The Rum Howler Blog

(A Website for Spirited Reviews)

  • The Rum Howler Blog

  • Visit My Online Memorabilia Store

  • The Rum Howler Interview (Good Food Revolution)

    Click on the Image to see my interview on Good Food Revolution

  • Industry Interviews

    Interviews

    Click the Image for Great Interviews with the Movers of Industry

  • Cocktails and Recipes

    Click Image for Awesome Recipes

  • Follow Me on Twitter!

Posts Tagged ‘Vodka’

Review: Opulent Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 10, 2015

oppulentOpulent Vodka is an American made spirit produced from what their website calls ‘American-bred corn’. The spirit apparently undergoes an ‘intense distillation process’ which is repeated five times after which it is reduced to bottling proof using deionized water. The vodka appears to be produced by Johnson Brothers Wine and Spirits, which I believe is under the umbrella of companies owned by Crosby Lakes Spirits Company, of Minnesota.

When I sampled Opulent Vodka for the first time, I was also sampling three other vodka spirits, Polar Ice, Iceberg and Skyy 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 I sampled Opulent in isolation from the other spirits afterwards, I prepared this review.

Opulent Greyhound

Opulent Greyhound

Here is a link to the full write-up:

Review: Opulent Vodka

“… I decided that the vodka has a surprisingly spicy bit even at the cold serving temperature. Fortunately that mint-like quality I noticed when I inspected the breezes above my glass manifests itself into a soothing menthol-like quality as you sip. There is also a pleasant lemon-like sweetness as well …”

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

Chimo!

 

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | 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: Polar Ice Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 27, 2015

Polar IcePolar Ice is an economy vodka sold in Canada by Corby Distilleries Limited. The brand is extremely popular in Canada, and in fact, according to the information on the Corby Brands website, it is the number one Canadian vodka. Corby’s branded products are notoriously hard to research as the websites created for each brand do not got into very much depth regarding each brand’s production. All I could find was a statement on the aforementioned website which stated that Polar Ice is crafted from the purest water and grains, and that it is quadruple distilled to create an exceptionally smooth taste.

Iced Vodka Daiquiri

Iced Vodka Daiquiri

When I sampled Polar Ice Vodka for the first time, I was also sampling with three other vodka spirits, Opulent, Iceberg and Skyy 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 Polar Ice in isolation from the other spirits afterwards, I prepared my review.

Here is a link to the full write-up:

Review: Polar Ice Vodka

“… When I took to sip, I allowed a little vodka to sit on my tongue before swallowing. I noticed a lightly bitter taste of citrus pith on my tongue which was coupled with penetrating spiciness. A corn-like sweetness followed …”

I hope you enjoy my review which concludes with a nice cocktail recipe, the Iced Vodka Daiquiri.

Chimo!

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

Review: Iceberg Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 18, 2015

Reverse Vesper SAM_1632

Reverse Vesper with Iceberg Vodka

Iceberg Vodka is produced by the Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corp. (CIVC), which is headquartered St. John’s, Newfoundland. The spirit is produced by blending alcohol distilled from Ontario sweet-corn with water harvested from icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland with the aim of creating a premium vodka which is completely devoid of artificial pollutants. The arctic icebergs which float into what is called ‘iceberg alley’ just off the coat of Newfoundland are formed from glaciers which are over 10,000 years old.

When I opened my bottle of Iceberg Vodka for the first time, I was also sampling with three other vodka spirits, Polar Ice, Opulent and Skyy 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 I tasted each spirit in isolation from the others, I prepared my reviews.

Here is a link to the full review for Iceberg Vodka:

Review: Iceberg Vodka

“… When I took to sip, I allowed a little vodka to sit on my tongue before swallowing. I noticed a nice corn-like sweetness came though in front of the grainy spice and the combination of both was quite nice …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a nice recipe suggestion, the Reverse Vesper with Cucumber and Orange Peel.

Chimo!

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

Review: Belvedere Unfiltered (Rare Diamond Rye) Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 3, 2015

belvedere-unfiltered-rye-vodkaBelvedere Vodka is (according to their website) “the world’s first luxury vodka“. It is a four-time distilled spirit produced in the Polish town of Żyrardów from Dankowski rye and water pulled from Belvedere’s own underground artesian wells.

I first tasted the new Unfiltered Belvedere Vodka at a recent Martini Seminar hosted in Edmonton by Ali Dedianko, the Belvedere Vodka Global Ambassador. At the seminar Ali described the Belvedere Unfiltered spirit as a ‘whisky drinkers vodka’ which was produced to allow the flavour of the Dankowski Rye to shine through. This is because the spirit is produced exclusively from Dankowski Rye grain grown on a Single Estate on one selected Polish farm. (It has its own terroir, if you will.) Furthermore the new Vodka, after being distilled four times, is bottled without filtering (at 40 % Alcohol by Volume) to ensure that the rye flavour within the vodka is not lost.

Unfiltered Reverse Vesper

Unfiltered Reverse Vesper

After the Martini event, I contacted the Western Canadian distributor of Belvedere products, Charton Hobbs who provided my sample bottle for this review.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Belvedere Unfiltered (Rare Diamond Rye) Vodka

“… When I brought the chilled vodka to my nose I could detect light aromas of  fresh-baked rye bread combined with a lovely milk chocolate scent. I was surprised that the aroma was so firm as the Vodka was very well chilled. As the Vodka warmed, the spicy rye grain seemed to unravel itself from the lightly sweet chocolate giving me another olfactory dimension to enjoy …”

Please enjoy the review, and at its conclusion I hope you also enjoy two Martini recipes I created which feature the outstanding flavour of the Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka, a Dry Vodka Martini (with lemon garnish) and a Reverse Vesper Martini (with cucumber and lemon garnish).

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Belvedere Unfiltered (Rare Diamond Rye) Vodka

Review: AnestasiA Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 26, 2015

AnestasiA VodkaANESTASIA VODKA was created as a result of founder, Yuliya Mamontova’s desire to create a luxury spirit in the United States. Yuliya’s passion was a result of her upbringing, as she learned the arts of fermentation and distillation as well as the expertise of marketing and packaging firsthand growing up in a family of European Vodka Producers.

Her luxury vodka, AnestasiA, is produced in Bend Oregon from corn which is sourced from Pacific Northwest farms and water which flows from Bend’s Cascade Mountains. According to the company website:

“The waters of this range flow through riverbeds of lava rock, and thereby avoid picking the sediment—metallic salts such as magnesium and calcium—present in most water sources. In fact, our waters contain 90% less of these compounds than your average drinking water. This makes our water remarkably ‘soft’, and results in AnestasiA vodka’s naturally derived purity.”

Tactical Equilibrium

Tactical Equilibrium

The AnestasiA spirit is five times distilled, and after the final distillation, the distillate is brought to bottling proof with the soft Northwest water. Then it is filtered a further five times through crushed lava rock, neutral charcoal, and Arkansas-derived quartz crystal. The final Vodka is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume in a stunning decanter type bottle (shown to the left) which is made partially from recycled materials.

Founder, Yuliya Mamontova, reached out to me through my website, and asked me if I would agree to receive a bottle of her luxury Vodka to review.

Here is a link to that full review:

Review: AnestasiA Vodka

“… At the cold serving temperature I could detect absolutely no aroma above the glass, however, when I sipped the vodka I could taste a firm lemon zest with just a hint of grain spice. It is very pleasant especially with the lingering lightly sweet lightly spicy lemon flavour which coats the palate …”

Included with my review is a very nice cocktail which combines the AnestasiA Vodka with Gilbey’s Gin. I call it, Tactical Equilibrium.

Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Review: AnestasiA Vodka

Some Help on Father’s Day

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2015

Dictador Insolent

Dictador Insolent

Today I thought I would give everyone who is scrambling at the last-minute a few suggestions for Father’s Day with the same list of ten spirits which I posted on my refrigerator for my wife and kids. Every item on my list is considered by myself to be a top-notch spirit, however each is available in my local market for less than 100 bucks. That may seem a high watermark for some, but I have three kids and they can chip in together.

Any gift from his list would make any reasonable Dad happy:

1)  Dictador XO Insolent Rum
2)  Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
3)  El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
4)  Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon
5)  Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt
6)  Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Year Old
7)  Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)
8)  Botanist Islay Dry Gin 
9)  Corzo Reposado Tequila
10) H by Hine Fine Champagne Cognac (VSOP)

SAM_0699 Graham's Six Grapes

Graham’s Six Grapes

I realize that not everyone can or would want to spend 100 bucks. If you are more budget conscious, then here is a list of ten great budget priced spirits which would still make any Dad happy (including me):

1)  Bacardi 8 Yr Old Rum
2)  Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year 
3)  Diplomático Añejo
4)  Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky
5)  Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
6)  Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky 
7)  Highwood Premium Vodka
8)  Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin (40 %ABV)
9)  Herencia de Plata (Reposado)
10) W & J Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port

The two lists are in no particular order, but I have tried to include a good range of spirit types with the emphasis on Rum of course. Hopefully this helps someone, if not for Father’s Day, then maybe for your own personal shopping.

Chimo!

Posted in Extras | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Alberta Pure Vodka (Glacier Born)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 19, 2015

Alberta Pure Sam0780Alberta Pure Vodka is a brand name owned by Carrington Distillers who appear to be based in Calgary, Alberta. This is a triple distilled grain spirit produced by Alberta Distillers Limited which is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume. It is sold throughout Western Canada and even makes its way into Ontario via the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).

When I tasted the Alberta Pure Vodka for the first time it was as part of a flight of  vodkas my friends (the Rum Chums) and I were sampling at my first Vodka Tasting of 2015. We chilled each Vodka in my deep freeze such that there were all at about 2 degrees Celsius when we sampled them. Each vodka was served individually in a shot glass, and I kept track of what my friends were saying during the tasting.

(Note: My previous reviews for Potter’s Premium Vodka and Absolut Vodka were published based upon notes compiled from that initial tasting session.)

Alberta Pure Martini with mint and lime

Alberta Pure Martini with mint and lime

More recently, I sampled Alberta Pure once more, this time in a flight of more premium vodka spirits which also included Finlandia, Belvedere Unfiltered, and AnestasiA. Again I compiled notes for each Vodka and from those notes (and from my previous notes) I constructed this review. (My reviews for the other three spirits will follow in the coming weeks.)

Here is a link to my full review for Alberta Pure Vodka:

Review: Alberta Pure Vodka (Glacier Born)

“… when I raised the glass to my nose I could detect very little aroma. There was a light spiciness, but that was all. The first sip brought forward bits of grain spice and a touch of citrus zest, but again, that was all. When chilled, Alberta Pure is an extremely clean crisp spirit …”

I have been on a bit of a Martini kick lately and my review includes a nice recipe for a Vodka Martini (with lime and mint garnish).

Please enjoy my review and the additional Vodka reviews which will follow.
Chimo!

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: POLIAKOV Lemon Flavoured Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 26, 2015

Easy Lemon MartiniIn late November, I received an email from the Export Marketing Assistant for the independent French spirits group, La Martiniquaise. He was writing to me from Farnace to see if I would be interested in sampling some of the revamped new flavoured range of POLIAKOV Vodka. As it was explained to me in his email, the company is attempting to bypass the prevailing “flavour fatigue”  which they feel reigns within the flavoured vodka category, and rather than conjuring up new exotic flavours which are probably unfamiliar to their customers, the revamped Poliakov range focuses on ‘within-reach flavours’ which are familiar to their customers.

I agreed to taste some of the POLIAKOV flavoured range, and William arranged for me to receive three flavours, POLIAKOV Vanilla, Peach and Lemon Flavoured Vodkas.

This is the last of the three postings, my review for POLIAKOV Lemon Flavoured Vodka:

Review: POLIAKOV Lemon Flavoured Vodka

“… As with the other POLIAKOV flavours I have reviewed, (the Vanilla and Peach Flavoured Vodkas), the initial aroma from the glass seems to represent a relatively clean aroma of the highlighted flavour rising into the breezes with a light hint of sugar cane and perhaps a few hints of grain spice. The aroma is akin to the smell of lemon drop candies, but less intense and certainly less sweet …”

I have included two nice recipes with the review one from POLIAKOV, which is called Yellow Delight, and one of my construction which I call, the Easy lemon Martini.

Please enjoy this review and of course the included recipes!

 

Posted in Flavoured Vodka, Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: POLIAKOV Lemon Flavoured Vodka

Review: Potter’s Premium Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 10, 2015

Emmissary SAM_1460

The Emissary Cocktail

In November of 2005, Highwood Distilleries Ltd. finalized the purchase of Potters Distilleries which had been founded founded by Ernie Potter in 1958. The corn-based brands which Potter’s had established (Century and Potter’s) were added to the Highwood portfolio. Today Potter’s Premium Vodka is produced at the Highwood Distillery in High River, Alberta. This distillery is situated near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just 40 minutes south of downtown Calgary.

According to the company website:

The careful repeated distillation of quality grains creates the base of Highwood’s Vodka brands. The pure, clear spirits are filtered and blended with fresh Rocky Mountain spring water to create our clean, crisp Vodkas.

When I tasted the Potter’s Premium Vodka for the first time it was as part of a flight of four vodkas my friends (the Rum Chums) and I were sampling at my first Vodka Tasting of 2015. We chilled all of the Vodkas in my deep freeze such that there were all at about 2 degrees Celsius when we sampled them.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Potter’s Premium Vodka

“… As I sipped upon the cold spirit, my impression was that this is a relatively smooth vodka especially considering its price point. I taste a light but firm flavour of lemon balsam and some hints of lime zest spice within the soft corn sweetness. There is also a whisper of briny salt and some fine white pepper spice which tastes quite nice …”

Please enjoy my review which conclude with a nice elegant cocktail of mine which I call the Emissary.

 

Posted in Vodka, Vodka Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Potter’s Premium Vodka

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,506 other followers

%d bloggers like this: