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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2015

Wild_Turkey_81_BourbonWild Turkey produces their bourbon from a mash bill which includes three grains: corn, barley, and rye. This mashbill is said to have a relatively high proportion of rye which gives the whiskey brand its signature spicy kick. The new flagbearer for the brand, Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon) has recently replaced Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon in the Wild Turkey line-up here in Alberta. This bourbon spirit, rather than being bottled at the regular 40 % alcohol by volume is instead bottled at a slightly higher proof, 40.5% alcohol by volume or 81 proof hence the name Wild Turkey 81.

According to the Wild Turkey website, this flagship whiskey is meant to be a mixing spirit. In fact the website describes Wild Turkey 81 as,

“an everyday whiskey that can stand up to any mixer or in any cocktail with the bold, in-your-face taste that is distinctively Wild Turkey.”

Although the spirit carries no age statement, the producer’s website informs us that this Kentucky Straight Bourbon is aged for approximately six to eight years in what the company refers to as their ‘famous #4 alligator char‘ American Oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring forward a sweetened butterscotch note wrapped in oak and cedar spice. Scents of vanilla and honeycomb come forward mingling in the air with the fine wood spices creating an impression of light toffee. The spices grow in intensity and begin to throw off dry rye-like scents of ginger …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a great cocktail suggestion, the Honeylemon Ginger Julep.

Chimo!

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

Review: Brugal Siglo de Oro

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2015

Siglo De OroThe Brugal Distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner. Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of three large rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. Although the Edrington Group now controls the company, George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.

According to the Brugal Website, Brugal makes their rum in a traditional manner (from molasses) and ages it on site in Puerto Plata. The Brugal Siglo De Oro was first produced in 1988 to commemorate Brugal’s 100th anniversary. It sits near the top of the ladder as far as Brugal Rum is concerned and undergoes a unique double aging regimen for extra depth and complexity.

1878 Rum Cocktail

1878 Rum Cocktail

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Brugal Siglo de Oro

“… Throughout the evolution in the glass the oak in glass deepens providing a firm backdrop within which the rest of the scents and smells can dance their merry melody. Butterscotch scents move into the oak spice bringing about a wonderful caramel toffee aroma …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a wonderful cocktail inspired by Leo Engels from his 1878 bartender’s guide, American and Other Drinks, the 1878 Rum Cocktail.

Chimo!

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

Review: Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 8, 2015

Spicebox WhiskySpicebox Cinnamon is based in Montreal, Quebec where they blend and bottle their Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky. The product is currently bottled at 66 proof or 33 % alcohol by volume and has been brought into the Alberta Marketplace by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits who are also based out of Montreal.

Buzz Saw Highball

Buzz Saw Highball

According to the information which Mondia supplied to Vancouver’s Hopscotch Festival, their cinnamon blended whisky “combines the tastes of smooth, rich rye whisky with a kick to the kisser of cinnamon heat” which to me sounds rather intriguing.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky

“… The aroma which jumps out of the glass is of course laced with cinnamon although I also detect a strong sweetness running alongside, with hints of woodspice. The overall effect reminds me both of cinnamon heart candies, and those cinnamon toothpicks I used to buy at the candy store as a kid. If you love cinnamon this will delight you, if cinnamon heat is not your thing, the aroma will warn you away …”

Please enjoy my latest review which includes a nice cocktail suggestion which I have found works very well with cinnamon whiskies, the Buzz Saw Highball.

Chimo!

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

Review: Skyy Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 5, 2015

Skyy Minted Daiquiri SAM_1670Skyy Vodka was originally created by Maurice Kanbar who formed Skyy Spirits LLC. in 1992 to market the spirit. The Vodka is quadruple distilled from American grain, and is also apparently filtered three times though California limestone prior to bottling. In 1999, the Compari Group (headquartered in Milan, Italy) purchased the brand, and Skyy is now a product of the Campari America Division.

When I sampled Skyy Vodka for the first time, I was also sampling with three other vodka spirits, Opulent, Iceberg and Polar Ice Vodka. I created a set of tasting notes for each spirit, and from those notes, and from a second set of tasting notes which I prepared in my private tasting room when sampled Skyy in isolation from the other spirits afterwards, I prepared this review.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Skyy Vodka

“… I had previously chilled them to about 2 degrees Celsius. At this temperature Skyy Vodka is slightly thickened, and when I brought it to my nose I noticed an obvious lemon-lime scent combined with a bit of grainy spice. As I sipped, my feeling was that the spirit had a somewhat bitter pithy (that white stuff on the back side of a citrus peel) flavour and aftertaste …”

I hope you enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe suggestion, the Minted Vodka Daiquiri.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

 
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