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Posts Tagged ‘Whisky’

# 96 The Macallan Ruby

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 20, 2015

The Macallan Distillers Ltd recently launched a new line of Single Malt Whisky which they call, The Macallan 1824 Series. Each whisky in the 1824 Series is 100 % Sherry Cask whisky, and each whisky within the range draws its name from the colour of the whisky inside the bottle as the series moves up the ladder from Gold to Amber, Sienna, and finally to Ruby in that order.

Macallan 1824 Ruby These whiskies carry no age statement. Instead, the consumer is asked to draw a parallel between the colour of the whisky in the bottle and its age, complexity, and quality. Because these whiskies are naturally coloured by the casks from which they are drawn, the implication is that the richer darker whiskies have aged longer, and/or have had more of their blend drawn from the higher quality Sherry oak casks.

The Macallan Ruby is the darkest production whisky in the series. The Ruby is bottled at 43 % alcohol by volume, and all of this whisky was matured exclusively in European oak sherry casks.

Here is a link to my review of the #96 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#96 – The Macallan Ruby

“… The entry into the mouth brought somewhat of an unexpected rush of oak and spice forward as the whisky carried even more oak spice across the palate than what the nose implied. The complexity is top-notch as I tasted bittersweet dark chocolate, caramel toffee, raisin filled fruit cake, canned apricots, and zesty orange peel all mingling within that spicy rush of oak sap …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#98 – Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (The Solera Vat 2013)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 18, 2015

This expression of the 15 Year Old Glenfiddich is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky aged in European (Spanish Sherry), American (American Bourbon) and New American (virgin) oak. The resulting whisky is then mellowed in a Solera Vat (which when introduced by Glenfiddich for the 15-year-old Single Malt, had no counterpart in the world of  Scotch whisky). The final blend is married in Portuguese Oak Tuns. The resulting whisky is (according to the Glenfiddich website) the first 15-year-old expression to become one of the top 10 best-selling Single Malt whiskies in the world.

14272 GF 15 YO WW Tround MockWhat’s really cool is that in June of 2013, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch announced that $2.00 from every bottle sold of this whisky in Canada would be donated to benefit Canadian Forces Members as part of their continued support for Wounded Warriors Canada. In honour of the ongoing partnership, Glenfiddich has changed its regular packaging throughout 2013 and beyond in recognition of the donation program to help raise awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. Founded in 2006, Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces Members (be they full-time members or reservists) who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.

Here is a link to my review of the #98 Spirit in my Rum Howler 2015 Top 100 Spirits Countdown:

#98 – Glenfiddich 15 Year Old (The Solera Vat 2013)

“… The initial nose reveals nice oaky scents of honey and butterscotch with some hints of dark fruit (raisin and dates) and mild notes of black licorice and cocoa. Some additional impressions of spruce and pine touch my nose with touches of heather and willow. The resulting breezes above the glass are rich and full of toffee and oak hinting at sherry smoke and a light herbal character …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits


Posted in Awards, Extras, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Forty Creek Spike Honey Spiced Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2015

FC SpikeForty Creek Spike Honey Spiced Whisky is produced by the Forty Creek Distillery (now owned by Campari). Former owner of the distillery and brand, John Hall is the Whisky Maker (as he likes to refer to himself) at Forty Creek, and this spirit was produced under his direction.

According to the label on the bottle the ingredients are, Canadian Whisky (presumable John Hall’s flagship whisky Forty Creek Barrel Select), sugar, and natural flavors (presumable honey and spices). It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Forty Creek Spike Honey Spiced Whisky

“… The spirit caries a deep golden colour with reddish hues visible in the glass. The breezes are mild, and along with the notes of honey are additional notes of butterscotch, vanilla, banana, ginger and cinnamon …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with a nice tall summertime back deck drink, the Spiced Mammy.




Posted in Canadian Whisky, Spiced Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | 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.


Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Spicebox Cinnamon Canadian Spiced Whisky

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.


Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisky Liqueur, Whisky Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Review: Legacy Small Batch Canadian Whisky

Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 5, 2015

Select mapleCanadian Club Whisky (owned by BeamSuntory) is the oldest (and probably the most influential) Canadian Whisky brand in the world. The company has been granted numerous Royal Warrants from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II and it has been reported that Canadian Club was the whisky of choice when Al Capone smuggled thousands of Cases of Canadian Whisky into the USA during prohibition. Today Canadian Club Premium is the flagship brand for the company. In Canada, it is aged for a minimum of 6 years in white oak barrels and bottled at 40 per cent alcohol by volume.

Recently Canadian Club added to their flavoured and spiced portfolio by releasing a new maple flavoured whisky , Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple. According to the Canadian Club website:

Our master distillers have brought together the world’s finest Canadian whisky with the perfect hint of maple flavour.

Maple Mammy

Chairman’s Maple Mammy

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple

“… When I steal a sip from the glass, again it is the flavour of maple which one notices immediately (as we should). However, I was pleased to taste a firm whisky presence within the spirit as well. Despite the obvious maple taint, the flavoured whisky still retains its character as a whisky …”

Included in my review is a nice cocktail suggestion which combine the Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple with lime juice and ginger-ale, the Chairman’s Maple Mammy.


Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select Maple

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.


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

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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Centennial Limited Edition Canadian Whisky (NAS)

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2015

3_Grain_Harmony_Bottle_21May2015This is one of my favourite times of the year, as every year in early June, Forty Creek Whisky announces their annual special limited release whisky. This years release has been named Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony, and the distillery is once again inviting the public to participate in the release by offering to let you choose your own numbered bottle.

Reservations for choosing your bottles open at noon on Monday, June 8th and continue until 5:00 p.m. on June 26th, 2015. Of course numbers are available on a first come basis and no two bottle numbers will be the same. (Only 9000 bottles will be produced.)

According to the folks at Forty Creek:

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony is the 9th Limited Release from Forty Creek Whisky. This year, we decided to create a bit of music by carefully blending and harmonizing three single grains: rye, barley and corn. We began by fermenting and distilling each individual grain separately. Both the rye and the barley stocks date back to when we first began our Forty Creek Distillery. This Limited Release marks the first time these stocks have been introduced into one of our whiskies. As with many of our Signature Editions, the separate, single grain whiskies were patiently aged in toasted white oak barrels. At their peak flavour potential, they were then artfully blended to create the subtle yet complex whisky we named Three Grain Harmony.

The new special release whisky will be bottled at 43% alcohol by volume, and you can find more information here:

Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony

(Barley and Rye stocks that date back to the beginnings of the distillery sounds pretty special to me. I usually reserve a few bottles for myself, and this year will be no different.)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2015

Glenglassaugh 26 SAM_1599Glenglassaugh Distillery is located just outside of the Speyside Whisky Region in Northeast Scotland. It is near the town of Portsoy, Banffshire about 50 miles from Aberdeen. The distillery was established in 1875 by Col. James Moir who managed the business  (with his two nephews) until 1892, when Highland Distillers stepped in and acquired the facility. The distillery remained in production until 1986 when, due to industry consolidation, it was mothballed.

In 2008, the distillery and the Glenglassaugh brand was purchased by the Scaent Group with the intention of rebooting the facility to take advantage of the surge in interest in whisky word-wide. Part of the marketing strategy was to release some existing warehouse stocks as vintage whisky bottlings, as within the facility were barrels of whisky which had sat in limbo quietly aging since 1986.

Five years later, in 2013, due in no small part to the success of the vintage bottlings, (as well as the new whisky being produced) the BenRiach Distillery Company took over the Distillery bringing in new investment capital and corporate management to ensure the growth of the rebooted Glenglassaugh brand.

Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is one of the iconic vintage bottlings which was produced from spirit which had been distilled in 1984, and then had sat silently in a mixture of various oak barrels including both American Oak and ex sherry barrels. This whisky was bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (abv) sometime in 2010 and limited to a small production of 1002 bottles.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old

“… The initial aroma is full of oaky smells along with candied toffee and fruity sherry-like aromas. As I let the glass sit there continued to be a lot of oak and cedar in the breezes; however these wood spice and woody sap-like smells seemed to be well melded into the sweet toffee and the dark fruit which gave the nose good balance …”

Please enjoy my review!


Posted in Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Glenglassaugh 26 Year Old


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