Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2015
While most gins are not matured in oak casks, Citadelle Reserve (2013 Edition) Gin is not only aged in small oak casks, it is the first gin to be aged using a solera style maturation. According to the information provided on the Citadelle Gin website:
“The Solera aging method used for Citadelle is a very intensive process of putting Citadelle into different type casks for a anywhere from 2 to 5 months and will include American oak cask (to impart a touch of vanilla sweetness) and casks that once held Pineau de Charente (for a full-bodied, flowery roundness) and also Brandy (which imparts elegance). Once the gin has spent some time in casks, a portion of the gin from each cask will be moved into a large vat for blending, and new gin will be added to the remaining gin in the cask. Again, after aging for a specified period, the process of taking some of the aged gin out to be blended and adding new to the casks starts all over again.”
I was given a bottle of the 2013 Citadelle Reserve Gin directly from River Valley Beverages (the distributor for Cognac Ferrand spirits here in Alberta) for the purpose of a review here on my website.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The 2013 Citadelle Reserve Gin has a lightly sweet and moderately spicy flavour profile with dominant flavours of juniper, oak, coriander, cardamom, and lemony citrus zest forming its backbone. Although the gin has a moderate but firm spiciness, it is nevertheless easy to sip (especially with an added ice-cube) …”
The 2013 Edition of Citadelle Reserve Gin is a spectacular gin! It is marvelously complex, and the oak forward spiciness is extremely appealing set beside the juniper forward flavour profile. The moderate spiciness within the gin which gives me an impression of robust masculinity; however there is more than enough other nuances of flavour found within which make the gin extremely interesting to sip.
Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: Aged Gin, Citadelle Reserve Gin, Gin, Gin Review | Comments Off on Review: Citadelle Reserve Gin (2013 Edition)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 1, 2015
According to the Absolut website, Lars Olsson Smith introduced the process known as continuous distillation (with respect to producing vodka) in 1879. Using his continuous still, he produced what he called Absolut Rent Brännvin (Absolute Pure Vodka). His claim of purity was based upon the theory that during the process of continuous distillation a potion of the distillate constantly recycles in the still, and (if the still was allowed to function indefinitely) this small portion would be continuously distilled an infinite number of times.
Note: It doesn’t quite work like that as the portion which recycles grows smaller and smaller over time such that the idea that the distillate is continuously distilled infinitum was a rather dubious statement at best.
In 1979, Lars Olsson’s brand Absolut Rent Brännvin was relaunched in New York City as Absolut. The vodka brand is produced near Åhus, Sweden which is the town in which Lars Olsen Smith was born. The vodka is produced from locally grown wheat and apparently does not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients.
You may read my full review of Absolute Vodka by clicking the following link:
“… As we each tested the aroma above our glasses a common report from my guests was that the Absolut was very clean when it was cold: However, we all noted that the aroma changed significantly as the spirit’s temperature increased during the tasting. At first we noticed light grainy spice in the air above the glass, with hints of lemon balsam. This hint of lemon grew stronger as the vodka warmed …”
Please enjoy my review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion, the Vodka Daiquiri!
Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Absolut, Cocktails, Vodka, Vodka Daiquiri, Vodka Review | Comments Off on Review: Absolut Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2015
The El Dorado Dark Rum is part of Demerara Distillers‘ superior range of El Dorado rums which also includes the Superior White Rum, and the Superior Gold Rum. These are the youngest rums in the El Dorado Range and each would be aged up to two years in American Oak barrels before being blended and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. The Eldorado Dark rum is a traditional Dark Rum. This style of rum achieves a portion of its flavour, aroma, and colour from whatever special ingredients (caramel, molasses, et cetera) are added to the blend prior to bottling. Dark rums remain very popular throughout the world because of the full rich flavour profile which is their trademark characteristic.
El Dorado Dark Rum is distributed in Alberta & British Columbia by Wine Matters and More Distribution.
You may read my full review here:
“… The initial breezes above the glass are full of molasses and candied caramel. As well, some dark liquorice, bits of cinnamon and a hint of cloves all taint the air above the glass with their presence. There is a healthy dose of vanilla and perhaps some indications of dark fruit such as raisins and dates. Allowing the rum time to breathe reveals some nice accents of dark cocoa and espresso coffee scents …”
Please enjoy my review which includes my suggested recipe, El Dorado Dark Rum Punch!
Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Dark Rum, Demerara Distillers Limited, El Dorado, Guyanese Rum, Rum, Rum Punch, Superior Rum | Comments Off on Review: El Dorado Superior Dark Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2015
Casamigos Reposado and the Valerie Project
Casamigos is a new tequila brand promoted by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. According to the website information this is an ultra premium tequila made in a small batch process from ‘hand-selected 100% Blue Weber agaves, grown in the rich red clay and cool climate of the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico‘.
As a Highland Tequila, we can expect Casamigos to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. (This is as opposed to lowland tequila which has stronger earthier flavours of agave and less hot pepper.)
I was provided a sample bottle by the Alberta distributors Charton Hobbes, who have brought both the Casamigos Blanco and the Casamigos Reposado into my home Province.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… The initial entry is a little soft and buttery with a stronger impression of caramel sweetness than the nose implied. Milk chocolate and a little bit of sea salt seem to ooze from the caramel making this a very interesting tequila to sip. Of course we also taste that squeal of highland white pepper, but the spiciness does not translate into burn across the palate …”
Although Casamigos Reposado is a very nice sipper it also works very well as a high-end mixer, and my review includes a new Margarita style cocktail, the Valerie Project.
Enjoy my review, and my cocktail!
Posted in Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Casamigos, Cocktails, George Clooney, Highland tequila, Reposado, Tequila, Tequila Review, Valerie Project | 1 Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 25, 2015
Recently there have been some changes in the Canadian Club family. One of the brands which has undergone a revamping is the Canadian Club Sherry Cask which has been replaced by the Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask. The newer version of the whisky has a new bottle and the two words, “Small Batch” have been added to the label. My understanding is the whisky is made from the familiar Canadian Club “blended at birth“ recipe of corn, rye, rye malt and barley spirits. The spirits from these grains are blended before entering the white oak barrel, and then set down for six to eight years to age. The matured whisky is then recasked for an additional finishing period in Sherry Casks from Jerez Spain.
The second maturation allows the whisky to acquire some of the characteristics of the sherry (similar to sherry cask matured scotches); but this second maturation is of a much shorter time period which ensures that the core Canadian Club spirit remains the centerpiece of the whisky. When the Canadian Club Sherry Cask is bottled, it is done so at 41.3% alcohol by volume, just a hair over the regular 40 % strength of the rest of their line-up.
You may click on the following link to read my full review:
“… The initial aroma brings dark fruit (raisins and dates) and red licorice (Turkish delight) with fine wood spices running alongside which feature a smattering of ginger, white pepper and cardamom. As the glass sits, some rich tobacco builds up as does hints of orange marmalade, and rich baking spices (vanilla, dark brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and a hint of cloves) …”
Please enjoy the review and if you happen to have your own bottle already, do try my cocktail suggestion, the Sherry Cask Port Manhattan.
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Cocktails, Manhattan, Port Manhattan, Sherry Cask, Small Batch, Spiced Whisky Review, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Small Batch Sherry Cask
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2015
The Angostura 7 Year Old Rum is (like all of the Angostura Rums) produced from molasses on their five column still. Part of the rum is produced from a heavy distillate which is drawn from the multi-column still after passing through only one of the five columns. This heavily flavoured rum is aged and then blended with a more purely refined spirit which is distilled upon all five columns. Both portions of the blend are aged a minimum of 7 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which each portion is hand drawn from the barrel, then blended, filtered and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
You may read my full review of the Angostura 7 Year Old Rum here:
“… As the glass sits, the butterscotch begins to meld into the wood spices creating impressions of toffee and light tobacco. There are scents of orange peel which begin to move towards marmalade, and hints of chocolate and coffee riding the edges of the breezes …”
This 7 Year Old Rum is a versatile spirit which can be appreciated by all rum enthusiasts. I found myself enjoying a few Lemon Muddled Cuba Libre’s mixed with the Angostura Rum, and I suspect that if you try few, you will like them too.
Please enjoy my suggested cocktail and my review!
Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Aged Rum, Angostura, Angostura 7 Year Old, Cocktails, Lemon Muddled Cuba Libre', Rum, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 20, 2015
In late November, I received an email from the Export Marketing Assistant for the independent French spirits group, La Martiniquaise. He was writing to me from Farnace to see if I would be interested in sampling some of the revamped new flavoured range of Poliakov Vodka. As it was explained to me in his email, Poliakov is attempting to bypass the prevailing “flavour fatigue” which they feel reigns within the flavoured vodka category, and rather than conjuring up new exotic flavours which are probably unfamiliar to their customers, the revamped Poliakov range focuses on ‘within-reach flavours’ which are familiar to their customers.
I agreed to taste some of the Poliakov flavoured range, and William arranged for me to receive three flavours, Poliakov Vanilla, Peach and Lemon Flavoured Vodkas.
Here is a link to the review for Poliakov Vanilla Flavoured Vodka:
“… the nose gives me very little indication of this sweetness except for maybe just a touch of sugar cane in the breezes. What I do receive clearly in the air above the glass is a relatively clean aroma of vanilla rising into the breezes along with lightly spicy grain accents …”
I consider Poliakov’s vanilla flavoured spirit an outstanding mixing spirit, and so of course my review includes a new Rum Howler recipe, Vanille Daiquiria.
Please enjoy both the review and my new recipe!
Posted in Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails, Flavoured Vodka Review, Poliakov, Vanilla, Vanilla Flavoured Vodka, Vanille Daiquiria, Vodka Review | Comments Off on Review: Poliakov Vanilla Flavoured Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 19, 2015
I have come to the last of my Rum Howler Awards as I determine my 2014 Rum Howler Awards for the excellence in the production of rum. This year, sadly, I have eliminated the Regional Rum Awards as time simply has gotten the best of me, and I must forge on into the year 2015 and leave 2014 behind.
In my discussions with different spirits companies I have noticed a welcome change in attitude regarding the oak barrel. Whereas, in the past these companies would only discuss how long their spirit had rested in that barrel, today those same companies are beginning to talk about the barrel itself. I hear terms like New Oak, First Fill, Second Fill, and re-charred oak barrels not just when companies are discussing whisky; but also now when they are discussing Rum. We are also seeing an influx of exotic finishing barrels like cognac casks, Sherry Casks and many more. It seems that as we are in this time of diminishing aged stocks, the spirits companies have embraced innovation to bring more flavours and more character forward in new and exciting ways. If this trend continues, then as the companies replenish their aged stocks over the next five and ten years, we will then enter into a new paradigm where the consumer may have the best of both worlds, a return to blends which contain only well aged rum as well as these same blends benefiting from all those years of innovation. We may indeed look back on this time as the shot in the arm that industry needed to bring something even more wonderful forward. Of course, only time will tell.
Here is a link to the Awards Page for the 2014 Rum Howler Award winners for excellence in the production of Rum. These are the spirits which have risen to the top and provided us with our greatest enjoyment in the World of Rum.
Posted in Awards, Extras, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: 2014, Rum, Rum Howler Awards, Rum Reviews, The Year in Rum | Comments Off on The Year In Rum (2014 Rum Howler Awards)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 10, 2015
It is time for to unveil my Rum Howler Awards with respect to best Whisky I have tasted in 2014. As is the case each year, all of my Rum Howler Awards are based upon side by side tastings within each category of spirit. I taste the spirit neat, and I also mix a few cocktails with each spirit. All spirit samples which I receive to review on my website are automatically considered for my awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards. My side by side tastings are completed, and it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2014 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky.
Here is a link to the Awards Page for the 2014 Rum Howler Award winners for excellence in the production of Whisky:
Posted in Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: 2014, Rum Howler Awards, The Year in Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 8, 2015
2014 was another strong year on my website as it relates to the spirit which is called Gin. During the month of August, I published the Rum Howler 2014 Gin and Tonic Challenge a competition where I chose 17 different gins to pit against each other in constructing the quintessential summer cocktail, the Gin and Tonic. A fortunate by-product of my summertime challenge is that I obtained a large sampling of gin spirits for review this year and have a strong field from which to select my award winners this year.
As I usually do, I invited one of my gin loving friends to help me in the judging process for the 2014 awards. Each spirit was served in two cocktails (Darby Cocktail, and a Dry Gin Martini) as well as served neat with no ice. I also included the results from my Gin and Tonic Challenge in my analysis.
Here is a link to the Awards Page for the 2014 Rum Howler Award winners for excellence in the production of Gin:
Posted in Awards, Extras, Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: 2014 Year in Gin, Gin, Gin Reviews, Rum Howler Awards | Comments Off on The Year in Gin (2014 Rum Howler Awards)