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Archive for the ‘Whisk(e)y Review’ Category

The Rum Howler’s #13 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Double Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 12, 2015

double-barrel-heroForty Creek’s Whisky Maker John Hall,  ages rye, barley and corn whiskies in their own special barrels, and then brings them together for an unspecified amount of time in re-used sherry barrels to marry the flavours of each whisky together. The result is his flagship whisky, Forty Creek Barrel Select.  When making the Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve, he decided to place the three whiskies into seasoned bourbon barrels. This double barreling allows the subtle qualities offered by the bourbon barrel to enhance the finishing of the whisky.

Although originally a ‘special edition’ whisky, the Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve has become one of the major flag bearers of the Forty Creek brand and is produced in limited quantities each year.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #13 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve

“…  my nose detects the scent of maple syrup and rye spices with a nice rich oak and cedar woodiness from both glasses. This is a very bourbon-like nose complete with light indications of corn and almond as well as a honeycomb and vanillans …”

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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: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

#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: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #13 Bruichladdich 1989 Black Art – 1st Edition (Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits)

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Rum Howler’s #14 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Alberta Springs

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

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’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)

The Rum Howler’s #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Gooderham and Worts

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2015

Gooderham and WortsCorby Spirit and Wine Limited has added yet another premium brand to its whisky line-up, Gooderham and Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky. The whisky pays homage to the former whisky giant, Gooderham and Worts which in the latter half of the 19th century was the largest spirits producer in Canada. (The company was founded in the early to mid-nineteenth century by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham.)

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Gooderham and Worts Four Grain Whisky

“… I receive firm indications of oak and grain spice. Honeyed toffee rises up as well as dank corn smells and a lightly sour fruitiness. If I was to nose this in a blind format, I might be tempted to believe I was nosing an Old Canadian Club whisky from the 70s and early 80s when the brand had a stronger overt sour fruit aroma and taste profile (at least that is how I remember it) …”

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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 #18 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Gooderham and Worts

The Rum Howler’s #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

copper-pot-heroIn a change of direction, I have decided that I have the time to do the rest of the Rum Holwer 2015 Top 25 Canadian Whiskies Countdown properly after all:

The Copper Pot Reserve is a more ‘premium’ version of the Barrel Select. Mr. Hall chose his best grain whiskies as the base for the Copper Pot. He aged these best whiskies a little longer to bring in more flavour from the oak, and then he chose the best of these whiskies to marry together in oak once more to complete the final blend. The Copper Pot Whisky is bottled at 43 % abv (rather than the traditional 40 %) allowing this premium whisky to showcase its robust flavour.

Here is a link to the Rum Howler #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015

Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

“…The first sip of whisky is all spice and everything nice as the spirit heats the mouth with the alluring spiciness of oak, rye and orange peel zest. Embers of cloves and cinnamon stir in the background, and it takes me a moment or two to notice the dark caramel and chocolate flavours that lie beneath. The second sip of whisky reminds me of an old-fashioned Christmas …”

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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 #19 Canadian Whisky of 2015 – Forty Creek Copper Pot

#19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 6, 2015

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, 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 9Knob 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.

Here is a link to the review of the #19 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#19 – Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“… 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 …”

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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 American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on #19 Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

 
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