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Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) 5 Year Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2016

Plantation Barbados SAM_2678Cognac Ferrand is a Cognac producer situated in the Grand Champagne Cognac Region of France. For years this company has had a special relationship with a variety of Caribbean rum producers. This relationship is based upon the rum producer’s need for quality oak casks to age their rum. Based upon this relationship, Cognac Ferrand is able to acquire certain old and unique batches of rum from various Caribbean sources, which they bring back to France and finish in their own warehouses and of course their own Cognac Casks. To bring these special rums to market, Cognac Ferrand created the line of rums knows as Plantation Rum.

The cornerstone of the Plantation Rum line-up is most certainly Plantation Barbados Grande Reserve 5 Year Old Rum. This is a Bajan rum blend (distilled in Barbadoes of course) which was aged for five years in bourbon casks. After this initial aging the rum is transported from Barbados to France by Cognac Ferrand to be placed in used Cognac casks to enhance the rum before it is bottled.

I originally reviewed this rum in 2011, five years removed from that review, I am revisiting the review with a current bottling.

Here is a link to my recent review:

Review: Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve)

“… The Plantation 5 Year Old Barbados Rum brings a pleasant complexity and depth of flavour to the glass which allows the spirit to be enjoyed as a sipping rum as well as a high quality cocktail rum. I also appreciate that the rum does clobber me over the head with its Cognac enhancement. I can taste whispers of fermented fruit and perhaps a ghost of the cognac barrel, but these flavours stay in the background allowing the fine Barbados rum to shine through …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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Cocktail Hour: The Swift-Turtle

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 28, 2016

I enjoy watching the night sky on my back deck after sunset, and one of the highlights of the evening sky this August was the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. Watching for a meteor flash, and trying to make a wish before it winks out of existence is one of the best ways to enjoy a cool August evening, and the Perseid Meteor Shower gave me a great excuse to make a summer’s evening cocktail and do just that.

The Swift Turtle SAM_2717The August meteor shower is a result of the periodic comet named Swift-Tuttle (discovered independently by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in 1862) which last made an appearance in our night sky in 1992. The left over debris from its comet-tail crosses the earth’s orbit, and it is the earth’s atmosphere crashing into this debris (bits of ice and space dust) which provides the fuel for streaks of meteoric light in the dark night sky.

A slip of the finger on my keyboard turning one ‘t’ into an ‘r’ provides the name of today’s cocktail which celebrates the Swift-Tuttle Comet, but is not quite named after it.

The Swift-Turtle

2 oz Plantation Barbados (Grande Reserve) Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash Fees cocktail Bitters
ice
orange peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off: George Street Spiced Rum (#1)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 25, 2016

George Street Spiced SAM_2721The capital of Newfoundland and Labrador is a city called  St. John’s, and there they have a place where the rum consumption reaches its apex. That place is George Street! A street full of music and revelry, lined from top to bottom with Pubs and Restaurants, where almost everyone’s drink of choice seems to be rum! And it is for that place that the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission (NLC) have named their spiced rum, George Street Spiced Rum.

This isn’t an ordinary spiced rum. For starters, the rum itself is from Guyana, the home of the world-famous Demerara Rum. Some of the rum in the blend is two years old, some of the rum in the blend is 5 years old, and some of the rum in the blend is 7 years old. And this aged Guyanese Rum has been painstakingly crafted into a spiced rum using extractions and distillations of real spices.

Here is a link to the review of the best spiced rum I have on my personal rum shelf:

#1: George Street Spiced Rum

“…Caramelized brown sugar and vanilla each jumped into the breezes as I poured the rum into my glass. After I poured a dram, I allowed it to breathe for just a little while. After a few minutes, rich baking spices joined in, and I received an impression of fresh cinnamon rolls rising into the air complete with treacle and rich dark brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon as well as roasted walnuts and pecans. There is also a light indication of oak spice and orange peel as well as hints of bittersweet chocolate…”

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I hope you all found my countdown enjoyable, and you can find the complete rankings list here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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Cocktail Hour: The Pedestrian

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 24, 2016

In 1951 Ray Bradbury wrote one of his most famous short stories, The Pedestrian. It is a tale about a man named Leonard Mead who likes to go for a stroll through the city streets every evening. Unfortunately for Mr. Mead, strolling through the city during the evening is considered such an unusual activity that he arouses the suspicions of a robot police car.

Pedestrian SAM_2723The story is based upon a real life incident in which Bradbury was questioned by police while taking a stroll with a friend in an area not often frequented by pedestrians. More importantly, this story is generally thought by literary critics to be the genesis of Ray Bradbury’s acclaimed novel, Fahrenheit 451.

My cocktail which pays homage to the Bradbury tale is a short serving which mixes Grapefruit and Lemon juice with George Street Spiced Rum. A dollop of Bols Triple Sec provides the foil for the tart lemon, and a few drops of Fees Cocktail Bitters rounds out the libation.

If you try it, you will see that it is anything but, Pedestrian.

The Pedestrian

1 3/4 oz George Street Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
3 drops Fees Cocktail Bitters
ice
Twist of Lemon

Place the first five ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

If you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

 

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Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 21, 2016

Knob Rye SAM_2730It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. In 2013, I named it my Whisky of the Year in my annual Rum Howler Awards, and since then it has become a staple of my whisky shelf. In fact when I am asked by people to recommend a good bourbon to try, Knob Creek is invariably the spirit I am likely to name.

I contacted BeamSuntory, Whiskey Ambassador, Matt Jones (Aka The Whiskey Chef) to provide me some information about the new spirit. He told me that the mash bill for Knob Creek Rye is 55% rye, 35% corn & 10% malt. The whiskey is blended from spirit which has been matured in new charred oak barrels for 5-9 years. The whiskey is bottled (for Canada) at a full 100 proof which is 50 % alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey

“… The breezes above the glass are rich with cedar and oak spices, maple, and butterscotch toffee. Fruit-filled rye notes separate from the wood spice adding character to the breezes. Vanilla and baking spices (cinnamon, bits of clove, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice) wander into the breezes adding even more depth to the aroma …”

Please enjoy my review of this outstanding rye whiskey.

Chimo!

 

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

Cocktail Hour: Ward 8

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 20, 2016

The history of the ‘Ward 8″ stretches back to 1898 when (as legend has it) the serving was created at the Locke-Ober Restaurant in Boston Massachusetts to honour the election of Martin M. Lomasney to the state’s legislature. Apparently it was the votes in Ward 8 which propelled him to victory, hence the name of the tasty libation. The cocktail disappeared during prohibition; but the restaurant revived the serving when the ‘noble experiment’ ended in 1933. Although the original recipe is subject to much speculation, the Locke-Ober Restaurant’s post-prohibition recipe for the Ward 8 Cocktail is shown below. It is essentially a Whiskey Sour which uses grenadine rather than sugar syrup as its sweetener. The libation was so popular (and so tasty) that in 1934 the serving was named one of the nation’s Ten Best Cocktails by Esquire Magazine.

Ward 8 SAM_2732For my take on the serving I made two substitutions. First I subbed out the grenadine in favour of my own Cran-Raspberry Syrup (recipe here). The tickle of raspberry works wonderfully with the star of the libation, the strongly flavoured Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky. Then I replaced the Maraschino Cherry (which are very hard to find in my locale) with my home-made Brandied Cherry (recipe here).

The result is ridiculously good!

Ward 8

2 oz Rye or Bourbon (Knob Creek Straight Rye)
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1 Tsp Grenadine (sub Cran-Raspberry Syrup)
Ice
Maraschino Cherry (sub Brandied Cherry)

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a Maraschino or in my case a Brandied Cherry

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

(Note: My review for Knob Creek Straight Rye Whisky publishes tomorrow.)

Chimo!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

2016 Rum Howler Spiced Rum Taste-off: Bacardi Oakheart

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 18, 2016

Oakheart and ColaMy 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off has reached the final stages, and if you are looking for trends in my countdown, the one that shines through most clearly for me is that barrel aging matters. It’s not a perfect correlation; but if you have been following my Countdown List of spiced rums as it has grown over the summer you will have seen that the spiced rums which exhibit a little of the depth and character which come from oak aging are outperforming those that do not.

Bacardi’s Oakheart Smooth Spiced Rum is one of those spirits which shows firm signs of age in the glass. It is produced from a blend of column distilled rums which have been aged in charred oak barrels. This aged rum is then spiced to reach a flavour profile which walks the path of a vanilla accented by fragrant spices the combination of which is meant to compliment the aged rum but not to dominate it.

Here is a link to the second best spiced rum on my rum shelf:

#2 Spiced Rum: Bacardi Oakheart

“… I taste a lot of vanilla, some nice rummy butterscotch and a little dollop of maple syrup. The rum has a bit of spicy heat as well, with some orange peel, cinnamon and cloves heating the palate. The oak seems a little lost in the spice when you sip the rum neat. I suspect it is adding to that orange peel zest flavour I noted, but it is hard to decide where the light spice flavours end and the oak begins …”

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I hope you all find this countdown enjoyable and you can follow the rankings here:

The Rum Howler 2016 Spiced Rum Countdown

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Cocktail Hour: The Flying Machine

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 17, 2016

A few weeks ago I introduced a spiced rum cocktail (The Fog Horn) which paid homage to one of my favourite short story authors, Ray Bradbury. I thought that today was a good day to introduce another. The Flying Machine is a very short story written in 1953 when the world was still feeling the aftershocks of World War II and Hiroshima.

Flying Machine SAM_2725This is perhaps one of Bradbury’s lessor known tales, it is nonetheless an important work with a theme often taken up by other writers. I do not want to give too much away, suffice it to say that it is a Pandora’s tale which warns of unintended consequences. You can find the story in two separate Ray Bradbury short story collections: Golden Apples of the Sun and S is for Space.

May I present The Flying Machine.

The Flying Machine

1 1/2 oz Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Bols Triple Sec
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Ice
2 oz Old Thyme Ginger Beer

Add a slice of Lime to the bottom of your favourite tall drinking glass
Fill with Ice
Pour the first three ingredients into the glass over the ice
Add two dashes of Bitters and complete with Ginger Beer
Stir to mix thoroughly
Enjoy Responsibly!

If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: Tomorrow, my 2016 Spiced Rum Taste-off continues with a look at Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehurst Distillery)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 15, 2016

Harbour Rum SAM_2704The Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco, and what has me particularly excited is that Rocco and John-Paul are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

Yongehurst Distillery’s Harbour Rum is produced on their new still from imported (certified organic) South American molasses (from Paraguay according to my secret sources) which has been fermented with wild Ontario yeast.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Harbour Rum (Yongehusrt Distillery)

“… A light sweetness which reminds me of cotton candy drifts upwards into the breezes with feathery indications of mint and menthol alongside. The breezes indicate that the rum has somewhat firm vegetal nature, and this presents itself beside scents of mushy banana and ripe plantain. There are also intriguing aromas in the air (resin-like esters which remind me of camphor) that resemble the notes I would find in Jamaican pot still rum. The nose is rounded out with hints of lemon and orange zest, banana peel as well as  grassy herbal notes akin to the aroma of freshly mowed hay …”

Please enjoy my review.

Chimo!

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

Cocktail Hour: The Yongehurst Daiquiri

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 14, 2016

Yongehurst Still IMG_4727

Yongehurst Distillery Combination Pot/Column Still

The Yongehurst Distillery is a brand new Micro-Distillery located at 346 Westmoreland Ave near Dupont and Dovercourt in Toronto, Ontario. The facility is owned by long-time friends, Rocco Panacci and John-Paul Sacco who are making what just might be Toronto’s first micro-distilled rum upon their brand new small pot/column combination still.

A little over a month ago I was contacted by fellow rum lover Blair Phillips, who like me reviews the odd spirit or two. He had just received a rum sample from the Yongehurst Distillery and was curious about the taste profile he encountered which to him was quite unlike other white rums he had sampled in the past (see his review here).

When Blair described what he was tasting, a vegetal white rum with grit and character, I immediately began to think of citrus based cocktails which might be pushed to a new level by this sort of rum, and when the folks at Yongehurst reached out to me for an independent review I had my chance to put theory to the test.

Yongehurst DaiquiriSAM_2708The Yongehurst Daiquiri was the result. (Yumm!)

Yongehurst Daiquiri

2 oz Yongehurst Harbour Rum
3/4 oz Fresh Orange Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Orange Peel

Add the first four ingredients with ice into a metal shaker
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

(Please enjoy Responsibly!)

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My full review of Yongehurst Distillery’s Harbour Rum will be published tomorrow.

Chimo!

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