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Posts Tagged ‘Scotch Whisky’

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2012

A few years ago Johnnie Walker Gold Label carried an age statement of 18 years. Back then it was called The Centenary Blend. The newest bottles of the Gold Label no longer carry that age statement. Coinciding with that particular change is a bit of a name change as well. Instead of Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend, the newest version is now called Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve. Based upon what I can glean from the Johnnie Walker website (and the back of my bottle) it may not be only the ages of the individual whiskies in the blend which have changed, the actual constituents of the blend appear to have changed as well.

“GOLD LABEL RESERVE is blended from casks of Whiskies that have been specially selected from the Master Blender, Jim Beveridge’s Private Reserve.”

Of course this means that my previous review for Johnnie Walker Gold Label – The Centenary Blend is rather obsolete, a fact which was quickly pointed out to me by my good friend Jason, of Jason’s Scotch Reviews, when I recently re-posted that particular review. Jason asked me if I could review the new blend, and after a quick email with the Alberta Diageo Rep, a new bottle for review found its way onto my review queue.

Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“… The nose is very complex. It seems rather light and gentle first; but as the glass sits, the whisky seems to gain strength and intensity. The initial impressions are of butterscotch, honey and wood spice. Some nice scents of canned fruit drift by the nostrils, in particular peaches and apricots. A bit of home-baked apple pie with touches of cinnamon reach the breezes above the glass as well… “

You may read my full review here:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Please enjoy my review of the new Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Tasting the Glenfarclas Range with George Grant

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 13, 2012

This Sunday, November 18th, the Edmonton Golf and Country Club (6201 Country Club Rd NW, Edmonton) will be the location for an extraordinary tasting event hosted by George Grant, the Sales Director for the Glenfarclas Distillery where the entire core range of Glenfarclas Whisky will be discussed and of course, tasted. (Mr. Grant is part of the 6th generation of the Grant Family who originally purchased the distillery in 1865. His family still controls and manages the distillery today.)

The line-up for the tasting will be as follows:

Price: – $65 per ticket

Please call  780-904-2684 for more information!

(This is quite truthfully an impressive range from one of the only remaining distilleries in Scotland which is independently family owned and managed. I hope I see some of my readers there. Sláinte!)

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Posted in Extras, Festivals and Events, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tasting the Glenfarclas Range with George Grant

The Year in Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2012

This was a great year for the Rum Howler with respect to Whisky. I was able to help in a small way with the success of the 3nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival; I was selected to be on the North American Panel of Spirit Writers who judged the Canadian Whisky Awards; and I was able to almost double the number of Whisky reviews on my website this year. The result of all of this activity is that the year 2012 saw me taste and score more whisky than ever before. This means that my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky are better than ever.

All of my whisky awards are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Just as it is with my other Rum Howler Awards, all of the samples which I receive for review in a given year are automatically considered for the 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.

And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky. These Awards are for the best Whisky Spirits I encountered in the year 2012, here is the link:

The 2012 Rum Howler Awards – The Year in Whisky

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 16, 2012

Inver House Distillers own five Scottish distilleries, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn, and Balmenach. The company produces a diverse portfolio of brands which includes not only Scotch Whisky (Single Malt, Blended Malt, and Blended), but also Vodka, Gin, liqueurs, and premixes. The subject of this review, the anCnoc 12 Year is a Single Malt Whisky produced at the Knockdhu Distillery (which is located under the dark ‘Knock Hill’, known to the local villagers by its Gaelic name of ‘Cnoc Dubh’). Production of anCnoc began at the Distillery in 1894 following the discovery of several springs of clear water on the southern slopes of the aforementioned Knock Hill.

The  anCnoc whisky is produced on the distillery’s original style copper pot stills and worms (which condense the vapourized alcohol), and it has been produced that way for over 100 years. The resulting whisky is aged in American oak and Spanish oak barrels (which were previously used to age either bourbon or sherry). These casks are stored in dunnage warehouses where the thick granite walls ensure a stable ambient temperature which results in a consistent (or predictable) aging regimen.

I was sent a sample of the anCnoc 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky by Woodman Wine and Spirits, who are the Ontario distributors for the anCnoc brand. The Whisky has recently been released in Ontario, Canada and is available through the Whisky Shop at the LCBO.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

“…There is so much going on that it is hard to start. Smells of sweet lowland grasses, willow thicket, and almost ripe barley are I guess, as good of a place to begin as any other. Wondering in and out of the breezes above the glass are scents of fresh honey, tart green apples, and lemongrass as well…”

Here is a link to my Review:

Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky

Please enjoy the review of this remarkable whisky!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: anCnoc 12 Year old Single Malt Whisky

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2012

The blend for Johnnie Walker Gold Label was created in 1920 by Sir Alexander Walker to commemorate the Johnnie Walker Company’s 100 years in business dating back to 1820. This is of course how this particular blend of Johnnie Walker received its name.  Although discontinued during the war due to shortage of blending stocks, the label was reintroduced in 1992, with a blend based upon the original blending notes left by Sir Alexander seventy-five years earlier.

Today the Centenary blend is reputed to contain 15 separate single malt whiskies each aged a minimum of 18 years. Of these single malts four in particular have been noted as being key to the distinctive taste of Johnnie Walker Gold: Talisker  generates the general character of the blend; Clynish  generates the brine and seaside ambiance; Royal Lochnagar  imparts the luxurious palate; and Cardhu lingers in the throat and provides the finish. I have read some claims that grain whiskies are in the blend as well, but whether that is true I have no confirmation. I am not snobbish against the grain whiskies, and this review concentrates on the aroma, the flavour, and the character of the whisky.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

Please enjoy this re-posting of my original November 2009 review!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Johnnie Walker Gold Label

Revealing Some Magic: The Oldest Bowmore Ever

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 17, 2012

Today Morrison Bowmore announced the oldest ever Bowmore, and indeed, the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released:

The Bowmore 1957 – 54 Years Old Single Malt

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This Whisky was distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011. It has been slumbering in oak for more than half a century in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults. Amazingly there are only 12 bottles in existence. Bowmore 1957 is the oldest and rarest ever Bowmore. This will sure be one of the most sought after and collectible Monumental Whiskies in the entire world.

Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 To Be Auctioned at Bonhams In Edinburgh and New York City this October With All Net Proceeds Donated To Charity

For more information click here:

BOWMORE 1957 – 54 YEARS OLD

(The 2 bottles that will be up for auction have a reserve set at £100,000 per bottle. If a person would like to buy one but not at the auctions, they will have to purchase from Bowmore Distillery on Islay, Scotland and the price will be £100,000.)

Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Revealing Some Magic: The Oldest Bowmore Ever

Something Special with Peter Toaig

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 12, 2012

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting …

According to the their media team, this month Bowmore® Single Malt Scotch Whisky will announce a particularly special bottling. Only a handful of these remarkable bottles will be available, such is the rarity of this limited edition. To echo the craftsmanship of the spirit, they have worked with an expert to once again encase it in the finest oak…

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I suspect another Monumental Spirit is on the way, and I cannot hep but wonder how many bottles “only a handful” is?

Cheers!

Posted in Extras, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Something Special with Peter Toaig

Something Special at Hamilton and Inches

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 11, 2012

This is a bit of a teaser video sent to me by the North American Bowmore media team. I admit I was very intrigued so I decided to share the teaser with all of you. Apparently something special is on the horizon.

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Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Extras, First Impressions, Howls, Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Something Special at Hamilton and Inches

Introducing – Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 31, 2012

I would like to welcome Iain McCallum, the current Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers to my website. I was granted an email interview with Mr. McCallum in early June, and after a bit of back and forth the interview was concluded in mid July.

Iain discusses his job as the Global Master of Malts for Morrison Bowmore Distillers (MBD) as well as the various styles (and brands) of whisky that Morrison Bowmore produces at the three MBD distilleries in Scotland, the Bowmore Distillery, the Auchentoshan Distillery and the Glen Garioch Distillery. The interview moves on to the McClelland Single Malt Whisky brand which is also produced by Morrison Bowmore, and then on to a questions about MBD’s practice of aging the Bowmore Islay whisky offsite.

I am surprised to learn that the The Scottish Whisky Act has very little to say regarding the use of oak casks which have previously contained other wines and spirits (and how much of this liquid may be left in these casks to influence the flavour profile of the resulting whisky). Finally, Mr. McCallum gives his recommendations for the enjoyment of each of the Morrison Bowmore Distillery offerings sharing opinions regarding his favourite Malts, and his favourite cocktails with me.  I am happy to learn that even the Master of Malts allows himself to enjoy a great cocktail!

You may read the full interview here:

An Interview with the Global Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Please enjoy the Interview!

Posted in Interviews, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Introducing – Master of Malts, Iain McCallum

Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2012

Edradour holds the distinction of being the smallest distillery in Scotland. It is also the last original farm distillery in Perthshire. The same wooden equipment is used to mash and ferment the whisky today, that was purchased by the distillery 170 years ago. They use the smallest copper stills in Scotland, and in fact they are the smallest permissible by Scottish law. They also use the only working model of a Morton refrigerator (used in the distilling process) in the industry. You’ll find this unique distillery nestled in a small glen above Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands. A truly unique distillery, making truly unique single malt whisky.

The Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finished Whisky is a fully aged 12-year-old single malt. The whisky was aged for 12 years in American Oak and then finished in a Barolo wine barrel from Angelo Gaja, an Italian wine producer from Piemonte. This is a ‘cask strength’ offering bottled at a whopping 57.1 % alcohol by volume. I expect this to be a bit of a beast in the glass with strong flavours and aromas.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… I allowed the glass to breathe, and those scents and smells of the grain harvest seem to deepen. I also begin to notice a lightly floral character similar to lilacs and heather nestled in the background of the breezes, and some mixed berries (gooseberry, elderberry, and blackberries) seem to flicker in and out as well … “

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish

Cheers Everyone!

Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Edradour Gaja Barolo Cask Finish

 
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