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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2015

Paddy SAM_1540Several weeks ago, my friend Dennis returned from a trip to Ireland (where he had been enjoying a well deserved holiday with his girlfriend), and he brought back a couple of whiskeys for me to try. The first one he showed my was Paddy. I didn’t know too much about it, and so I visited their website, to see what I could find out.

What I learned is that Paddy Whiskey is matured for up to 7 years in oak barrels after being distilled from 100 % barley grain. A proportion of the whisky (an unusually high percentage the website says) is malted barley whisky, as well,  some of the Paddy Whiskey blended with what is called Irish Pot Still Whisky. The whiskey is produced in Cork at The Middleton Distillery, and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

“… A combination of honeyed butterscotch and soft punky pot-still caramel flavours greet my palate as I take my first sip. There are lively oak spices and some light herbal tones of heather and spearmint. Vanilla and almond flavours settle into the whiskey and bits of orange peel zest nibble at the edges of flavour giving the spirit a bit of a spicy edge …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with a nice cocktail suggestion, the Emerald Crusta.

Chimo!

Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Hawaiian Moonshine (Okolehau)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 24, 2015

Moonshine Mojito SAM_1676A couple of friends of mine went to Hawaii this past Spring and brought me back a bottle of Hawaiian Moonshine. According to the label on the bottle this product is produced by Island Distillers and it is apparently a re-creation of an original Hawaiian spirit called Okolehao. For those interested, Okolehao was originally an old Hawaiian fermented beverage whose main flavour ingredient was the root of the ti plant. It was if you will a ‘ti root’ beer.

When distillation was introduced  to the Hawaiian Islands sometime around the end of the 18th century their ti root beverage began to be distilled into a unique alcohol spirit which became known as Okolehao. Over time local recipes for Okolehao included other fermentable sugar products as well such as sugarcane and pineapple, however two elements common to almost all recipes were a high alcohol content and the continued use of ti root.

Island Distillers recreation of the Okolehao spirit is bottled at 100 proof (50 % alcohol by volume) and it labeled as Hawaiian Moonshine 100 Proof Okolehao. At the bottom of the label we are told that this version of Okolehao is a product of “Cane Spirit with Ti Root”.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Hawaiian Moonshine (Okolehau)

“… The nose indicates a firm cane-like sweetness which I am sure helps to temper the alcohol heat which would normally have a fuller impact in the breezes above the glass. I notice some light mint and licorice scents in the air as well as some mild coconut-like smells. As I take my time with the glass I begin to sense more complexity which includes smells of soft banana and some citrus zest …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a delicious Moonshine Mojito Recipe.

Chimo!

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

Review: OFFLEY Ruby Port Wine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 22, 2015

OFFLEY Ruby SAM_1643The subject of this review, is a bottle of OFFLEY Ruby Port Wine. The brand traces its history back to 1737, which was the year that Englishman William Offley founded the company. In 1831, Joseph James Forrester, who was apparently a nephew of the William Offley, joined the company. According to the company website, Forrester was the first person to map the River Douro and its region, and his contributions to the development of the Port Wine trade, earned him the title of Baron which was bestowed by the King of Portugal. In 1997 OFFLEY was purchased by Sogrape, and they are the current owners of the brand.

Red Owl Cooler SAM_1667

Red Owl Cooler

Offley Ruby Porto is a young red wine produced in the traditional Porto method. The crushed grapes (produced in the Douro Region of Portugal) are fermented with the stalks removed, and the resulting wine is fortified and left in the Douro region until the following spring. Then they are taken to Vila Nova de Gaia to be matured in oak wood casks at Offley’s centuries old lodges and aging cellars. To make the Ruby Porto, a blend of wines is selected whose ages vary from about 2 years up to 5 years. The resulting wine is then filtered and cold stabilized prior to bottling.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: OFFLEY Ruby Port Wine

“… The flavours that develop represent a nice combination of ripe cherry and plum flavours accented by a light acidity and some raisiny spiciness. There is also a chalky mineral-like quality underneath and a bit of tannin-like dryness that reminds me of grape skins which pucker the mouth slightly. Over-all the Offley Ruby Porto is easy-going …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a recipe suggestion which mixes White Owl Whisky with OFFLEY Ruby Port, I call it the Red Owl Cooler.

Chimo!

Posted in Ruby Port, Wine Reviews - Port | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 20, 2015

Legacy Small Batch SAM_1656The resurgence of interest in Canadian Whisky continues unabated as it seems that every time I venture into a local liquor store I see new brands that I have never tried before. One of these new brands, Legacy Small Batch caught my eye and I decided to request a bottle for review. The new brand is owned by Sazerac, and to produce this new Canadian spirit they import mature whisky from Canada and bottle it at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

There is not much information about this particular whisky on the Sazerac website except for a statement that, Master Blender Drew Mayville (Buffalo Trace), oversees the distillation of this particular whisky. Unfortunately I find this claim hard to reconcile based upon his own statements in a 2013 interview in The Spirits Business (see interview here) regarding the anonymity of Canadian Whisky distillers and his happiness at being a blender and not a distiller. (Note that Canadian Whisky by law must be at least 3 years old and therefore would have been distilled prior to those statements.) Perhaps the marketing people at Sazerac meant that Drew Mayville oversees the blending of the Legacy Small Batch, which of course would be right up his alley.

Canadian Caribou

Canadian Caribou

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky

“… I taste a very nice melding of rye-like spices with butterscotch toffee. There is a corn-like smoothness which permeates the whisky along with just enough peppery heat to pucker and dry the palate making it receptive to the next sip. There are also light bits of cinnamon, some gentle vanillans, and a touch of milk chocolate in the flavour profile and all of these flavours seem to be pulling in the same pleasant direction …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe I created called the Canadian Caribou.

Chimo

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisky Liqueur, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum (Batch #002)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 16, 2015

bottleI was able to obtain a sample of Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum, from the Western Canadian distributor Charton Hobbs. This spirit is produced by the Indian Ocean Rum Company which is a partnership between the local Medine Distillery on the Island of Mauritius and the English spirits company, Berry Bros. & Rudd. Penny Blue is a true Mauritian Rum, distilled from the locally produced molasses from the Medine Distillery’s home-grown sugar cane.

According to the information provided to me, only 7000 bottles of Batch #002 were produced from 22 oak casks. Thirty percent of the rum was drawn from ex-Whisky casks, thirty percent from ex-Bourbon Casks, and 30 percent from ex-Cognac casks. The ages of these rums varied between 5 to 11 years. An astute person will note that this accounts for only ninety percent of the rum. The final ten percent of the rum was actually a portion drawn from Batch #001 which was added to the blend for additional flavour and complexity.

After blending the rum is bottled at the Medine Estate. This bottling strength may vary slightly from batch to batch, and Batch #002 was bottled at 43.2% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritius Rum (Batch #002)

“… The butterscotch aroma is accented by hints of tobacco and leather, and the oak spice brings impressions of orange peel and baking spice (in particular cinnamon and bits of nutmeg). There is an underlying impression of almond as well as a few floral notes. The overall impression I have is that the rum promises to be quite pleasant with perhaps just a touch of heat to add to its character …”

Please enjoy my review and the cocktail suggestion which follows, The Rum Club Cocktail!

Chimo!

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

Review: Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 14, 2015

late-bottled-vintage-2008Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Port wine is (as the name implies) a style of Port which is bottled later than the more prestigious Vintage Port. LBV Port wine remains in neutral wood between four to six years, rather than the 2 years which would be typical for a Vintage Port. Since Port wine matures more quickly in oak vats than it would in the bottle, it is ready to be served when it is bottled. However, Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port, (unlike many other LBV Ports) is not filtered before it is bottled, as a result the Fonseca will continue to age and should continue to improve if stored properly.

The wines used to produce Fonseca LBV were drawn from a reserve of some of the best full-bodied red ports produced during the 2008 harvest. These grapes were grown both on Fonseca’s own vineyards as well as on other properties in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior areas of the Douro Valley. The wines are aged in wood vats of 50 pipes (27,500 litres) capacity and then bottled after five years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008, Bottled 2013

“…   As the glass sits I soon received lush fruity smells of fresh dark BC cherries and fresh ripe plums. I really enjoyed the evolution of aromas as the smells above the glass began with dry fruity aromas and moved slowly to a fuller fresher aroma of ripe succulent fruit …”

I like Port Wine, and in particular, I like LBV Port Wine with its bevy of fresh fruity flavours. Unfortunately, in my particular local we have a rather limited selection of LBV Port and so my reviews of this style of wine are rather scant. However, I can say without a doubt that the Fonsecu Late Bottle Vintage 2008 is a spectacular example of how great LBV Port can be.

Please enjoy the review!

Chimo!

 

Posted in LBV Port, Wine Reviews - Port | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Michter’s US *1 Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2015

Michter'sThe Michter’s brand can trace its heritage to the Pennsylvania’s historic Bomberger’s Distillery, which in 1980 was declared a National Historic Landmark and is thought to have been up until the time of its closing, one of the oldest distilleries in the United States. In fact, the still house, the warehouse, and the jug house all date back to the 1840s.

The Mitcher’s brand itself was first distilled at the Bomberger facility in 1951 when it was owned by Louis Forman. Forman and his Master Distiller, Charles Everett Beam, apparently created the original whiskey that was named Michter’s Original Sour Mash Whiskey. The name was apparently a play on the names of Forman’s sons Michael and Peter. Over time the Bomberger distillery became associated with the Michter’s Whiskey and became known as the Michter’s Distillery. It was unfortunately closed in 1989 due to bankrupcy.

Since 2004, the Michter’s brand has been produced in Bardstown, Kentucky by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers with the brand currently owned by Chatham Imports, Inc.  The company has apparently built a new Michter’s Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky and has begun to produce their own spirit. This new production has not yet made its way into Michter’s US *1 Bourbon.

1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice

1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Michter’s US *1 Bourbon

“… The immediate nose is assertive with alcohol (from the high bottling proof), as well as spicy oak and sap, grassy tobacco and sweet butterscotch all reaching up and grabbing at me. There is a lot of fruit including both orange and banana peel, some yellow apple and even a few apricot brandy-like aromas …”

I hope you enjoy my review which includes a nice suggested recipe, the 1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice.

Chimo!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Duke* Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 17, 2015

duke-bourbon-bottle-shot-front-webMonument Valley Distillers call themselves artisan distillers who craft small batches of bourbon, whiskey and brandy. The genesis for the company was a conversation over dinner between founders Ethan Wayne, (son of the epic movie actor, John Wayne) and Jayson Woodbridge and Chris Radomski (vintners of Hundred Acre Wines) in Calistoga, California. The company they created as a result of that conversation (Monument Valley Distillers) is based in California, and it spawned DUKE Spirits which is now tasked with preserving the legacy of Ethan’s father, John Wayne, by creating authentic products bearing his name.

DUKE* Kentucky Straight Bourbon is distilled in Lawrenceburg Kentucky, and (again according to the website information) is blended from small batches of  hand crafted five to ten year old whiskeys which have been aged in new heavily charred American Oak barrels. The resulting bourbon whiskey is bottled at 44 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Duke* Kentucky Straight Bourbon

“… When I returned to the glass, light butterscotch aromas and bits of vanilla had revealed themselves; however, a sort of peppery grassy aroma of green tobacco was still dominating the breezes. There was also some spicy orange citrus peel and a few almond scents …”

Please enjoy the review!

Chimo!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Gilbey’s London Dry Gin

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 14, 2015

Gilbey’s Gin is owned by spirits conglomerate Diageo; but it is produced and sold under its current license by Beam Suntory. The Beam Suntory website does not contain extensive information regarding Gilbey’s; however I did find this statement which describes its production:

“In making a fine London Dry Gin such as Gilbey’s, the fermentation process is similar to whiskey production. The fundamental difference is that the congeners, the natural taste elements that are so necessary to Bourbon and Scotch are absent. Instead, gin’s flavor is introduced to the alcohol when it is in a vaporous form and made to pass through a “filter” of juniper berries, herbs and spices.”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Gilbey’s London Dry Gin

“… I discovered a very traditional gin profile with firm juniper aromas leading out in front of lightly sweet citrus scents of orange and lemon. There are some fine spices in the breezes which remind me coriander, ginger and cardamon, as well as some floral accents resembling lilacs and white lilies …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two nice recipe suggestions, Gilbey’s and Tonic, and a Vesper Cocktail.

Chimo!

Posted in Gin, Gin Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky (NAS)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 12, 2015

Whisky Splash SAM_1629Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky is produced by Alberta’s own Highwood Distillers. It has quietly replaced Highwood’s former Centennial 10 Year Old Canadian Whisky (see review here) as the flagship brand of their Centennial Lineup. The Centennial brand is unique in Canada as rather than using corn as the base grain for this whisky, Centennial uses soft Canadian winter wheat and rye  This gives the Centennial brand a smooth and soft flavour profile which I have found is unlike any other Canadian whisky. In fact, using grains grown exclusively on the Canadian prairies, distilling the grain in their home Province of Alberta, and aging the spirit in the severe Western Canadian climate makes  Centennial is a Whisky unlike any other in the world.

Centennial Limited Edition features no age statement which makes it different from the Centennial 10 Year Old Whisky which used to carry the flag for the brand. When I asked the folks at the distillery I was told that the Centennial brand had reached a point of popularity such that Highwood could no longer meet the demand for their 10 Year Old whisky across the country. This meant that the distiller was faced with two choices. They could either raise the price to temper demand (and annoy their loyal customers), or they could create a new flagship Centennial Whisky (the Limited Edition) which they could produce in sufficient quantity to meet the new demand across Canada. They chose the second course, although they are hoping this new blend is met with the same enthusiasm as the previous blend.

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky

“… I let the glass sit for a while, and noticed that the rye grain was joined by wood spices and these spicy accents seem to grow in the breezes. I also notice a light almost bitter astringency in the air which seems to be related to the building rye spice. As the glass continues to decant, some dry grassy tobacco comes to the fore and a light fruitiness is evolving from the rye which is also filling the air with light scents of ginger …”

Please enjoy the review which concludes with a nice recipe suggestion, the Canadian Whisky Splash!

 

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

 
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