 12 great budget priced rums suitable for Father’s Day. Beside each rum is the approximate price here in Edmonton.
(You may click each selection to read my reviews of each particular rum if you wish.)

Screech (Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum)    ($22.99)

Appleton Estate Reserve    ($29.95)

El Dorado 5 Yr Cask Aged Rum     ($29.95)

Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum   ($24.95)

Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 Year Old    ($29.95)

Bermudez Ron Viejo Blanco   ($24.95)

Mount Gay Eclipse (Gold)     ($24.95)

Diplomático Añejo    ($27.99)

Amrut Old Port Deluxe    ($24.95)

Angostura Royal Oak     ($22.95)

3 Barrel Aged Rum (Travellers)     ($29.95)

El Dorado 3 Year Cask Aged Demerara Rum    ($28.95)

Happy shopping!

Cheers and Happy Father’s Day!

Posted in Dark Rums, Howls, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

For Father’s Day – Canadian Whisky on a Budget

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 11, 2012

My wife asked me the other day which whisky I would like for Father’s Day. I thought about it for a few moments, and I decided that rather than giving her only one choice, I would give her a list of Canadian Whiskies to choose from. I decided this list should be easy on her wallet, but just as important, each whisky on the list would be one which I would be happy to receive.

The list I cam up with was a selection of twelve budget-priced Canadian Whiskies, all of which are under thirty dollars in my locale, Receiving any whisky from this selection as a father’s day gift, will suit me just fine.

And so in no particular order, I give you my list of 12 great budget priced Canadian Whiskies for Father’s Day. Beside each whisky is the approximate price here in Edmonton.
(You may click each selection to read my reviews of each particular whisky if you wish.)

Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky   ($25.95)

Black Velvet Deluxe    ($20.95)

Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky   ($22.50)

Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky    ($19.95)

Wiser’s Small Batch   ($25.95)

Gibson’s Finest Sterling Whisky   ($24.95)

Century Reserve 21 Year Old   ($29.95)

Potters Special Old Rye Whisky   ($19.95)

Wiser’s De Luxe   ($29.95)

Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old   ($29.95)

Schenley OFC Canadian Whisky   ($20.95)

Hiram Walker Special Old   ($23.00)

Happy shopping!

Cheers and Happy Father’s Day!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Howls, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

A Comment about Comments

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 9, 2012

I have received feedback lately from some of my friends that they sometimes are asked for a “WordPress Password” in order to leave comments on my website. It is frustrating for them as they have always been able to comment in the past, and they really do not want to go to the trouble of obtaining a WordPress account. I was mystified by this development as I never changed any settings and really welcome the comments from all of my friends.

I got to the bottom of the mystery today and discovered that WordPress has become concerned that certain nefarious persons may be trying to hijack the identity of others in order to place comments upon certain blogs. I understand this concern completely as I have discovered that some persons have indeed been doing this upon my website. It seems that there always are some people who have nothing better to do than cause others grief. These actions are probably illegal; but stopping someone from using someone else’s email address to leave a comment is extremely difficult to police. The WordPress solution at this point is a system of verification in which they scan each commenting email address and if it is on their system as a WordPress user, a password is automatically asked for to verify the identity of the commenter.

The complication is that Gravatar Accounts are also WordPress Accounts. This means you may have a WordPress Account without even knowing it. If you are commenting using the email address which is attached to your Gravatar account, then you will be asked for a WordPress Password. Fortunately, your Gravatar Password is also your WordPress Password, and if you supply that password you are allowed to comment. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience, but I understand why WordPress felt they had to take action. Hopefully a better solution will be forthcoming.


Posted in Howls | Comments Off on A Comment about Comments

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 18, 2012

Cognac Ferrand has long a history of providing Cognac Casks to various Caribbean rum producers based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Because of this long history Cognac Ferrand has over time developed solid relationships with many of these producers. Based upon these relationships Cognac Ferrand has been able to acquire certain unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources. Typically these rums are brought back to France to be finished in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks.

The Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum  is Cognac Ferrand’s Tiki style overproof rum. The base rum is a column distilled rum from Trinidad which was aged in oak barrels in Trinidad before being transported to France.

Here is an excerpt from  my review:

“… Sipping the rum at full strength is a bit challenging to say the least. Yet when I did so, I was almost fond of the experience. I admit, I had to take it extremely easy as this rum carries an intense alcohol sting and assertive hot spices in its wake. The rich caramel toffee I noted on the nose was just as strong in the mouth, and the marmalade aroma I had sniffed earlier seems to have a lot of orange peel bite coming along with it for the ride. I spite of my admiration for the intense flavour, I decide that adding an ice-cube to the glass is probably a good thing …”

You may read my full review here:

Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

As well I have included my latest recipe creation, Zombie Plantation! (pictured to the left)

Enjoy the review and the cocktail!

Posted in Howls | Comments Off on Review: Plantation Original Dark 73 % Overproof Rum

Book Review: Canadian Whisky: the portable expert

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 15, 2012

I love Canadian Whisky! It is smooth and tasty, and (in my locale at least) extremely well priced compared to the other whisky offerings on the store shelf. This means that even the premium brands sell at prices which allows me to mix them in cocktails without guilt, and some of the super premium brands are cheaper than the average price of a single malt scotch (Last month I purchased 3 bottles of a 25-year-old pure rye whisky for less than 90 bucks combined!)

So when I found out that my whisky reviewing friend, Davin de Kergommeaux, had written a book devoted to Canadian Whisky; I was very eager to give it a good read. Davin, like myself is a true devotee of our great Canadian Spirit. He has created his own website (Canadian Whisky) where he publishes various articles about our mutual passion and of course his unrivaled reviews. He has also been instrumental in launching the first ever fully independent Canadian Whisky Awards! These awards have highlighted not only the best tasting whiskies made in Canada, but they also awarded special achievements by Canadian Whisky Distillers in areas of innovation, brand extension, and media/advertising.

I received my copy of Canadian Whisky: the portable expert about three weeks ago, and I thought I would share my thoughts on Davin’s scribblings here on my website.

Here is a link to those thoughts:

Book Review: Canadian Whisky: the portable expert

Note: The book should already be in your local bookstore as it was released on May 8. I believe it is available through Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, McNallyRobinson, and several other on-line booksellers.

Posted in Books, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Howls, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Book Review: Canadian Whisky: the portable expert

A Lamentation for Value Whisky Reviews

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2012

It was with some sadness that I read the March 28 posting on Ryan’s website, Value Whisky Reviews. (As far as I know Ryan never posted his last name on his website, so I shall not do so here.) Value Whisky Reviews was an apologetically honest website, where Ryan, a self admitted amateur, posted his mix of views and reviews regarding whisky, blogging and how these two passions of his affected his spirituality.

I said Ryan’s website was apologetically honest, and it was. His reviews were accurate and his reflections on the relative value of the spirits with relation to  cost versus scoring were always well thought out and worth reading. But what I liked about Ryan was his reflections on not the spirit of whisky, but rather his own spirit. The angst he felt with respect to how his hobby was affecting his relationship with God clearly came out in his writing. His articles, What the Bible says about drinking and Whisky: a golden calf? were each very well thought out and in particular the latter article was extremely heartfelt.

This is Ryan (hopefully he doesn’t mind me borrowing his picture from his website).

Ryan seems to have no problems writing about his own spirit, and in fact he unabashedly placed his own Christianity on his website for all to see. While other spirits writers would use the side columns of their website to promote articles on their site, Ryan first placed this quote from Romans 10:9:

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

and then this one from Luke 24:47:

“There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.”

He wanted to be true to his own beliefs and ensured he exalted God and Christ before he exalted himself. Yet, it was this conflict between his love of Christ an his love of his website that led to the his decision to shut things down. I was saddened. I felt that Ryan was contributing something special, and I don’t think you had to be Christian to appreciate the message he was trying to promote or to appreciate the angst that he felt when he found himself guiltily checking his web stats everyday to see how his website was fairing.

In the end, Ryan decided that he was too close to putting his own personal satisfaction ahead of his spirit. I cannot judge that, I am incapable. But I can say, that it is unfortunate to see such an honest person leave the blogosphere. I hope he comes back!

Good Luck Ryan
My heart is with you!

Posted in Howls | 2 Comments »


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