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Review: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 5, 2015

Lady of the Empire

Lady of the Empire

Tanqueray Gin was originally produced by Charles Tanqueray in London, England in 1830 at the Bloomsbury Distillery. The distillery prospered through the nineteenth century; but after being in production for over one hundred years, it was badly damaged in the bombing raids of World War II by the German air force. One still survived, and this still affectionately called “Old Tom” was moved to the new facilities in Cameron, Scotland where Tanqueray gin is currently produced. Tangueray Rangpur is a new style of gin from Tangueray. Whereas their flagship gin simply called Tanqueray is a traditional London Dry Gin which features , juniper, coriander, angelica root and licorice as the four major botanicals used in its construction. The Rangpur on the other hand is not labeled as a London Dry Gin, (it is simple labeled Gin) and according to the Tanqueray website features the Rangpur Lime as one of its major botanicals along with Juniper, Coriander, Bay leaves and Ginger.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

“… The aroma from the glass is more citrus forward with scents of both lime and lemon dominating the breezes and the juniper trailing along behind. The Rangpur also seems to have a stronger herbal component with hints of menthol and grassy lemonbalm. The spiciness of the coriander and ginger is very restrained …”

Please enjoy the review which is followed by one of my gin cocktails, the Lady of the Empire.

Chimo!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2015

3_Grain_Harmony_Bottle_21May2015This is one of my favourite times of the year, as every year in early June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony, and the distillery is once again inviting the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.

Reservations for choosing your bottles open at noon on Monday, June 8th and continue until 5:00 p.m. on June 26th, 2015. Of course numbers are available on a first come basis and no two bottle numbers will be the same. (Only 9000 bottles will be produced.)

According to the folks at Forty Creek:

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony is the 9th Limited Release from Forty Creek Whisky. This year, we decided to create a bit of music by carefully blending and harmonizing three single grains: rye, barley and corn. We began by fermenting and distilling each individual grain separately. Both the rye and the barley stocks date back to when we first began our Forty Creek Distillery. This Limited Release marks the first time these stocks have been introduced into one of our whiskies. As with many of our Signature Editions, the separate, single grain whiskies were patiently aged in toasted white oak barrels. At their peak flavour potential, they were then artfully blended to create the subtle yet complex whisky we named Three Grain Harmony.

The new special release whisky will be bottled at 43% alcohol by volume, and you can find more information here:

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

(Barley and Rye stocks that date back to the beginnings of the distillery sounds pretty special to me. I usually reserve a few bottles for myself, and this year will be no different.)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: Captain Morgan Coconut Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 3, 2015

Coconut Breeze SAM_1618On February 11, 2015, Captain Morgan introduced three flavors to its fleet of rums, CAPTAIN MORGAN® Pineapple Rum, CAPTAIN MORGAN® Coconut Rum, and CAPTAIN MORGAN® Grapefruit RumThese new Caribbean flavors are each five times distilled and of course made from cane molasses. Each of the expression blends natural flavors with CAPTAIN MORGAN® White Rum, resulting in a spirit which can be enjoyed as a summer cocktail mixer.

According to my Dan Kleinman, Vice President of Marketing, Rums for Diageo North America:

“This summer, we’re looking for consumers to flip over their hammocks and have a little fun with their mojitos and daiquiris by enjoying our new pineapple, coconut and grapefruit extensions. After last year’s successful launch of CAPTAIN MORGAN® White Rum, we wanted to expand our offerings in the category. These flavors allow adult fans to diversify their cocktails, providing them with a taste of the Caribbean no matter where they may be responsibly enjoying our products.”

Here is a link to my review for Captain Morgan Coconut Rum:

Review: Captain Morgan Coconut Rum

“… This flavour features a firm coconut melded into a rum-like cane sugar with bits of vanilla showing through. The rum seems to carry the right balance of sweetness alongside the coconut flavour such that sipping is pleasant and not cloying …”

Please enjoy the review, I will be tackling the Captain Morgan’s Pineapple Rum in a few short weeks.

Chimo!

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

Martini Monday: Traditional Martini (with grapefruit peel)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 1, 2015

The Vodka Martini can be served either in the traditional format, some prefer to call this a ‘Wet’ Martini, or in a more modern style which is typically called a ‘Dry’ Martini’. However, what makes a martini wet versus dry is a matter of debate. Most bartenders agree that the distinction between wet and dry is a matter of the amount of aromatized wine (usually vermouth) which is added to the cocktail. A wet martini has a higher ratio of vermouth to gin (or vodka) than does a dry martin. Exactly when the martini slips from wet to dry depends upon which bartender (or which cocktail enthusiast) you are speaking to.

Belvedere Martini Seminar

Ali Dedianko hosting her Belvedere Martini Seminar

At a recent Belvedere Martini Seminar I was invited to (hosted by Ali Dedianko, Belvedere’s Vodka Global Ambassador) it was suggested to me that a martini constructed at a ratio of 1 part vermouth to 2 parts vodka could be considered ‘wet’, whereas a martini constructed at a ratio of 1 part vermouth to 6 parts gin or vodka could be considered ‘dry’. Those ratios are as good a starting point as any; however that elusive tipping point from wet to dry remains a matter of conjecture.

Taditional Martini SAM_1591

Traditional Martini (with grapefruit peel)

The main theme of Ali’s seminar, was not in defining when a martini was wet or dry; it was the suggestion that each person should find their own sweet spot of wetness or dryness where they prefer their martinis to be. It was also suggested that the garnish chosen for your martini need not be confined to olives or lemon peel. Many other garnishes can and should be considered with the thought process being towards a flavour note which would compliment the base spirit and the vermouth rather than clash with them. (At the seminar, Ali Dedianko used cucumber, grapefruit peel, and lemon peel as her chosen garnishes to great effect.)

Over the next several weeks, and taking my cue from Ali who taught me a lot, I will be hosting Martini Mondays here on my website. Each week I will publish a different Martini recipe using different ratios of Vodka (and/or Gin) with Vermouth, and experimenting with different garnishes. The recipes I publish will feature Belvedere Vodka, Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka, No. 3 London Dry Gin, and Stock Vermouth all supplied by Charton Hobbes, and who arranged for me to attend the Belvedere Martini Seminar.

I will begin with a Traditional Martini which features a grapefruit peel garnish. You can find that recipe by clicking the link below which will send you to my recipe page:

Traditional Martini (with grapefruit peel)

It is my hope that some of you try these recipes at home, and perhaps make some suggestions of your own in my comments section. I may include some of your recipes too (depending upon whether I have the ingredients handy).

Enjoy the coming summer months everybody, its Martini Season!

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Note: North 53, a fantastic downtown Edmonton Restaurant was the venue for the Belvedere Martini Event. They have a unique menu featuring Northern cuisine and based upon the samplers we were served, the food is delicious! If you are looking for a great downtown restaurant, I recommend you give North 53 a try.

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2015

Glenglassaugh 26 SAM_1599Glenglassaugh Distillery is located just outside of the Speyside Whisky Region in Northeast Scotland. It is near the town of Portsoy, Banffshire about 50 miles from Aberdeen. The distillery was established in 1875 by Col. James Moir who managed the business  (with his two nephews) until 1892, when Highland Distillers stepped in and acquired the facility. The distillery remained in production until 1986 when, due to industry consolidation, it was mothballed.

In 2008, the distillery and the Glenglassaugh brand was purchased by the Scaent Group with the intention of rebooting the facility to take advantage of the surge in interest in whisky word-wide. Part of the marketing strategy was to release some existing warehouse stocks as vintage whisky bottlings, as within the facility were barrels of whisky which had sat in limbo quietly aging since 1986.

Five years later, in 2013, due in no small part to the success of the vintage bottlings, (as well as the new whisky being produced) the BenRiach Distillery Company took over the Distillery bringing in new investment capital and corporate management to ensure the growth of the rebooted Glenglassaugh brand.

Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the iconic vintage bottlings which was produced from spirit which had been distilled in 1984, and then had sat silently in a mixture of various oak barrels including both American Oak and ex sherry barrels. This whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv) sometime in 2010 and limited to a small production of 1002 bottles.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is full of oaky smells along with candied toffee and fruity sherry-like aromas. As I let the glass sit there continued to be a lot of oak and cedar in the breezes; however these wood spice and woody sap-like smells seemed to be well melded into the sweet toffee and the dark fruit which gave the nose good balance …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

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

2015 Margarita Challenge #1 – Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2015

Roca Patron SAM_1530The month of May is almost complete, and my Tequila odyssey has arrived at its destination. My Rum Chums and I, through a series of side by side tastings have determined the Best Blanco Tequila spirit for our summer Margaritas, Roca Patrón Silver Tequila.

When I served this silver tequila to my jurors, the Rum Chums, it was in a blind format (See 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge). In that blind format, this was the spirit that my entire judging panel went crazy over. It would not be an understatement to say that the Roca Patrón Silver ran a scythe through the competition. What amazed me was that, even though the agave and the hot peppery spice are understated in this expression of Patrón Tequila, those aspects of the spirit nevertheless shone through the cocktail experience. I suspect that it is the high bottling proof (45 %) which gives this agave spirit so much punch and staying power in the cocktail format.

Suffice it to say, everyone in my tasting group loved the Margarita made with Roca Patrón Silver.

Metro Mexico

Metro Mexico

You may read my full review of this wonderful agave spirit here:

Review: Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

“… As you sip, heat does build up upon the palate in the form of black and white pepper and these flavours linger on the palate after wards. There is also a light herbal tone with echoes of mint and lime zest resting within the spice …”

Of course it is not just Margaritas which taste great with the Silver Roca Patrón, I also shared another great recipe which I call Metro Mexico at the conclusion of my review.

I hope everyone enjoyed my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge this month, Chimo!

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Note: If you wish to see the final ranking for my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown, I have created a summary page which lists all of the results. That page is available here:

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Countdown

 

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #1 – Roca Patrón Silver Tequila

Review: Shellback Caribbean Silver Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 27, 2015

Trifecta SAM_1590Shellback Rum is a new brand developed by E & J Gallo (the California Winemaker), and it is sold in various North American Markets including here in Alberta. Although the back of my bottle says IMPORTED & BOTTLED BY GRANDE ANTILLES CANE SPIRITS, MODESTO, CA, I have learned that the rum inside the bottle was distilled at the West Indies Refinery at Brighton, Black Rock, St. Michael, Barbados. This distillery is today more commonly known as the West Indies Distillery, and is the same facility which produces both the Cockspur and the Malibu rum brands.

Shellback Caribbean Silver Rum has been aged for 12 months in American Oak barrels before being filtered clear and bottled.

You may read my full review which includes my new Trifecta cocktail here:

Review: Shellback Caribbean Silver Rum

“… I noticed that it (Shellback Silver Rum) has a candy-like aroma filled with tropical fruit smells which lie alongside a rummy butterscotch, and firm vanilla scents. Underneath the more obvious rum-like scents is a mild mineral scent of sand and loose gravel …”

Please enjoy the new review and stay tuned on Friday when I reveal the Best Blanco Tequila for making Margaritas this summer.

Chimo!

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Shellback Caribbean Silver Rum

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: , , , , , , , | 1 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: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Rum Nation Peruano (8 Year Old)

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: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #3 – Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (Blanco)

 
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