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Review: Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2017

Prairie Organic Spirits are produced and bottled by Ed Phillips and Sons located in Princeton, Minnesota. According to the company website all of the Prairie Organic Spirits are produced using:

“single-sourced, vintage corn grown on family-owned, organic farms in the Midwest”

Additionally we are informed that each batch of Prairie Organic Spirit is distilled in small batches to a specific taste profile rather than being distilled a certain number of time to meet a specific marketing whim.

The subject of this review, Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka is produced by blending garden fresh cucumber flavour with Prairie Organic Vodka and water. You may read my full review by clicking the link below:

Review: Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka

“… When I bring my nose to the glass, the scent of freshly cut cucumber is obvious. There is also a  light sweetness accompanying the cucumber scent. I find the spirit enticing and my mind is already going over some mixing possibilities …”

Please enjoy my review which includes two cocktail suggestions, a Cucumber and Lime Tonic, and a Cucumber Mint Cooler.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Murray McDavid Nicaraguan Rum (2006) C.L.D.N.

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 19, 2017

murray-mc-david-nicaragua-sam_3026The 2006 bottling of Murray McDavid’s C.L.D.N.  Nicaraguan Rum was distilled in Nicaragua at the at the Flor de Cana (Compañia Licorera de Nicaragua) Distillery in 1995 and set down to age in bourbon casks. At some point in the history of this rum, several casks (perhaps seven or eight) were purchased by the private bottler Murray McDavid. These casks were chosen for their character, and at some further point (approximately 2005) they were re-casked in re-used white wine (Quarts de Chaume Chenin Blanc) barrels to undergo a short period of flavour enhancement. The final rum was blended and bottled in a Limited Release Bottling numbering only 1500 bottles in 2006.  Two of these bottles found a way into my possession, and I am pleased to review the contents of one of them and share the results with you.

Here is a link to my recent review:

Review: Murray McDavid Nicaraguan Rum

“… we are able to enjoy sweet scents of butterscotch, oak spice, vanilla, and a very persistent grape-like aroma drifting upwards into the air above the glass. As the glass breathes I begin to notice additional smells of Turkish Delight, and light but firm indications of dark brown sugar and baking spices (cinnamon and hints of clove) …”

Please enjoy my review of this interesting historical rum, Chimo!

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Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 16, 2017

Bernard and Rosemary Walsh began producing their own independent Irish Whiskey brands in 2007 with the introduction of The Irishman 70 (aka The Irishman Original Clan in the USA) and The Irishman – Single Malt. In 2009 they expanded the portfolio with the introduction Writers Tears, a boutique brand which was created to bring additional nuance to the Irish Whiskey Category. Although these brands are distilled and aged by a third-party distillery, Bernard and Rosemary recently opened the Walsh Whiskey Distillery and began to produce their own new-make spirit in 2016.

The subject of this review, Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whisky, is a triple-distilled spirit matured in Spanish butts which were previously seasoned with Olorosso sherry. The Sherry butts impart both flavour and a coppery orange hue which has given rise to the name of the Whiskey, ‘Red Head’.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Writers Tears Red Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey

“… I gave the glass about ten minutes to breathe and the fine oak spices did not relent although I should note that there was also an accompanying sweetness of caramel and malt which promised to balance the dram. The different scents and smells melded together creating an impression of an oak and raisin syrup which was most delightful …”

Please enjoy my review Writer’s Tears Red Head Irish Single Malt Whiskey (released in Ontario this past Saturday through Vintages).

Chimo!

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

Cocktail Hour: An Old Fashioned Redhead

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 13, 2017

Today’s mixed drink shakes up the classic Old Fashioned Cocktail. My inspiration for the libation is Red Head Single Malt Irish Whiskey a new triple distilled Single Malt from Ireland’s Walsh Whiskey Distillery. The single malt spirit was aged in hand selected Oloroso Sherry butts which infused their rich fruity flavours (think raisins, figs and dates) into the rich nutty flavour (think barley grain) of Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey.

My new libation uses Cran-Raspberry syrup to enhance the rich fruity sherry cask flavours of the Irish Tears Red Head Irish Whiskey (yumm).

Let me introduce An Old Fashioned Red Head:

An Old Fashioned Redhead

2 1/2 oz Writer’s Tears Red Head Irish Whisky
1/2  oz Cran-Raspberry Syrup (see recipe here)
1 Blackberry
2 Raspberries
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
ice

Add Ice to a Rocks Glass
Add Cran-Raspberry Syrup and Angostura Bitters

Pour the Writer’s Tears Red Head Irish Whisky over the Ice
Stir and garnish with the remaining Berries

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 of Writer’s Tears Red Head Irish Single Malt Whiskey (released through Vintages last Saturday in Ontario) will publish on Friday!

Chimo!

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Review: Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 10, 2017

Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey is produced and bottled by Ed Phillips and Sons located in Princeton, Minnesota. Examining the label, I determine that this Irish Whiskey is produced at the Cooley Distillery in Louth, Ireland. It is apparently distilled three times from a mash of un-malted and malted barley and aged for at least three years. The company’s website does not reveal a great deal more about the whisky. All I could find was this statement which spoke to the brand name and the copper pot distillation:

Hell-Cat Maggie was a member of the notorious Dead Rabbits gang that roamed the Five Points area of Manhattan in the 1840s. A feared streetfighter, Maggie wore razor sharp brass talons on her fingers and filed her teeth into points. Hell-Cat Maggie is an exceptionally smooth whiskey that is distilled in Ireland using the traditional single copper pot still method.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whisky

“… A light astringency rises from the glass which seems to be associated with both alcohol and fine oak spice. Nutty barley aromas are at the forefront of the breezes. They combine with fine wood spice, impressions of willow and poplar bark, and some lightly sweet butterscotch. Cigarette tobacco, almond and very light vanillans round out the aroma …”

I hope you enjoy this review which kicks off a short series of Irish Whiskey postings.

Chimo!

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

Review: Smirnoff No. 21 (Red) Vodka

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 6, 2017

I reviewed Smirnoff No. 21 Red first in 2013, and then revisited the brand this year when I chose to compare four Vodkas in a small tasting competition (Smirnoff No. 21 Red, Reyka, Skyy and Last Mountain Distillery Hand Crafted Vodkas). I tasted the spirits in pairs, and when I determined which vodka from each pair was my preferred spirit, then I tasted the winners of each of the previous tasting sessions went head to head in a final taste-off.

Smirnoff No. 21 (Red) was the class of the tasting sessions winning both of its head to head tastings. This is the second time I have reviewed No. 21 and it is the second time it has surprised me by its overall quality.

Here is a link to the full Review:

Review: Smirnoff No. 21 (Red) Vodka

“… The spirit demonstrated scents of fine grain spice, and a sweep of citrus (lemon and lime) zest. When I took a sip, I found the flavour matched the scents in the breezes with  grain-like spiciness of grain and a very light somewhat earthy lemon/balsam flavour. I did not notice any metallic after taste nor any bitterness after I swallowed …”

Please enjoy my review of the surprising winner of my mini tasting competition. Chimo!

 

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

Cocktail Hour: The Emerald

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2017

For the next few weeks I will be mixing and tasting Whiskey from the Emerald Isle. The spirit from Ireland has been making a strong comeback as evidenced by a surge in sales worldwide including a 20% increase in sales in the United States last year (see: The Spirits Business).

In an effort to reflect this increased popularity, I am attempting to increase both in the number of reviews I publish, and in the selection of cocktail suggestions that I provide for Irish Whiskey.

With that in mind, here is a mixed drink that combines Irish Whiskey with Sweet Vermouth and Bitters. The libation is called the Emerald, and it is a close relative of the popular North American cocktail, the Manhattan. It is important, when mixing an Emerald, to consider the pairing of Sweet Vermouth and Irish Whisky as each spirit has a multitude of brands, and the flavour profiles of each can differ significantly. As I happen to be mixing with a flavourful copper pot distilled Irish Whiskey, I chose the bold Cinzano Rosso which also has a complex flavour profile, one which I felt would pair well with my chosen Irish Whiskey, Hell-Cat Maggie.

The Emerald

1 1/2 oz Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
3-4 drops Angostura Orange Bitters
Ice
Orange Peel & Brandied Cherries

Add the three ingredients with ice cubes into a metal shaker
Shake until chilled
Double strain into a Martini Glass
Garnish with a strip of Orange Peel and a few Brandied Cherries

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 new review for Hell-Cat Maggie Irish Whiskey will publish this coming Saturday.

Chimo!

 

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Review: Mount Gay Black Barrel

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 2, 2017

Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum was introduced in 2014. It is comprised of a blend of rums produced from both pot and column still distillation and aged in heavily charred bourbon barrels. According to the Mount Gay Distillery Master Blender, Allen Smith the Black Barrel Rum was specifically blended to give rum enthusiasts the best of two worlds:

“We actually launched Mount Gay Black Barrel in 2013 to give drinkers a complex premium rum that they could enjoy as a sipping rum or by mixing in cocktails, and it has become one of our most popular rums. It’s a small batch, handcrafted blend that has a balanced, but bold spicy flavor.”

Here is a link to my full review of Allen Smith’s Black Barrel Rum:

Review: Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum

“… I noticed sweet dark caramel and toffee aromas leading out in front of fruity scents of orange peel and banana. All of this is accented by impressions of light baking spices (vanilla and hints of cinnamon). Lurking within this sweetness are impressions of oak spice and ginger, faint hints of copper pennies and some mild indications of pipe tobacco …”

Please enjoy my review which concludes with two very nice recipe suggestions, The Black Storm, and Crimson Cane.

Chimo

 

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

Cocktail Hour: Crimson Cane

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 31, 2017

Here is a new recipe based upon the popular Scottish Whisky Cocktail, Blood and Sand. It came about as I was experimenting with an unusual new cherry-flavoured spirit, Wisniak na Rumie which uses Jamaican Rum as well as natural cherry juice as flavouring ingredients for the spirit. When I encountered the liqueur for the first time, I thought to myself that the spirit could serve quite well as a substitute for Cherry Heering which is of course the common cherry flavoured spirit used when mixing the aforementioned Blood and Sand.

Things came together for this cocktail when I received a sample of Mount Gay’s Black Barrel Rum. The thought occurred to me that the complexity of Mount Gay Rum parallelled the complexity of Scotch Whisky. Would it be possible I wondered, to swap out not only Cherry Heering for Wisnak na Rumie, but also to swap out Scotch Whisky for Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum.

After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon my recipe. Although a changes and substitutions had taken place, my final creation bears an unmistakable resemblance to the original cocktail. It is though a rum cocktail not a whisky cocktail, and therfore deserves its own name. I have chosen, Crimson Cane.

Crimson Cane

3/4 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
5/8 oz Sweet Vermouth
5/8 oz Wisniak na Rumie (Cherry Rum)
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
ice
Orange Zest
Brandied Cherry

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker frosts
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with flamed orange zest and a brandied cherry

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

____________________________________________________________________

Note: A little later this week I will be publishing my review for Mount Gay 1703 Black Barrel Rum. My review for Wisnak na Rumie can be found here (Review: Wisnaik na Rumie).

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An Interview with Allen Smith (Mount Gay Rum)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 29, 2017

I would like to welcome Allen Smith, Master Blender at Mount Gay Rum Distillery to my website. I was offered an opportunity to sample his newest creation, the Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection (see review here) and to follow-up my tasting sessions with an interview to learn more about Mount Gay Rum.

I will be forthright and admit I am not an experienced journalist so rather than conducting an oral interview over the phone, I submitted a list of questions via email to Allen and after a few weeks he sent them back with his responses. The interview covers a range of topics from the Micro-Distilling Industry to the Cocktail Revolution, as well as general questions regarding his Mount Gay Rum and of course the Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection Rum.

The entire interview has been posted in the Industry Interviews section of my website and you can access it via the following link:

Interview with Allen Smith: Master Blender – Mount Gay Rum Distillery

I hope you enjoy the Q & A with Allen Smith where he not only reveals some of the secrets behind his latest creation, Mount Gay 1703 Master Select Rum, he also indulges me by revealing his favourite cocktail, the previously posted Black Storm.

Chimo!

 

 

 

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