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Posts Tagged ‘Cocktails’

2015 Margarita Challenge #4 – Patrón Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 20, 2015

Patron Margarita

Patron Margarita

According to the company website Patrón Silver Tequila is a pure 100% Agave Tequila made from agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The Agave is 6 to 7 years old when harvested, and the heart of the plant or the piña is all that is used. As a highland tequila,we can expect the Patrón Tequila to exhibit strong fruity citrus notes and to have a little hot pepper in the delivery and in the finish. The company was created in 1989 when John Paul DeJoria, and Martin Crowley formed The Patrón Spirits Company with the stated singular goal of producing “the best tequila in the world.”

Although there may be some serious debate as to whether Patrón does indeed make the best tequila in the world (a few of my friends would certainly concur), there is no doubt that the Patrón Silver Tequila is a dandy spirit to mix great cocktails with. In fact my Rum Chums and I have decided that it is so good that it ranks as the # 4 Margarita Spirit in the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge.

Based upon my club’s tasting sessions which featured this spirit from Patrón, and based upon how well it scored in my Margarita Challenge, I have revisited my previous review (published 3 years ago) and re-wrote and re-scored the spirit to reflect my current view.

Eye for an Eye (a Margarita Style Cocktail)

Eye for an Eye (a Margarita Style Cocktail)

Here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Patrón Silver Tequila

“… When I brought the glass to my nose, I discovered a light punky agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass. There are some notes of citrus in the breezes which appear to be similar to lemon and lime zest, as well as a gentle smokiness which combined with the aforementioned agave and spice invites me to steal a sip …”

The Patrón Silver Tequila is a classic example of the traditional highland agave spirit. It is also a spirit which has grown on me over the past few years. When I originally reviewed the Patrón Silver a few years ago I felt its ‘sharp peppery bite’ was perhaps a little stronger than I personally preferred in a sipping spirit. However tasting it again three years later and having the opportunity to taste it side by side with many other blanco spirits, I have discovered that this ‘sharp peppery bite’ is exactly what I want when I sip tequila, and it most especially is exactly what I like when I mix margaritas.

I hope you enjoy this new review which includes a new Margarita Style cocktail which I have named, an Eye for an Eye.

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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 Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #4 – Patrón Silver Tequila

2015 Margarita Challenge #5 – Don Julio Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 18, 2015

Don Julio Margarita

Don Julio Margarita

The top 5 blanco tequila spirits (at least as far as making Margarita Cocktails is concerned) have been determined by my Rum Chums judging panel. We used a simple process of gathering all of the Blanco spirits I could get my hands on, and then designing a standard margarita which would be used throughout the competition. Spirits were judged in side by side flights of 4 or 5 Spirits with all of the winning spirits from each flight gathered together to be judged one more time against each other. The number 5 blanco Tequila as determined by my Rum Chums was Don Julio Blanco.

Because Don Julio Blanco placed so well in my competition, I decided to give my review (written almost 4 years ago) a bit of a facelift to more properly reflect how I felt the spirit in my newest sample bottle tasted relative to the other spirits I encountered in the competition.

Paloma

Paloma

Here is a link to my new review:

Review Don Julio Blanco:

“… The Don Julio tequila has a smooth presence in the mouth with a ‘soft’ agave flavour and warm citrus. I use the term ‘soft’ agave to try to give an indication that the typically earthy and punky flavour of agave is softened in this tequila to the point where I cannot really call it punky or earthy anymore ..”

Please enjoy my review which includes my version of the Paloma Cocktail for you enjoyment.

Note: 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.

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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 Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #5 – Don Julio Blanco

Review: Bayou Silver Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 16, 2015

Lemon Daiquiri SAM_1553Louisiana Spirits was formed in 2011 with the stated aim to produce a world-class rum in Lacassine, Louisiana from Louisiana sugarcane.  By 2013 their distillery located a few miles east of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was producing a craft rum in what they call the largest privately owned rum distillery in the USA. They produce three rums, (a spiced, a flavoured, and a white rum) all of which have made their way into the Alberta market via Lifford Wines who distribute and market the spirit here in my home Province of Alberta.

Their white rum, Bayou Silver Rum, is distilled upon a traditional copper pot still using 100% locally (Louisiana) produced cane sugar and molasses. After distillation it is brought to bottling proof (40 % alcohol by volume) using triple filtered fresh water. The spirit is intended as a cocktail mixer or to be enjoyed over ice.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Bayou Silver Rum

“… When I bring the rum to my nose, I notice a few new scents and smells which I have not encountered before when nosing a white rum. The aroma is filled with tropical fruit with a gentle layer of cane sugar melded within …”

Please enjoy my latest rum review which include a nice refreshing summertime cocktail, the Lemon Daiquiri.

Chimo!

 

Posted in Rum, Rum Reviews, White Rums | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

2015 Margarita Challenge #6 – Casamigos Blanco

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2015

Casamigos SAM_1527

Casamigos Margarita

I have reached the halfway point in my Rum Howler countdown of the top 10 blanco agave spirits to serve this summer in my Margarita Cocktails. The number 6 spirit is a new Tequila brand promoted by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman called Casamigos. 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‘. The website goes on to tell us that the piñas of the hand selected agave are roasted in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours prior a long 80 hour fermentation. The Casamigos Blanco tequila is rested in American Oak for 2 months before bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Carra Carra Margarita

Cara Cara Margarita

You may read my full review of the Number 6 Agave Spirit in the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge by clicking the link here:

Review: Casamigos Blanco Tequila

“… I noticed a light punky agave scent within the breezes with the sharp spicy/peppery note which is typical of highland tequila somewhat muted. I noticed both grapefruit and lime zest weaving in and out the air with the mild white pepper spice, and I also notice a subtle smokey tone wrapped up within the fruity agave aroma …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a nice margarita style recipe which utilizes the unique flavour of Cara Cara Oranges. It is called of course, the Cara Cara Margarita.

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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 #6 – Casamigos Blanco

2015 Margarita Challenge #7 – Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 12, 2015

Cuervo Margarita

Cuervo Margarita

The next entry in my 2015 Margarita Challenge is a spirit which caused more dissension amongst my judges than any other. Amongst the four Rum Chums who acted on my jury panel they was no agreement whatsoever regarding the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata. Two members of the panel had the spirit ranked near the top. One judge had the spirit ranked somewhere in the middle and one judge had it ranked well down her list. (In the case of every other agave spirit, my judges were very consistent in their rankings.)

When all the scores were tabulated and adjusted, the Jose Cuervo Especial Plata (a Mixto rather than a 100 % agave spirit) settled into the top 10 as the 7th best blanco tequila for Margarita Cocktails.

You can read my newly revised review here:

Review: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

“… The entry into the mouth is smooth and unobtrusive with an obvious sweetness which again reminds me of cane syrup. The fruity agave is not aggressive; and there is only a mild white pepper spice heating the palate. Some lemon and lime accents are present …”

The Jose Cuervo Especial Plata lacks the “in your face” earthy herbaceousness and the spicy heat of a typical Blanco Tequila. It is instead, smooth and easy to drink; and carries a cane-like sweetness forward which will appeal to many people. Although the spirit lacks the character of a true 100 % Agave tequila; it nevertheless performs very well as a cocktail spirit.

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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, Mixto Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Margarita Challenge #7 – Jose Cuervo Especial Plata

2015 Margarita Challenge #8 – Avion Silver Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 9, 2015

Avion SAM_1535

Avion Margarita

Avion Silver Tequila is a 100% Weber Blue Agave tequila made from the hand-picked fruit grown in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. As a highland tequila, we can expect the Avion Tequila 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.)

According to the information provided to me, to produce Avion Tequila, the harvested agave from the highlands is first slow roasted in brick ovens to bring out its natural flavors and aromas. After distillation, but before the tequila is bottled it is run through a proprietary “Ultra Slow Filtration” process which apparently lasts ten times longer than the filtration process for other tequilas. Something good must be happening because according to the Judges at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this tequila is pretty darn good. They awarded Avion Silver Tequila as the Best Unaged White Spirit, and then gave it a Double Gold Medal for two years in a row.

It turns out that my judging panel for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge also believe that something good is happening with Avion Tequila as My Rum Chums and I have determined their Silver Tequila is the 8th best blanco tequila for mixing Margaritas this summer.

Here is a link to my newly revised review:

Review Avion Silver Tequila

“…  I noticed a light effervescent almost spicy aroma of grapefruit zest is reminiscent of the smells of my back garden after a light rain shower. I find  the aroma light and clean almost refreshing. I also noticed a moderately punky/fruity agave aroma with a mild white pepper scent rising from the glass with a light fruity sweetness carried by the agave …”

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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 #8 – Avion Silver Tequila

2015 Margarita Challenge #9 – Cruz del Sol (Silver)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 7, 2015

CRUZ SAM_1521

Cruz Margarita

The Number 9 spirit in my 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge (according to the Cruz Tequila website information) contains no chemicals, additives or flavorings, and is produced entirely from Blue Weber agave plants grown in the highlands of the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.

The harvested agave is slow cooked in traditional brick ovens for two days, then cooled before the juice is extracted and naturally fermented. The fermented juice is double distilled in small batches and all Cruz Tequila is packaged and bottled using recycled materials. This includes the blown glass bottles and the aluminum caps as well as the aluminum cross on the front label.

During the deliberations for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge, my judging panel found Cruz del Sol Silver was a lightly earthy spirit with a building spiciness, and those features of flavour worked well in the Margarita Cocktail I served in the competition. Well enough to rank this tequila as the number 9 spirit in my challenge.

Here is a link to my newly revised review which incorporates the information learned during my most recent tasting sessions as well as the information gleaned during the competition tasting:

Review: Cruz del Sol Silver

“… There is an almost tender quality to the agave which is very pleasant with some interesting earthy flavours of fresh garden squash and cucumber laying underneath the agave fruit. As I continue to sip I taste tiny bits of cinnamon, hints of black licorice, and sweet impressions of sugar cane and mint. Building alongside these subtle flavours is a spicy white pepper and a citric zest which heats the palate a little more with each sip …”

The Cruz Del Sol Silver is a good spirit to serve when introducing persons to the highland tequila taste profile. The soft lightly sweet notes in the flavour profile are more approachable than one finds in a typical blanco tequila from the highlands.

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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 #9 – Cruz del Sol (Silver)

2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 3, 2015

Alfred Cointreau Margarita SAM_1517s

Alfred Cointreau Margarita

During the months of March and April, my Rum Chums and I embarked on a Tequila Odyssey, as we sampled and tasted a series of blanco spirits in an attempt to determine the best Tequila to feature this summer when sipping Margarita Cocktails. Prior to this engagement, I contacted several of my industry sources letting them know about my plans for the Margarita Challenge which I would publish as a series of reviews during the month of May. I was of course provided with samples from some of these sources and after combining those samples with the bottles of tequila which I already owned, I felt I had enough agave spirit to make for a worthwhile competition. Hence my plans for the 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge came to fruition.

During my initial deliberations regarding the Margarita Challenge, the folks at Select Wines stepped up and arranged for me to receive a bottle of Cointreau singed by Alfred Cointreau himself, and asked me if I would consider using their spirit as the orange liqueur of choice for the cocktail challenge. I thought using the special bottle of Cointreau was a splendid idea, and in honour of Mr. Cointreau (for supplying and signing my bottle) I have dubbed my version of the quintessential Tequila cocktail used for the challenge, the Alfred Cointreau Margarita.

(You can find the recipe here.)

Herencia Margarita SAM_1514s

Herencia Margarita

The deliberations regarding the Margarita Challenge are complete and my Rum Chums and I have determined what we believe are the best 10 blanco tequila spirits for this summer’s backyard cocktail enjoyment. I will begin to publish the official results on May 05 (Cinco de Mayo), however I could not resist providing you with a prequel of sorts by offering my recently re-visited review for Herencia de Plata Tequila a spirit which deserves an honourable mention as it fell just outside the top ten.

Here is a link to the newly republished and re-scored review of Herencia de Plata review:

Review: Herencia de Plata Tequila

“… The aroma from the glass is somewhat soft and earthy with hints of honey caressed by a very light smoke and even lighter vanilla. A smattering of white pepper and of zesty lime has risen into the breezes, and that punky agave scent we know so well has melted nicely into the citrus and pepper …”

This inexpensive blanco tequila is a real crowd-pleaser with a taste which matches many much more expensive brands.

Posted in Awards, Blanco Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2015 Rum Howler Margarita Challenge

Review: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 23, 2015

bluechair_coconutFishbowl Spirits Llc. is a company wholly owned by Kenny Chesney, the well-known Country Music Singer from Knoxville, Tennessee. In May, 2013 Fishbowl Spirits launched Blue Chair Bay Rum, which features an assortment of rums which were apparently inspired by the relaxed island lifestyle of the country music star. The line-up includes an assortment of flavoured rums (a Coconut Rum, a Coconut Spiced Rum, a Banana Rum and a limited time only Coconut Spiced Rum Cream, as well as a standard White Rum. Although Blue Bay Chair Rum is based in Nashville, the assortment of rums they produce are distilled in Barbados and then bottled in Rochester NY by LiDestri Food & Beverage.

Three of these spirits, the Coconut and Coconut Spiced rums, as well as the White Rum have been brought into Alberta by Glazer’s Of Canada Llc, and they arranged for me to receive all three rums to review here on my website.

Nylon Pool

Nylon Pool

Here is a link to my full review for the Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum:

Review: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum

“… The initial aroma is very nice with firm coconut scents mingling with cane and vanilla accents. I like that the aroma appears laid back, clean and natural. I served the rum to my Rum Chums a few weeks ago, and they all seemed to quite like the natural aroma and felt the spirit was a step up from other coconut flavoured rums they had tried in the past …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice summertime cocktail, the Nylon Pool.

Chimo!

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Note: Here are links to my other reviews of Kenny Chesney’s Rums:

Review: Blue Chair Bay White Rum
Review Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum

Posted in Flavouerd Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum

Review: 1921 Añejo Tequila

Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 19, 2015

1921 Anejo1921 Tequila is made from 100% Agave cultivated in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The distinction between tequila made from highland agave versus tequila made from lowland agave is important because agave grown in the highlands tends to carry a different flavour profile into the final tequila than lowland tequila. Highland tequila tends to have more sweet fruity citrus flavours and perhaps a touch more hot pepper in the finish.

The website for 1921 Tequila states that their Añejo Tequila has spent  a year in white oak. The tequila is described on the website as:

“…It is definitely a Tequila made to be tasted calmly and enjoyed slowly in a cognac wine glass, allowing the description of the authentic taste of the white oak barrel aged for 12 months, where the wood has blended its most sophisticated characteristics with the agave from Jalisco´s soil…”

I decided to follow the advise of the website and began my tasting session with a cognac glass and the 1921 Añejo Tequila served neat without ice.

Maximiliano Tequila

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: 1921 Añejo Tequila

“…As I brought the brandy glass up to my nose, the fruity agave began to assert itself into the air around the glass. Nice soft pepper and ginger notes come forward out of the glass as well, followed by lime citrus and soft butterscotch. A hint of  vanilla wafts into the air with some scattered tea leaves.  The aroma is very nice…”

I have followed the review with a cocktail recommendation called, Maximiliano Tequila.

Please enjoy my review!

Note: I have been on a bit of a tequila kick lately re-visiting the many of the brands which I first reviewed several years ago. This has all been in preparation for the Rum Howler 2015 Margarita Challenge which my Rum Chums and I have been working on in secret the last several weeks. The purpose of the Challenge is to determine what we feel is the best Blanco Tequila for this Summer’s Margarita Season. The results of our determinations will be published in May, when I will revisit many Blanco spirits here on my website and introduce a few more. Until then I hope you have been enjoying my re-visitations of the previously reviewed Reposado and Anejo tequila spirits on my website. (The astute observer will have noticed a few new reviews were scattered in as well.)

Posted in Anejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: 1921 Añejo Tequila

 
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