Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails and Recipes’
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2013
Not that long ago, I had a discussion with a well-known Master Blender (from a major producer of whisky) about the rush of spiced and flavoured rums and whiskies which are entering the marketplace. I lamented the fact that most of these spirits were constructed using young inexpensive spirits as their base, rather than beginning with a spirit which already showed age and character. The master distiller gave me this ‘father knows best’ look and explained that this category was meant for the new spirits consumer as an entry-level product, and using a better spirit as the base would just be a waste of good whisky (or rum). I countered that I thought the spiced and flavoured category could be much more; but I also quickly changed the subject. (I could see that he thought I was nuts).
Well maybe I am nuts; but recently, I actually received a sample of just the very kind of spiced whisky I had been talking about, Highwood Distillers – Centennial Spiced Canadian Whisky. Unlike most of the spiced and flavoured whiskies which have sprung up recently which use a very young whisky as the base for the spirit, Highwood’s Centennial Spiced Whisky uses a well aged 10-year-old whisky, (their own Centennial Rye Whisky) as the foundation for this spiced spirit.
And I am happy to report, that as I suspected, quality always shines through as my review attests, here is an excerpt:
“… Rather than a whisky buried by spice, we encounter flavours of vanilla, ginger, and cloves (and yes butterscotch too) which are lifted by the character of the well aged Centennial Whisky. Although the combination of spices does not appear to be complicated, there is a punch of ginger in the flavour profile that to me, taste’s absolutely brilliant …”
Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktails, the Centennial Celebration, and Tall Ginger:
Please enjoy this review of what I feel is a groundbreaking new spirit!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial, Cocktails and Recipes, DrinkWire, Highwood Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Spiced Whisky Review, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on Review: Centennial Spiced Canadian Rye Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 31, 2013
Bulleit Bourbon is produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The brand traces its heritage back to 1830 when tavern keeper Augustus Bulleit (after a few experimental trials) created the brand and began to market it locally and eventually to areas outside of Kentucky. As misfortune would have it, Augutus Bulleit disappeared while transporting some barrels of his bourbon to New Orleans, and the brand disappeared for over 100 years. In 1987, Tom Bulleit revived the brand which bears his great grandfather’s name. Today the brand is owned by the Diageo Conglomerate who market the product throughout North America and into Europe.
The sample bottle of Bulleit Bourbon which I received was bottled at 45% alcohol by volume and is the standard bottle sold in North America. Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… There is a bit of a spicy swat that tickles the tonsils, but there is also a nice maple and caramel sweetness which accompanies that spicy swat and makes you want to take another sip. I can taste oak planks which are seeping just a little fresh sap from the wood pores, some delightful rye spices, and of course that rather sweet impression of maple and caramel …
Here is a link to my review which includes a recipe for the Old-Fashioned Cocktail:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Bulleit Bourbon, Cocktails and Recipes, Diageo, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 29, 2013
Highwood Distillers is a Canadian spirits manufacturer in the town of High River, Alberta, which is situated 40 minutes south of Calgary, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A few years ago, I visited this distillery, and watched first hand as they turned the local prairie grains into whisky, vodka. and gin. They make their spirits one batch at a time in a family style atmosphere which could not help but make me a fan. Recently I received a sample of their Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky. The spirit represents a fusion of Highwood’s 10 Year old Centennial Rye Whisky with the decadent sweetness of natural honey. No artificial flavours or additives (except caramel for colour) have been used in the production of this whisky liqueur which is bottled at 35 % alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The theme of light and appealing continues with a flavoured whisky which is both smooth and delicious. I was fearful that the honey flavor (which might have been too intense) would overpower the subtle nuances of the Centennial Rye Whisky. However, I am pleased to report that although the flavour of the natural honey is obvious, the flavour of good old Canadian rye whisky also shines through…”
You may read my full review which contains my new recipe, Cool Honey, here:
Please Enjoy the review!
Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: Canadian Whisky, Centennial, Cocktails and Recipes, Flavoured Whisky, Highwood, Honey, Whisky | Comments Off on Review: Centennial Honey Canadian Rye Whisky
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 27, 2013
Smirnoff Vodka has become more and more popular such that now (according to brand owner Diageo) it is the number 1 selling Vodka in the entire world being sold and distributed in over 130 countries. It is not only sold in many countries, it is also produced in many countries. My understanding is that Smirnoff 21 is a triple distilled spirit, produced on a large multi-column still from North American prairie grain. The particular sample of Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka which I am reviewing was produced here in Canada for the North American Market and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… I always serve Vodka in a shot glass, and in that shot glass the spirit demonstrated a very obvious scent of balsam, grain, and a sweep of lemon zest. When I took a sip, I found the flavour matched the scent. I tasted the spiciness of grain with that very light, somewhat earthy lemon/balsam flavour … “
Here is a link to the full review which includes two cocktail, the Vodka Cooler, and the Vodka Darby:
Please enjoy the Review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Diageo, Smirnoff, Vodka, Vodka Review | Comments Off on Review: Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2013
Rum Nation’s Demerara Solera N° 14 is quite an interesting rum. According to my correspondence with the Brand Owner, Fabio Rossi, he buys aged bulk Demerara rum (roughly four to six years) from Guyana (Demerara Distillers Limited) which has been blended with various portions from each of the Single Wooden Pot (Versailles Still) and Double Wooden Pot (Port Mourant Still).
The bulk rum purchased by Rum Nation is taken to the Nebbiolo area of Italy where it is transferred to sherry butts (PX and Oloroso) and aged for a short period of time (about 12 to 14 months). After aging, a few liters of 1997 vintage EHP (Enmore) rum is added before it is bottled. (EHP is the marque for DDL’s ancient Wooden Continuous Coffey Still.) Based upon the information as provided to me, I reckon the Demerara Solera No. 14 is approximately a five-year old rum. The recipe is rather simple and includes rum from each of the now famous ancient wooden stills from Demerara Distillers Heritage Plant. (I do believe the bulk rum used in the blend contains rums from other stills as well, but I have no information regarding the exact proportions, or exactly which other stills contribute to the Demerara Bulk Rum. )
Mr. Rossi provided me a 200 ml sample of this rum such that I would have a chance to review it here on my website. Here is an excerpt from that review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass is full of oak tannins and sap which have been tainted with a spicy toffee, orange peel zest, and butterscotch candies. Baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon and spicy cloves mingle in those breezes above the glass …”
Here is a link to the full review:
Enjoy the Review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Dark, Demerara Distillers Limited, Demerara Rum, Guyanan Rum, Rum, Rum Nation, Rum Review | Comments Off on Review: Rum Nation Demerara Solera N° 14
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 8, 2013
Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum is relatively new white cocktail rum from Cognac Ferrand. In producing this rum Alexandre Gabriel (President and Owner, of Cognac Ferrand) blends rum from three different Caribbean Islands in order to achieve the correct balance between flavour and character suitable for a cocktail rum bearing the Plantation name. These three Islands (Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad) are considered by the folks at Cognac Ferrand to be the three “star” producers of the Caribbean, hence the name “Plantation 3 Stars” was chosen for the rum.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The breezes above the glass display a very obvious scent of hard candy where orange and lemon drops mix with tropical fruits like mango and soft banana. There is even a few lightly minty notes of Christmas candy-cane and a light butterscotch/caramel impression in the air …”
Here is a link to the full review which includes three great cocktails which work superbly with the rum:
Enjoy the review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Cognac Ferrand, Plantation Rum, Rum, Rum Review, White Rum | Comments Off on Review: Plantation 3 Stars Silver Rum
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 22, 2012
According to the website information, Beluga Noble Russian Vodka is manufactured in a remote area of Siberia, reported to be 300 km from the nearest large settlement. The vodka is produced from grain alcohol (some of the alcohol may be produced from malted grain), and purified Siberian spring water. Even though artesian spring water is naturally pure, for this Vodka, it must also undergo a double filtration, through quartz sand and a special silver filter. After distillation, a third stage of purification involves a 10.5 meter coal column filter which is composed of birch charcoal. Prior to bottling, the vodka is rested 30 days. This rest period apparently allows the molecular components within to stabilize allowing for a smoother more velvet-like mouth-feel and taste.
Interestingly enough, Beluga vodka also contains other special ingredients (in extremely small quantities) such as honey, oat extract, and Silybum Marianum (milk thistle) extract. The addition of minute quantities of special ingredients is consistent with what I know of traditional European production methods where each distilled vodka has its own recipe and its own special ingredients. It is these special ingredients used in very small proportions which contribute to the individual character of each Vodka. (By small quantities I really do mean small; typically these extra ingredients are measured in parts per million.)
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka has recently been introduced into my home Province of Alberta. It is a Premium Vodka which is priced to occupy the same market niche as Grey Goose and Belvedere. A bottle was delivered to me by Thirsty Cellar Imports, who are importing this spirit and I was asked to provide a review on my website.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The nose is clean with faint wisps of lemon and spice. There is something else in the air as well, a very soft aroma which seems very vaguely sweet and herbal, and at the same time very vaguely like fresh cereal porridge (made with milk). As I sip the Vodka, I am very impressed. I taste very lightly sweet flavours of lemon and citrus zest as well as a very gentle spiciness. The aftertaste is vaguely sweet reminding my of honey or cane syrup, and I taste a very light maltiness which is very appealing… “
Here is a link to my full review:
Please enjoy my review of this new Premium Russian Vodka which includes recipe for a standard Vodka Martini, and my own Estate Cocktail.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: Beluga Vodka, Cocktails and Recipes, DrinkWire, Martini, Premium Vodka, Russian Vodka, Vodka | Comments Off on Review: Beluga Noble Russian Vodka
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 17, 2012
Don Julio is a 100% Blue Weber Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Don Julio to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the finish. The company was established by Don Julio González, who apparently began to examine the prospect of making his own Tequila in 1942. He established his distillery called, La Primavera, and spent nearly forty years refining his Tequila into the spirit which now bears his name.
The Don Julio Reposado is aged in American white-oak barrels for eight months. The spirit is currently owned by the Diageo Conglomerate, and I was provided with a 375 ml sample for this review by their Northern Alberta Marketing Agent.
Here is an excerpt from my Review:
“… The initial aroma rising into the breezes above the glass is that typical herbaceous agave aroma which is lightly peppery or spicy, somewhat earthy and somewhat fruity. I am reminded of baked squash, white pepper, and spicy citrus zest (reminiscent of grapefruit)… “
You may read the full review here which also includes the recipe for one of my favourite tequila Cocktails, Metro Mexico:
Please enjoy the review and of course my great cocktail recipe.
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Reposado Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Don Julio Tequila, Reposado Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off on Review: Don Julio Reposado Tequila
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 4, 2012
According to the Jose Cuervo website, it all began in 1795, when Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo was producing his Mexcal wine spirit commercially based upon an official permit from the King of Spain. By 1812, he had established La Rojena, the distillery which to this day still produces Jose Cuervo Tequila. By 1844, Jose Cuervo Tequila was being distributed within Mexico, and in 1873 the earliest known documented export of the Tequila outside of Mexico apparently occurred when 3 bottles of Jose Cuervo were transported across the United States border by donkey. As you know, those exports have continued (although no longer by donkey), and now Jose Cuervo is the best-selling tequila brand in the entire world currently owned by Diageo.
The Jose Cuervo Especial is available as both a Gold or ‘joven’ tequila and as a Silver or ‘plata’ tequila. These tequila spirits are not made from 100 % blue agave which means that they are referred to in the industry as Mixto. A Mixto tequila must have at least 51 % of its volume made from blue agave distillate, but the other 49 % can be from other sugars which may include glucose and fructose. The Northern Alberta Marketing team for Diageo arranged for me to receive a bottle of the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (Silver) to review here on my website. Here is an excerpt from that review:
“… The initial nose from the glass carries a mixture of light honey, mild white pepper and a somewhat muted herbaceous agave (the smell of which actually resembles boiled squash). As I let the glass sit, the light honey tones begin to remind me of sugar cane syrup, and the breezes above the glass reveal a light impression of lemon zest within the white pepper … “
Here is a link to the full review which includes my standard Margarita recipe:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Mixto Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Jose Cuervo, Mixto Tequila, Silver Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Comments Off on Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (Silver)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 28, 2012
Captain Morgan Rum traces its history back to 1945 when Seagram’s CEO, Samuel Bronfman, negotiated the purchase of the Long Pond Distillery from the Jamaican Government and formed the Captain Morgan Rum Company. The company’s iconic rum brand, Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum was based upon a recipe purchased from two local Jamaican pharmacists, the Levy Brothers, who had developed the recipe using rum from the Long Pond Distillery. The brand is now owned by the Diageo Conglomerate, and their Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is the best-selling spiced rum in the world.
The subject of this review, is the lessor known Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum, which (according to the Captain Morgan Website), is a blend of clear, rich Puerto Rican white rum and tropical spice with sweet vanilla character. It is bottled at 35% alcohol by volume and fortunately for me, the Diageo Marketing Team here in Alberta provided me a the sample of the Canadian bottle for my review.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The initial aroma is pleasant with a pleasing (but very mild) mixture of butterscotch and vanilla rising into the breezes. I sense some tropical fruit (mango, banana and orange peel) and light accents of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Also rising into the breezes is a very light oakiness…. “
Here is a link to the full review which includes a great cocktail of mine, the Spiced Darwin:
Please enjoy the review, Cheers!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews, Spiced Rum | Tagged: Captain Morgan, Captain Morgan Silver, Cocktails and Recipes, Rum, Rum Review, Spiced Rum | Comments Off on Review: Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum